Mike Houser - Owner/Coach
Being a man of small build, lifting weights always intimidated me. I had always been very good at endurance sports and didn’t see the need for strength training. When I would go to the gym with my friends, I would leave with sore arms but not feeling like I did anything. The muscle isolation lifts just weren’t for me. I needed more.

As I got into my mid 30s, my doctor (who was very into fitness/nutrition and also a strong runner) kept telling me I needed to back off the endurance and start doing strength training. He knew my opinion on strength training and explained CrossFit to me. He said I would love it, but I was skeptical. A month later, with a bet of “if you try it, I’ll try it” from a female friend (who is now my wife), I went to my first class. I was hooked instantly.

I was able to run, move heavy objects, and use my body as an object. It wasn’t the same routine over and over again. There was no intimidation, only community. For the first time in my life, I was able to put on muscle — 20lbs of muscle. I wasn’t skinny and able to run fast anymore — I was strong and able to run faster.


  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Certified CPR
  • Certified First Aid
Mindy Houser - Owner/Coach
Howdy! I’m a wife, mother of 3, and happy to be your coach. I found CrossFit in late 2009 – while training for another half marathon (which I wouldn’t finish due to an overuse injury and not feeding myself enough), my then-chiropractor explained the concept (whiteboard, WOD, wth?) which I barely understood.

What I did get, however, was barbell fever, revisited from years 12-19. As a sixth grader, I stumbled into the tiny, stinky, closet-sized weight room at the high school one summer, and I asked one of the leg pressing guys to show me how to squat. I dabbled with weightlifting any chance I got until I was in high school and had an excellent set of coaches who made lifting weights mandatory to sport.

I discovered I loved to squat, deadlift, and bench press heavy, and I Bigger, Faster, Stronger-ed myself to some decent PRs for a high school gal. Fast forward ten years, and two kids and a 100-pound weight loss later, and I was in love with the new movements I learned.

Doing basement WODs at the local civic center turned into teasing my now-husband, who I’d see there running all the time, into a dare to attend a CrossFit class at an affiliate. When I learned how to snatch and that I could drop the bars with rubber bumpers, there was no going back.

I got into competitive USAW weightlifting and we joined forces with Charleston-Mattoon Weightlifting Club, and Mike and I decided to buy a building to host the club and to work on attempting to become a CrossFit affiliate.

We found out we were expecting a baby that fall, and I enjoyed performing scaled CrossFit workouts at our former affiliate up until the day I went into labor.

We attended our Level 1 when I was 30 weeks pregnant, and I absolutely loved my active pregnancy!

I’m extremely passionate about reclaiming power in your life through strength and fitness. I wasn’t sure I really had a “calling” until I started coaching, and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.

We have a busy, active home life with two older kids, both athletes, and a baby, but coming in and seeing our members’ smiles because they know they’re about to have a great physical/mental/spiritual experience and test themselves — it’s worth every second.

Mike and I look forward to building a strong community of powerful people, both in stature and in how they live their lives.


  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Certified CPR
  • Certified First Aid
Vern - Coach/Youth Coach
Vern was born and raised in the Chicago area. Since playing baseball through college all the way to Minor League Baseball for the LA Dodgers in 2002, Vern has taken his passion for baseball and fitness to the next level, becoming an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, Youth Trainer, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer over the last 10 years. He has also been an avid Spartan Race competitor – with 10 races under his belt. You could say the guy is driven.

He is currently a junior high baseball coach for St. Michael’s School in Sigel, coaches the Effingham Outlaws 11U travel baseball team, and volunteers to coach 12U girls softball in the summer. He also does private and small group lessons in baseball and softball as well as off-season athletic development training. Vern also coaches group CrossFit classes as well as personal training and small group personal training.

Vern is passionate about developing leaders and a winning mindset. He is an avid reader and writer, driven to constantly learn and improve. He is a graduate of “Launching a Leadership Revolution” course, which focused on personal and leadership development. He has seen, both personally and professionally as well as in the youth and adults he has invested time and energy coaching, that understanding solid movement principles can only take you so far – developing the mind of a winner is what takes us to the next level.

I CrossFit because …CrossFit offers me continuous and never ending opportunity to improve my skills as an athlete. The workouts challenge me mentally and help solidify my fitness lifestyle.

I coach because …my passion is to educate people of all ages to learn how to functionally move their body safely and to get the results they want. Also to have people see their potential, build their confidence, and to realize they can accomplish any goal they set.

My rock star workout consists of …any workout consisting of compound movements that engage the core.

My drag-myself-through-the-door workout consists of …double unders, front squats, and handstand push-ups!

My favorite cheat meal is …Pizza!


  • Played Minor League Baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002.
  • ISSA Certified Personal Trainer since 2007
  • Graduate of Launching A Leadership Revolution Corporate Education Program in May 2016
  • Certified Youth Trainer
  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Spartan Race Competitor in 10 Races
  • Baseball coach: Sigel St. Michael
  • 11U traveling team
  • Summer 14U softball coach
Paige - Coach
Hello! Hailing from Terre Haute, IN, I have lived in the Mattoon area for a little over two years, and along with interning at CrossFit Mattoon, I currently teach English at Shelbyville High School in Shelbyville, IL.

Besides binge watching my favorite series on Netflix and HBO, I have a passion for athletics, and this is a passion that I have had for most of my life. However, health and fitness never played a role in my development as an athlete. Instead, I focused on dieting, trying out the latest fad to lose weight quickly, and cardio- so much cardio. It wasn’t until I discovered CrossFit in 2013 that I realized that the previous strategies I used to make myself “healthier” were not healthy or sustainable. CrossFit helped me switch my mindset completely and embrace the idea of changing my lifestyle. I realized that what matters is how I feel, making my body stronger, and living a sustainable life for myself that focuses on nutrition. It is this realization that most of all inspires me to be a CrossFit coach!

I CrossFit because it provides an incredible sense of community, confidence, and self-empowerment. When I pick up over 200lbs of weight, I feel like I can overcome any obstacle that is put in my path. CrossFit has changed me physically and mentally.

I coach because I have been in the same situations many women find themselves in. Since I was in middle school I tried everything to be thin: Weight Watchers, extreme bouts of cardio, 1200 calorie restrictive diets, Hip Hop Abs (I still have those tapes somewhere…), intermittent fasting, light weights at high reps, etc. Basically, I tried to get healthy through some very unhealthy and unsustainable methods. CrossFit completely turned everything I thought I knew about fitness and nutrition upside down.

My rock star workout consists of deadlifts and burpees…all day every day!

My drag-myself-through-the-door workout consists of wall balls and rowing.

My favorite cheat meal is copious amounts of breakfast food, especially donuts.

Jarad - Coach

Bio Coming Soon!



It will take work. It will take determination. But you have what it takes and we have the training and the coaches to help get you there. Start your journey today!