Coach / Event Coordinator
Ben Williamson has been coaching athletes for 10+ years. He was first exposed to CrossFit in 2008 and became active in integrating CrossFit programming into the middle and high school PE and athletic program at The Walker School in Marietta, GA, where he served as an Assistant Athletic Director, teacher and coach. Since, Ben has earned 5 CrossFit certifications while coaching alongside Brandon Phillips, one of CrossFit's top competitive athletes and Walker's Director of Strength Training. Ben has worked with adults brand new to CrossFit, as well as kids of all ages. He is married to his wife Sarah and is a proud father to daughters Grace (9) and Keira (7).
"CrossFit, for me, has been an incredible gift. It's taught me as much about myself as any life experience I've had. It allows and facilitates a constant pursuit of improvement in my athleticism, but also in my character and mental toughness. Outside of that, my biggest attraction to CrossFit, and the biggest difference between us and traditional gyms, is the community aspect. Becoming a member of a group of inspired, positive people that are focused on making a difference in their life and in the lives of others...that's something very rare and special. That's what we're going to build at CF Pisgah."
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer's Certificate
CrossFit Football (Power Sports) Level 1
CrossFit Olympic Lifting
CPR and First Aid Certified
Garage Games Accredited Judge
Varsity Head Football (9 years), Conference "Coach of the Year"
Asst. Football (3 years), NCISAA Oasis Shrine Bowl Head Coach (2007), Assistant (2006)
Strength Coach (6 years), CrossFit-specific (4 years)
Assistant Athletic Director, also coached track, basketball and lacrosse.
9 players on college rosters, including 5 Division I.
High School football, basketball, tennis, powerlifting
Member, Alabama High School State Champion Powerlifting Team
Member, Auburn University Football
Publix Georgia Marathon
2012 and 2013 CrossFit Garage Games One Competitions
North Carolina K-12 Principal's License
Recipient, United Way of Asheville-Buncombe County Volunteer Center "Volunteer of the Year" Award
Member, Buncombe County Schools Health Advisory Council and United Way Health Focus Funding Council
B.A. (Auburn University), M.S.A. (Western Carolina University)
"I've coached and trained alongside Ben over the last four years. I've seen him grow as a CrossFitter and especially as a CrossFit trainer. He's done a great job working with our athletes and coaching form, consistency and intensity. I'm excited he's opening CrossFit Pisgah and I know he's going to do a great job with his athletes there." - Brandon Phillips, 4-Time CF Games Competitor, 2012 CF Open South East Region Champion
"My son had struggled with his strength during his high school career until he began to work with Ben and CrossFit. After a preseason and season in Ben's program, he is stronger than he has ever been. More importantly, with Ben's training program and his support, Sam is confident about his strength and is more confident overall. He now considers his training program an integral part of his day. He owes that to both Ben's positive support and the CrossFit program Ben put together for Sam and his teammates. As a coach, our team, trained under Ben, was the best conditioned football team I have coached in 32 years." - David Yarborough
"Ben is professional, knowledgeable, and gracious with his time and energy. He is a mind reader- challenging when it's right and encouraging in just
the right moments too. He likes to unite people as a community too around nutrition, fitness, challenge and fun. It's obvious he loves what he does."
Ona Armstrong, Kindergarten Teacher
Evergreen Community Charter School
Some recent feedback from Ben's "Intro to CrossFit" class (adults brand new to CrossFit workouts):
"Coach Williamson is a wonderful CrossFit coach. I would recommend his services to anyone looking to incorporate an effective exercise routine into their lifestyle. He is not just concerned with helping individuals get physically fit; he is concerned about the whole individual. Coach Williamson offers encouragement, health tidbits, healthy eating tips, and timely emails to spur his trainees on in meeting their goals. Though tough at times, it was well worth the time and effort." Kimberly Wakefield (Atlanta, Georgia)
"I feel like I'm making a real difference in my physical fitness during the short workouts. Ben's atmosphere is very encouraging and supportive." D. Kanoria
"I love it! I am pushing myself and I work harder than I would normally by myself." - A. Kennedy
"I am really enjoying the class/workout a lot. I know that when I leave that room, I have had a good work out. You have done an excellent job explaining each new element that has been added, as well as a quick recap before we do something previously covered. I honestly don't feel pressure to do things I am uncomfortable doing. I do, however, feel pushed to do my personal best on those things that I can do. I have talked about the fact that we (the class) would not push ourselves this hard if we were working out alone. I am working very hard to create a lifestyle change for myself, so having this class to incorporate with this effort has been fabulous. I appreciate the variation of the workouts. I would and have recommended the class to others." - D. Wiley
"Even though I already exercise, I am more motivated now to keep it up and not skip - I never did any weight training and this has shown me that it absolutely is important and can be done in a short amount of time!" - D. Ferguson
Derrick Mason has been involved in coaching in various ways since 1998. He has coached a multitude of sports/activities including basketball, adventure racing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and Crossfit. Derrick has been involved in Crossfit since March 2011, and has been coaching Crossfit since the summer of 2012. Derrick is a professional mental health therapist, living in Bowling Green, KY, at the moment, and traveling to Asheville to coach at CFP whenever his schedule allows. Derrick lived in Arden, NC, from 1998 to 2006, teaching and coaching at Christ School, where he and Ben met. He is hoping to relocate back to Asheville permanently in the near future. Derrick is the father of Woods (10) and Emily (8), and spends most of his free time enjoying their extracurricular activities, such as basketball, soccer, violin, piano, and CrossFit Kids Summer Camp.
