While all students at Mercer University have the option to work out in the gym in the University Center, there are plenty of other independent gyms in Macon. CrossFit AOA located on 5th Street in downtown Macon offers students coached group classes and a special student discount.
The student price is just $70 monthly and can by paid month-by-month, so students don’t have to pay for summer membership they won’t use, or they can take time off anytime their studies get too hard.
Crossfit is an alternative to working out individually in the UC gym. At CrossFit AOA, they encourage not only getting in shape, but also being a part of a community.
CrossFit AOA was created by Amber Chatham, who renovated a space that used to be an old warehouse. Now the area contains sets of dumbbells, barbells, rowing machines and other workout equipment.
One of the unique things about crossfit is that, as opposed to individuals working out alone, members come together at certain times of the day to do group exercises lead by a coach.
Coaches tell you exactly what to do, and they can personalize programs to fit individual needs.
Daniel Minter is one such coach who is also a 5th year senior at Mercer University studying biomedical engineering. He came to CrossFit AOA two and a half years ago when the place first opened to help Amber start the business up.
Minter says that though he has to balance his studies and working out, being able to work out is a great way for him to take a break and not get too caught up in studies.
Minter said that his roommate, Brent Lunsford, first encouraged him to work out.
“When we’re young, we trade health for wealth. When we’re old, we trade wealth for health,” Minter said, quoting his roommate.
In Minter’s words, CrossFit training is the middle between a marathon runner and a heavy lifter. He says that the focus is own being the best all-around athlete.
Karly Nix is a freshman environmental education student at Mercer. She heard about CrossFit AOA from a girl in her sorority and joined early this past fall. She enjoys the close community she has formed here, and she says she always feels welcomed.
“Not a lot of people think about girls lifting. It’s empowering,” Nix said. “They make you feel like you’re more than just some girl.”