Tell us about yourself:
Before I say anything about myself, I have to say thank you to the team at BeachSide CrossFit. The impact you have had on my life and countless others should be celebrated. In the sincerest way I can communicate, thank you for everything. Special shout out to Coach Jess, I really appreciate you!
Ok so…… I am proud to say I was born and raised in California. My childhood was awesome. I have one sister Bree who is an absolute rock star, and incredible parents who were married for more than 35 years until my dad passed away in 2012. We were not wealthy, but I felt like I had everything. I spent most of my days outside building treehouses, playing in the orange groves, and riding dirt bikes. I grew up in a family that owned a marketing and special event production business, which foundationally provided the framework for who I am today. Producing large themed music festivals and destination marketing were our specialties. Later, I moved to Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) where I was living an incredible life. After several years in DTLA, I made a huge life changing decision to move to Ventura County Coast. Now my office is in Ventura (close to the Ventura Pier), and I live in Camarillo.
The most important aspects of my life include my girlfriend Michelle (we have had ups and downs, but we are no doubt… forever “Attached”), mom Barbara, sister Bree, little niece Bodhi, brother-in-law Dave, my career and living a positive, healthy, functional life.
What do you do for a job?
I am President & CEO of the Ventura County Lodging Association, also known as Ventura County Coast. If we ever have a conversation about what I do, I guarantee you will immediately understand the passion I have for my career. If I am being honest, I don’t feel like I’ve ever had a “job,” in the traditional sense of the word. I look at what I do as more of a lifestyle than a job. Essentially, everything I do for work is the same things I do for fun, so it has always been easy to blur the lines between my personal and professional life. Feel free to check us out on social @venturacountycoast or visit our website at www.venturacountycoast.com and you will see what I mean.
Tell us something people might not know about you:
Now that CrossFit is a HUGE part of my life, I have been secretly watching CrossFit satire and parody videos. Just Google it and you will see what I mean, hilarious!! On a more personal note, I have an extremely tough time with needles, like going to the doctor for blood work. I typically tend to pass out. When I say typically, I mean always. If anyone has tips on how I can get over this fear, please let me know.
What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?
As mentioned earlier, I moved to Ventura County Coast four years ago, completely leaving the life I had created in Southern California. A sincere thank you to my girlfriend Michelle for having my back during that transition. I had an amazing career, connections, and overall incredible quality of life; however, I was missing a sense of community outside of the office. I have always been very dedicated and passionate about working out, and while extremely intimidated by CrossFit, I decided to put myself out there and try something new. My goals included trying something outside of my comfort zone, get really really fit and become part of a community outside of my professional life.
What gave me the confidence to take the first step was actually reading the Athlete of the Month profiles at https://www.beachsidecrossfit.com/aotm This provided a firsthand account from real, authentic people just like me. I hope I can inspire someone reading this right now to also take the first step.
What was your first impression? How has that changed?
Plain and simple, first impression = completely intimidated, scared to death, and thought there is absolutely no way I could do any of what I was seeing…….. that is until I reached out to the team at BeachSide. Thinking about how to respond to this question I went back to the review I wrote a few months after I started. I said “Lucky for me I reached out to the team at BeachSide via their website and received a response from Mee Lee almost immediately. She set me up with an introductory meeting where I met with Nathan and had a great conversation about the culture of BeachSide, their process, my goals and life in general. Amazing vibe from the second I walked in the door.” Nate told me during our initial conversation that I could trust what he was saying. I really connected with the passion in his voice and saw the honesty in his eyes, so I signed up. Simple as that.
How have things changed… well, now I feel like Nate when I am talking about health, fitness, and the bigger picture of how CrossFit can help you achieve your goals inside and outside of the gym. I also didn’t realize I would be learning another language with all the CrossFit specific lingo and acronyms, pretty cool for sure.
I genuinely believe joining the BeachSide community is easily one of the top five best things I have ever done for myself. Now, to anyone that will listen, I try to communicate how it has positively impacted my life hoping to help others achieve something similar.
Truth is, it’s hard, it’s actually very hard, but you are not alone. All the coaches are amazing, all the workouts are scalable, and the community will support you no matter how fit you are. I have been lucky to know and work with a remarkably diverse group of people over my lifetime, and I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever been part of a community this amazing. I am not talking about being fit, I am talking about the people at their core. There is something incredibly special about this place and if you are reading this, I implore you to just walk through the door. If you do and it’s around 5:30 pm you will probably see me walking up to say hi.
What was your first “bright spot”?
While there are many bright spots, the one that immediately comes to mind was hitting my first toes-to-bar (TTB). I remember very clearly doing a workout of the day (WOD) that included Burpee + TTB. Super fit Art Luna was to my left doing the workout as well and for some reason it just clicked that day. I could see him right next to me crushing it and that pushed me to get one, then two and three, before I knew it, I had done the entire workout.
There have been so many bright spots I would need to hire one of my accountant friends from the gym or create an Excel spreadsheet to count them all. On that note, one of my favorite things about BeachSide is not necessarily my personal “bright spots” but seeing others achieve something they did not think they could do. Come check it out for yourself, you can literally feel the energy in the room when someone hits a new personal record (PR) or achieves something they never thought they could.
What are you working on now?
Crazy to think, when I first started, I could hardly do anything. Now thanks to the incredible coaching, community, and consistent training, I do have goals and things I am strategically trying to improve.
In the next year, my goals include being able to consistently do bar muscle-ups (BMU), ring muscle-ups (RMU) and handstand walks (HSW).
What’s your favorite Beachside CrossFit memory?
Every time I walk in the gym is my new favorite memory, so for me, it’s basically impossible to have only one. I have to say, seeing everyone continue to improve physically, mentally, and socially is a big part of what keeps me coming back.
I can probably tell you a specific story about most of the people in the gym, about how WHAT THEY have accomplished has directly inspired me. Specifically, our awesome 5:30 pm crew. Shout out to 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm as well. Added bonus, on Saturdays and at other BeachSide events there are opportunities for all the members of the community to come together, who due to schedules would not otherwise have a chance to connect.
If you are reading this and not already doing CrossFit or some form of functional fitness, I hope you take the first step now.
The formula is so simple, just show up and you will see for yourself. I can say now, from my own firsthand experience…….. it is all Good Vibes and positive growth right here in Ventura County Coast at BeachSide CrossFit.