Mark Lin CrossFit 858 Owner, Coach

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About me

As I looked around the fitness industry, I noticed a trend.  Most of the so-called “gurus” and “experts” in weight management and fitness improvement all came from superb athletic backgrounds.  They were celebrity trainers, former olympians, pro athletes, or real life “Rambo” special forces military types.  These were the same people who never had more than 2% body fat and avoided carbs their whole lives like the black plague.  I began to question who was the real expert.  Was it someone like the individuals mentioned above or was it someone who truly understood their clients?

I struggled with weight my entire life.  In 2001, I was 40lbs heavier than I am now.  I was struggling with my eating habits.  I tried to eat healthier, but didn’t know how.  Fast food was quick and readily available.  I was occasionally making it to the gym to “workout” (3 sets of 10, back/biceps day, chest, triceps day, all with 15 mins of cardio, you know the routine).   I was hitting “plateaus” and just wasn’t seeing the progress I was looking for.

With CrossFit’s constantly varied workouts focused on functional movements, I was able to reinvigorate my workout regimen.  I loved the fact that everyday was a different workout, but still kicked my butt.  But then CrossFit became more than just a workout to me.  The feeling of accomplishment after a WOD transferred to other aspects of my life allowing me to be better at everything I did.  The camraderie that is felt at a CrossFit gym is unlike anything else at any other community.  Within my box, I developed not just training partners, but teammates and friends for life.

Training and competing in CrossFit became such an intense passion/high in my life that I thought nothing could match it… until I began coaching.  I quickly realized that I could transfer the skills I learned as a corporate trainer into CrossFit coaching and combine it with my ability to connect with my athletes.  The former overweight, out of breath non athlete is still a part of me and feels every struggle and every frustration of the athletes I train.  Along with that, I too feel every triumph and every moment of joy whenever an obstacle is overcome or a milestone is reached.

I have since abandoned a very successful 11 year long corporate career to pursue this passion.  I worked in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries for several years indirectly helping patients.  That’s why I jumped at this opportunity to directly help those in need.  Whether it’s to lose weight, gain muscle, or just improve overall fitness, I look forward to working with you and celebrating your victories with you…

 Training Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 2 Coach
  • CrossFit Gymnastics Certified
  • CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Certified
  • CrossFit Mobility Certified
  • CrossFit Coach’s Prep Course
  • CrossFit Kids Certified

Education & Background:

  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Bachelors of Science in Biology, Neurobiology concentration
  • 10 years of Diabetes and Nutrition knowledge in the pharmaceutical/biotech industries
  • American Heart Association’s Heartsaver First Aid Course, CPR Certified
  • Krav Maga Level 3 Orange Belt
  • 2011 CrossFit So. Cal. Regional Judge
  • 2010 Left Coast Invitational Competitor (3rd Place)

email: coachmark@crossfit858.com

Brandon Creasy CrossFit 858 Coach/Uptown General Manager

I was never much of an athlete. I was the guy curling the 50lb dumbbells at 15 years old that thought all I needed was a decent bench press and big arms to be fit. I played soccer for a year, rode BMX throughout high school and wrestled for 2 years. After graduating, I went into the construction field because I wanted to work with my hands and be outside. I worked ridiculous hours 6 days a week and beat the absolute hell out of my body.

I would go on these fitness kicks that would start on Monday. I would buy the new book on weight training, what I thought was healthy food, and the new pre workout supplement that was going to give me the energy I needed. By Wednesday I would be too exhausted from work to go to the gym. It would reassure myself it was okay, because I would make up for it tomorrow. Tomorrow would turn into a week, and the cycle would repeat itself over and over again.

I first heard about CrossFit from a friend of mine in 2010, although it wasn’t until 2012 that I decided to give it a try myself. At this point I was trying to do HIIT training by super setting .2 mile runs on the treadmill in between random exercises on the machines. My first CrossFit workout was done at LA Fitness. It was Fran. 15 minutes later I collapsed into a puddle of sweat on the floor wondering why everything hurt so bad and what had happened to me. Naturally, I repeated Fran the next day finishing around 11 minutes, still in a puddle of sweat, still not sure what was going on.

