When Meghan Ackmann met Minneapolis police officer Steve Loeding in 2005, she thought of him as “that crazy backpack guy” because he wore a weighted vest while working out at the YMCA.
Steve had watched some Crossfit videos online and was practicing them at the Y. Steve began coaching Meghan, and before long they were a couple, doing Crossfit workouts in their own garage.
Crossfit is a branded fitness regimen, founded in California in 2000 by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai. The philosophy behind Crossfit is performing functional movements – the kind you use in everyday life – at high intensity to get stronger and faster. It involves interval training, competitive weightlifting, calisthenics, and other exercises.
Meghan soon realized that her pack-a-day smoking habit was incompatible with doing Crossfit workouts. So she quit the Marlboro Reds and took to Crossfit wholeheartedly. Meanwhile, Steve began training family members and friends. Having outgrown their garage, they rented space at a facility on Chicago Avenue, until finally moving into their current spacious location at 3712 Cedar Avenue.
Newcomers take a six-week bootcamp to learn proper form. Members can then take classes with workouts modified to suit each person’s ability, or they can just work on their own fitness goals, whether losing weight, gaining muscle, or training for competitions.
Top Gun’s close-knit community gets together often for barbecues, birthdays, or hangouts at a neighborhood bar. As Meghan says, “You can always quit your gym, but it’s harder to quit your friends.”