505 Industry Way, Imperial
Tell us how you ended up in this line of work.
I fell in love with CrossFit in Santa Cruz in 2006. I did not play organized sports as a kid and I was not into working out at a gym, so, when I started CrossFit and saw how different it was from the typical fitness program, I knew I wanted to be involved with CrossFit for the rest of my life. CrossFit pushed me physically more than anything I had ever done and I saw amazing results. My drive to know everything I could about CrossFit led me to get my CrossFit level 1 certificate. From there I went on to own a CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, I taught on the level 1 certificate staff and I became and still am a full-time employee on the administrative side of the CrossFit Headquarters Seminar and Training Department.
Describe what your business does.
CrossFit Imperial Valley is a CrossFit gym. We offer both private training and group classes to all ages and fitness abilities. The workouts are different every day, challenging each athlete to grow stronger, fitter, faster in every way possible. The movements we incorporate in our workouts are simple gymnastics (pull-ups, ring dips, air squats), Olympic lifting (clean and jerk, snatch), and metabolic conditioning (running, rowing, biking). Any given workout could have all of these elements or maybe only one of them. The idea is to keep the body guessing and to always be prepared for anything. Each movement can be scaled for each individual athlete. For example, someone who has been working out with us for a few years might do a workout with weighted overhead squat and use 135 pounds while a new athlete or an older individual might use a wooden dowel or a 15 pound weighted PVC pipe. Everything we do can be modified and is taught with a strong emphasis on safety. In addition to CrossFit, we also offer Thai kickboxing classes in both a private and group setting.
What are memories from your career that stick out with you the most?
I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing people while teaching CrossFit. The people I remember are the ones who come in desperately wanting to make changes in their health and fitness. They often walk out changed people. After a hard workout, I love seeing that look in an athlete’s face of sheer amazement at what they just accomplished. To set goals, attain those goals and to learn to believe in oneself in the process opens up the world in a way that is so much bigger than what we actually do inside the gym. It really does change their life in ways they never expected it to.
What do you most like and least like about your work?
There is not much I dislike about my work. If anything, maybe the preconceived notions in today’s society about health, fitness and beauty. Being healthy should be the long-term goal of growing older and being mobile enough to fully take care of oneself. Instead, we see people in elderly homes who are dependent on the care of others to survive. For today’s youth, beauty is based on being thin at the risk of being unhealthy rather than strong and capable. What I like most about my work is that CrossFit truly attracts great people who are easy to work with and fun to be around. I have an amazing staff of trainers who make my job easy! We all share a common goal to help people become healthier and fitter and we have fun doing it.
What makes your business unique?
I think the community is what makes our gym unique. There are so many different kinds of people, from grandmas to police officers, teachers to lawyers, students to soccer moms, and everyone does the same workout side by side. Everyone is serious about getting a good workout in, however they also have fun doing it. Just showing up and being a part of the workout gives each athlete respect and appreciation for the effort that their neighbor puts in. That creates a supportive community and bonds between people that might seem unlikely in any other environment.