Q&A with Owner and Head Coach Josh O’Donnell


First, a few facts:

Josh holds a variety of titles, he is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a spin instructor, a level one CrossFit trainer and a CrossFit Olympic weightlifting coach. He comes from a background in football, baseball and Strongman training.


What’s your background in CrossFit?

I started CrossFit 3 years ago. A friend of mine showed me a video of a few CrossFit athletes doing some workouts. It reminded me of workouts I used to do with my dad when I was training for football.

I loved the self-reflective competition and the fact that I could do something different every day: I could train outside, at a gym or in my garage. It made sense, it felt good and it felt hard. It’s what I needed.

Before that, I was struggling with drugs and alcohol at 310 pounds – it was the unhealthiest and unhappiest I’d ever been.

They say that there’s a physical development, but the biggest development in CrossFit is between your ears. That rang true for me.


What’s your coaching philosophy?

I want to learn about a person. I don’t want to just write down what their goals are; it’s important to me to take the extra step to understand why their goals are important to them.

For example, when someone says they want to lose 10 pounds, I want to know why. Or if they want to run a marathon, why?

I love getting to know why they want to do CrossFit, why they are coming in here every day and why they have their goals, because the better our connection is, the better I can train them.


Why Bellingham?

I learned a lot about who I am here in Bellingham. I have a lot of special memories of this place. I found my calling in CrossFit, I guess. In running this gym, I know that I can positively impact people and I want to do it in Bellingham. It feels like home to me.


What should people know about CrossFit?

A big part of it is the community. People come 15 minutes early and stay 20 minutes after. When you suffer through something with someone, you become tight with them.

I don’t want to say CrossFit will make you suffer… But because it’s so challenging, it builds strong camaraderie.


What role does CrossFit play in your life?

CrossFit is much more than a training method. It’s a lifestyle, as cultish as that sounds. Truly, it made me realize that anything i want to do outside of these doors  – physical, starting a business or otherwise – if I decide that I want to try it, I can do it. It’s really inspired every other aspect of my life and my relationships.

It’s a way for me to train, but it really builds up life in every aspect.