Locals 2012: Graham Muir
June 29, 2012
When Graham "Bushy" Muir opened Manic Training in Steamboat Springs, it would have been an understatement to say he was a little nervous.
Despite the urging by friends to open a gym, Graham was unsure whether the people here would be attracted to the type of training he had to offer.
"It's definitely not a social hour," says Graham, 41.
For an hour three times per week, Graham developed a program aimed at increasing strength, endurance and agility for the mountain athlete. Located at a warehouse off Downhill Drive, his training equipment includes things you traditionally would find in a gym such as weights, but there also is a pile of sandbags, ropes, hurdles, rowing machines and sleds.
Three years after opening, Graham says Manic has been successful, with a following of elite athletes, housewives and grandmothers who have relied on the gym to help shape a healthy, active lifestyle that so many people in Steamboat are drawn to.
"It's disappointing if I can't go three times a week," Manic athlete Lori Elliott says. "He has an amazing passion and a gift for knowing people's abilities and getting them to work toward their potential."
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This holds true even for elite athletes. Local Nordic combined Olympian Todd Lodwick says Graham's program has helped him with his skiing and well-roundedness. "He's funny, a hard worker and makes us train hard," he says. "If he thinks we're slacking, he'll push us. When you're done, you always have a big smile on your face."
The popularity and presence of Manic continues to grow. At the Steamboat Pentathlon in March, 42 athletes competed in their Manic shirts and more than 50 are signed up for the Steamboat Mad Mudder in July. Steamboat always will be the home base for Manic, but satellite gyms have opened up in Rhode Island and Eagle County. Another one is planned for Golden.
Graham, a New Zealand native, developed Manic after a career spent playing and coaching rugby. He lives in Hayden and moved to Routt County in June 2007 from Chicago after being recruited by former Steamboat rugby captain Michael Hurley.
Hurley heard Graham was planning a trip to Colorado, and he called Graham to invite him to Steamboat. At the time, Graham was watching a Warren Miller ski film with his wife, Summer, and a segment from Steamboat came on. They couldn't help but laugh, especially after the narrator said, "Pack up your car, give up your job and move to Steamboat."
"I hadn't planned to live here, but once we got out here, this was definitely somewhere we decided we could stay," Graham says.
The couple has embraced the Steamboat lifestyle, and they are teaching it to their
2 1/2-year-old daughter, Zoe. She is a few years away from taking her first Manic class but already has taken an interest in the Russian kettlebell, a piece of equipment often used during Manic classes.
Before her first birthday, Graham had taken Zoe over Devil's Causeway, and she has reached the summit of Rabbit Ears Pass, Emerald Mountain and Mount Werner with her dad's help. Graham has embraced fatherhood and says there isn't anything he would do without his daughter.
"It's awesome," Graham says. "It's put everything into perspective and changed my focus."
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