Owners Brian and Erin Rupsis
By Stephen Miwa
Outside are snow-covered tractor tires that will lay dormant until the spring, but inside of the innocuous looking building with “CrossFit Darien” on display is an atmosphere of high energy, motivation, support, and passion for the sport of CrossFit. A giant mural covers the back wall with a massive “110%” on grand display to serve as both a reminder and motivation to give everything you can and to finish strong. That mural feels like an exact embodiment of the gym’s owners, Brian and Erin Rupsis. As small business owners and parents to seven-year-old twins, their commitment to making CrossFit Darien a place where anyone can achieve their fitness goals is evident.
With a background in football, wrestling, baseball, boxing, and Muay Thai, Brian was instantly hooked to the demanding nature of CrossFit. After receiving his CrossFit certification in 2007, he started to train people out of their garage. As that began to grow, Brian and Erin started looking for a bigger space, and in 2009 they opened CrossFit Darien (CFD) at their location on Lemont Road. “It was a leap of faith for our family, but we have never looked back.” Brian continues, “We have a great group of coaches and members who make us realize daily that taking that leap has been well worth it.”
When the location was fairly new, Erin had recently given birth to twins, so she wasn’t involved in the coaching for the first few years. However, as the kids grew older, Erin began coaching as well and the gym became a family affair. With a large number of members having kids of their own, Brian and Erin have made sure that they provide an environment where kids are able to come watch and interact with their parents while they workout. “I think it's awesome for all the young kids who come in and see their parents and other adults, both male and female of all ages, enjoying a healthy lifestyle.” Erin continues, “It's a great group of role models for all of them, and they emulate what they see their parents doing, and want to do it themselves.”
This positive, family atmosphere coupled with top tier trainers and programming helps make CFD one of the best facilities in the community. All of the trainers carry multiple certifications and undergo additional mentoring to ensure that proper form and technique is being used to create a safe workout environment for everyone. These workout programs are designed to challenge members by not having the same routine every workout. Workouts will vary from squat cycles to clean and jerk and snatch cycles to various gymnastics movements in order to improve proficiency in all lifts and body weight movements. The methods being used at CFD have produced a member who has finished 3rd in the world at the CrossFit Games (the Olympics of the CrossFit world) in his age group.
The awesome family atmosphere and the amazing results by members aren’t the only validation that Brian and Erin have had gotten since opening CFD. Brian used CrossFit to help him fight and beat cancer. Diagnosed with Leukemia four years ago, Brian’s “110%” attitude and top physical shape from being both a CrossFitter and a firefighter helped him battle both mentally and physically even through the toughest days of chemotherapy and the subsequent bone marrow transplant. Brian has beaten cancer and now enjoys seeing CFD’s members’ achievements no matter how nominal they may be. “Someone getting their first pull-up, lifting heavier than they have before, or just finishing a really grueling workout.” Brian says, “Some of the biggest successes are actually the little day to day ones.”
The high standards that CrossFit Darien has set all across the board are what has made the gym successful from the very beginning, and with no plans to deviate from those high standards, CFD should be a staple of the community for years to come. For more information on all the offerings of CrossFit Darien please visit their website, give them a call, or stop by for a visit!
8102 Lemont Road, Suite 900
Dairen, IL 60517