"I love the description of CrossFit as a wellness/lifestyle program masquerading as a fitness program. I am passionate about helping people be healthier holistically, to include the emotional, physical, and spiritual elements. I appreciate that CrossFit recognizes the importance of holistic health, rather than just focusing on pure physical fitness. Additionally, I believe that the focus on community may be CrossFit's most important characteristic. The internal community in each box pushes the athlete to be his/her best on any given day, keeps him/her accountable, and cheers each other on. As a coach, I believe that very athlete should feel like the most important person in the box at least once during any given WOD class. Plus, there is also the external community facilitating community service and outreach that has us as CrossFitters looking for ways to make both our 'small pond' and the bigger world a better place."
CrossFit Level One Coach Certificate
CrossfFt Olympic Lifting Certificate
High School Basketball, Freshman, JV, and Varsity (3 years)
Outdoor Program Coach (8 years)
CrossFit Coach (<1 year)
Whitewater Rafting guide and trainer (Ocoee River, TN) (8 years)
High School basketball, including playing in the KY state tournament Final Four game
College Club Rugby, and annual Alumni Rugby game
Competed in ~30 Adventure Races, ranging in distance from 15 - 120 miles, and ranging in length from 3 - 30 hours
Competitor, 2012 CrossFit Old School St. Jude fundraiser competition
Competitor, 2012 Garage Games at CrossFit Solafide (Clarksville, TN)
Outdoor Adventure Sports Experience
Whitewater Rafting Guide (Ocoee River, TN)
BA (Western Kentucky University) in Mathematics and Religious Studies
MAE (Western Kentucky University) in Marriage and Family Therapy
Mark and Bailey Desin
Crossfit Level 1 Trainers Certificate
Coaching and Athletic Experience:
-Played college football at Montana State University and Rocky Mountain College, 2006-2010
-Played college basketball at Montana State University and Rocky Mountain College, 2006-2007, 2010-2011
-National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete of the Year, 2010
-Coached high school football and junior high and youth basketball
After my college athletic career had finished I was looking for a way to stay fit and utilize my competitive personality. Shortly after that I began working out with my brother who had been doing CrossFit for a couple years. It didn't take long for me to notice all of the physical and mental benefits of CrossFit and I was quickly in the best shape I had ever been in. I have continued to be a religious CrossFitter and consistently see many benefits from my workout routine. In June 2012 my wife and I moved to Asheville from Montana and love the area! I am very excited to get my start as a CrossFit coach and to be part of the CrossFit Pisgah team!
USA Division II Club Rugby
New Zealand Senior 1st Club Rugby - Mahurangi RFC
High School Varsity Golf
Crossfit Level 1
I started focusing on my personal fitness in 2004 when, at 165 pounds, I found that I wasn't exactly big enough to be effective in a pretty rough sport. I followed your typical strength training programs with decent results and managed to put on around 30 pounds. Unfortunately, I didn't think about what that extra weight would take to cart around the field and my speed and fitness suffered greatly. I needed a way of maintaining my size while being able to generate a lot of power over a long period of time. I needed work capacity. This is where CrossFit comes in. I was introduced to CrossFit in 2009 by a friend who had learned about the mainsite workouts while enlisted in the US Army. Having seen him doing some of the workouts while at the gym, I knew it was pretty different to anything I had done before. I chose 'Fight Gone Bad' as my first experience with CrossFit. After picking myself up of the floor, I lost my lunch in my car and decided then and there that CrossFit was for me.
I spent a year doing WODs on my own off the mainsite before joining a box. Joining a community of Crossfitters helped me grow in strength, skills, and develop a passion for watching others do the same. Helping people set and reach their goals has become a mission in my life.
When I’m not trying to destroy workouts in the gym, I work as an x-ray tech at Mission Hospital and enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife Amanda, while preparing for our first baby due this summer.
My family has lived in the Asheville area for more than 200 years. Like my family, I love Asheville and regularly enjoy all of the unique quirks that make it an awesome place to work, live, and play. Crossfit makes for an excellent addition to the Asheville scene and I am happy to be involved with such an awesome affiliate.
I first became involved with Crossfit in the fall of 2008. While working on receiving my bachelor’s degree from UNCA, I was introduced to the Crossfit main site and was immediately hooked. In the spring of 2009 I joined Crossfit Asheville and learned what being involved with an affiliate gym was all about. Once you’ve had the experience of an affiliate it is very hard to go back to a regular gym, but from 2010 to 2011 I returned to following the main site WOD using the UNCA gym. After a year of being inactive I was introduced to Crossfit Pisgah and felt the spark of an affiliate atmosphere. Needless to say I joined Crossfit Pisgah in August of 2012 and have loved every minute of my time with the gym (even when Mr. Pukie followed me to every on-ramp class). I couldn’t have asked for a better staff and community to begin my coaching experience with!
