Snyder family comes home to fulfill dream

  Tuesday, October 29, 2019 12:00 AM

Pittsburg, KS

Colbie and Whitney Snyder were living and working in Tulsa when they discovered their passion for Crossfit. The are several Crossfit gyms in the Tulsa area, and they quickly realized just how many benefits come from those activities. 

“It’s not just the fitness aspect,” Whitney said, “it’s the community. It’s a wonderful way to meet people and make new friends. Not being from Tulsa, it really helped us find those people who shared our passion for fitness.” 

It wasn’t long before the two Pitt State alumni and former track and field athletes started thinking about opening their own Crossfit gym. And they kept thinking about it. And kept thinking about it. 

“It became a passionate dream of ours, and we knew we needed to make it happen,” said Whitney, who earned a dual degree in exercise science and Spanish.

But where?  Tulsa already had several gyms, and trying to break into that market could be challenging.

“We both realized that if we wanted to make this happen, we should come back to Pittsburg,” said Colbie, whose degree is in Architectural Manufacturing Management and Technology. “We knew this was a community on the rise and one that could support a gym like this.”

Colbie is from Joplin. Whitney is from Girard. So, Pittsburg made sense for many reasons. They had just had their son, Sawyer, and being back near family was very appealing. All they needed to do was figure out their work situation.

“The ideal situation for us would be to move back to Pittsburg but keep our jobs in Tulsa,” Whitney said. “Remote working is becoming much more common, and we knew we could make that work if our employers would go for it.”

They did. The Snyder family returned to Pittsburg last year and opened Rebel Herd Fitness at 104 E. First St. in Downtown Pittsburg. The facility also houses their remote work offices. Colbie is an estimator with Wood Systems, and Whitney is a business consultant with Tenstreet.

“It’s so great to have our offices here at the gym,” Whitney said. “In some cases, remote work can be kind of lonely because you’re not at the office with your colleagues. But being at the gym allows us to interact with our Rebel Herd family and enjoy those relationships and interactions throughout the day while also working at our day jobs.”

The Snyders worked in Houston right after graduation in 2013 before moving to Tulsa. While they both enjoyed the amenities bigger cities can offer, they said the economic resurgence in Pittsburg has helped them adapt to small town life.

“When we lived here before for school, I can’t say that we ever, at that specific time, imagined that Pittsburg would be somewhere we’d like to come back to,” Whitney said. “But every time we would come back and visit family, we would see that Pittsburg has something going on. There are places to shop, places to eat, cool coffeeshops. We saw that there are many people here who are working hard to create a certain lifestyle, and we wanted to be a part of that.”

Colbie said their ultimate goal with Rebel Herd Fitness is to help people in Pittsburg feel and live better.

“Crossfit really can help people do things they never thought they’d could do,” he said. “It challenges you to push yourself. We want to help people move better and feel better so they can enjoy a happy, healthy life.”

Both said they have been inspired by the support they’ve received since moving back to Pittsburg.

“Pittsburg has a way of backing people,” Whitney said. “People have a lot of respect for anyone who comes in and tries to do something, takes a chance. You can see it with the different businesses that are opening here. I’m not sure you’d get that level of genuine support in other towns our size or bigger.”