Jack Fleming '15 Gets Serious About CrossFit
Christ School alum starts club for emerging sport at his college
Jack Fleming '15 can trace his interest in CrossFit back to Christ School. Back then, the former Greenie lacrosse player and swimmer wasn't much different than some of the weekend warriors who use CrossFit to build strength or stay in shape. But flash forward, and Fleming is now a serious devotee. He founded the University of North Carolina Wilmington Crossfit Club in April 2017. The purpose was three-fold – to make CrossFit affordable to other college students, promote health and nutrition, and use the club as an outlet for competition. So far, so good. With Fleming as president, membership in the co-ed club has grown to about 35 men and women. And with the support of local gym CrossFit Reignited, UNCW has entered competitions in the past year against other colleges. Fleming even hopes to be part of the push to make CrossFit a sport that falls under the umbrella of the NCAA some day.
Question: Tell me about your introduction to CrossFit, and what made you want to start up a club in college?
Answer: I started to do a little of it at Christ School during lacrosse season, on my own and with Duncan Parham. I don't remember doing it much my first month or two here in college, but I got started back up again. I did it for about a year and I just got fed up with paying so much money to do it. I wanted to start a club and get more kids involved, and see if we could compete with other schools. The club isn't super-old, but it's going well. We have a really widespread group of athletes. Some have just started and some are part of our competition team. We went to Philadelphia in November to compete and we've competed in Asheville, too.
Question: How does a CrossFit competition work?
Answer: Events are time-based or weight-based. You want to have the highest number of reps or weight in the weight-based events and the lowest time in the time-based workouts.
Question: I understand you're pushing for this to be more than just a club sport?
Answer: I've already talked with the Colonial Athletic Association and the NCAA, and they've pointed me to the Chancellor (at UNCW). So right now, I'm preparing for my talk with the Chancellor. I think it can be a collegiate sport. It definitely has the entertainment potential, and CrossFit is the fastest-growing sport in America. There is some huge revenue potential and it wouldn't be a Title IX issue since men and women can compete. I think it definitely can be a future collegiate sport.
Question: Your hometown is Asheville. How are you enjoying college life at the beach, and what is your major?
Answer: I'm studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship. I still like the mountains, but I love the beach. Here, the school is literally between downtown and the beach. It's really relaxed. I've literally seen people come to class barefoot because it was raining. It's a big school, but not too big. I can't go two minutes (on campus) without seeing someone I know. The girl to guy ratio is about 7:3, so that was a lot different than what I was used to.
Question: How did Christ School prepare you for college?
Answer: Managing multiple things at once and putting a high effort into academics and sports. Not only managing school life, but life outside of school.