El Prado has a ‘new’ CrossFit gym


Married couple Emily Murphy-Darling and Ben Nichols have quietly opened a new CrossFit gym in El Prado. Well, it’s new in a few ways.

Darling’s sister is Rachel Singer, who operated CrossFit Taos for about 2 1/2 years. (She’s now an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Taos Real Estate.) Nichols purchased the business from Singer recently and renamed it CrossFit FreeWorld. With the new name comes a slightly smaller size, too. The gym is at the same address, but uses about half the size (800 square feet) at 1103 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Suite 3-B.

“What is now called CrossFit FreeWorld is a modern gym offering workouts like no one else in town,” said Darling. “We are also holding vinyasa flow yoga classes led by Leia Layus, who is a Taos transplant from San Francisco.”

Darling came to Taos after school in Los Angeles, California, via her hometown in Tucson, Arizona. Nichols, 32, is from Estes Park, Colorado. You’ll see both of them at the gym, but it’s Nichols who is the trainer — a Level II CrossFit instructor and Level I USA weightlifter as well as CrossFit for kids certified. CrossFit is generally described as exercise that includes body weight movement, plus metabolic conditioning and weightlifting.

“We’ve done a big upgrade on the equipment by downsizing space and reducing the overhead,” said Nichols.

Darling, 28, is in charge of marketing and accounting. The duo said a “core group” of members, about 15 to 20, have stayed over from the previous ownership. 

Classes are an hour long and memberships start at $74. Go to crossfitfreeworld.com for more information and class times.


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