Education and Experience:
- B.A. in Political Science from UNCA
- 6 year swim Instructor – all levels (parent child, preschool, youth, adult, and masters)
- Campaign Manager – N.C. House District 113
- Finance Assistant – U.S. Congressional Campaign
- CrossFit Level 1 Trainers Certificate
CrossFit Pisgah Children's Program Director
As of May 2013, a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Health and Wellness Promotion and licensed to teach grades K-6
- Founded Dream for Esteem, a non-profit whose mission is to educate and engage communities to discover their strengths and goals in leading a life of health and well-being.
- Developed and implemented curriculum for an after school program with a focus on promoting growth in mental and physical health for youth.
- Taught a Kids in Motion class for the YMCA
- Lead in the Youth Development Center at the YMCA
- Summer Camp Counselor
- Student teacher at Glen Arden Elementary School first grade class
- AmeriCorps Education Award Volunteer
- CrossFit Level 1 Trainers Certificate
I grew up on Long Island and move to Hendersonville, NC my junior year of high school. I have always been passionate about working with youth. I have a passion to inspire young people to recognize their potential and dare to dream. I am a firm believer in the value of self-love and a big advocate for promoting self –esteem in youth. My philosophy is you must understand, accept and respect yourself in order to understand, accept and respect the diversity around you.
I was introduced to CrossFit in Fall 2010 and it immediately changed my life. Growing up, I was always athletic. I ran Cross Country and Track in high school and had played various types of sports. I learned quickly that CrossFit had more to offer and immediately recognized how it made me stronger both mentally and physically. I had struggled with an eating disorder all throughout high school and early college. CrossFit was the beginning of my journey in overcoming my weakness. I am so thankful to have it in my life and can safely say I would not be the person I am today without it. I joined CrossFit Pisgah in August 2012 and have am so grateful for my box family! I could not ask for a more supportive and inspiring group of people to be surrounded by.
Coming from Northern Ontario, most of my athletic output growing up was playing hockey. Following high school, I became involved in Martial Arts, where I fell in love with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which I primarily trained in for 6 years. Supplemental strength training in the form of kettle bells & circuits eventually led to the discovery of CrossFit. After toying around with some of the benchmark WOD's & "meeting" Fran, I knew I had found something of substance, & in the summer of 2010 I signed up for a CF Level 1 Course. I believe that when people find a program & a community that makes them feel great, they have the potential to create strong habits that stick, forge new friendships & ultimately influence a healthy lifestyle. Focusing on community & lifestyle creates longevity; training that will last a lifetime!
I first heard about CrossFit from my dad and his friends. CrossFit has been a great way to get infantry members in battle ready shape to protect the values of our country. My father, being an infantryman, was the first person to introduce to me the ideas of CrossFit. During High School, I became extremely active in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Thai Boxing communities. After being accepted into UNC-Asheville, I started to do informal WODs with my friends to stay in shape. As of late 2012, I have become extremely interested and invested in CrossFit. I was kind enough to be offered an internship with CrossFit Pisgah to further hone my skills as a CrossFitter. If you see someone with a mop or a broom then that is most likely me. I love being an intern at CrossFit Pisgah. I love crushing, or most likely surviving, the WODs with the CrossFit Pisgah community. I know that CrossFit is the only method to where I can gain my optimum level of fitness. I
enjoy being part of the CrossFit Pisgah family!
Dr. Kathryn Murray is a local chiropractic physician practicing at Mountain Air Wellness Center in downtown Asheville. She received her doctorate from New York Chiropractic College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology (the study of human movement/biomechanics) from Acadia University in Atlantic Canada. She is currently enrolled in the perinatal and pediatric diplomate program through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association which includes a Webster Technique certification. Her experience working with women in the CrossFit community on their fitness and chiropractic goals before, during, and after pregnancy has been an accomplishment in her chiropractic career. She has dedicated time working with both male and female athletes in the CrossFit community and over the past few years and has seen firsthand the benefit of adding chiropractic treatment to the CrossFit lifestyle. Dr. Kathryn is certified in the Graston Technique which is an instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions cause by an increase in stress or load to the body (generally from repetitive motion, exercise, or injury).
As a dedicated figure skater and college basketball player, Dr. Kathryn has had an interest in fitness from an early age. She was introduced to CrossFit during her last year of Chiropractic College and whether in a CrossFit gym or her and her husband’s garage gym, she has participated in the sport ever since. As a chiropractor she focuses on the biomechanics of the spine along with the proper function of each muscle and joint in the body. It only makes sense that a profession based on these ideals would complement a sport focused on functional fitness.
Dr. Kathryn will be joining CFP to offer her services to our clients. She can work with clients on correcting their biomechanics during lifts, increasing flexibility and mobility, improving function and performance during workouts, as well as rehabilitating injuries. She will be available at CFP on Tuesdays from 7:00am-10:00am & 4:00pm-8:00pm. Feel free to stop by and ask her any questions you may have.