Black Swamp CrossFit in Sylvania marks 3-year anniversary

By Wendy Cornett

In 2010, Abbey Mortemore joined her husband, Michael Sachs, at a CrossFit facility in Holland, Ohio, where he had been training for almost a year. From the start, Abbey was hooked and found herself in a tight-knit community of people who shared her passion for fitness and, more specifically, the CrossFit method.

“It was the first workout I found in 20 years that I just loved,” recalled Abbey, now the owner/trainer/coach at Black Swamp CrossFit in Sylvania. “What kept me going back was the community that CrossFit creates. The community is tight. I think it’s because it’s hard – we all know what we go through. I was in politics, but I was happiest at the gym.”

For Abbey, the impact of doing CrossFit went beyond physical: It forever altered the trajectory of her career path. In December 2011, Abbey quit her job, and in 2012, she and Michael opened Black Swamp CrossFit on Monroe Street. Today, Black Swamp CrossFit is located in a 6,000-square-foot facility on West Sylvania Avenue, and in May, marked three years of serving the Sylvania community.

CrossFit Inc. was founded in 2000 by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai. Known for its WODs (workouts of the day), CrossFit features constantly varied functional movements performed at a high intensity. The workouts incorporate elements from interval training, weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics and other exercises.

The business model, Abbey said, allows her to better customize her gym’s offerings to suit the needs of those who train there regularly.

“It’s not a franchise. I’m able to structure my classes how I want, charge what I want, create whatever size I want,” she said. “Ours is a suburban CrossFit. We have families. We have CrossFit Kids in the summer. We probably have more women than men.”

Each day at Black Swamp CrossFit is structured, but each new day brings a new workout.

“From the 6 a.m. class to the 6:30 p.m. class, it’s the same class repeated eight times a day,” Abbey explained. “But I guarantee, it’s different every single day.”

In the world of fitness, there is definite value in variety.

“We mix it up every day. It keeps people interested in it, and it’s good for your body,” she added.

Starting in June, CrossFit Kids classes will begin on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.

And coming up on June 19 is Black Swamp CrossFit’s second annual Longest Day fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Black Swamp CrossFit is open Monday through Saturday. Foundations classes, which teach basic CrossFit movements and standards, is $50 for six classes. An unlimited membership is just $100 a month. Members of the military, veterans and law enforcement receive a discount.

“I want everyone to be able to afford to do it,” Abbey added.

Show your support for local businesses! Black Swamp CrossFit is located at 7335 W. Sylvania Ave., Sylvania. For more information, call 419-343-2434; visit; or email