About Us

We Are

CrossFit Anistemi

Our coaches are committed to the success of each member. CrossFit Anistemi has created a training system that includes world class coaching that is inclusive for everyone from competitive athletes to weekend warriors to complete novices.

James Vassell

Owner


My name is James Vassell and I'm one of the head coaches for CrossFit Anistemi and I love what I do. With a history of loving athletics for the past 22 years, I've had the opportunity to compete in the sport of soccer, dance, tough mudder, endurance races, mixed martial arts, triathlons, and track! There was nothing like the thrill of finding discipline, using my athletic ability, and finding competition to better my skill to drive me and my motivation for life. With the opportunity to train to get a faster pace for my running career, I found a CrossFit gym to get stronger. Through that gym, I found myself not only getting stronger but also healthier, faster, and happier. It's so funny that I would wonder while breathing heavily and feeling ousted why in the world I would be paying somebody to put me through so much pain, but the proof is in the pudding and I was hooked. I loved how I felt, where I improved not only physically but also spiritually and emotionally. I have many passions in life but one of the main things I found most of my passions still centering around was health and fitness. With a Masters in mental health counseling and a degree in ministry, I still found myself encouraging others to reach physical goals as well as live a healthy lifestyle to enjoy who they are as a person. To have someone be encouraged spiritually and emotionally is great, but I have found myself wondering why we never encourage everybody to be healthy in the same manner. This is what CrossFit Anistemi is all about. Our gym focus is not only on being physically healthy, but also spiritually and emotionally healthy. With degrees in ministry as well as counseling, we have incorporated the full gamut of wellness for our clients. I would love to be able to encourage my clients to not only lift heavy with great technique, run faster than they ever could, but also feel encouraged that they know their life is worth living and it's also worth enjoying!

Angela Vassell

Owner


Since I was a young girl, I envisioned a future where I was impacting the community around me and helping people feel empowered. I am grateful to say that vision is becoming a reality by the grace of God. I grew up in South Dakota. I am so proud of my roots and thankful for the family and friends who helped shape me into the woman I am today. I grew up quite the energetic girl and loved sports from a young age. I made the move to Knoxville, TN to spread my wings and enrolled at the University of Tennessee. I couldn't shake my love for athletics and the fascination of the human body, so I decided to make it a career! I majored in Exercise Science and graduated totally in love with what I'd studied. Upon graduation, I hit a slump and couldn't find a workout I consistently enjoyed. When I started CrossFit, I was sold! Not only are the physical results exciting, the breaking of mental barriers is so valuable to me. I have trained for 3 years, as well as trained competitively, and have obtained my L1 as well as my CrossFit Kids certification. I LOVE this sport and I love coaching. I truly believe there are life skills embedded in CrossFit that can change the world. I don't say that lightly. I am grateful to God for this opportunity to share my passion. I am currently enrolled in a Masters program to obtain a degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Human Performance. Our property is nestled at the foot of the mountains where we provide a safe getaway from the hustle and bustle to disconnect and spend some time bettering yourself. I look forward with joyful expectation to begin working with you!

Miranda Broesche

Coach - AKA MirMir


I'm Miranda Broesche I've been a coach at CrossFit Anistemi for a year now and a cross-fitter for 2 and a half. CrossFit has helped me in so many ways including physical, mental and spiritual. Because of CrossFit I met my future husband, and I have a family in them, outside of my own. The box has transformed from a run down building to a thriving business, that's what it's about. That's what CrossFit did for me, my body was worn down, over weight, and out of shape. Slowly but surely all of those things changed just as our building did. I love CrossFit and I love seeing that passion in others. My favorite movements are anything that's on a bar and doesn't involve running.  As a coach I'm picky and pushy in the best of ways to make sure that my athletes succeed in their goals.

Hope Fischbach

Office Staff


I’m Hope Fischbach and I’ve been at CrossFit Anistemi since August 2018. I’m in my third year at Lee University double majoring in English and Spanish—needless to say, I love words, and I love great communication, whether that means writing poems, drafting emails, or live translating! When I’m not reading, writing, or studying, I’m probably at CrossFit. I’ve always enjoyed working out, but what’s special to me about CrossFit Anistemi is our sense of community. In high school and early college, I had no sense of self-care. My diet was a joke, I never slept, and I would push myself to injury during workouts, constantly comparing myself to my friends and never being satisfied with my own progress. After my first few days of CrossFit, I knew that story was about to change. Being a part of the CrossFit Anistemi family has changed the way I see myself and my goals, and whether I’m struggling with poor eating habits or just trying to get through a tough workout, I know someone will be encouraging and supporting me all the way through. Both my mental and physical health are better than they’ve ever been, and I’ve seen my friends experience similar results as well. I believe that CrossFit really does change lives, and I’d recommend it to anyone. As the office manager and bilingual component of CrossFit Anistemi, I’m excited to be part of this team as we grow and help our community thrive in health and happiness.

