Co-Owner / Coach / The Squirrel
*CrossFit Level 2 Trainer *CrossFit Scaling course *CrossFit Lesson Planning *CrossFit Spot the flaw
*CrossFit Judges Course
*USA Weightlifting Level 2 – Advanced Sports Performance Coach
*Safe Sport Trained
*First Aid- Adult CPR (Red Cross)
The 1st photo below is from my mid 20’s, the next is from my mid 30’s and the last is at 40 years old, after finding CrossFit.
CrossFit training has been the ultimate journey complete with highs and lows, successes and failures and a world of self-discovery. The training is hard and fast and as a result…almost spiritual. The community of Cross Fitters is like no other. We rise and fall together; and each is there to provide support and coaching. It was the community and the camaraderie (and a natural desire to want to help others) that led me to become a CrossFit trainer and weightlifting coach. Participating isn’t enough. We work to master the science behind the movement and then package the science into a set of tools and cues to help others become the best possible version of themselves. Helping others has improved my form and awareness as well. I continue to push the boundaries of my own limits. Personal records (PRs) don’t come easy, and that’s AWESOME! It’s the journey to achieve new PRs; to perfect my movement; to gain in physical fitness; to be a better dad and husband; to change the lives of others, that drives me now. So, whether your goal is to climb Everest or climb a flight of stairs, know that we’re here to help you achieve that goal. CrossFit is life changing.
After many years on the road visiting CrossFit gyms around the country, Shawn Ledford established Appling County’s first Strength and Conditioning / CrossFit gym in 2016. Having rented a section of office spaces from very generous and long time family friends Greg and Chanda Teston, owners of Genes Fitness, Shawn single handedly renovated 5 office spaces into two small open floor plans, Aloe Vapors and what was to become Baxley’s first CrossFit Gym, Nuketown Strength and Conditioning / CrossFit Nuketown. Since then, the gym has moved into a larger facility across town on Blackshear Highway between the Middle School and High School. Shawn was joined by three amazing partners / Coaches, David and Brittney Beckworth and Mallory Nestor. After another labor intensive renovation, they happily established Appling County Strength & Conditioning and have re-affiliated as Fierce CrossFit.
Fierce CrossFit is also a registered USA Weightlifting club. (Fierce Bar-Benders Weightlifting)
I found an interest in training after significant weight gain in my early 20’s (from 175lbs to 265lbs) and began the typical misdirected path of traditional training; Running for cardio, “back and bi’s, chest and tri’s, legs (oh wait…I NEVER did legs) and shoulders.” I did see some improvement and got my weight back down to the 200lb to 225lb (depending on the month) but never had complete control, and was never satisfied with my results.
It wasn’t until I picked up a project as Superintendent on a jobsite erecting windmills that the tides changed forever. Most days, I would to climb up the Turbines with about 50lbs of dead weight that included tools, lunch and water in tow under me and would repeat that climb between 2 to 4 times daily. Each climb would take between 7 to 10 minutes depending on how many breaks you had to take. I found it compulsory to minimize the breaks by maximizing climbing efficiency as much as possible and I told my crews “yeah, I’m sweating in my boots every time I climb, but it’s just a 7-minute climb, it won’t change my body’’. Within the first two months of the project, my abs had abs…and OOPS!! I was performing full body, functional movements executed at high intensity… AKA: CrossFit
When a turbine season would end, I would sometimes take on much less demanding projects to fill the gaps, and during those times I felt the need to keep that physical intensity going, in 2012 I finally went in search of my first CrossFit gym. To say that my first experience was “life changing” is an understatement. I walked into a local affiliate in Elmsford New York and was welcomed with “Cindy” (a CrossFit benchmark Workout). Within 10 minutes of that workout It was obvious that my interpretation of fitness was clearly misaligned with my ACTUAL physical capabilities. And what was this? I Thought I could “clean and jerk” and the snatch lift can’t be “that” hard, but as it turned out, I WAS HORRIBLE AT BOTH! I was out performed by every single woman in that gym. From there a new obsession was born, for both CrossFit methodology and Olympic Weightlifting. It was time to begin the CrossFit phase of my life.
Before leaving that gym, I bought about 400lbs of their used bumper plates and found a cheap bar, those things would be packed into my truck before luggage for the next few years. I would choose hotels by the quality of their pavement and visiting CrossFit affiliate gyms around the country became my only hobby. Thanks for reading.