Corbin & Dawna Gravley
We were introduced to CrossFit and Crossfit Purgatory in the spring of 2011, and life has never been the same since! Growing up in the Midwest, we both lived (and worked) on farms and ranches in rural areas, helping to build both strong work ethics and big appetites. Neither of considered ourselves athletic kids, but we always strove to to find a sport or activity we enjoyed. Corbin tried out soccer, football, baseball, basketball, wrestling, and was involved in competitive martial arts; Dawna participated in track & field, volleyball, basketball, and weightlifting. As we got older, we struggled to find a routine which would help us get back to a healthier place and which would keep us interested. Nothing stuck for more than a couple months at a time, and we were discouraged to say the least. Dawna heard through a coworker's wife about this thing called CrossFit, and convinced Corbin to come along.... after all, there was a place right down the road! By the time we finished our first workout, we were hooked. And although we couldn't have possibly realized the full extent of the difference CrossFit and Purgatory would mean to us then, walking through that door was undoubtedly one of the best decisions we've ever made in our lives.
Within a year, Corbin had his CrossFit Level 1, and began pursuing coaching as a way of life, dedicating his evenings and weekends to the gym, both as athlete and as coach, using every extra minute to learn as much as possible, and to practice and develop what he learned every chance he could get. He now holds a Level 2 CrossFit Certification, as well as certs in CrossFit Strongman, Mobility, Endurance, and USA Weightlifting. He is now pursuing his passion full time as owner of the place where it all started, and loving every minute of it. Dawna is also a Crossfit Level 1 Certificate holder, and still enjoys CrossFit, especially CrossFit Strongman workouts, but is more often found lifting heavy things in the weight room.
Being a part of the Purgatory community has been a blessing in our lives in every way possible, and our mission is to share that experience with every person who walks through our door. We've accomplished feats we've never dreamed of, are in the best shape of our lives, and have made lasting friendships. It is a privilege to help others grow, learn and blossom into the best versions of themselves possible, and this is what drives us every single day. There's a lot of fitness programs out there, but we believe in CrossFit and it's potential to help each individual become more fit, more healthy, more confident. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete, the scalability of CrossFit means anyone and everyone will benefit from this programming. We know, we've been there. We are inspired every day by our members, and we are committed to making sure the Purgatory community is a place where everyone can feel safe, welcome, and supported no matter where you are in your own journey. We're here to help you become stronger, faster, and better than you ever thought possible, whether you are working on your first push up or preparing for your toughest competition!
Physical fitness has always been a big part of my life. From a young age, I tried nearly every well-known sport I could think of - football, baseball, basketball, bodybuilding, track and field and action sports such as skateboarding and motocross. But none of them really held my attention for long. In high school I was in charge of the J.R.O.T.C Raider team which involved an annual 6 person team fitness competition with events such as tire pulls, obstacle courses, pull-ups, sit-ups with logs, etc. Looking back, this was really my first experience with “constantly varied functional movements at high intensity”. It was challenging and involved a lot of strategy and I loved it. After becoming very involved with J.R.O.T.C, I decided I wanted to join the military and did so right after high school, serving three years in the United States Army. During my time in the Army I discovered Olympic Weightlifting and taught myself the lifts in my living room. I immediately fell in love with the complexity of the movements and the amount of skill and coordination it took to perform them well. The OLY lifts are self limiting in the sense if you don’t do them right, you don’t get to lift a lot of weight no matter who you are and I like that. I’m a very curious person who loves to learn – constantly exploring how things work and wanting to understand the “why”. I believe very much in the long-term and big-picture aspects of training: a single workout does not determine your success or failure, but rather the culmination of consistent training.
I love the variety that CrossFit has brought to fitness. It is as rewarding as it is physically demanding. The variety keeps it interesting, and the community behind it is encouraging and empowering. As a coach, I love to help people reach their goals, set new PRs and realize their full potential. I obtained my Level 1 certification in July 2015 and I am also a USAW Sport Performance Coach and Eleiko Certified Strength Coach.
