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Meet John Hazdovac of Chuckwalla CrossFit in North Central

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Hazdovac.

John, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We started out in a single-car garage with a dream and a vision to help people become a better version of themselves. With a growing family of our own, my wife and I really wanted a place where people could bring their kids to while still getting in an amazing workout. So my wife would watch all the kids in our little house during the hour of our Cross Fit class held at our home. We kept training hard in the early mornings at 5:30am and by evening at 5:30pm until our group grew big enough to move to an actual location. We spotted out an old mechanic shop about 2,000 sq. ft. with two big garage doors. It was perfect. However classes started out very slow, as I was desperate for new members to fill the space. I continued to work my full-time job cleaning carpet and scrubbing tile floors for the first year and half after we opened (in October of 2015). I remember waking up at 4:30am, going to coach until 7am, then cleaning floors art my full-time job until 4pm, then coaching until 730pm. After all that, I would come home to my beautiful wife and two very young children. I had very long days, and none of it was easy. To this day, I still work long hours at the gym, but I do it because I won’t to. I was able to quit my other full-time job and commit to the gym and the people that go there. To this day we have about 125 members and continue to grow.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
None of it has been easy, but all of it has been worth it. To see how our gym is making an impact and changing people’s lives makes me smile. Like I mentioned, the long hours and working two jobs and trying to take care of a family is never easy. But I learned ways to get through each day and to stay focused on where I would be eventually. I always felt like quitting, almost every day. But I knew I wouldn’t quit. My family was depending upon me and I had dreams that I needed to fulfill. I kept telling myself, “The only way out is through.” So I kept hammering through. Money was always tight when starting our business, and I was working the carpet cleaning job just to pay our common living expenses. The manual labor job and long hours kept me tired. Every day I would dream about what my life could be if I just didn’t give up.

Please tell us about Chuckwalla Cross Fit.
Our business today is a thriving and growing Cross Fit gym. We teach people functional fitness that we believe will help them become better at everything in life. Our training program and gym is much more than just that. We actually care about the people that come through the doors and we want them to become the best version of themselves. That’s exactly what we do. Some gyms just want memberships, we want lives changed.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite childhood memories was working hard in the gym. I was a gymnast for 10 years and training took the majority of my time from 7-17 years old. We had an old school style gymnastics coach who was a first generation Japanese-American. He disciplined us hard and trained us harder. There was a point in time where I was in the gym 35 hours a week. Plus, I was going to school and trying to be a kid! Although it was hard, I learned a lot about setting goals and being disciplined enough to achieve them. All the hard work paid off as I use my gymnastics skills to this day as a competitive Cross Fit athlete and Olympic Weightlifter. I sacrificed a lot of fun and cool things as a kid but I don’t regret it.

Pricing:

  • $145 month for unlimited classes
  • $140 for a 10 class punchcard
  • discounts available for military and first responders

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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