Local Army vet brings new brand of fitness to CantonBy Mary Ann Price
Kevin Foley, a military veteran and fitness coach, has tacked flags from each of the five branches of the United States armed forces to one of the walls of the CrossFit HomeBase gym he opened last month, along with a poster of his business logo. There are information boards on another wall telling members what the workout of the day is.
One of the walls of the hallway leading into the gym has nothing on it, but that will soon change. An artist is painting a mural on that wall — a mural of helmets, service rifles and boots. The flags and mural are a tribute to U.S. soldiers. Foley was in the Army for four years and brings two important lessons he learned from the military to CrossFit: the importance of being fit and the role of community support in the field of fitness.
A 2001 graduation of Canton High School who starred on the CHS football team, Foley said fitness has long been a personal interest of his.
“Fitness was always something I would do,” he said. “I saw how much of a difference it made for body, mind and spirit.”
Foley joined the Army following graduation, and while stationed in Germany, he was deployed twice to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He spent a total of 16 months in that country doing reconnaissance work.
In 2005 he returned home and enrolled at Bridgewater State University. He later attended the Police Academy, then worked as a transit police officer and as an officer in the Canton Police Department. Last November, he left the department and began to work part-time for Reebok, with an eye toward going into fitness full-time.
“I just knew I could make more of an impact in people’s lives,” said Foley, who has been a certified CrossFit coach since 2009.
Founded by Greg Glassman in 2000, the CrossFit exercise program has soared in popularity in recent years and is used in more than 3,400 gyms across the United States. It is also the “principal strength and conditioning program for many fire academies, police academies, tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide,” according to the CrossFit HomeBase website.
The CrossFit program emphasizes “fundamental, functional movements with proper technique,” as participants “learn and get fit with ever-changing workouts that combine bodyweight exercises, gymnastics, weightlifting, and a variety of exercises that combine cardio and strength work.”
Classes begin with a warm-up and then move on to a skill, such as handstands, or a strength, such as Olympic lifting. The workout of the day is next, followed by a cool down.
Foley’s CrossFit gym also adds variety and fun to the workouts by using resources that “most commercial gyms don’t have,” including a pull-up rig, ropes, tires, gymnastics equipment such as the rings and parallettes, bumper-plates for weightlifting, and medicine balls and kettlebells.
Each class lasts 60 minutes, with clients of all fitness levels working at their own pace. “I want everyone to achieve their fitness goals,” Foley said. “Every day we’re making an effort. That’s why we come here, to get that confidence. Everybody’s pulling for each other. It’s community-based.”
A disabled veteran, Foley volunteers with the HomeBase program at Massachusetts General Hospital. The program provides support services for veterans affected by post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
“I volunteer with soldiers returning home, helping them with the VA process, letting them know things will be okay,” Foley said.
Classes at CrossFit HomeBase are offered five times a day Monday through Friday and twice a day on weekends. Foley also offers private training, nutrition counseling, and meal planning information. CrossFit HomeBase is located at 960 Turnpike Street.
“Any fitness level can succeed here,” Foley said. “There’s a soldier in all of us who wants to succeed, to strive for more.”
For more information on CrossFit HomeBase, including a free one-hour trial class, go to crossfithomebase.com.
Short URL: http://www.thecantoncitizen.com/?p=14980