Carmel Valley groups provide funding for new police CrossFit gym

By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

Two Carmel Valley groups have stepped forward to fund the San Diego Police Department Northwestern Division’s new CrossFit gym, just days after community volunteer Dave McIntyre led the charge soliciting donations.

Del Mar Highlands Town Center donated $3,500 and, at its Oct. 4 meeting, the Carmel Valley Recreation Council voted to pledge $9,587 to purchase CrossFit equipment, with an additional $10,000 going toward officers receiving instructor training.

Recreation council member Ginny Barnes said the hope is that a CrossFit for kids program will be started at the recreation center, allowing kids to exercise alongside cops.

“I love this community,” an enthusiastic Northwestern Captain Lori Luhnow said after leaving the meeting.

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that uses complex, whole-body movements performed at a high intensity. Luhnow found the workout three years ago and wanted to bring it to the police department, as there are no fitness standards for officers after the police academy and many struggle to maintain their fitness level.

“My legacy is going to be keeping people fit,” said Luhnow. “It can help them become better, healthier servants and also continue on to have a healthy life.”

Luhnow found an empty garage at Northwestern that she will convert into the CrossFit gym, where workouts will be held in groups of about 10 people.

With the two community group’s support she will be able to get the “Cadillac” version of CrossFit with barbells with bumper plates, kettle bells, Concept2 rowing machines, squat racks, pull up bars, jump ropes, medicine balls and pylometric-boxes.

The gym will be open to officers from all over the county.

“We are grateful to the officers who support this community both here in Carmel Valley and throughout San Diego,” said Elizabeth Schreiber, Del Mar Highlands general manager. “We wanted to show our appreciation by stepping up with a donation to provide some of their CrossFit equipment.”

The equipment purchased by the recreation council will be owned by the city and is portable enough to be brought across the street for the Kids CrossFit program.

Barnes said she thinks Kids CrossFit could kick off within the next three-six months and it’s possible a recreation center staff member may go through instructor training to lead the classes, with officers coming over to participate.

“Youth can see (officers) in a different light and get to know us in a non-authoritative situation. It provides a better opportunity for us to come together as a community,” Luhnow said.

Dan McGuire, the Carmel Valley Lacrosse representative on the recreation council, said that coaches are always telling their young athletes to work out and stay active in the off-season and he thinks Kids CrossFit could play right into that. He also said sports groups have been trying to find a way to be connected with the recreation center, and this program would provide a way.

Barnes was thrilled with that idea.

“I just think this is a win-win for the community,” Barnes said.