Member Stories

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Our 10 Principles for Member Success

It’s that time of year again, where we look back at our challenges, lessons, and accomplishments of the last year, and then look ahead at where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. I hope the following list of principles for success at SRSC are meaningful and helpful for you as you continue in your training and on your journey to live a healthier and happier life.

If you need any help fleshing out your goals and defining your ‘why’ please holler. You HAVE to know why you’re training for it to provide any sense of achievement or success. I’m happy to help you nail that down.


Bradbury Quote

10 Principles for Member Success at SRSC

#1 Remember Your Why

You joined SRSC to be better in some way. Visualize what you want and who you want to be. Create mantras to remember your ‘why.’ Speak positive words to yourself.

#2 Show Up

Prioritize your training. Schedule it in your calendar so nothing else can get in the way. If this is important to you, you need to make the time.

#3 Focus on Form First

Proper body positions must be second nature before intensity, load, and speed are added to the equation. Impatience in this process results in injury and burnout, whereas perfect form lays the foundation for long term success in health and baddassery.

#4 Use the Expertise and Experience of our Coaches

Our coaches know what they’re talking about, they care about your progress, and they are here to teach you what you need to do to meet your goals. Follow their instructions. And if you every need extra help or guidance, please ask for it. We are here for you.

#5 Eat Real Food

It’s simple: eat high quality meat, seafood and eggs, plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, and healthy sources of dietary fats. If you want to change your body composition, health, or athletic performance, you have to address nutrition.

#6 Spend Time on Recovery Work

Your body doesn’t get fitter during training; it gets fitter through the process of recovering from and adapting to training. Recovery work includes: resting, eating well, getting bodywork, doing mobility and flexibility work, spending time outside, and playing.

#7 Get Comfortable with Uncomfortable

Rise to the challenge of the task and show yourself what you’re truly capable of. You can do whatever you decide you can do.

#8 Try to be better than you were, not better than anyone else

Get your ego out of the equation and stop comparing yourself to anyone else. You are here to be a better version of YOURSELF.

#9 Have Fun

Enjoy the process, not just the results, and acknowledge your accomplishments on the way.

#10 Remember this is a Lifelong Journey

There are no shortcuts or magic pills. You just need to take one step forward at a time. Be patient and know that you can achieve your goals with a long-term outlook.

Which of these principles resonates most for you at this point in your journey?



by × December 2, 2014 ×

Free Saturday Workout + CrossFit Total + Paleo Potluck

All on Saturday, November 8th!

BAFD sandbags drop shadowFree Saturday Workout and Bring a Friend Day 8:45-10am

Our Free Saturday Workout is open to the public, and members, you may bring as many friends as you like. Guests can pre-register here.

If you are a guest, please arrive by 8:45 a.m. to register, meet the coach and other members of our staff, and then get yourself ready to move, sweat, and meet some new people!

The class runs for about an hour and includes a warm up, instruction and practice in movements, a fun and challenging high-intensity workout, and a cool-down and stretching period.

No experience necessary. We can and will modify the exercises for you if necessary. Please bring a water bottle, and wear athletic clothing and shoes in which you can comfortably run, jump, climb, push, pull and lift.


The CrossFit Total (CFT) 10 am-12 pm

The CrossFit Total (CFT) was developed by Mark Rippetoe, the brilliant – and comedic – strength coach. In a December 2006 CrossFit Journal article (click here for a free download) he explains, “The CrossFit Total is the sum of the best of three attempts at the squat, the press, and the deadlift, the three most effective lifts in existence for developing and testing functional strength.”

But this isn’t just a regular day of finding a 1RM. It’s a competition-style format where you will make your attempts ‘on the platform’ and be required to meet the movement standards of each lift for it to count. Again, here’s the free article to get the details of how this works. CFT

“After a warm-up, the squat will be performed first. Some squatting with the empty bar should have been included in the general warm-up so that the knees, hips, back, and shoulders are not too terribly surprised. Anyone in a position to attempt a legitimate CrossFit Total should be familiar enough with their capabilities on the lifts to have a fairly good idea of just what might be possible for a one-rep max (1RM). This number is what you warm up intending to do.”

“The first attempt would be a weight you know you can do for a heavy set of three. The second attempt would be a weight you know without any doubt that you could do for a single, having just done the first attempt. And the third attempt is the weight you want to do, based on your performance in the previous two attempts.”

“If you don’t have a damn good idea of what you can do for a heavy triple, you don’t need to be doing a CrossFit Total yet.”

So if you’re one of our newer members and haven’t yet trained these lifts for any substantial amount of time or through full training cycles, it’s not the right time for you to try this. But we’d still love to have you there to support, load, judge, spot or cheer for the participants!

And of course, the CFT will be followed by…


Paleo Potluck and Pre-Thanksgiving Gathering 12-1 pm

paleo potluckAll members are invited! Friends and family are welcome too! Let’s eat!

Please bring a grain-free, dairy-free dish or drink to share, and include a little piece of paper with the ingredient list to go with your dish, as a large number of people will be in the middle of a strict 30 Day Reset/Whole30 and are choosing and avoiding specific foods.