It took about a month before I had the courage to walk into my first affiliate (CrossFit Advanced). I thought I had to “condition” myself to be able to do CrossFit. I thought if I did enough CrossFit workouts on my own, I would be better prepared. I was wrong. My very first group wod left me shirtless, sweaty and extremely humbled. In between this madness, I had people cheering me on and pushing me that I had never met before. They wanted me to finish the workout more than I did. That was my first experience with the CrossFit community.
After moving to San Diego from PA, the community at CrossFit 858 is the first one that has come close to the community back home. The people here inspire and motivate me on a daily basis. They are the main reason I finally went for my L1 and eventually my L2. I am humbled by this opportunity and hope I can give back what was freely given to me.

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 2 Coach

Education and Background:

  • Northampton Community College- Bethlehem, PA Associates in Applied Science of Architecture 2014
  • NewSchool of Architecture & Design- San Diego, CA Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) Expected June 2017
  • SoCal Regionals Staff Services 2016
  • CrossFit Games Staff Services 2016

Diana Ravensbergen CrossFit 858 Coach/ General Manager

I grew up a gymnast – my entire childhood revolved around my training and competition schedule, and once I retired from club gymnastics I continued by competing for my high school team. I was the kid who vaulted over my couch, made floor routines in my living room, and walked on my hands at every opportunity I could. So when I transitioned from high school to college, I needed to exert my energy elsewhere. I tried it all – group fitness classes, spin, running, and weight training. I found a love for fitness and began to research weightlifting and nutrition on my own, which all lead me to a career with Reebok Corporate.

I loved working for a company with fitness-related values, but I knew I didn’t belong at a desk job but I didn’t know what else I wanted to do. I was pretty happy with my weightlifting routine, but some friends convinced me to try CrossFit at the office box, Reebok CrossFit One. We all know how the story goes from here… I was hooked.

At the time I had a side job teaching spin at a gym with a box, and after a year of CrossFitting I decided to get my L1 and make some extra cash on the side by coaching. What was supposed to be supplemental income became something so much more – I found that I loved coaching and it was something I could see myself doing long term. My athletes constantly inspired me as I watched them conquer fears, lose weight, gain mobility, gain confidence, and be a part of

a greater community.  Their testimonials of how CrossFit changed their lives reinforced the fact I had finally found my calling. The only problem was I hated the snow, which is what caused me to leave the northeast and seek out sunnier skies here in California, better yet, a job here with CrossFit 858.

 

A few fun facts: I’m a born and raised New Jersey girl, loud and proud. I lived in Boston for college and post-grad. I love dogs and food, but I love dogs more. I can still walk on my hands like a pro, so I’m always down for a handstand-walking contest. As a 5th grader I set the record for most push ups (162) and female pull up record (20), but don’t ask me to ever recreate those because I had barely any weight on my bones to lift back then.

 

Training Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach
  • Spinning® certified

Education and Background

  • Bachelors in Business Administration (Northeastern University ’15)
  • CrossFit Coach, Social Media and Communications Manager of CrossFit Factory in MA
  • 2 half marathons, 1 10k, AVON 39 mile walk

Gil Alfaro CrossFit 858 Coach/Mayor

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When I was 10, I created a list of all the things I wanted to see, do and experience. I had a bucket list before I even knew what one was, and as best I can recall, it was amazingly ambitious. Crossing off items one by one, I quickly realized I loved doing things that scared me. Specifically action sports – anything that involved boards, bikes and eventually motor sports. Something for every season and in between. The higher the risk, the higher reward and to me, the rewards always outweighed the risk.

Since fitness was limited to the specific sport of the season, re-learning skills as well as re-building strength and endurance were just part of every transition. It was frustrating I couldn’t just jump back in and pick up where I left off. I tried the typical gym workouts to make it easier, but could only stand a treadmill, traditional lifting and the stationary bike for so long.

Motivation to hit it hard every year, eventually became just finding the time or motivation, period. A month went by, then a year, then a couple years, until in 2010 I literally could not walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. I had trouble tying my shoes because reaching over my belly would interrupt my breathing. Overweight, weak and unhealthy, I had to do something drastic. I decided the toughest thing I could do was race in a Triathlon, so I made a New Years resolution to do at least 2 races in 2011, got all the gear and dove right to it.

