We believe to be  human is to be athletic. Whether your athletisism is expressed in your long days pounding nails, miles on your bike or vertical on your skis, we are here to support your endeavors and maximize your potential.  We believe there is an athlete mindset in all of us wanting to be nourished and cultivated.  Let our qualified staff help take you there.

Synergy Athlete is the first CrossFit affiliate in the Gunnison Valley.  It was founded on the premise that life is too short to wish you could do more of what you love.  

We train one-on-one and in groups of up to 8-12 individuals at a time.  We teach and employ olympic lifts, gymnastic moves, kettlebells, balls, boxes, and whatever “heavy stuff” we find in our lives. We train indoors and out, while giving our athletes benchmarks and quantifiable results to test and retest, allowing you to track your progress!  The goal: Be better than you were yesterday.  

We believe in giving back to this unique community.  Ask about our local sponsorships. 


SYNERGY ATHLETE is owned and operated by Carrie Jo Chernoff-Hicks. Our coaches and community will, without a doubt, help you elevate your game whether you're simply seeking to trim a few pounds or trim a few minutes off a personal record.

OWNER / HEAD COACH              
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
CrossFit Kids Certficate
CrossFit Endurance Certificate
Crossfit Adaptive athlete certification
CrossFit Competitor Certificate
CrossFit Mobility Certificate
CrossFit Aerobic Capacity certificate
Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (NSCA)  
USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach
Attitude Nation Level 1 Olympic Lifting
TRX Instructor
Certified Massage Therapist

Fueled by having an Olympic boxing coach for a father, Carrie Jo Chernoff-Hicks started her fitness quest and passion at the age of 6 with martial arts, received her black belt at 12, was teaching classes by age 13 and later became a certified fitness instructor in college.  Moving to the Gunnison Valley in 1992, she transferred her athletic discipline from martial arts to the mountains where she began competing in both skiing and mountain biking.  In 2006, she claimed the title of US Freeskiing Champion and finished 3rd on the World Tour.

Carrie Jo’s fitness background moved her into teaching conditioning classes in both Gunnison and Crested Butte.  She has been the fitness director at Rocky’s Gym in Gunnison, Performance Director for the Crested Butte’s elite Ski and Snowboard Academy, Director of the Crested Butte Winter Conditioning Program, and has taught classes at many other venues in the valley across a wide range of fitness disciplines.

Curious about CrossFit for many years, working out from the main website and visiting other gyms, Carrie Jo knew she’d be involved as soon as a CrossFit gym opened in Crested Butte.  She loves the range of benefits that CrossFit has to offer clients from the workouts to lifestyle and nutrition. 

Carrie Jo is passionate about sharing her love for the outdoors, fitness and healthy lifestyle with her 2 little girls, watching people connect with their bodies and push themselves outside their comfort zones and find capabilities that they once thought impossible. 

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

Ryan is new to Crested Butte, moving his family from South Carolina to enjoy the good life. Ryan, a proud Canadian, grew up skiing and snowboarding and was very active in organized team sports.  He started playing hockey and baseball at a very young age and moved into semi-pro rugby as an adult, competing all over the US. 

Ryan discovered his love for fitness at 20 years old, focusing on body building and physique sculpting. At 29, Ryan was tempted to try CrossFit. Upon attending his first class and getting embarrassed by nearly every athlete that day, he promptly quit.  Three weeks later, Ryan sucked his ego up, returned to CrossFit and hasn't turned back since. Six months after starting CrossFit, he broke his neck, fracturing his C6 and C7.  He has used CrossFit to rehabilitate and surpass his previous fitness levels.

When Ryan is not coaching, he is busy playing town league hockey or softball. He has his degree in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina and has worked as State Sales Manager for RNDC and Brand Manager for Red Bull North America. He is calling this portion of his life his "semi-retirement" after being successful in the bar business, owning multiple establishments in Columbia, SC.

Ryan has his Level 1 CrossFit certification.  He is married to his wonderful wife, Katy, and the proud father to his son, Rivers.  His motto is "No brains, no headache!"

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

Inspired by a love for sports and the outdoors, Whitney first discovered CrossFit during her years as an undergraduate at Pepperdine University. Not only did she find that CrossFit immensely aided her sports and outdoor performance, but she found the CrossFit community inspired and motivated her. 

Whitney began CrossFit as a means to improve her performance in everything from ultimate frisbee to rock climbing to mountaineering. She was soon hooked. Her own experience beginning CrossFit motivated her to share this passion with others. She then got her Level 1 CrossFit training certificate and began coaching at CrossFit Malibu. 

Throughout her time at Pepperdine University, Whitney was studying Sports Medicine and found that her studies of human physiology and exercise closely lined up with the foundation and purpose of CrossFit. This inspired her to start a CrossFit affiliate at Pepperdine! Whitney owned Pepperdine CrossFit for a year before graduating and beginning mountaineering school. 

 She now thrives by sharing this passion for CrossFit and the amazing benefits and community it brings! 

ACE Certified Group Trainer TRX Certified

SFG l (Strongfirst Girya)

My name is Amy Nolan and I have been playing with kettlebells for four years and received my SFG I (Strongfirst Girya) certification in May 2016.  Strongfirst believes in SAFETY FIRST which is why I always drill the fundamentals.  When I was chosen to be an Instructor Assistant under Chief SFG Brett Jones in January 2017 this is the experience that was life changing for me with this training.  As I’ve continued to distance train for the past two years with my Strongfirst Team Leader from California, I fully live by her tag line – “Life is better when you are strong”!  The truth is that when we add strength, almost every health outcome improves and that is what my kettlebell practice is for me – maximizing this life!

caryekw@icloud.com CrossFit Level 2 Trainer National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer USA Triathlon Level Endurance Certified Coach USA Triathlon Paratriathlon Coach IRONMAN certified Coach

Cary is passionate about endurance sports and CrossFit. She has been coaching endurance athletes – triathletes, runners, ultra-runners, cyclists, adventure racers – since 2008. As a former gym owner she worked with clients as a personal trainer. Then she found CrossFit and never looked back. She is excited to be coaching CrossFit at Synergy.

Cary has lived, worked and played all over the world. Coaching is her second career; in her previous life she was a chemical engineer and then a venture capital investor. She holds a chemical engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from Wharton. 

Cary’s love of endurance sports started when she trained for her first marathon at business school. She loved it and discovered she was good at it. Since then she has competed as a triathlete, adventure racer, runner, trail runner and mountain biker. While she competes more for the fun of it these days, she was a competitive amateur XTERRA triathlete and Ironman/Ironman 70.3 athlete and competed in multiple national and world championships. She is also an accomplished trail runner with podium finishes in ultra-distance and mountain-running events. In her adventure racing days, her team competed in multi-day adventures races around the world. 

CrossFit changed everything for Cary. While her competitive days may be behind her, she is stronger now than she has ever been. 

In the winter Cary can be found on skis and snowshoes. She is an avid traveler and loves to explore new places, find new playgrounds! Her dog, Puck, is her constant trail companion.