Sheryl Hammontree | Owner, Head Coach
Growing up, I was active but not athletic. It wasn’t until my 30s when I discovered triathlon and the benefits of an athletic lifestyle.
Training for and competing in triathlon made me physically and mentally stronger, but the unexpected friendships, support and a better sense of “self” were what kept me involved. I also met my husband Joel while doing triathlon and together we built our life around a lifestyle focused on health and wellness.
In the summer of 2004 I was invited to try out something called, “CrossFit.” At the time, there was only one CrossFit gym in Kansas City, and I had the fortune of being part of it. Years of endurance and an Ironman finish had me convinced I was a fine example of fitness. However, one visit to my new gym and I realized there was work to do. While I could move my body for hours at a time – I lacked power, strength, stamina and a host of other athletic attributes.
After a few months, the gym owner took me to Santa Cruz, California for my CrossFit certification. Attending the same certification were a group of Marines with jaw-dropping fitness – however, it was the regular membership at the CrossFit gym that impressed me the most. Gender, age, and stature were not limiters. What I saw was truly inspiring; a powerful community where everyone was working hard and encouraging each other.
I returned to Kansas City not only wanting to improve my personal fitness, but also wanting to share this form of training with others. I continued to coach at our gym for six years, learning, adding certifications and building our community.
The opportunity came in 2010 for Joel and I to relocate the gym, increase space and begin building our Fit Pit culture. Two years later we relocated again, expanding the size of our gym to better accommodate our growing community.
Most women my age face issues like poor bone density, depression, high blood pressure and being overweight. But I don’t have any of those issues. As a women who lifts, jumps, runs, throws, pulls and pushes every day, I feel better than ever. Two Ironman finishes, summiting Longs Peak and hiking to the bottom and out of the Grand Canyon demonstrates the benefits the Fit Pit lifestyle. The workouts, the way I eat and, most of all, my passion to live life to the fullest keep me rolling through the day-to-day and continuing to seek new challenges.
And that’s the best part about the Fit Pit! Yes, the training changes your body, but it also develops fortitude, a bit of “grit” and an inner strength that doesn’t just bring success in the gym, it also translates to the home, the classroom, the playing field, the office, and everywhere else life happens. You cannot build self-confidence more effectively than by committing, then conquering. And that’s what we do here at the Fit Pit.
Joel Hammontree | Owner, Senior Coach
Growing up, I played the usual team sports and rode on a BMX team—there was rarely a moment when I wasn’t moving. As I got older I became a certified dive instructor and back-country trip leader, and in doing so, I managed to earn a living while satisfying my quest for adventure. Challenging my limits didn’t end with graduating college, it wasn’t long before I got into mountain biking and competing in triathlons, eventually doing more challenging stuff, including Brew to Brew (solo), placing a few top-ten finishes at 36-hour adventure races and completing two sub-12 hour Ironman races. It was during this time, I made many new friends, including my wife, Sheryl.
In 2004, Sheryl and I started Kansas City’s largest multisport club, KC Multisport and that same year, Sheryl visited a CrossFit gym and loved it – discovering the value of training in a new and different way. We invited a few of our friends to join in the “fun,” and while it was much harder than we expected, all of our race times improved and we were hooked.
Now married, Sheryl and I are as active today as the day we met. I’m a member of a competitive cycling team where I compete in road, mountain and cyclecross races. Loving the bike isn’t enough though–it takes hard work, and there’s no doubt that the stuff we do at the Fit Pit has kept me competitive over the years.
If you have a sport you compete in, I want you to know that the Fit Pit will make you a better athlete—no matter the sport or your goal. And if you don’t have “a sport,” the Fit Pit can still be life changing! Whether its climbing the stairs without being winded or keeping up with the kids (or the grandkids) the Fit it will make you better. You’ll feel better, sleep like a rock and find a tremendous release in exercising. You will like how your clothes fit and you will enjoy having way more energy than your peers. Basically, you’ll be glad you did it!
Ryan Sinovic | Coach
I’ve always loved being active. In high school I played soccer, wrestling and track. In college I played intramural sports. After college, I enjoyed hiking and being outdoors.
“Working out” is another story.
Even though I stayed active, spending time at a traditional gym never appealed to me. Having to figure out my own workout while being surrounded by mirrors and grunting people simply wasn’t for me.
That all changed when I came to the Fit Pit. It isn’t your traditional gym. In fact, it’s just as much of a community as it is a gym. And although the workouts are hard I’m inspired to do my best and push my personal limits.
I feel fortunate being part of the Fit Pit coaching staff. Giving back to a place that has given me so much and coaching people, who like me years ago, want to gain something more from their workouts. This is an incredibly rewarding experience.