Daily Blog


A year ago, we had the ambitious goal of featuring someone whose life has changed for the better after joining the Cove in the form of a ‘Wednesday Win’.  We thought this was an incredibly lofty goal… meaning, to impact 52 lives over the course of year?!  Was that really possible?  Well, a few weeks ago, we surpassed that — and have so far had SIXTY Wednesday Wins consecutively.

And there are so many more stories to be told (and we will tell them!) BUT these stories would not be possible unless we had the incredible coaches who commit their time, energy and passion into each and every one of you.  Chris Franey is the poster-child of that kind of coach.  And because he’s been there since day one (and technically, even before that!) we hold him largely responsible for our successes… AND yours.

Yes, he’s got the ridiculous mustache. And don’t get us started on the tights and general apparel flair.  But underneath all of that is one of the most generous, thoughtful and wonderful people we know.

Many of you might not know this, but the Cove started as a CrossFit style bootcamp in our neighborhood in Locust Point, Baltimore.  We knew we wanted to open a gym one day, so decided to use our friends and neighbors as test subjects for what this place could be about.  We ordered some gear from Rogue, dragged the equipment out each morning at 5:30a and 5:30p and ran classes in the grassy area behind our development.  And Chris was there every step of the way (literally and figuratively… that is his blurry image on the far left!).

He drove from Catonsville (while we only walked a few steps down our street), coached in the pitch dark and turned a bunch of Baltimore City moms and dads into CrossFit athletes in a field.  He helped us with our build out, reviewing floor plans and picking out equipment. And then he helped put it all together with us.  Most of the things you use every day were built by him right out of the box.

Marina and Chris revising blueprints after bootcamp for what would eventually become the Cove.

He was our first coach when we opened and took on most of the hours in the schedule.  His loud clap and even louder voice have echoed through the Cove from the beginning and helped set the tone and culture for this place.  And he’s helped build our brand and even branded many of you with the great swag you wear daily (and more is coming next week by the way!).

Coach Chris wearing our first prototype t-shirt he made for us before we opened…

But more than anything, it is about the impact he’s made on every single person here.  If you watch him coach, you see his attention to every single athlete on the floor.  He cares so deeply about your well-being and success and will drill movements until you do them safely and get them right.  When you’re not around, he talks about you, applauds your progress and talks about what he’s excited to do with you next.  He is invested in your success not as a ‘job’, but because he CARES.

Coaching a new athlete for her first push press during a free class for her No Excuse Moms group.  Yes, it’s our very own Jessica S.!

Since he’s been here he’s also launched his own company, had a baby and, yes, grew an epic mustache.  He still coaches all the hours his new life will let him and squeezes in the workouts when he can because he loves being part of the class with you.

We are a gym that believes in balance.  We work hard, but we play hard too.  And it’s hard to walk this fine line, but Chris does it effortlessly.  The place is always better with him in it and we wish he could be here always.  He’s got a busy life these days, but his energy and creativity live and breath far beyond the hours he spends here.

On top of his coaching, he’s the first to volunteer for anything.  Whether it’s spending his entire Saturday at a Cove event like the in-house competition moving equipment or participating in a late-night cake eating EMOM, where there’s a Covie, there’s Chris.  He galvanizes people in a way that most people can’t even fathom.  Sure, he’s snarky and can roast you in a great FB post, but we think it just means he likes you even more.

He’s a beast of an athlete, one helluva coach and one of the best guys around.  Words cannot possible express our deepest thanks to him for all he’s done for us as owners and fellow coaches. But when you see him, please give him a huge thanks for all he does for YOU too.

WAY too many great pictures of this guy, so enjoy a few more:


Those tights!   

Those legs!

The shoes!  First pair of custom Cove Chucks…

Post WOD in the early days…

Fixing something.  Always fixing something…

Pre-Metcon Chris stance…maybe telling someone they need to ‘earn the fan’?

Coaching in pink shoes telling Zac to lift some heavy s#$t…

Did we mention those tights?

As if he wasn’t scary enough at times…

“good talks” with Coach Chris…

another class under his watchful eye…

Open 2017 (wearing boots, we think?)

It’s just hard looking that good…