Josh Everett

Always up for a physical challenge, Josh Everett agreed to try his first CrossFit workout circa 2003. It was at the urging of Everett’s Southern California-based weightlifting coach, Mike Burgener, who knew just how to push his protégé’s competitive buttons.

“So I did the workout,” the 39-year-old San Diego resident tells Keeping Fit during a recent one-on-one interview.

And then “Coach B” informed Everett that his score on the timed workout was about average compared to a group in Santa Cruz (where CrossFit Inc. had been founded three years earlier).

“I said, ‘Average? Coach, I’m not average. I’m really good at all this stuff. There’s no way I’m average. I think they’re not going all the way down on their squats. They’re not doing the exercises right if they’re keeping up with me,’” Everett recalls. “And he’s like, ‘No, I met their coach. I think they’re legit.’”

Everett, of course, redid the workout and turned in a much faster time. By then, the Ohio native who played football and ran track at Ohio Northern University was hooked on CrossFit.

Everett quickly forged a name for himself as one of the top CrossFitters in the sport’s early days, developing a friendly rivalry with one particularly well-known CrossFitter from Santa Cruz by the name of Greg Amundson (an athlete with a law enforcement and military background who was trained by CrossFit founders Greg and Lauren Glassman).

“It really started with me and Greg Amundson constantly competing against each other,” Everett notes. “At the time, we were the top two in the community very early on.”

CrossFit Inc. recruited Everett and Amundson to help teach its Level 1 certificate course.

“We would go to demonstrate intensity because at the time people hadn’t seen this stuff done the way it was being done,” he explains. “You read about it, you see it on paper, but when me and Greg Amundson would go head-to-head in Fran (a popular CrossFit workout) or whatever it was, people would say, ‘Oh, I thought I was working out hard. I did not put out like those guys.’ Or ‘those guys did that workout twice as fast as I could.’ And that was really a light-bulb moment for people because there weren’t a lot of videos back then.”

That intensity served Everett well in CrossFit competition.