David Degrie

Coach


My name is David DeGrie. I am 32 years old. I have a wife of 9 years, Courtney DeGrie, and two children, Brooklyn and Christian. I played sports for most of my childhood through my high school years. I have a long history of "fitness" inside of a typical gym environment. I spent 4 years in the USMC. While enlisted, I lived in many places and served a 9 and a half month deployment in Iraq. One day in September of 2012, my younger brother asked me to do a CrossFit workout with him. I remember how hard it was and the fact that several of the women in the class were using more weight than me and still getting a better time. I was hooked. I spent the next 4 months doing internet research and trying my own CrossFit workouts in a typical gym, with no coach. I signed up for the 2013 Open, which started in February. I joined my first CrossFit gym in at that time in order to participate in the open. In May of 2013, I got my Level 1. In January of 2015, I started my first official coaching position at CrossFit Athens. In March of 2015, I was offered a position as a Gym Manager and Head Coach at Screaming Eagle CrossFit in Clarksville TN. My family and I relocated to Clarksville. I was in that position for 16 months before those doors closed. After that, I just went to work as a Self Employed Contractor, and took some time off from coaching. In August 2017, my family and I moved back to Cleveland TN. We have known James and Angela since 2013, and we knew we belonged at CrossFit Anistemi. I am happy for the opportunity I have been given to coach again, and look forward to a great journey at Anistemi.

Alissa Long

Youth Club Director, Coach


Hello! My name is Alissa Long, I am the Director of the Rise Up Youth Club and a Level One Trainer at CrossFit Anistemi. My biggest passions in life are identifying and cultivating the potential in others, and doing everything I do with my whole heart. My background which lead me to join the Anistemi team was a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Lee University, Master’s degree in Holistic Child Development from Lee University, and my work in the foster care field. I came to CFA in the fall of 2018 and fell in love with CrossFit immediately. I felt compelled to receive my Level 1 CrossFit designation because of the tremendous impact the coaches at CFA have had on me, physically and in so many other important ways. Coaching is a vulnerable exchange between the athlete and coach and I am honored every chance I get to lead a class or an individual into that space. I am married to my best friend, Nathan Long, and we are constantly competing with each other in workouts. We have a crazy pup named Jack, and two cats—Winston and Leslie.

Shannon Lunsford

Coach


Shannon joined the CrossFit Anistemi family in the spring of 2016 and has been a prominent member ever since. She is always seen with a smile on her face and a stony determination to give every workout her all. Shannon's favorite thing about CrossFit Anistemi are the people. "This is not just a place to come and workout, it's a family. The second I stepped in the door at CFA I knew this place was different. I never felt out of place or nervous about what people would think of me and everyone is just like family." Shannon's favorite part about coaching is the fact that she can make a difference in someone's life every time they walk in the door. "We are all at different levels of fitness and different walks of life. Getting to be in this journey to help people better themselves is what it's all about." Shannon's favorite movement is cleans; "I surprise myself every time at how fast I can whip my elbows up with weight. It's really a fun movement for me!" She went on to say that her favorite WOD is any Hero WOD because they are all hard and "just have such meaning that keeps you going to the end." Shannon is driven by her family, stating that she wants to be able to enjoy every moment she has with them and to set a good example. A quote that describes Shannon is "Motivation will fail you, depend on your discipline to reach your goal." Shannon elaborated on why that quote is meaningful to her: "I have been on a great journey over the last year and a half and the quote is so true. So many times when we try to figure out nutrition, health and fitness, the motivation starts to disappear during the hard times when you see no results and it's at that point that you must depend on your discipline to reach those goals."

Hayley Janke

Coach


Hayley is an experienced CrossFitter who discovered her love of the sport at a young age. We are thankful for the energy and passion she brings to our team! Hayley's favorite thing about CrossFit Anistemi "has got to be the leadership. James and Angela Vassell have this ability to connect with their members on such a deep and caring level. They genuinely care abou you, your goals, and your well-being." Hayley joined CrossFit Anistemi in the summer of 2018. Her favorite thing about coaching is "being able to take part in each person's lifestyle journey. It's so cool to watch and experience each member's individual journey and help overcome his or her personal obstacle to achieve personal goals." Hayley's favorite CrossFit workouts are grinders. She went on to say that, "the workouts that put you in that dark, dark place you have to dig yourself out of when it's over. The workouts that slightly rob you of your humanity. As rare as they are, these kinds of workouts really put me out of my comfort zone and test my mental strength more than physical. You can lift weights all day long, but putting yourself in that pain cave is rare." When asked what motivated her, Hayley said, "There are some days, even weeks, I just want to stay glued to my bed, eat nothing but Oreos and Nutella, and not ift a finger, but that is not me. That is not my purpose. I have been doig CrossFit for about 8 years and it has become routine for me to workout, but anyone can drive to a gym and give minimum effort. What drives me to stay motivated is simply my health; my body is a car, the gym is the mechanic. To keep my car going, I have to maintain it, fuel it, keep it up to date and efficient. You don't want to drive a rundown, nearly totaled car, so why would you want to live in a body that is run down?" Hayley can be described by the quote: "Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't." -Jerry Rice.

Mikenna Varvel

"Kenna," Intern


Mikenna is a senior at Lee University studying for her BS in Public Relations. She is our Public Relations and Marketing Intern. Her favorite part about CrossFit Anistemi is the family atmosphere and how the coaches push her to be the best she can be. Kenna is a valued member of our team and we are thankful for her passion and expertise for her area of concentration.