As I was training in the gym one day, my co-worker Lyman invited me to try this CrossFit thing out. Within the first three months, I was stronger, faster and felt better than I could ever imagine and I was hooked. I had to learn everything and I had to get better. This was just the tip of my performance potential and every year since starting CrossFit, I have continued to grow stronger, faster and better than years past.

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I’m incredibly grateful Lyman asked me to meet Mark that day. My whole definition of fitness, everything I had been chasing every season of my life had been completely rocked. No more off-season, no more re-conditioning, or re-training, just being prepared for anything life can throw at you at any time. My enthusiasm is the same today as it was the very first day. Being able to share this passion with others, being part of an amazing community and hearing everyone’s individual story inspires me to no end. You’ve heard mine, now lets get your story going!

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach

Education and Background:

  • Mission bay tri 2011
  • TriRock sprint series 2011
  • Solana beach tri 2011 & 2012

Art Revita CrossFit 858 Coach 

 

 

10537468_811297488921253_8025474723787438740_oIn 2012 I found a passion for running and registered for multiple half marathons. To supplement my training I was regularly attending boot camp classes. One day I purchased a couple Groupon deals for 2 different CrossFit gyms. I knew little about CrossFit and assumed it was similar to boot camp style workouts. I was so wrong and after my first workout I knew I fell in love.

After my Groupons ended the search for my permanent box began. I discovered my friend Janelle was a CrossFitter at 858 so I decided to give 858 a try. In January 2013 I signed up for a month to month membership. After 2 classes I changed it to a 12 month membership.

The community at 858 is incredible. I love WODing with so many dedicated athletes and seeing everyone’s improvement. I always get pumped when a fellow athlete hits a PR.

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I’m grateful for the opportunity to coach the athletes at 858, excited to help people achieve their goals and improve their fitness, and I’m looking forward to improve as a coach and grow alongside the athletes.

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach
  • CrossFit Mobility Certified

Education and Background:

  • BS Computer Science, University of California, Riverside
  • 2009 – Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon
  • 2012 – 9 half marathons
  • 2013 – 13 half marathons

Jaime Wilkinson CrossFit 858 Coach

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I am from Boston, the greatest city in the world! As a teenager, I thought I would marry Tom Brady. My first crossfit experience started several years ago at Crossfit Southie and most recently at Crossfit Memorial Hill where I was lucky enough to coach as well. After my first wod, I was hooked immediately! Crossfit has changed my whole entire perspective on what it means to be fit, strong and healthy. It is so empowering, for females especially, to be able to throw around weights and be applauded for lifting heavy or getting a “PR.”

I never played collegiate sports but I have always been passionate about leading an active and healthy lifestyle. Activities have ranged from running, kickboxing, boot camps, yoga, cycling and weightlifting. Aside from a regular yoga practice, no other activity has been as important and as life changing as Crossfit.

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As a recent transplant to San Diego, finding my crossfit “home” has been instrumental in helping my transition. The minute I walked in the doors of 858, I knew this was the place. I absolutely love the community that is quite unique to the sport of Crossfit. It is a bond of like minded and sometimes crazy people that come together to motivate and inspire one another to work hard in and outside of the box. I truly believe many of the qualities of people who Crossfit, translate to other aspects of life. It’s a driver to be a better person and not to quit when life throws you curveballs. I’m so excited to be part of the 858 family to coach people to reach their goals and achieve things they never thought they could.

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach
  • First aid and CPR certified

Education and Background:

  • 200 hr Yoga Alliance RYTc
  • B.S. Exercise Physiology University of Mass at Boston

Jon Hall CrossFit 858 Coach

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As a lifetime athlete I have been a gymnast, played numerous team sports, and most recently finished my career as a collegiate 400 meter hurdler. Through out my experience I have always found that my favorite part of training was preseason. It was a time where strength was forged, teams were built and championships won. I loved those miserably arduous workouts that made me question why the hell I was there to begin with because afterwards, I felt like I could accomplish anything!

