Couples Justin and Whitney Jones and Dave and Stephanie Beebe banded together to create CrossFit Branson after each being inspired by the CrossFit system’s encouraging environment. In their expansive gym, certified trainers lead intense workouts that are based on functional movements and designed for participants of all experience levels to see dramatic increases in their fitness levels. During each session, they foster the same camaraderie and friendly competition that pulled the business’s founders toward the sport in the first place.
In the early hours of the morning, runners line up to dash through the streets, across the bridges, and along the train tracks of Springfield in a rigorous race designed by the Missouri State University Army ROTC. Along the demanding 12.4K course, runners encounter more than a dozen obstacles that make use of the city’s landscape, carefully hurdling over an urban mine field and breaking codes to advance in the race. They’ll also sprint through a mile-long underground tunnel with only LED flashlights and the luminescent eyes of raccoons to guide them. At the conclusion of the race, participants with winning times receive awards. A portion of the proceeds go toward the National Military Family Association, a nonprofit organization that assists military members and their families with emotional and financial support.
Bryan designed his first CrossFit class when he was stationed in Afghanistan, using any equipment he could get his hands on: sandbags, weight volleyballs, steel rods. He enjoyed the challenge and the functional fitness aspects of CrossFit and saw the connection between the CrossFit mentality and the one he had during his 20 years of service in the army. Today, he and his fellow trainers lead students of all levels through intense CrossFit classes within his high-ceilinged, well-stocked facility, using climbing ropes, massive tires, and the camaraderie of a group.
Equipped with likenesses of military-issue firearms, masked marksmen maneuver throughout a 10,000-square-foot warehouse, pelting each other with plastic BBs as they strafe down halls and overtake rooms. This is the home base of So Go Airsoft, where team members welcome combatants of all skill levels into 20- to 25-minute games that range from classics, such as Capture the Flag, to scenario matches, such as VIP Escort, Hostage Rescue, and Car-Key Find. The facility also organizes at least one scenario event each month, which is designed for beginners, but challenging enough for experienced players as well, plus a twice-monthly airsoft pistol and shotgun night. So Go Airsoft also engages large groups by opening its spacious arena to private parties.
For the past 11 years, Robert Cassity has channeled a passion for fitness into his personal bodybuilding pursuits and his training business. His boot-camp classes torch calories and tone muscles with a high-energy cardio and strength-training routine performed by a group of exercisers who motivate each other to work hard and keep their shoelaces tied tightly. For a custom-crafted workout regimen, Robert also serves as a personal trainer and will travel to peoples' homes. Those interested in enlisting in either program can call ahead to reserve a spot in class, schedule a training slot, or ask Robert how to do a no-handed pushup.
Members at Curves roll through a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines utilize body weight, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. For 30 minutes, limbering ladies move around a circuit that positions machines inward so that they'll have a chance to share laughs and secret handshakes with fellow fitness frontierswomen. Because each workout warrior occupies a different station, the only competition that exists is with one's own burgeoning muscles and mind.