COLUMBIA - Cory Crosby is a fitness entrepreneur and chooses to help people in the community reach their fitness goals at his gym.
“2realFitness is important to me because it began with an idea and it's something I put a lot of work into to make it a reality,” he said.
Crosby wasn’t always healthy.
“I was overweight and that’s when I first started to workout and really get serious about my health and started setting goals as far as what I want to look like and what I want to be able to do,” he said.
The idea of opening up his own facility started when he was in prison. He said he constantly thought about changing his life physically and mentally.
“It played a significant role in changing who I was as an individual on how I looked at myself," he said. "I was asked to teach a class for other people who were locked up, inmates, and so by doing that I knew when I was released from prison that I wanted to be involved with fitness.”
Crosby said he is proud to be a black business owner.
“But more so, it feels good to be a business owner period," he said.
Crosby said, where he came from, there weren't a lot of black people with businesses in Columbia, and those businesses didn't last long.
“I think that feels better than just being a black business owner because I don’t want people focusing on me being black, I want them to focus on the services that I am offering, with me having a good business,” he said.
Crosby said 2RealFitness allowed him to not only change his health, but to help people wanting to change their lives, too. He said he was able to turn his life around and it feels good to help others do the same.
At 2RealFitness there are three red signs posted vertically. They say no excuses, no fear, and no faking.
Client Kristalle Johnson said, “I think that that's an awesome motto and just encourages me to say "I can’t give up and I can’t make excuses and I have to be fearless' and I see that in his own life outside of fitness and then in the gym, so it's encouraging.”
Johnson said the signs Crosby plastered on the wall are more than just words, they're an "inspiration to work hard."
“Cory teaches us to be fearless about exercising and accomplishing our goals and he also teaches us to not make excuses and show up and show out," she said.
Johnson said Crosby has helped her realize her dreams.
“In trying to achieve my goals, I also am encouraged to become a trainer like Cory and follow his example and maybe be able to help other people with their fitness goals moving forward,” she said.
Johnson said it is evident Crosby didn’t let his past define him because he was able to change lives and the community with his story.
“Cory has a very interesting story in overcoming challenges and therefore I look at him in his personal life and see all the things he’s overcome and therefore I feel like he is a good person who is a real example of how to make a goal, overcome circumstances and really fight for your goals,” she said.
While training people at 2RealFitness, Crosby challenges his clients.
Johnson said, “He inspires us to challenge ourselves weekly, so we have the fit test where we have an exercise and try to compete with ourselves to become better.”
Client Courtney Allen said, when things got hard for her, Crosby was able to motivate her to reach her fitness goals.
“He’s always pushing me to keep going. If we start doing something for a minute and I start getting tired, he’s there encouraging you to push through and not stop and give it everything that you’ve got.”
Justin Jones, boxing coach or 2realFitness, said Crosby has taught him more than just fitness.
“He’s always encouraging me to try better ways that I can be better even as a person,” Jones said.
He said he sees similar qualities within Crosby.
“He’s self motivated. I like that because I feel like I’m self motivated, so to see someone else that doesn’t need someone else to get them in gear to go and do something makes me want to be apart of what he’s got going on,” Johnson said.
Crosby said, beyond fitness, he wants to make an imprint in the community.
“It is important to me because I created it and I also used it and can see its given value to other people in the Columbia area. It lets me know that 2RealFitness is doing something right,” Crosby said.