Certifications and Experience:
- Career Firefighter/EMT-Basic for Springfield Fire Department
- CrossFit Trainer Certified- Level 1
- CrossFit Weightlifting Certified
- CrossFit Mobility Certified
- Owned 2 CrossFit Affiliates with over 3 years of experience.
- CrossFit Ten Twenty(2013-2016)
- Rail Splitter CrossFit(2016-Present)
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.-Muhammad Ali
A few years back I walked into the firehouse to start my shift like every other day, but today was different. The guys who I was working with had just completed a new workout and they were all pumped up to tell me about it. They started talking about this thing called “CrossFit”. I had never heard of it before, the only time I picked up a barbell was to bench press it. Before I could even begin to ask questions they told me to change and complete the workout they just did. I did what every firefighter would do, changed my clothes, asked zero questions and was ready to beat their time. They started writing the workout down for me; it was a workout called “Murph.” Yeah, little did I know what I had just gotten myself into! I don't think I need to tell you what that workout is, but it involves a lot of running, squats, pull-ups, and push-ups. We will cut to the end of this workout: I was lying on the floor and not sure of what just happened. I was completely exhausted and felt so alive at the same time. I think we all get this feeling after our first WOD. I was all in; that was January 2012 and I haven't looked back since.
I grew up playing your traditional team sports: baseball, basketball, and soccer. I enjoyed all three of them and was always super competitive. Those all got put on the back burner when my dad bought me my first dirt bike at age 12. I was hooked with the sport of motocross. The adrenaline that goes along with this sport is unreal. I also loved spending time with family in our motor home traveling from track to track every weekend. I really didn't care too much for school. Yeah, I got good grades but that was because I paid kids to write my papers and could remember anything the teacher said during class! Books barely got opened up during my days in school. Once I was 17 I started to get burnt out with racing and realized I wasn't going to make a career out of it. I started looking for other ways to fuel my adrenaline; those ideas never ended well- usually in handcuffs. Lets just say I had a fun time growing up.
Off to college I went, and that lasted for a couple months. I had no desire to be there and wanted nothing to do with a desk job. I dropped out. Fast forward to 2010, I got on Godfrey Fire Department and fell in love with the fire service. I knew this was my calling and this was my passion. There is no greater feeling than finding your place in life. I stayed in shape with “bodybuilding” type of exercises, but those got boring and I was no bodybuilder by any means. Once I found Crossfit, I realized this is what i needed to be doing to be the best firefighter I could be. When you are on the streets, it is no longer about you- it is about the community you serve. I was told years ago by one of my Captains: “Who do you want to be? The guy sitting on the tailboard exhausted when your brother/sister has just called a MAYDAY, or the guy the Chief turns to and says: 'Utterback go get them?'.” Lord forbid we ever have to go through that, but if that day comes, I know I will be prepared. A huge part of that is because of this amazing sport always making me grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Shortly after joining the fire service is when I opened my first affiliate, CrossFit 1020. The name comes from my 1,020 mile journey from out in Aspen Colorado where I meant my lifelong brother/friend, Erik Jon Larson. He is the Owner of Aspen CrossFit and changed my life forever. Thank you brother.
I opened CrossFit 1020 in 2013 with the help of Eric Gowin, owner of Contegra Construction. He wanted his employees to start the sport and I wanted my own affiliate. My passion for coaching is from the joy of seeing others become stronger mentally. This thing we call life can beat down on us time and time again. If I can help one person get through a tough time then it is all worth it. I started training his employees in their back warehouse for a couple months. Then we leased 5000 square feet next door to have our very own space. I had just gotten hired on Springfield IL fire department and was commuting back and forth during academy to keep everything running. I had no idea how to run a business and no degree that said I knew anything about it. I grew up in a 'hit first, ask questions later' setting. So I rolled with the punches and taught myself. I have since sold Crossfit 1020, but I had some amazing memories there and met some pretty amazing people. I was starting to realize where my home was, though: it was in Springfield. When you work for a city in my line of work, you tend to fall in love with it. I would literally die for my city or any of its citizens. So here is where I wanted to open my second affiliate and make my home. That is when I contacted my brother Sonny Aidich and our mutual friend, now brother, Zack Serrano. We had a vision to bring the premier CrossFit affiliate to the state capital- and that's exactly what we have done.