CH residents open fitness club on South Taylor

Michael and Jodi Meilstrup in front of CrossFit I/O. 

A new fitness club opened on Jan. 15 at 2086 South Taylor Road, next to Cafe Tandoor, near Cedar Road. Called CrossFit I/O, it’s owned by two Cleveland Heights residents, Michael and Jodi Meilstrup.

At CrossFit, members work out with other members. “You work out as a team,” Jodi said. “We work out in a way that our bodies naturally move, to become stronger and more fit. You use your entire body for almost every exercise. For example, if you are rowing, you use your legs, your back, your stomach and your arms.”

The CrossFit chain was started in 2000, and there are now more than 13,000 affiliates around the world. “I believe that a new affiliate opens every nine days,” Michael said.

The Meilstrups started training at a CrossFit club in Broadview Heights about four years ago. “It was so great,” Jodi said. “We were talking about it all of the time, and we kept thinking it would be great to bring it into our community. Then the opportunity came up for this space.”

The Meilstrups said they added “I/O” to the name for a variety of reasons. “It stands for Input/Output and Inside/Out,” Michael said. “Also, our state is OH I/O, and one of Jupiter’s moons is called Io, and it’s the most volcanically active body in the entire solar system.”

Jodi, 45, grew up in Euclid and Kirtland and graduated from Kirtland High School. She has lived in Cleveland Heights since 1994, and she also works as a server at Nighttown. Michael, also 45, grew up in Lakewood. He has been a member of the Cleveland Heights Police Department for 14 years, and is currently a lieutenant. The Meilstrups are the parents of six children, ranging in age from 6 to 25 years old.

Club memberships range in price: $120 a month for a 12-month membership; $135 a month for a six-month membership; and $150 a month for a month-to-month membership. The club offers 30 percent discounts to members of safety forces, the military, students, teachers, and couples. It also offers discounted memberships to members of the Cleveland Heights Police Department and to owners of Heights businesses.

Classes, limited to eight members, take place at 5 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. There is also a 9 a.m. class on Saturdays, and there is an open gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information, visit

The Meilstrups are considering offering free yoga classes on Sunday mornings, and hope to start offering kids’ programs, for children ages 5 through 13 or 14, later this spring.

The couple, who live on Alpine Road, near Monticello Boulevard and Noble Road, love the Heights. “It’s such a close-knit, diverse community,” Michael said. “At CrossFit, we really cater to the diverse Heights community. And, in fact, you can’t get much more diverse than our members.”

“We meet so many awesome people here,” Jodi said. “And it’s another way to welcome people into our community. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

James Henke

James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley. He is on the board of FutureHeights, and is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:52 AM, 04.05.2016