In honor of Veterans Day on Saturday, Nov. 11, the Independent reached out to the U.S. Army recruiting office in Scottsdale, at 6747 E. Thomas Road, to get to know local community members who have served the country. Local business owner and father, Mycal Anders, left the United States Marine Corps in 2012 as a Captain. He found his love for CrossFit after playing college football in the Air Force Academy and Texas A&M — Commerce, and body building competitively. Read below to learn more about Mr. Anders life and personal views as Veterans Day nears.
Name: Mycal Anders, MS, CSCS
Where I live: Tempe, AZ & own CrossFit PHX in Scottsdale
When/why did you move here: I left active duty in 2012 and moved to Scottsdale to open CrossFit PHX and attain my Masters Degree at Arizona State University
Tell me about your military experience: Active Duty 2008-2012 as an Air Traffic Control Officer in the Marine Corps. One tour to Afghanistan in 2010 as a UAV Mission Commander. I was stationed in Quantico, VA, Pensacola, FL, Yuma, AZ and 29 Palms, CA.
What do you do now: I founded CrossFit PHX in 2012, and opened the doors in April 2013 with a mission to a mainstay in the community for fitness and self-improvement. In July 2016, my co-host Jeff and I started the Feed Me Fuel Me Podcast where we interview guests about their mindset of abundance the traits they cultivate for their success.
What is the most important skill you took from your time in the military and how does it translate into other aspects of your life: “Take Care of Your Marines”. First and foremost, and always. It is critical to the culture and community that we’ve established at CrossFit PHX that I look out for the people that take care of me and my business. That includes, but is not limited to my coaches and members, but the people that they care about as well. We not only provide a refuge for people to escape their bad days for at least an hour each day, but built a mutually supportive community that extends outside the walls of the gym as a result.
Tell me about a lasting memory of your time serving: The thing about the Marine Corps is everything that is brand new is still the same in many ways. That being said, I can remember checking into each and every unit and reminding myself to ask two questions: “What is the mission?”, and “How can I best serve MY Marines?”.
Keeping those two priorities at the top of the list served me extremely well. Particularly when we were assigned to a joint exercise helping the Air Force set up austere airfields out in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing like the accidental compliment that comes from another service when your Marines do their job so well that the Airmen curiously as, “Are you guys special forces?” To which the only answer is, “No, this is simply what we’re trained to do.”
What is the biggest challenge Veterans face: I feel that the biggest challenge that veterans face in transition from service to country to service to corporation is simply finding an environment that has a community understanding of what it means to work until the job is done.
Many veterans become accustomed to working long hours in chaotic environments, and thrive on the bragging rights that come with successfully completing their mission despite the inherent adversity. That community, camaraderie, challenge is difficult to duplicate in the civilian sector.
Do you have an annual ritual that you do on Veteran’s Day? What is it? Yes, I do a Hero Tribute Workout with our CrossFit Family at PHX. Some hard and dirty as a way to express the gratitude and appreciation for those who serve our great nation.
What do you like most about living here: Food and consistency of weather. Scottsdale is a foodie’s dream. The fact that it is always “pool season” is all the motivation I need to keep pushing in the gym.
People who are an inspiration to you: Each and everyone of our members, who have to overcome their own individual battles, some public, most not, to create a lifestyle that keeps them consistent and on track towards their goals. Others that inspire me are my mentors in business who have helped me see the way ahead and held me accountable towards my goals by setting an example.
My wife, who makes sure our baby boy is taken care of and balances the rigors of a full time job while being a full time mom, and who is in my corner through all the ups and downs of growing an amazing business!
What is your advice for today’s youth: Don’t worry about the discovery your passion. When you’re ready, it will become obvious to you. Throw yourself at the feet of giants and seek mentorship from those who already living the life that you want to live. Do what they do, and you’ll have what they have. Lastly, be good to people. Period.