Yurii and Kerry Hanson are the owners of CrossFit Billings. They have been a CrossFit Affiliate since October of 2008. They started crossfitting out in their home garage and from there moved to Yurii’s dad’s garage, and then finally into a commercial setting in March of 2009. Working out has always been a passion of both of the Hanson’s and that passion turned into a reality.
If you spend any amount of time with me, you will soon discover that I am a very passionate person. For sure, exercise has been a passion of mine and I have been involved with it my entire life through sports. Being a gym rat also helped prepare me for my career as a professional firefighter. However, there is a deeper passion that drives me. That passion is people. Relationships with people are the driving force behind what I do. More specifically, my desire to provide hope and joy in peoples’ lives. This was the driving force behind Kerry’s and my decision to start CrossFit Billings in 2008. It is the perfect combination of my passion for exercise and people. I use my love for health and fitness to educate and inspire people to have a life they never thought possible. A life where they have the freedom to pursue their passions rather than being road blocked with lack of energy and resources, high stress, or being sick and tired all the time.
I had spent years as a personal trainer in various health clubs prior to opening our gym, but I knew there was something missing. While I was working with my passions to help give people hope and their lives back, I sensed that there was a missing element. There was something more available to help empower people. That element finally came when Kerry and I opened CrossFit Billings and witnessed the forming of a community unlike anything ever experienced in a regular gym setting. A place where people come together and genuinely care about each other. A gym where they encourage one another through challenging workouts and challenges in life. A fitness center where people authentically celebrate goals being achieved in the gym but also in life. A health club where you are more than just a name and a face, you are a person who is cared about and known. The real transformations seen in our members’ lives and the strength of our community ultimately helped lead me to a major step of faith. In 2013, I left an 11 year career as a professional firefighter to go “ALL IN” with our gym. My decision to leave the Billings Fire Department was one of the best decisions I have ever made. While I enjoyed my job and loved the brotherhood and sisterhood of the job, I have been able to focus all of my efforts on impacting peoples’ lives through health and community. I heard someone say once that you can do a lot of good things or a few great things. I chose the few great things.
In the past 25 years fitness has been a ride for me to say the least. Going from, sports in high school (Baskeball is MY LIFE), to being a collegiate athlete (Basketball is STILL MY LIFE), then working in a globo gym (what am I doing with MY LIFE?), to owning a CrossFit gym (ahhhh, I finally understanding what I am supposed to be doing with MY LIFE). Being in a community of like minded people, helping one another become the best version of themselves, has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. It’s not normal to walk into a regular gym and plug in to people’s lives and genuinely care about what is going on in each persons life and offer a prayer or a bent ear to listen to a personal need. However, that is exactly what happens at CrossFit Billings.
Daily, I get to witness people doing things they never thought possible, and I have the opportunity to instill hope into people’s lives. That is what makes going to this gym like no other. I love being party of a community where people push each other beyond their limits, encourage each other, and simply enjoy life together inside and outside of the gym. CrossFit Billings is an extension of my immediate family and my favorite part is seeing people doing things they never thought possible!