CrossFit gives me that same feeling. CrossFit consistently engages and challenges all of my athletic abilities in a way that no other activity can. I truly enjoy playing sports, sweating, and winning, and CrossFit is my vehicle.  I get to run, rope climb, handstand walk and do muscle-ups all in the name of exercise!

10390318_711190478939285_4225021924726411448_nThe best part is I get to do it with some pretty awesome people. So for me, CrossFit isn’t a way of life – It’s something that makes me happy.

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach

Education and Background:

  • Northeastern University B.S. Sociology
  • Division I Northeastern University Track & Field Captain

James Melton CrossFit 858 Coach 

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I’m a San Diego native, went to high school right up the street from CrossFit 858 Mission Gorge. I’ve played competitive sports my entire life and continued to play for my college in Tacoma, Washington.

247045_10150197766680773_6144138_nIn my senior year, I sustained a serious leg injury that required plates and screws along with18 months of physical therapy. I found CrossFit like many others. It was around 2010, I was tired of the monotony and lack of results I found in “globo-gyms”. I did an intro WOD, got my butt handed to me, and haven’t looked back since.620672_684301093138_1156957614_o

I’ve been a coach for 4+ years. I genuinely believe in the benefits CrossFit has to offer: camaraderie, health, and competition. I want you to have fun in my classes, but know I expect a lot from. Give me your best and I’ll fight to make sure you reach your goals.

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
  • CrossFit Kids Certified
  • CrossFit Endurance Certified
  • USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Certified

Education and Background:

  • B.A. in International Relations;University of Puget Sound, Tacoma WA
  • 2010 Northwest Regional Teams Competitor

Lindsay Schartz CrossFit 858 Coach 

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I grew up in a very active and competitive family, participating in many team sports, races, and enjoying the great Colorado outdoors. Soccer soon became my passion and focus. However, despite my dreams of scholarships and beyond, in high school, I blew out my knee. Unfortunately, I did not have a miraculous, Adrian Peterson-style recovery. So, as I watched my teammates sign D1 contracts, I decided to focus on my other goal of quickly achieving my nursing degree and becoming an RN.

While in college, to fulfill my active lifestyle, I was luckily able to participate in many intramural sports and community clubs, allowing me to have an outlet for my competitive drive. After graduation, the real world was upon me, which consisted mostly of work and no play. Then, not long after moving to San Diego, my husband found CrossFit while in the Navy. He tried talking me into giving it a shot. I was definitely skeptical at first, especially hearing about all the strenuous weight lifting (what about my knee??) and pull-ups (I have no upper body strength!). After weeks of him insisting I go, I finally relented. Thank goodness I did! I found the competitive outlet, team camaraderie, and community I had been missing. Before I knew it, I was the one talking other friends and family into giving CrossFit a shot.LS coach website pic

Eventually, I signed up for my Level 1. I found that CrossFit shaped my life into something I never imagined before, so I wanted to share my passion, experience, and knowledge as a coach. CrossFit has not only fulfilled my competitive desires, it has safely developed both upper body strength and stability in my reconstructed knee, provided me with new athletic and professional goals as a coach, and an awesome community like CrossFit 858.

 

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach
  • USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Certified
  • CrossFit Rowing Certified

Education and Background:

  • B.S. Nursing; Magna Cum Laude; University of Colorado
  • American Heart Association Basic Life Support Certified
  • American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support Certified,
  • Certified Pediatric Nurse
  • Clinical Nurse Level III at Rady Children’s Hospital
  • SoCal CrossFit Games Regionals Team Competitor 2011 and 2012
  • 4th place SoCal Sectional Finals 2011

Mel Smith Lifetime Honorary Coach and Friend

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I was never an athlete. In high school while my sister played softball, I spent my spare time practicing scales on the piano in anticipation of majoring in Music Education. I wasn’t sedentary per se, I was always on the go, but exercise was something that only happened because my gym teacher made me play flag football. In my early twenties however, with my husband on deployment, I took up exercising as a way to keep busy and relieve stress. Sadly, with no one around to monitor what I was doing, I found myself knee deep in an eating disorder, and although I was smaller than I had ever been in my adult life, I was miserable.

