The boX-Files

The Legend of Don Moss and The Apogee Tribe

Before the sun rises each weekday morning, at the corner of the Kings Lake Center, a wall of windows reveals the early risers who are starting their day off with fitness. Less than five years ago, this corner slept in darkness until the later hours of the morning. What caused the change? Don Moss, a man with a vision, and that vision not only brightened the corner of Big Bend Road and Kings Lake Drive, but also brightened the lives of those who chose to walk through those doors and join the tribe- The Apogee Tribe.


Don Moss was first introduced to CrossFit in 2010, while he was serving in Iraq. Of all the WODs that Don could have stumbled into, his first WOD is one of the most grueling WODs known to CrossFitters- Fight Gone Bad. After the three rounds were up, and Don recovered from his WODirium, the makings of a vision starting to form within Don’s mind. Don wanted to show people how to become stronger, faster, healthier, and happier. Don’s vision was to provide a place where people could discover the warrior within each of them.

Once back in the states, Don earned his CF-L1 Trainer status. Soon after, Don started to help people positively recreate their lives by coaching free Saturday classes at the Panther Trace athletic field. These classes quickly grew in attendance, so Don decided that he needed to offer more CrossFit classes at another location. Don transformed the garage of his own house into a fully affiliated CrossFit box which grew with rapid success. Don then faced the realization that he needed a larger to facility to meet the needs of his members and provide the opportunity for more growth. The search for the right space led to Kings Lake Center, and that’s where Cross Fit Apogee’s roots took ground in December of 2013.

Now, close to four and a half years later, CrossFit Apogee continues to thrive at the corner of King’s Lake Drive and Big Bend Road. Since the first class was held, the Apogee Tribe has become a community of warriors. These warriors have conquered seen and unseen obstacles, all because of the tribe’s first leader who cleared the path before them. CrossFit Apogee members have wonderful stories to share of what they have overcome all thanks to the people they have met at the box. CrossFit Apogee is a place where accountability partners were formed, new friendships were made, and families developed new bonds. All of these advantageous rewards are the result of the vision of Don Moss.

Soon Don and his family will be starting a new journey away from the land where the Sandhill Cranes reign and the palm trees sway, but wherever CrossFit Apogee is represented, Don’s vision will shine. Whether at a road race, a CrossFit competition, or even a handstand walk at the beach…the Apogee Tribe is a reflection of the man who started it all.


Thank you Don. Thank you for all your pre-WOD jokes and morning class shenanigans. Thank you for your festive spirit and variety of costumes fit for every Apogee occasion. Thank you for the Donnick videos. Thank you for your coaching and encouragement. Thank you for sharing your vision with us. Thank you for your friendship. We will always be your Apogee Tribe.

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The CrossFit Games Open
Two Thousand Eighteen

Apogee on Big Bend
Had athletes on scene

PR bell awoken
For new skills or clean

Fears and doubts broken
Great effort was seen

Some things unexpected
Some movements were new

No WOD was rejected
The members stayed true

All standards respected
Some chose to redo

The scorecards collected
What members could do

Cool sponsors and vendors
Had freebies to share

Knickerbocker’s pictures
Caught moments so rare

Like athlete endeavors
A pig in mid-air

Plus Apogee members
In a donut chair

Four athletes were chosen
To put on display

And moments were frozen
On the ‘gram one day

Each post with a caption
All thanks to our Jay

Even more emotion
From the Main site cache

Just for hilarity
There was No Rep Rex

Announcements were witty
Facebook Live finesse

All for the clarity
Hashtags in excess

Café for charity
Was quite a success

A big THANKS to Castro
The WODs pushed us hard

We helped each other grow
And let down our guard

We let each other know
Look past the Scorecard

Because success will glow
When done from the heart

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Be the Unexpected

So here we are, the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games Open is upon us; we are #intheopen. Excitement and anticipation are slowly transforming into apprehension because Dave Castro said, “Expect the unexpected.” What does that mean?! Let’s be honest; #TDC clues are a code that has yet to be cracked. Here’s my take on Dave Castro’s statement; don’t be rattled by the word “unexpected.” Be the unexpected!

CrossFit is about fitness, and it is also about community. The CrossFit Open is a time for box members to encourage each other in new ways. This year, CrossFit Apogee is holding a weekly Saturday Showdown during the CrossFit Open. What’s great about this event is that it brings members from all the weekly class times together at once. This provides an opportunity for new friendships to form. We have so many awesome members at our box, and we’ll all have a chance to make CrossFit memories together during The Open.

Do something unexpected for a boxmate during the CrossFit Open this year. Create a poster for someone, and hold it up high during the WOD. Belt out a cheer, and encourage others to join in. Take some pics of boxmates in action, then post them on social media, praising them for their awesome efforts. Have a cold FITAID waiting for a boxmate post WOD. Make some tasty Paleo treats, and bring them to the gym for spectators to snack on. Send encouraging texts to boxmates during the week with specific accolades on what they did during 18.1, 18.2, 18.3, 18.4, and 18.5! When you see the look of defeat upon a boxmate’s face toward the end of a WOD, scream your heart out for them, or (if there’s space) join in their suffering for their last reps! Be the unexpected!