My background in coaching started in 1997 when I started coaching youth soccer. Since that time I coached all age groups, including adults. I also coached at the high school level and played on two soccer teams for several years. I have always been very active in many sports my entire life. In May of 2010 I became very ill and spent 6 months where I was not allowed to do any exercise. It took two years and 5 surgeries to completely recover. In August of 2012, needless to say, my body was a shell of what it used to be. I went to a friend of mines house who coached CrossFit in his garage and began my fitness journey. I also had a friend I met through CrossFit who helped changed my diet and taught me the proper way to eat. In the next 3 years I lost 28 lbs and lowered by body fat to below 13%. I was hooked on CrossFit!!! In August of 2015 I moved to Tucson and started going to Purgatory. In September 2015, I decided I wanted to continue coaching but that it would be CrossFit instead of soccer. I got my Level 1 in September 2015 and have been coaching at Purgatory since then. There were a lot of Crossfit coaches that helped me along my fitness journey. My goal is to help anyone and everyone to achieve their fitness goals as all the great coaches have helped me.
Steve Kanoza, Jr.
Growing up in Michigan I participated in cross country, track and field (pole vaulting), and various other activities. I also began rock climbing back in 1997 prior to graduating from CMU (Central Michigan University) and have been an avid rock climber ever since. Becky and I moved to AZ in 1999 and have continued to rock climb. My climbing background includes sport, traditional, aid, and developing new routes. Our entire family has great love of the outdoors and we are not only climbers but we all enjoy swimming, hiking, biking, and camping.
My father got me to go to a CrossFit class back in 2013 and since day one I was hooked. From the insane terminology (not so different than rock climbing) and the supportive atmosphere I knew this was something to stick with. CrossFit not only has improved my performance in all the things I love, it has developed some wonderful friendships which will last a lifetime, and has a sense of community that is like no other. I am not only proud to be part of this constantly varied insanity that we all love, but pleased that I may be able to assist people through their own physical improvements.
When I was a young child through middle-school, we moved a ton before settling in Orlando, Florida. Although I was always athletically inclined, the frequent relocation didn’t allow me to participate in sports until age 10 or 11. Before then, I always loved rollerblading and running, and had taken several sessions of ice-skating (every little girl’s dream right?). Softball was my first team sport, and I loved every minute. Rotating through various positions in the outfield, short stop, 1st base, pitcher and catcher. I was often one of the “quick ones” on my team: I loved to run! After my sophomore year, I stopped playing softball and my fitness stopped there. I was skinny: skinny fat. In college, and at the prompting of my boyfriend, I started running again, and this time didn’t stop. This lead to a few half marathons, and finally my first full 26.2 miles, which I completed with the help of CrossFit.
When I started doing CrossFit in 2010, it was kind of as a dare. I knew there were many Special Forces units using CrossFit, and was told that there was “no way” that I could pull something like that off. Another girl in my unit in Georgia had been doing CrossFit, and said she had never seen that kind of change in her body composition and overall health. Challenge accepted. I called the only CrossFit gym in town and scheduled my fitness assessment. My running and fitness level had hit a plateau, and I knew it was because I had zero strength training in my routine. And although I couldn’t hold a heavy, awkward, barbell or do a pull-up, I loved it! I saw immediate results and finished my first full marathon. I continued with CrossFit off and on for a couple years while working Active Duty in the Air Force. When I deployed in 2012, we had an amazing coach who encouraged us to also help him train at one of the gyms in Afghanistan. It was there that I participated in my first competition. By this time I had been coaching young girls in the Run Club for a couple of years on base, and had even been the fitness coordinator at my unit, but never made the connection that I was passionate about coaching. After seeing so many amazing results in myself and fellow athletes, I finally knew that I wanted to continue to be a part of the CrossFit Community. I signed up for my Level 1 Course in December of 2013 and haven’t looked back. It has helped me to stay fit during pregnancy and postpartum, and has been a common thread in my life for 7 years.
I am passionate about fitness, nutrition, and health, as I have seen it transform my own life in dramatic ways. I’ve gone from a timid runner to a strong athlete, encouraging others along the way. My favorite part about CrossFit isn’t just the results, but the community of people that are there alongside you each step of the way. I’m honored to be one of them.