Enter CrossFit.

I fell in love with CrossFit while attending a local competition to cheer on a friend. Specifically, I fell in love with CrossFit858 while watching one WOD in particular. I knew that I HAD to become a member of their box. Watching them cheer each other on was like nothing I had ever seen before! After the competition, I emailed Mark and I came in for a free class later that week, one day after my husband left for yet another deployment with the Navy. “Let’s set up your free week,” Mark said. “Nope,” I replied, “let’s sign the paperwork now.” That was two and a half years ago and I have never looked back.

Not only did CrossFit challenge my strength, but it also challenged me in other ways. It forced me – through the Paleo lifestyle – to really reevaluate my relationship with food. It forced me to change how I viewed my body in comparison with what popular society tells us is beautiful. I would be lying to you if I said I was the same person today that I was when I took that first class in November of 2011.

One of the most wonderful aspects of CrossFit858 is the community here. While alone for many months when my husband was deployed, the members of 858 became my family, opening their hearts and their homes to me. They asked often about how I was doing, even more so because I had decided to go back to school AGAIN, and would often work out as a way to forget about those responsibilities for a little while. Field trips, pot lucks, Friday night happy hour…these all became my favorite places to be, with my favorite people. When my husband came home from deployment, 858 and its members quickly became his family, too.

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I am deeply humbled at the opportunity now to coach here at CrossFit858. It is a wonderful opportunity to truly give back to a community that has always supported me with all of its heart and soul. I look forward to watching the athletes of our box get stronger and stronger and it would be my pleasure to have a small hand in that success.

 

 

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 2 Coach
  • CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Certified
  • Certified Rock Tape Doc Level 1 FMT
  • AFPA Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant

Education and Background:

  • BA Women and Gender Studies, Rutgers University
  • MS in Legal Science and Healthcare Delivery, Kaplan University
  • California State Registered Dental Assistant
  • 2012-2013 SoCal Regionals Rogue Equipment Crew
  • 2014 SoCal Regionals Volunteer Committee Chairperson
  • 2015 California Regionals Volunteer Committee Chairperson

Glory Forbes CrossFit 858 Coach

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I first stumbled upon CrossFit in the Fall of 2007 when a friend challenged me to do a CrossFit workout with him. After experiencing what I thought was the most challenging workout ever, I was hooked. With CrossFit, I quickly recognized the importance of functional fitness. Within a year of starting CrossFit, I became stronger, faster and more flexible. In October of 2008 I competed and placed first in the Mid-Atlantic Hopper challenge at CrossFit BWI in Baltimore, MD and qualified for and competed in the 2009 CrossFit Games in Aromas, CA, placing 22nd. I continued on to also compete in regionals in 2010 and 2011. I completely attribute this success to CrossFit, its training and methods.

263104_10150222661075902_6783395_nI am passionate about helping people reach their potential. My philosophy is: All things are possible for those who take the first step!

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach
  • Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength Professionals Association (NSPA)
  • CrossFit Kids Certified
  • CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certified
  • CrossFit Endurance Certified

Education and Background:

  • 2009 CrossFit Games competitor

Sara West CrossFit 858 Coach

 

 

I’ve always been an athletic person. As a child I was involved in gymnastics as early as I can remember. In high school I ran track, was a gymnast, diver, and a cheerleader. When I went to college, they didn’t have those sports, so I walked on to the soccer team, having never played before. I also played club ice hockey and lacrosse. Basically, I like trying new things, and I’m not afraid.10269328_10203994412407068_4988876211983954602_o
As I got older, I ran, all the time, even long distance races during my pregnancies. I ran two marathons once I moved to San Diego in 2007. I realized that the next step for me athletically was triathalons, but I’m a horrible swimmer, so when my girlfriends found a deal for fundamentals at a CrossFit gym, I was in.
When we first started, I was the typical person coming from a serious cardio background, who complained about “not enough cardio.” I would sometimes go to fundamentals AND bootcamp or spin in one day just to feel like I was sweating enough. It took a few months, and I started lifting more and more weight and realized how RAD it felt to be strong. Fitness used to be related to how I looked, in a bikini, in a dress, in jeans, in scrubs. Now, it’s about what I can do.

