Sunday, August 29, 2010

CrossFit West Santa Cruz

...It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of something that you really believe in. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be working with people I truly believe in, and for something I truly believe in. CrossFit West Santa Cruz is really an amazing place. ...The coaching, ...the programming, ...the blog, ...the devotion to the clients, ...the CrossFit West community itself, ...everything. There is definitely a commitment to excellence that shows in everything they do here. ...And I do not say that lightly. I’ve been coaching for close to 15 years. I came up under Greg “Coach” Glassman and was mentored by the man himself. Glassman’s commitment to excellence, attention to detail, and devotion to his clients was unparalleled. ...I learned many a valuable lesson from that man and I am forever grateful.

I truly feel that we have some of the best coaches (and owners) around. The coaches here are amazing. They are great at what they do. I have quietly observed them for a long time, they coach, they interact with each other, they engage the clients, etc, and they have each impressed me on many levels. They are constantly studying and honing their craft, always striving to better themselves as coaches. They have each developed an outstanding “eye”, catching the smallest details, even in advanced lifters. They’ve each developed a profound understanding of efficacious programming. I love the fact that every coach here is willing, and able, to develop great programming for clients based on the clients needs and goals, such as understanding what sport they play and at what point of the season they are in, or if the client is injured in some way and needs modified, yet effective, programming. I feel this speaks not only to the coaches abilities, but to the overall approach, mindset and motivation behind everyone here. It’s an insight into the greater vision that is CrossFit West.

What I really love, is that every coach and owner here is absolutely devoted to the clients, every bit as devoted as I am. ...I can’t tell you how good it feels to be working with people like that. It’s quite refreshing, really. I would, in a heart beat, tell my sister, father or best friends to train with any of the coaches here, and I would feel totally comfortable doing so. I know they would be in good hands. ...I’ve had several friends, clients and people ask me “when do you run classes at CrossFit West?” and my reply is simply, ...”It doesn’t matter when I run classes.--Every coach here is amazing.” ...And that’s how I honestly feel. Anyone who has ever worked with me knows my style of coaching and knows how devoted I am to my clients and to anyone I have the opportunity to work with. ...Well, the coaches here very much remind me of myself in that way. It is such a great feeling to be working with people like that. ...Genuinely devoted and extremely capable.

Last I heard, there was 2000 or so CrossFit Affiliates, and just as many CrossFit websites/blogs. I most definitely have not seen them all, (nor will I ever even endeavor to do so). I have, however, looked at a few hundred over the years, and there are several I check regularly. There are some great blogs out there. CrossFit West Santa Cruz is most definitely one of them. I feel Sam, Jocelyn and Cliff have produced one of the best CrossFit blogs around. Their commitment to excellence can easily be seen when looking at the quality and consistency of their blog. It is very clear the level of care and thought that they each put into their posts. The guest writers and contributors to the blog are every bit as good. Their posts are just as insightful and inspiring and are written with an equal amount of care and thought. I love it.

The overall attitude of everyone here is so uplifting, positive and pure of heart. It’s genuine. It’s wonderful, and I love being a part of it. It’s just a great place to be. The community that has been developed here at CrossFit West Santa Cruz is outstanding. Forged through a commitment to excellence and devotion to the clients, the strength of camaraderie amongst the CrossFit West community is empowering. I love the community events that we do, such as the “Paleo Potlucks”, and how the entire CrossFit West community get’s together for such gatherings. The yearly party’s with, and for, all of the clients are always great fun too. ;)

Since I started coaching here, there has been many many things that I have loved about CrossFit West and that have made me proud to be a part of it.

...Now, ...Sam Radetski, Cliff Hodges, Jocelyn Forest and CrossFit West Santa Cruz, along with John Van Every and CrossFit Longevity, offers to it’s amazing and loyal clientele, and to the entire Santa Cruz County CrossFit community, a brand new, world class CrossFit Strength and Conditioning facility. The new CrossFit West is a facility like nothing you've ever seen. At 10,000 sq ft, it is the largest CrossFit that has ever been built. With 14 Olympic Weightlifting platforms, well spaced, and the all-new Rogue Fitness SPX pullup/squat-rack systems, the Santa Cruz CrossFit community finally has a world-class gym that is worthy of this town - the birthplace of CrossFit. Complete with new Prowlers, a Heavy-Bag, New OD-Green Rogue Fitness Sand-Bags (the same ones used in the 2010 CrossFit Games), New OD-Green “Slam” Balls, an awesome kids area, and 4 indoor sprinting lanes made from the same high quality Artificial Football Turf as used in the NFL. ...And there is still more to come! :) ...The new CrossFit-West/CrossFit Longevity facility will prove to be an outstanding place to train.

Even with it's size, CrossFit West remains absolutely dedicated to our clients and the community we've developed, which is why we are also offering amenities that no other gym has: an awesome gated children's play area, two showers, and a front desk with an all-paleo snack bar and drink counter.

This is an amazing new chapter in the life of CrossFit West Santa Cruz. We are all very excited for the future and we will continue to give you the best quality and care in service that you have all come to know and expect.

Thank you Sam Radetski, Jocelyn Forest, Cliff Hodges, John Van Every and Kyle Haynes for this amazing new facility!

Thank you to all the amazing and loyal CrossFit West Santa Cruz clients who made it possible. This facility is for you! :)

I strongly encourage everyone to come by and check us out! Stop by for a free class, any class! :)

For anyone who would like to train with me or is trying to get ahold of me:

I train solely at CrossFit West Santa Cruz now.

