Crossfit trainer wins $10,000 prize from Valpak - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Crossfit trainer wins $10,000 prize from Valpak

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MESA, Ariz. -

America's favorite small business is right here in Arizona, according to Valpak, the company that sends you all those coupons in the mail.

A veteran and his wife earned the title for their Crossfit company in Mesa, and won $10,000.

This is more than exercise -- this Crossfit facility is a dream come true for Chuck Markos.

"We had one guy from a newspaper ad in the beginning, we trained in a park and from that we've got about a hundred people now," says Chuck Markos.

The former army Lt. Colonel started Firebird Crossfit in 2011 after 21 years in the army. During three deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, he got hooked on Crossfit.

"I made my soldiers do it and it resulted in lives saved, no doubt."

Last fall Markos shared his story when he entered the Valpak "Dough to Grow" contest. Social media users voted him America's favorite small business.

"A lot of people are interested in Crossfit and it was exciting cause of our military background, it was exciting cause of him starting a small business and seeing it grow the way that its grown," says Cindy Rash, VP and owner of Valpak.

"It felt great, I mean it's always good, always gratifying for people to like what you're doing and say ‘hey this is meaningful for us,'" says Markos.

Today Valpak presented Markos with his $10,000 prize.

A rowing machine costs about $800. Markos plans to buy five of these and some other equipment with the $10,000.

"We can train people in one class, that's a big help."

Markos is also hoping the new equipment will attract new clients.

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