1492484_10203249729150452_2113604016_oI love the constant variation, so I’m never bored. I love the way CrossFit promotes competition with yourself and others, (if you’re that kind of person, which I am), or really stellar fitness if that is your goal. There’s something for everybody, and I like that. I love being part of a community that supports each other’s accomplishments, and understands the struggles that come with trying to reach new goals. I’ve also learned a new kind of mindfulness since starting CrossFit. When I ran long distances, my mind would wander to anything and everything to take my mind off the pain or the distance. When I come to the gym to train, there could be a million things racing through my mind, but as soon as I pick up that barbell, I better pay close attention to what I’m doing or things could go wrong, fast. It has a way of clearing my head like nothing else ever has, and I’m grateful.

Outside of the gym: I am an RN at Scripps Mercy Hospital. I have 3 kids ages 12, 10, and 8, who you will see around the gym from time to time. I love to read, and lay on the beach. I enjoy camping and traveling, but always love coming home to San Diego.

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach

Education and Background:

  • ADN, Registered Nurse
  • Masters in Public Administration
  • BA, Political Science
  • ACLS & BLS certified

Vlad Spasojevic CrossFit 858 Coach

 

Before I found CrossFit, I would waste my time working out at low intensity for about three hours per day. Coupled with what I now consider a starvation diet, I was struggling to maintain any semblance of strength. After trying the free Sunday workout here at CrossFit 858, I realized that high-intensity work was infinitely more effective than the grueling endurance workouts through which I had been putting myself. I signed up and immediately began to see results. To my amazement, I had cut my workout times down by more than half, and I was actually getting stronger and faster.
Just as importantly, I was actually having fun. Before CrossFit, working out was a chore that I literally had to force myself to do.

Coming to CrossFit 858 was a refreshing combination of nervousness and excitement. The other members of the morning crew became my friends, and we shared equal amounts of laughter and pain. By my fourth month here, I was having so much fun that I decided to go through the level 1 certification. Since then, I have had the pleasure of seeing new members go through fundamentals and become stronger, faster, and healthier. I have also developed a sense of camaraderie with everyone here, and we regularly see each other outside of the gym during social functions. I think that is one of the best (and most unique) aspects of CrossFit 858: everyone here, coaches and members alike, will do whatever they can to help each other, inside and outside of the gym.
I know that some of the movements that are used in CrossFit look intimidating, but everything that we do can be scaled to any level of fitness. More importantly, you are probably capable of much more than you think, and I sincerely believe that this program can help you realize that. One of my favorite parts of coaching is seeing people surprise themselves. So if you want to get into the best shape of your life and make some friends along the way, send us an email or stop by and see for yourself what all the excitement is about.

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 2 Coach

Ashley Fallin CrossFit 858 Coach

Growing up with athletic brothers, It was only natural that I looked up to them. I was extremely competitive to say the least. Whatever they could do, I wanted to do better. I involved myself in every sport that I could handle at one time from running cross country, track, basketball etc. At one point my mom told me I couldn’t do it all, even though I thought I could. So, I turned my focus to running.12828514_1124648280919504_2466655224510560728_o

I was a collegiate runner and once my glory days ended I was trying to figure out “What’s next?” Just because my running career was over didn’t mean I had to give up being an athlete. I ran marathons for a while but that wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I needed something more fulfilling and competitive so I could go home and still be able to kick my brothers asses.

A couple of my girlfriends had told me about a CrossFit gym that had opened up in our small town and they wanted to check it out so we decided to try it out together. I, of course was intimidated, but immediately fell in love with the community.  Over the years, I’ve been a member at different affiliates and have gotten lucky to have friends that turn into family at each one. I’ve learned that family isn’t always blood. A wise friend once told me “We’re there to support one another whether it’s a bad day at the gym or what you’re going through. Unconditional love and encouragement 100% of the time. Life seems to be difficult more often than not and that’s when you can depend on us to help brighten your day. We give each other hard times but it’s only because of how much we love one another.12998449_10206006353177234_4880879900333284342_n

I want people to have the experience that I’ve had and see that we are more than just a “gym” and/or  “box”. At CrossFit 858, we live by those values.  We support each other inside and outside of CrossFit 858 and call this our second home.  I look forward to nurturing these values and helping the athletes of CrossFit 858 develop. 

