Janice Marie Ferguson

Janice Marie Ferguson

Head Coach, CrossFit Level 3 Certified Trainer, HSN Certified Nutrition Coach and Owner

Competed on American Ninja Warrior and Stone Cold Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge

SISU Iron Finisher

2x Barkley Fall Classic Finish 50K Finisher

CrossFit Games Regionals Competitor--South Central 2012

Top 50 Spartan Racer Worldwide 2012-2013


CrossFit Level 3 Trainer

USAW Sports Performance Coach

Certified Mississippi Educator

Former High School Head Cross Country Coach

About Coach

When I was 16, I broke the state record in the indoor mile. Just a few months later, I got 2nd place at the state outdoor meet. I was devastated, so I quit. This is one of my greatest regrets. …A regret that I never rectified until I found CrossFit. I started CrossFit just to get in shape. But, it was just like any other time I had tried to get in shape, it got too hard, I made excuses, and I quit. I didn’t pick it back up again, until 2009. After doing at-home workouts and trying to teach it to myself, I found the 2009 CrossFit Games documentary series in the CrossFit Journal. When I saw that, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. By 2010, I had joined my first CrossFit gym. I couldn’t do a single pushup, a pullup, or even put a 35# bar over my head, but I was willing to do the work it took to get better. In 2011, I participated in the first CrossFit Open. I did every workout twice to try and eek my way into the next stage, the South Central Regional. I was 6 pts away from being #60 and making the cut. I was devastated. But, this time, I didn’t quit. I went right back to work. In 2012, I made it. Every workout was “one and done.” I was better than I had ever been, but still not strong or experienced enough. Over the next few weeks, while training for the regional event in San Antonio, I had severely overtrained. I had cracked my sternum and done something to my back. I was in no shape to compete, but I didn’t want to lose my chance. I was in the bottom percentile, and I got cut on Saturday. I still didn’t quit. I was looking forward to going back to training and getting ready for 2013. I quit my job, took a role working with The Garage Games, and trained hard all the rest of 2012. By the time 2013 had come, I had opened my own CrossFit Gym, Bandit CrossFit. When the 2013 Open season came, I was really confident. I had more strength and more experience than ever before. But, I broke my hand in the midst of the Open while doing stupid human tricks– walking on my hands and practicing balancing with one hand freestanding. I was devastated. But, I still didn’t quit. I turned my attention to Obstacle Racing. I had been dabbling a little bit in that sport since 2012. Since I couldn’t do CrossFit and the Open, I turned my attention to running. By the time May 2013 rolled around, my cast was off, and I traveled to Texas to run in the Spartan Sprint with the Elites and won 2nd place. My hand was still weak from the cast, so I failed the monkey bars, and lost my first place standing, and couldn’t get it back. But, I still didn’t quit. I focused more energy on running and obstacle racing that summer. I had earned a top 50 points ranking in the world of Spartan Racing and had run my first 50k Ultramarathon by July of that year. I had joined a sponsored obstacle racing team and had been a part of winning several races that summer. Then, by August, I had a severe overuse injury that kept me from running for nearly two years. I was devastated. But, I still didn’t quit. I found new outlets and new ways to test my fitness. I tried American Ninja Warrior, Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, and the SISU Iron–the hardest event I have done to date, a 30+ hour extreme endurance event. It took me three times to finish that one. I have completed the Barkley Fall Classic, one of the toughest 50Ks in the country–twice. I have failed the Leadville 100 trail run, but I still haven’t quit. I want to return that one in 2024. I have done all of these things while raising two daughters to be collegiate athletes, coaching their teams in high school, building a successful gym from the ground up, growing and managing a team of amazing coaches, and leading my community to achieve more than they ever thought they could. CrossFit has taught me how to quit being a quitter. Sixteen-year-old Janice would be so proud of who she turned out to be.

Turning Point

I think I covered some of this above. But, it is important to note that I have bootstrapped this business all the way from a Boot Camp in my back yard, to a public park, to a storage unit with no running water and port-a-potty, and all the way into the 6,000 square foot facility we have today. I never knew how all this would happen. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and letting my heart for service lead me. It hasn't been easy. I have wanted to throw in the towel before. I have doubted myself many times. But, I just can't give up. At this point, I truly don't know what is motivating me, other than my desire to serve others and to keep this place open for the people who are looking for what I was looking for so long ago...a place where they are seen and heard and a place that allows them to become the best versions of themselves. In our gym, we like to say that when it comes down to it, the whole point of what we are doing is making ourselves "hard to kill." This is what I want to do when I wake up every day... Show people the way to do just that so they can be there for their families, their friends, and their communities and not let their own selves down. The world is unforgiving. No one is coming to save any of us. I decided a long time ago that I was solely responsible for my own fitness and capabilities. Being in a leadership role in an organization designed to make people "harder to kill" and to instill those values in others is my absolute dream job.

Motivation & Passion

I started this gym so others didn't have to "figure it out" for themselves as I did. I knew that this way of fitness could revolutionize someone's life. But, the barrier to entry is so high since the knowledge gap is so great. I taught myself "how to fitness" by watching thousands of hours of videos, reading thousands of pages of journal articles, and attending dozens of seminars and workshops. I have spent so much time learning about this that I didn't even have to study to pass my CrossFit Level 3 test on the first try. An everyday person doesn't have time to teach themselves how to be fit. When I started learning and teaching myself, I knew I was born to teach this to others. I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I knew if I would just take that leap of faith, I could make it happen. I quit my job as a teacher and cashed out my retirement to start this gym. Watching my clients and coaches succeed inside the gym and outside the gym is the greatest motivation that I have. I love to be a part of someone's fitness journey and help to make fitness accessible to them. We have changed so many people's belief systems about what they are capable of and what fitness means to them for their families, their communities, and their own legacy. It is my mission to impact hundreds more in the years to come.

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