228 NW 60th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
Michael Chandler is a dentist, family man, crossfitter, and a seriously funny guy who is simply known as Chan to his friends. The waiting room of his office is very homey with cozy furniture, pictures of his family along the walls, and scarcely a fluorescent light in sight. He’s constantly cracking jokes, and you never need to fake a laugh when talking with him. One does not need much time with Chan to learn that putting people at ease is clearly a gift of his.
Chan is Koda’s very first member. “The first 5:30 AM class…I show up, and it was me and Jared for the first week.” Chan did not find himself in this brand new gym by accident. He and co-owner Jared Muse have been close friends for 20 years, before Chan had even gone to dental school. He says he was convinced by Muse and his wife to give Crossfit a try. He had been working out on his own or with the aid of at-home fitness programs, and was ripped, according to himself. He was shocked by how out of shape he felt when faced with his first Crossfit workout. Chan says he fell in love with Crossfit because of that experience, and he has been doing it ever since. Well, that or Chan-fit/Blakfit, which he explains with a laugh, is like Crossfit, but works on pretty muscles and doesn’t include any of the movements he doesn’t like.
Chan is a regular of the 5:30 AM class. He says the timing works well for him because it lets him get his day off to a healthy start before he heads in to the office. He also points to the truly special advantage of leaving his evenings free to spend time with his family. Those are the reasons he started attending the early class, but since making the switch to the AM, he says one of his favorite things is the camaraderie and friendly competition of the 5:30 regulars. “You’re around people you enjoy being around, and that makes all the difference in the world to me.”
“Having that friendly competition made me work harder. Harder than I would ever work on my own.”
– Michael Chandler
But Crossfit isn’t just a way to exercise and a place to chat with friends. Chan points to the fact that many dentists retire with neck and back injuries from long hours hunched over patients. Since he began Crossfit, he says discomfort in his neck and back that had begun to creep in has been greatly reduced, he has more energy, and generally feels better. With a teenage daughter and pre-teen son, he stresses the importance of being fit so he can run around with his kids and truly enjoy their time together. He also states-with a sheepish grin-that his kids know dad is in shape, just in case he has to put the smackdown on one of them. He credits Crossfit for helping him to be a better dentist, a better husband and father… and besides feeling good, it never hurts to look good either.
Not only is he an active member of the gym and a staple of the morning crew, and holds the longest tenure of any Koda member, but Chan also sponsors nearly every event that Koda holds. He said, “A lot of people ask for my time, but those guys have earned it.” Koda is lucky to have him, and his fellow members are lucky to have him too, bright and early, getting Chan-fit.
– Nick Piche