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach

Education and Background:

  • Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology & Health Promotion-Louisiana Tech University

Caleb Allen CrossFit 858 Coach

Growing up as a country boy from Northern California, athletics were not just a hobby, they were the life-force of our small town. From weekend pop warner football, to middle school track meets, to traveling A.A.U. basketball tournaments in junior high, and then becoming a 4-sport athlete in high school (football, basketball, track, and tennis), sports and fitness have always been very much a part of who I am.

As a college rugby athlete, putting on size and muscle was a necessary requirement if you intended on playing for any significant period of time, so that called for an increase in the amount and volume of strength lifting. It was during this period that I shifted from a love of sports, to a love of weightlifting and strength training. Anything “strong man” style was always my weapon of choice during rugby season. Once I had to hang up the cleats, however, due to bosses not liking the bloody knuckles and bruised eye sockets when showing up for work, I decided a change was needed and left the rugby world to become a focused weight-lifter.

As many people can attest, the monotony of your typical workout facility can be brutal and boring, as one can only stare at themselves while doing bicep curls for so long before they know something is inherently wrong. I knew that I really missed the feelings that sports had always provided me: camaraderie, competition, and the championing of one’s own mind. Then I found Crossfit.
I was definitely one of the people making fun of the crossfit community as an outsider looking in, because like many of us, I was ignorant to the truly amazing culture and relationships that crossfit provides. There is nothing like it. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process. Crossfit has the potential to shape and mold you into a better human being, not just physically, which is obvious, but for me, and the reason why I come back time and time again, is for the mental transformation. Crossfit will change you and make you a better version of yourself, in all aspects, and that is what I am most passionate about to bring to our Crossfit 858 community.

Training Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach

Education and Background:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching from Point Loma Nazarene University
  • B.A. in Business Administration from Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Collegiate Rugby Athlete
  • Former Flowboarding Instructor at Wavehouse San Diego
  • 4-Sport Athlete in High School

Kim Soltmann CrossFit 858 Coach

I have always loved being in gym environments but when I graduated from NC State, my eyes were opened to how quickly your health can deteriorate if you don’t pay attention to it. To prevent this from happening, I began playing Ultimate Frisbee and taking Fitness classes at a martial arts studio in the area because they gave me the opportunity to stay in shape and meet like-minded people. In 2010 I was asked to join the staff of the martial arts studio I was training at as a Fitness Coach and have been training others there, part-time, ever since.

In 2012 a friend brought me to my first CrossFit class and I loved it! I found a lot of similarities in how their workouts were written to how I ran my own fitness classes. I really liked both the intensity aspect of the program and the complexity of the lifts. In 2013 I received my CrossFit Level 1 Certification and coached in North Carolina for almost four years before moving to California in 2017.

In looking for a new box in San Diego, I checked out several CrossFit boxes in the area but the community at CrossFit 858 combined with the challenging programming made me instantly know that this was going to be my new home. I love sharing my passion for fitness and healthy living with others and am extremely excited for the opportunity to coach the amazing athletes here, alongside a dynamic coaching staff.

Training Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Coach

Education and Background:

BS Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University
5 years of training in Krav Maga
2013, 2014, 2015 Ultimate Frisbee Regional Competitor
2015, 2016 Beach Ultimate Frisbee National Competitor
2015 1st Place Finish at RAW Powerlifting Competition & Set RAW Deadlift Record in NC
2016 1st Place Finish at Super Total Competition at a NC Strongman Competition

Eric Carmody CrossFit 858 Coach

In 2010 I graduated college and slowly found my way into a CrossFit box a few months later. My whole life until that point I had trained to be a better football player. Upon finding CrossFit I was on and off for about 2 years until 2012 when I decided I wanted to attempt to compete in CrossFit. At that point I quit my desk job and decided to coach as my main occupation.