Additionally, as athletes, let’s push each other past our self-made limitations. Let’s WOD harder and smarter. Whether it is moving just a teensie bit faster, taking shorter breaks between sets, skipping that chug of water, or sprinting through the last 10 seconds of the WOD…accomplish the unexpected; revel in the unexpected! Be in the unexpected!

So here’s to us; let’s join together and make the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games Open a memorable event for our box! Let’s show up and show off at the Saturday Showdown! We’ve trained for this! We can do this! Let’s sweat out some reps, cheer each other on, and have fun together as a community. Let’s Be the Unexpected!


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The boX-Files

The Reebok CrossFit Games Open

The Open is right around the corner!! If you haven’t signed up yet, stop right now and register! If you’re new to CrossFit, let me fill you in on the hype. The Reebok CrossFit Games Open is an annual event where you can test your individual fitness…but it’s actually more than that.

I remember back to my first CrossFit Open; it was in 2013. I didn’t want to register because the registration fee seemed like a waste of money to me. Basically, I felt like I would be spending money to embarrass myself since I still couldn’t do some of the movements as prescribed. However, mostly everyone at the gym signed up, so I eventually joined the bandwagon. I struggled through 13.1, 13.2, and 13.3, and I scored a 0 on 13.4 and 13.5. At the conclusion of the Open that year, I felt pretty much like a CrossFit failure, and I was mad I registered because my zeros were public. (This was back when there were no Scaled Open WODs.)

Before I knew it, another year had passed, and it was time to register for the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games Open. I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t going to register that year. I didn’t want another zero to my name. One Friday night after the last WOD, a bunch of us went out to eat at a local restaurant. Naturally, conversation led to the Open. These friends of mine from the gym had various athletic backgrounds, and they were awesome CrossFitters. I didn’t equate myself with any of them athletically. I had no athletic background prior to CrossFit. I didn’t play any sports in school or recreationally. The fact that these friends of mine were amped up for the Open made sense to me. They were awesome athletes; the Open was for people like them, not me. I quietly sat there as they went on and on about the Open, but soon someone asked me if I had registered. I said I hadn’t and explained why I wasn’t going to. Then, one of the coaches looked me right in the eye and said, “This is who you are. This is what you do. You’re a CrossFitter. You trained for this.” He said more to me, but that part stuck with me the most. I honestly hadn’t ever thought of myself in that way. I loved my friends and community at the gym, but I didn’t really think of myself as a CrossFitter because I didn’t think I was that great at CrossFit…but this coach saw me as a CrossFitter. So, I changed my mind and signed up for the Open. Nothing miraculous happened; I still struggled with the WODs. I scored a 3 on 14.2 because I could barely do an Overhead Squat at 65 lbs. (There was still not a Scaled version of Open WODs.) However, I had no scores of 0 that year. That was an improvement, but the real PR was my mindset. I changed my thinking, and my inner monologue turned to: I can do this. I can do better. I should do better. I AM a CrossFitter. I need to take it more seriously and train harder. The reason I stunk at Overhead Squats was because I skipped the gym on OHS days. That needed to stop. I decided I needed to see what I was really capable of, so I changed my gym membership to unlimited. (The previous years I was only WODing three times per week.) It was on!

A year later, I excitedly signed up for the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games Open. I didn’t need any persuasion. I was ready to finally see what I was capable of, and what better way to do that than a repeat WOD…15.2. Overhead Squats were still my nemesis, but I was facing them head on. Hard work had paid off; my score for 15.2 was 19.  I was really happy with that score! Then, 15.3 was announced…Ring Muscle-ups. Great. I swung on those rings, pulled on those rings, swung and pulled, and swung and pulled some more…for fourteen minutes…no miracles, no muscle-up. It was okay. That was the year the Scaled Open WODs were introduced. Finally, no more scores of 0. I made a mental note: I must get a muscle-up by the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games Open. Goal set; it was on, again!

In January of 2016, I signed up for an eight-week muscle-up club. I was determined. My first muscle-up was going to happen BEFORE the Open that year. I had made up my mind, and that was it. On February 21, 2016, it happened; I got my first Ring Muscle-up, and it was STRICT! I will always remember that moment. A few days later, I got my first Bar Muscle-up! I was ready! The 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games Open was a success for me that year. My score for 16.3 was 62, and I thought that was pretty good for just getting my first Bar Muscle-up less than a month before.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


Last year during the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Open, I faced another challenge: the Squat Snatch. I am all about power. I love Power Snatches, but landing in a full squat with the bar overhead…not my forte. I didn’t make the 95 lb Squat Snatch. My score for 17.3 was 43. After completing that WOD, I had this eerie feeling that it was going to become 18.3. We’ll see. I’m holding myself accountable on this one. If Castro decides to repeat 17.3, I have to get at least ONE Squat Snatch at 95 lbs.

So there you have it. The Open is MORE than just an annual event where you can test your individual fitness. It’s community, motivation, accountability, and determination. It’s who you are. You’re a CrossFitter. You are The Open.


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