CrossFit: Community, Iron, and Grit

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The origins of CrossFit go back to the mid-90s when a young gymnast named Greg Glassman wanted to train in a way that made him stronger. Therefore he created a workout platform to reflect how one would feel while competing in the sport of their choice—the intensity, the energy. Glassman combined Olympic lifting with gymnastics and cardio to create the foundation of CrossFit.

But CrossFit doesn’t have to be an intimidating workout regimen when you’re at CrossFit Boston Iron & Grit. When Founder and Owner Tina Ramos first opened the gym in the West Roxbury community, she wanted to create a space where there was a human connection. According to Ramos, the staff’s character and personable nature are not only inviting, but they will take the time to get to know you—your workout/fitness goals and even your career aspirations.

“This is the place where everyone can go,” says Ramos.

So what does it mean to have iron and grit in CrossFit?

“Iron had a lot of meaning to me as strength in the face of adversity; we could teach people to be stronger,” says Ramos. “Grit is about perseverance—no matter what’s going on in your life, pick yourself up and keep going.”  

Although life can be difficult, it is Ramos’ belief that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.


Tina Ramos, Founder and Owner of CrossFit Boston Iron & Grit

Before she opened the gym, Ramos did a lot of research for her program, even reading Angela Duckworth’s famous book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. After receiving her master’s degree in education from Harvard University, she went from working with at-risk youth to coaching girls basketball and eventually made her way to personal training. And although Ramos had no experience with Olympic training, she decided to pursue CrossFit.

“I started interning at CrossFit Boston where I became a manager,” says Ramos. “It took four years for me to learn what I was doing.”

Today, CrossFit Boston Iron & Grit is so much more than just a gym. It’s a community within a community full of wonderful programs in support of the youth in the neighborhood. One program operates as a competition to help inner-city youth “Beat the Streets.” The money raised from this event is used to help send kids to leadership camp.

“What has made us stand out is that we have the kids program and we are a nonprofit organization,” says Ramos. “We’ve spent so much time and care, and we’ve built a relationship around that.”

Join Tina Ramos and the CrossFit Boston Iron & Grit team to Beat the Streets on Saturday, November 18th at the Reggie Lewis Center.