I started coaching at CrossFit Impulse in Huntsville, Alabama under Jeff Barnett. We had a lot of great times and I learned to take alot of pride in my coaching, classes, and members of my gym. Soon in 2013 I had taken a short term job at Reebok CrossFit Sentinel in Seoul, South Korea. That short term job that was supposed to be a few months turned into 4 years. I was lucky to find the best friends and comradery I could have hoped for. I never felt out of place in Korea and I will always be grateful I took up that chance when it came up.

 

Now I am in San Diego and hope I can continue to grow my experiences and meet new and great people. I enjoy coaching athletes and answering all the small detailed questions that everyone has. Working with beginners if one of my favorite parts of CrossFit and I love it when people give it their all. Feel free to ask me any questions you can think of.

Training Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Gymnastics Certified
  • CrossFit Mobility Certified

Education & Background:

  • Jacksonville University; Bachelors of Science in Computer Science.
  • Jacksonville University Football; Pioneer Football League All Academic
  • CrossFit Games Athlete 2014

Bryan Niemiec CrossFit 858 Coach

I was born and raised in San Diego, CA and grew up playing every sport imaginable.  I played club soccer, basketball, baseball, football, golf, and paintball.. you name it, i probably played it at one time or another. I couldn’t get enough. Going into high school, I continued to play as much as I could but wound up sticking to football and golf. It wasn’t until my junior year where I hit and wall and was completely burned out from it all. I had no motivation and felt like I lost my competitive edge that kept me going. Ever since that point in my life, I had always felt like I was missing something. I was okay sitting around the house and just telling myself I don’t need to be active because I’m young and healthy. 

About four years later things changed. My cousin, who had just turned pro in World Natural Bodybuilding Federation ( WNBF) visited me and my family for a week during the summer. It didn’t take longer than a day of hanging out with him where I regained the fire to get back into the swing of things. Not long after he left, I signed up at LA Fitness and was more motivated than ever to get back in shape and looking good. I was going about 5-6 days a week sticking to the same routines day after day. At first I was loving it, noticing “gains” and being complemented by friend and family made me feel good but soon that all would change. After 2 years of doing the same thing every single day, I became very bored and wanted something new but didn’t know what.

During my “globogym” grind, I was working at a law firm in downtown San Diego. I was a block away from a CrossFit gym. I had no clue what any of it was but would often see very fit individuals swinging on gymnastic rings, lifting heavy weight and running.. a lot. I was curious to find out what the heck everyone was doing and was told everything you need to know about CrossFit.  I was hooked. I knew it was exactly what I needed. I quickly began doing my research spending hours on YouTube watching as many CrossFit videos as I could.

Upon researching CrossFit and local gyms in San Diego, a good friend of mine from high school told me about CrossFit 858. Having already dropped in to a few gyms leaving not entirely satisfied, I decided to giveCrossFit 858 a go. After my first day during my free week trial I knew this was the gym for me. The coaches were awesome, encouraging me and teaching me though the entire workout and the community was something I had never experienced before. Everyone cared for one another and made sure nobody finished the workout alone.

My life changed after walking into CrossFit858. Not only am I fitter, healthier, and happier, I also had made friends with some pretty rad people. Signing up forCrossFit 858 was the best decision i could have ever made. Now I get the opportunity to give back as a coach!

Training Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Certified

Laura Hernandez CrossFit 858 Northern Operations Coordinator 

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Laura is a long time member and loyal friend of CrossFit 858.  She is bringing her cheerful attitude, helpful nature, and excellent organization skills to CrossFit 858. Laura will be helping behind the scenes with gym operations, ensuring we work efficiently.  She will also be running transactions for memberships and retail purchases when she’s at the gym, freeing up the coaches to coach!

 

 

As Operations Coordinator (Miramar) Laura’s responsibilities will include:

    • Meeting and greeting visitors and potential athletes
    • Processing new accounts and one week passes for potential athletes
    • Processing memberships for athletes
    • Processing retail transactions
    • Helping with inventory management of retail items and in house supplies
    • Customer facing operations including events, PR boards, etc.
    • Social media content contributor