Five years ago, the longtime owners of Holly, Woods and Vines acquired the former auto body shop behind their nursery and the Bestway supermarket, transforming the “D.A.M. Garage” into Mount Vernon CrossFit. Today, the workout facility’s new owners and managers, Danielle Dionne and husband Craig Williams, are taking their fitness community to the next level, designing a new program and promoting a supportive, engaging community for members to achieve results.
“It’s a different demographic here; it’s a home away from home,” said Dionne, noting that many families, military spouses, middle aged individuals and women in general are members of the facility.
To help meet their members’ unique schedules and training needs, Dionne and Williams have begun scheduling later classes and extending them to 1.25 hours in length to allow for more mobility and cooldown periods. They also are partnering with their highly successful Washington, D.C.-based fitness community — CrossFit Balance — to share resources and open more events to members.
While some may associate CrossFit with weightlifting and hardcore training, the focus of Mount Vernon Crossfit is very much on health and wellness — especially for those in their 40s and 50s — according to Dionne.
“It’s all about functionality — how to move well and prepare for falling down,” she said.
Coaches at the facility cap classes at 18 people and provide a lot of hands-on guidance, including to members with specific fitness goals such as improving their posture or losing weight.
“It’s super fulfilling; it gives me chills to see people accomplish things,” said Dionne who both serves as a coach and manages daily operations at Mount Vernon CrossFit, while her husband coaches, does program design and manages CrossFit Balance.
Although the fitness community doesn’t have a children’s program at present, plans are in the works for a summer camp in 2019. The new owners envision hosting children’s birthday parties and partnering with youth sports teams as well. In the meantime, Mount Vernon CrossFit members with elementary school age kids can let them socialize and play in the large office area behind the gym equipment while parents get a workout.
Upstairs in the converted garage are three showers and a studio that can be rented out for yoga or physical therapy classes, said Dionne.
To provide Richmond Highway area residents with a taste of the fitness community’s offerings, Mount Vernon CrossFit will hold a family-friendly “re-grand opening” celebration on Saturday, October 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Besides touring the facility, guests can participate in free workouts or a gymnastics tutorial, speak with nutritionists and coaches, and enjoy refreshments, raffles and music.