There will be a sign-up sheet at the gym, so please get your name on there and come! If you can, bring your own eatingware and utensils.






by × October 30, 2014 ×

Member Story: Sarah Rives Gray

Sarag RG
My husband, Tyler, and I recently celebrated our 3-year wedding anniversary. We like to review our ‘bests and worsts’ during life transitions and decided to do the same for our preceding year of marriage (while drinking wine and eating oysters).   To my surprise, despite all of the camping trips and adventures we have had together this year Tyler mentioned that his ‘best’ has been my participation in Crossfit at Santa Rosa Strength and Conditioning. I come home a happier person. It feels good to have finally found a fitness home where I can slowly work on skills and see noticeable improvements. I can do double unders! I just learned how to snatch! A strict pullup!

“It feels good to have finally found a fitness home where I can slowly work on skills and see noticeable improvements. I can do double unders! I just learned how to snatch! A strict pullup!”

Growing up I played soccer with rec leagues and co-ed teams. I played tennis with my mom, did basketball camps and joined a lacrosse team. I stood out on all of these teams because of my speed, so in high school I joined the cross country and track teams, participating in mostly long-distance events, but also the hurdles, and pole vault. An elective weightlifting class during high school gave me the taste of how exciting strength training could be. I didn’t spend much time with weights again until a summer in Mexico during grad school when I lived down the street from a tiny gym and started going every day. I wasn’t running, but at the end of that summer was able to complete my first half marathon. I was astounded that I felt and performed better than I had when regularly running.

Sarah RV and hubbyAfter grad school I joined the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. For two years I lived in a small town on the border of Haiti and had to find a way to exercise, mostly for my mental health. I would run along the road, the first 200 meters or so always followed by a pack of children. I learned how to use my bedframe to do dips and taught my host family’s kids how to plank. I stayed in the Dominican Republic after finding a very satisfying and challenging job in a public hospital and I continued to maintain the same workout routine of running 2-6 miles a few days a week.

It was towards the end of my five years in the Dominican Republic that I started having terrible bouts of abdominal pain. Assuming my symptoms were from some sort of parasite or tropical disease it took over a year to finally be diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune condition that affects the intestines.   At that time I was living in New York City studying nursing. The abdominal pain flared up frequently, which I tried to control with medications. It put a big damper on my social life and my energy level.   Around the same time I dislocated and fractured my knee playing soccer and essentially didn’t exercise for a year. Luckily, however, I had married a runner and he encouraged me to get back into it. I eventually signed up for races and completed a few more half marathons.

In 2012 Tyler matched at the Santa Rosa family medicine residency and we moved west. Neither of us have family in California, but it is like a playground for nature-lovers. We started running in a winter trail group, but my knee pain and difficulty motivating myself to run during the rest of the year made me want to get back into strength training.   A few fellow high school athletes were posting a lot about Crossfit on Facebook and I had always been intrigued by the idea of doing this type of workout.

“I LOVE Foundations. I loved it even more when I started seeing certain movements repeated again and again. I could really start seeing myself progressing.”

I signed up at Santa Rosa Strength and Conditioning and fell in love with the movements, endless learning potential and immediate changes I saw in my body. On my first day Joanna pulled me aside since I had noted my Crohn’s diagnosis on a new member form. She told me about the paleo diet and recommended a few books to learn more about the evidence. I’m an evidence kind of person. What I had been doing wasn’t working well and the least I could do was give paleo a shot for 30 days while logging everything I ate as well as my symptoms.   It was a tough shift, especially breakfast! No toast? No oatmeal? But I couldn’t deny the way I felt at the end of those 30 days. I hadn’t had any of the flares of pain that used to keep me laid up in bed for 24 hours. That was June 2013 and I’ve been trying to stick to the paleo diet since (it’s tough not to eat cheese).

I was two months into Crossfitting and I had recently started a new job as a fresh-out-of-school nurse practitioner at Petaluma Health Center, a busy community clinic. I became totally overwhelmed with my new job, having to stay late to finish my notes. It was becoming more stressful to think about my poor participation in Crossfit than it was beneficial on the days I was able to make it to class. I put my membership on hold and eventually cancelled it. I became consumed by my job. I often arrived home in tears, grumpy and exhausted. I heard over and over again from my colleagues that the 1st year out of school was the worst but I wasn’t prepared for it to take a toll on my body and my marriage.

Finally, after almost a year on the job I decided I had to return to Santa Rosa Strength and Conditioning. I started back slowly, having to prove to myself that I could make room in my schedule for exercise.

I LOVE Foundations. I loved it even more when I started seeing certain movements repeated again and again. I could really start seeing myself progressing. I was hooked and figured out a schedule that would allow me to increase to an unlimited membership. I sat down with Pasha and decided to add on Strength classes twice a week in addition to Foundations. On many days on my way home from work when deciding whether to get off at the exit to take me to SRSC or the exit to take me home I would hear Pasha’s voice asking me “What is your commitment to your fitness?” Once in the door and warming up I was always so glad I had chosen fitness. My initial goal was to run without knee pain. I’m not sure that will ever be possible, but my new goals are small and simple. Show up. Learn new skills. Keep getting better.


by × October 13, 2014 ×

The 2014 Fall Health Transformation Challenge

Click on the picture for more info.
Registration deadline is Saturday, October 11thFHTC



by × October 1, 2014 ×