CrossFit Torque celebrates first five years in Foxboro next to family business
By Andrew Steel (Foxboro Reporter)
Tucked off to the side, away from the rowing machines and pull-up bars and wood blocks lining the astroturf floor; over by the main glass door and adjacent to some lockers; lies an office. And although you are equally likely to find her on the floor leading a class, it is here that Amanda Chace, owner and head coach of Foxboro’s CrossFit Torque, takes up residence during the day.
“I always knew since I was a little girl that I wanted to own a business someday,” Chace recalls, as heavy metal thrums in through the office window. “I always thought I would just take over my father’s business next door.”
Chace was introduced to CrossFit on her family’s recommendation.
“My parents started CrossFitting first, actually, back in 2009 in Walpole,” she says. “They got my brother involved, then my sister, and then finally me.
“It was when my uncle passed away that I had this realization that I had to take control of my own life. I had graduated college not feeling that good, I was lazy, so I needed to do something.”
In CrossFit, Chace found a passion. After three months of burpees, sprints, and kettlebells, she had an idea: to turn her newfound passion into an entrepreneurial venture. And so, under her guidance, CrossFit Torque came to be.
“It was quick,” she recalls. “We had a private investor that got us rolling in terms of equipment and trainers; I was still working in Reebok and doing grad school at the time.”
Initially, Chace rented out a smaller office along Route 1, and over the next two years, CrossFit Torque thrived. As the business’s popularity rose, however, so too did difficulties.
“We were outgrowing the space,” says Chace. “We wanted to stay in Foxboro, stay on Route 1, but where could we go?”
Thankfully, her father over at Chace Building Supply had a good deal of unused space on his lot. In the Summer of 2013, Chace had an entire facility built on that lot to her specifics.
Now in 2015, with a firm foundation, a customized facility, and a supportive community, CrossFit Torque is celebrating its fifth year in Foxboro this month.
These days, as ever, the business keeps Chace busy. “Im here 16 hours a day,” she says.
For her, and her patrons, the sacrifice is worth it.
“Every day, no matter what, someone’s doing something they either didn’t think they could do before, or that they’ve been working a year to get towards.”
CrossFit is, at its core, an all-purpose system. “The idea of CrossFit is to prepare for the unknown and unknowable,” says Chace. “Life is life; you want to be the most fit you can for every possible situation.”
As such, CrossFit aims to be completely inclusive.
“A 65-year-old athlete who had knee surgery, and an 18-year-old, prime young person, are all doing the same workout,” Chace says, “just modifying the workout to hit the right intensity for them.”
Ideally, CrossFit encourages each member to find the strength to overcome any challenge in their life, and not just the physical ones.
“CrossFit can be a lifestyle for some people,” Chace says. “When you start doing things here in the gym that make you feel good, you begin to evaluate the other parts of your life: your nutrition, your relationships. People…gain confidence here.”
Chace in part attributes this attitude to the communal nature of CrossFit Torque.
“We all know each other, we all text and call each other if we haven’t seen someone in a while,” she says. “Class sizes are small: one coach to seven or so athletes. The idea is to have the coach be there for each athlete. As a coach, I know every person in my classes, I know exactly what I can push an athlete on and what I can’t. There’s always the goal of physical improvement, but there’s a relationship as well.”
For Chace, the business has always been a means of outreach, though her scope extends beyond the immediate community of exercisers.
“I’ve been involved overseas in an orphanage in Romania, community service is a major part of my life,” she says.
“Here, we’ve done Barbells for Boobs, raising money for those men and women who find lumps but are under the age of 40, so their insurance doesn’t cover a mamogram. We do Kettlebells4kids, which raises awareness and funds to help homeless kids who are basically in our backyard…who don’t have structured after school activities for exercise.”
Moving forward, Chace hopes to expand CrossFit Torque into more nearby groups.
“I’d like to get into helping some sports teams locally,” she says. “Also, masters: anyone over 60. There’s a fear they have sometimes of breaking every bone in their body … They’re stronger than they think.”
CrossFit does, of course, have a reputation for intense workouts.
“I think when someone sees something like CrossFit, it intrigues them, but it scares them,” says Chace. “They could like it, they could do it … but they worry about pushing themselves.”
Chace is confident in her staff’s ability to maintain a safe, constructive, yet intense workout environment for people of all levels.
“It’s a trust thing,” she says. “Until I meet someone, until they come down and try, they’ll never know what CrossFit can do for them.”
If you or someone you know of any age or athletic level are interested in a sample class, CrossFit Torque will happily provide either a half hour of private instruction or a full-hour trial class with other members, free of charge. To schedule an appointment, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.