I’m Chris Romulo, a retired professional Muay Thai champion turned coach. I’ve been working in the fitness industry for the past 20+ years. I used to be a coach at our brick and mortar gym CROM Physical Culture in Rockaway Beach, NY, but after COVID-19 forced my wife and me to close our gym, I decided to take my mission of health, wellness, and the Champion's Mindset online.
But CROM Physical Culture was much more than a gym. It’s a philosophy that was born when I was a troubled teenager in Queens Village. With no way to channel all the negative energy I harbored, I got into a near-death street fight and that led me to martial arts. I would hit the bag in my mom’s lopsided garage and pump out sets of pushups, and as I did, I realized that I could transform myself through Physical Culture. It saved my life.
In 2010, after I retired from professional fighting and moved to Rockaway Beach, NY, I realized that Physical Culture could save other lives as well. A few days a week, my wife Sarah and I would drag a rusty red wagon full of exercise gear to the boardwalk and hold classes for members of our Rockaway Beach neighborhood. People of the community enjoyed the impromptu classes, so we decided to open our first gym in a humble storefront on Rockaway Beach Blvd. CROM Physical Culture was officially born.
In two years’ time, our mission to change lives led to producing champions, keeping kids off the streets, and arming the everyday fitness enthusiast with new skills.
In 2012, though, Hurricane Sandy stormed the shores of the Rockaways and tested our mission. Sandy destroyed our gym and everything in it. I could have looked at the destruction and used it as an excuse to give up on my mission. But instead, I turned to my wife and told her we were going to come back stronger than ever. It was like life was asking me: How badly do you want to help people through Physical Culture?
Really bad. So, after reassembling the pieces of our lives, my wife and I rebuilt CROM into a 5,000-square-foot fitness hub for members of Rockaway Beach and beyond. More lives changed. More hearts built.
In early 2020, however, our mission was tested once again. COVID-19 forced gyms all over the country to temporarily shut down. Some of those gyms had to close for good. CROM was one of them. In April 2020, we had to make the biggest decision of our lives. Do we let our mission shutter along with our brick and mortar gym? Or do we stand up yet again and persevere? We picked the latter. And now we are taking our mission online. To the masses this time.
What does all this have to do with you? Because of the adversity we’ve had to overcome, we know how to help you push past your limitations. We all have a hurricane waiting to sink everything we’ve built. We all have a pandemic waiting to lock down our goals. But when life knocks us down, we all have to have the skills to stand back up.
My mission now is to help individuals get unstuck, battle their self-doubt, and achieve their physical culture goals through our GRIT process.