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A post-holiday guide to some Carbondale gyms

Locations: News Published

By Kate Phillips
Special to The Sopris Sun


Another year has come and gone. The family has traveled home and the holidays feel like a distant memory. However, left behind is the mountain of cookies, fudge, pies, and more taunting you in the kitchen. With a guilty grin you give into the temptation and pile the treats high onto a plate and onto the couch.

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At some point, between bites of sugary rugelach and jam-filled Linzer-Tortes, you think: “My God! What have I become?!”. Well folks, add in some newborn spit-up, and you have an exclusive look at my Tuesday night.

As the holiday season comes to a close I’m sure many of you, quite like myself, are itching to get back into shape. Fortunately the opportunity for athletic endeavors are endless in our valley. An early morning Sunlight skin followed by a Mushroom Rock run is considered a low-key day for many athletes.

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But what if you do not consider yourself an outdoor recreationist (*collective gasp*), or maybe you are bored with your normal exercise regimen? As luck would have it, Carbondale has a multitude of gyms that locals can choose from. I’ve taken the time to connect with some of these gyms to help you Resolution Athletes find the perfect match.

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Sopris CrossFit

If you are looking for a gym with a hands-on coaching and a great community, then CrossFit (956 Highway 133) might be the best fit for you. At Sopris CrossFit members and coaches work together to become holistic athletes. By following an exercise program designed for “general physical preparedness” athletes have workouts tailored to their lives outside of the gym.

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Long time coach Ray Cooney explained that coaches are well aware of their athletes’ needs and continually check in before workouts. Additionally, each athlete is unique and “workouts are constantly varied with increasing intensity in order to reduce stagnancy for the athlete” according to Cooney.

Cooney believes that the biggest draw of Sopris CrossFit is the “community [and its] commitment to excellence”.

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Member and avid athlete Kirsten Rebekah states, “Sopris CrossFit challenges you to be a better person everyday, and the community becomes your family. Everyone encourages each other and is there to lend a helping hand inside and outside of the gym.”

With all of this positive energy, it is no surprise that members keep coming back for more!

Core Gym

Athletes looking to be a bit more independent and get out of the crowded gyms, but still have a “family feel” during workouts might want to check out Core (1117 Village Rd.)

Owners Cory Rose and Sam Goff boast the only 24 hour gym in Carbondale, a huge perk for athletes with erratic schedules. Athletes also enjoy a wide range of strength and conditioning equipment that compliments multiple workout programs. Rose and Goff believe that with so many schools of thought regarding exercise science, variety is key for the self-motivated athlete.

At Core Gym athletes can expect to have a “safe and open” place to workout. Rose states, “It can be intimidating [to walk] into a new gym, women especially. We want to create a space where everyone feels welcome [and there is] no judgment.”

Goff adds that Core Gym is “an easy place to workout” and offers plenty of opportunity for athletes to learn and grow from each other.

Athletes are often sharing ideas and cheering each other on during workouts. Goff emphasized that since the gym is smaller than most, members get to know each other really well and often “hang out” after workouts. New members are always welcome and receive one free session.

Ripple Effect Training Center

For a unique workout experience that integrates the mind, body, and spirit connection, athletes can sign up for a private or group training session at the Ripple (580 Main St.).

Built with the mountain athlete in mind, Founder Carolyn Parker has created a program that focuses on movement and balance.

Parker explained that many athletes walk in without ever realizing how their bodies move. To bring awareness to this reality, athletes are given systematic workouts that incorporate proper form and gentle enhancement.

Athlete Megan Noonan states, “The workouts are tough, but within reason. [The trainers] really focus on proper form and they demonstrate every exercise we do before we do it […] since joining Ripple Effect my running has improved so much. I am stronger all over.”

At Ripple Effect, an intimate community has been built where everyone is “treated with love, kindness, and respect” according to Parker. Athletes are challenged, but are not pressured to perform at any level they are not ready to.

Carbondale Recreation and Community Center

If you have made it this far into our analysis of Carbondale’s gym and still haven’t found “your gym”, then maybe the answer lies at the Carbondale Rec. Center (CRCC), (567 Colorado Ave.). At CRCC athletes are able to create versatile workouts utilizing the gym’s strength and conditioning equipment, studio space, climbing wall, and experienced trainers..

One of the biggest attractions at CRCC are the family friendly programs offered at affordable rates. Starting from preschool, families can sign up for classes such as cycling, rock climbing, yoga, and Taekwondo.

Patrice Fuller, owner of Carbondale Beer Works and long time athlete, has been a regular participant of the Summit Conditioning class.

“I love how it’s different every time and it’s challenging. I love the people I have met and … definitely get inspiration from others. … It is definitely a mental boost. ( ”

Athletes can also expect to work with expert trainers who are passionate about helping their athletes achieve their goals.

Certified AMGA guide and CRCC instructor Sarah MacGregor believes, “Teaching indoors is the perfect way to connect with my community by affordably sharing what I love […] In a lesson with me you can expect to gain knowledge on injury prevention and performance enhancement […] More than anything though, you can expect to laugh and look good, since looking good is rule number one of rock climbing!”

Hopefully by now you are inspired and ready to get back into shape. I know I will be supporting one of these local gyms in the near future — as soon as I finish this last piece of pie.

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