228 NW 60th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
8037 NW Expressway
Oklahoma City, OK 73162
1210 McGee St.
Norman, OK 73069
Fitness is more of a journey than a destination, and that journey rarely happens in a straight line. Michael Bowers was always active in sports and enjoyed working out, but after he and his wife Angie decided to have children, his priorities started changing. He thought there was not enough time to care for himself until he realized it was better for his family if he made the time to care for his health.
After some weight gain, he decided that CrossFit might be the answer to taking control of his fitness once again. Anxiety over trying something new held him back until he met former Koda coach Ryan Doonkeen. Knowing one person in a new place was enough for Michael to jump in.
“It was scary and exciting all at once. I have so much respect for any new member who comes to Koda and doesn’t know anyone. I can’t imagine walking into our new gym and seeing all the great athletes and just be beginning my journey.”
Michael recalls focusing on one of Koda’s specialty classes for a full year before he decided to try the general CrossFit classes. He even admits to looking up CrossFit’s many acronyms before class for several months, to avoid looking like he did not know what was going on. He remembers his first class being difficult and sadistically fun at the same time.
“I had no idea what to expect or what to do. I got to the old gym and Dooner introduced me to Jared. I just sat in the area up front pretending to stretch, in reality I was just looking around at all the people.”
Michael’s favorite workouts are Kelly and Murph. He enjoys the long grind involved in completing these two workouts, and sees them as equalizers for many athletes because they don’t require a significant amount of strength to complete.
“My first Murph was so cool. So many people coming to do a workout that is just brutal, and all to show support for those who gave themselves to something bigger. It was truly amazing to be a part of it.”
Michael’s schedule has shifted over his four years at Koda, but he has settled into the early morning groove. He says the 5:30am classes were difficult to get accustomed to, but that he likes to have his evenings free for family and chores. Michael says the coaching variety and tightly knit group of early morning athletes is special to him.
“Koda is a supportive community of likeminded people bettering themselves and having fun. No matter your goals or your starting point, the coaches and members at Koda are there to support you and guide you towards being better.”
Michael’s growth during his four years as a Koda CrossFit athlete has been impressive, and this year he tied for first place at the Legends of the WOD competition in Grapevine, Texas. He is still working to improve his Olympic Weightlifting skills and says he spent probably six to seven weeks preparing for the Snatch portion of the competition. That hard work paid off because Michael was surprised at how much he was able to improve.
“Winning was a total surprise, but the feeling made all the Sundays at the gym worth it. What was more surprising was how much fun the day was. Everyone loves winning, and everyone knows it’s awesome, but spending the day with all of the Koda team was far more fun than I imagined.”
Moving forward, Michael says he is “looking forward to all of it.” Koda loves his excitement. Here is a peak at the things he plans to enjoy in the years to come: Going to class, seeing friends, getting stronger, participating in the CrossFit Open, running the OKC Memorial Marathon, doing more Masters competitions, cheering on my friends, being ridiculed by Jared and Brice, getting better at Olympic movements, doing more workouts RX’d, and most of all, setting an example for my kids.
Michael Bowers, if you want to do it all, thanks for doing it at Koda.