February 2024 – Keith Laughner

Tell us about yourself:

Grew up in Erie, PA. I joined the Marines after high school and was assigned Camp Pendleton, CA, as my primary duty station. Been here ever since. I have three daughters: Sierra (21), Kennedy (2.5), and Jordyn (2 months). I was recently married on April 8th to my beautiful wife, Sarah. We were married at the Santa Barbara Zoo. I moved to Ventura a couple of years ago after living in Santa Barbara for the previous twenty (I raised my oldest daughter there). I’m a huge Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates fan (I grew up in Western, PA; it’s like religion).

What do you do for a job?

I currently run a sales team that sells AI & Machine Learning software to large enterprises—been doing that for the last ten years or so. Before that, I spent 15 years as a manager at the pretty popular grocery chain, Trader Joe’s.

Tell us something people might not know about you:

I was a former combat swimmer and sniper in the US Marine Corps. Went to BootCamp at Parris Island, SC, infantry school in NC, and then stationed here in CA.

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

I love to compete. After I started having kids, I realized that my playing days were ending, and CrossFit was a perfect substitute for that. I need to have goals and things to work on. CrossFit is always challenging me and keeping me humble.

What was your first impression? How has that changed?

I remember coming into it thinking about how, generally, CrossFitters are running around looking to thrash and hurt themselves. What I found is that it’s the exact opposite. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen people do some pretty crazy things, but overall, it’s all about form and doing the movement to elicit long-term health. There is absolutely no better workout available. Not to mention, the community is second to none.

What was your first “bright spot”?

Hitting my first muscle-up. I always say, “When the good lord created gymnasts, he didn’t have me in mind.” Being able to do some gymnastics moves has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, and I love that.

What are you working on now?

Mostly just getting myself back to an acceptable baseline. I just had a new baby, so my attendance has been spotty for the last few months. My goal this year is consistency and building from there.

What’s your favorite Beachside Crossfit memory?

I LOVED my previous gym. I was so skeptical that anything would ever live up to it, but I remember walking into the 4:30 PM class for the first time, seeing the buzz, meeting Nate, Jess, and Kai, and thinking to myself, “Yeah, I can dig this energy.” From that point, there was no need to look at anything else. It’s been a great couple of years.