My phone numbers are;

(831) 359-6609

(831) 254-0426

My email is

I run classes at CrossFit West Santa Cruz, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, at 6:00 am and 7:00 am, and on Friday afternoons at 5:00 and 6:00 pm, though I’ll be at the gym pretty much all day, every day.

ALSO, I will be CO-Instructing in almost every class for the next three months!--Especially the afternoon classes! :) I would LOVE to see you there!!! :)


Saturday, August 21, 2010

I’ve thought a lot about whether to do a post on this subject or not. I am choosing to do so in order to clear up any misunderstandings that clients may have as to why I left NSC, as well as to give “my side of the story” and clear my name, since I’ve been accused of lying. This will be the one and only time I speak on this subject publicly. After this post, I’ll never address the subject again. I have much much more important things to do and projects that require my attention and energy.
...There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding my departure from CrossFit North Santa Cruz.
Just so there is no misunderstanding, I was definitely not “asked to leave” NSC or “forced to resign”. ...However, nor did I simply just “leave to pursue other opportunities”.
I left of my own free will and volition, as a direct and immediate response to what I was told during a private meeting with one of the owners as to his feelings about me as a coach and a person. I most definitely quit.
I was told, directly to my face;
“You want to know how I really feel? Generally speaking, you really offer nothing to the clients as a coach, and I think you really have no business even being on the floor. Yeah, occasionally, if the workout suits you or interests you, then yeah, you may step up & get involved and coach a bit. Otherwise, I think you really offer the clients nothing as a coach. And that’s how I really feel. ...Are we clear?!”
That is what I was told. I did not misconstrue the message. I did not take it out of context. It was very direct, and it was very clear. It was said with contempt. It was said with malice. It was said with conviction. He even closed with, “Are we clear?!”.
I could not continue to work for, or with, someone who actually thinks that about me as a coach or a person. Period. I have spent the last 15 years of my life absolutely devoted to my clients and to everyone I have the opportunity to work with. It is my commitment and devotion to my clients that fuels my existence. One of the biggest driving forces in my life and my primary objectives in life is to help and empower as many people as I can. That is how I live my life. ...He was directly attacking my credibility and character and was discounting everything I’ve done as a coach for the last 15 years of my life. At what point do you not stand up for yourself anymore?
I know his comment was absolutely untrue, but it still pissed me off. He said it with conviction and purpose, as though, either; ...a.), That’s honestly how he felt (for which I give him props for actually having the balls to say it to my face), ...b.), He just said it out of anger and wanted to elicit a reaction out of me, (for which he did), or ...c.), I slept with his ex-girlfriend and he found out about it. (...Things happen.)
This was, however, a private conversation between myself and only one owner of CFNSC. Thus, logically, I know and fully understand that what this individual feels about me as either a coach or a person does not necessarily accurately reflect the consensus of the rest of the ownership or management team at NSC. Even with that being so, I could not continue to work for him, and so I quit.
One of the only reasons I am bothering to write this post is because since all of this occurred, this same individual is denying that it ever happened and telling people that I am making false accusations about him. He is saying that I am lying about the whole thing. Hearing this only strengthens my resolve as far as my decision to leave. And yes, it kind of pisses me off. Again he is attacking my credibility and character. ...If you are going to have the balls to say something like that to someone’s face, then I would think you would have the balls to stand buy it. If you think I’m an asshole when other people don’t, then stand by your convictions and tell them why you think I’m an asshole. ...I really don’t understand it. But whatever. So be it, I guess.
If you are a client of NSC, and are reading this, I hope you know and understand that I did not abandon you. I stayed for as long as I could. But after being told such a thing to my face, I just couldn’t continue to work there and still retain any self respect or look myself in the mirror every day. To put it bluntly, it was simply “the last straw”.
Long ago when I was considering leaving NSC, it was Randy Reynolds & Craig Parks, (who are now both co-owners), along with many of the regular clientele, who asked me to stay and try to make it a better place. I remember hearing the words, “Please don’t abandon us, Jason.” Those words resonated deep within me, and so I stayed. That memory sticks with me to this day. ...I hope you don’t feel that I abandoned you. I did not.
It was you, the clients, and my devotion to you that fueled my enthusiasm when I was on the floor and was why I stayed at NSC for as long as I did. It was my regular engagement with each of you that compelled me to stay. You have all been a very important and beloved part of my life, and I really do miss all of you dearly. I am certainly truly grateful that I had the opportunity to coach each and every one of you and get to know you as individuals. You have all touched my life deeply and helped me grow as both a coach, and as a person. I am forever grateful for that, well as for NSC in even providing me that opportunity to begin with.
...Regardless of whatever disagreements that have occurred between myself and NSC, I think everyone who is currently a part of CFNSC ownership and management, ...even the one whom I had the private conversation with that initiated my departure, wants to see their gym and the community for which it serves, and for which support it, grow into the vision that we all had of what CFNSC could be. I was a part of CFNSC from it’s inception and I am sincerely grateful to have been provided that opportunity so many years ago.
I truly feel that Craig Parks, Randy Reynolds and Helen Cavender buying in to CrossFit North Santa Cruz has been a Godsend for that establishment. Not only have they each contributed a significant amount of money towards the betterment of the business and facility, but they have each contributed countless hours of their time and energy, working incessantly towards their endeavor of making CFNSC a better experience for everyone involved, especially the clients. I know they will continue to do so until the greater vision of what we all know CFNSC could be comes to fruition.
While this is not an ideal situation for anyone involved, I liken it to that of a painful breakup. Initially, it is very difficult for all parties involved. However, through time, both parties come to the realization that while it was a difficult, or even painful, experience to go through, the transition ultimately proves to be a very healthy and positive change for all parties involved. I honestly feel that everyone will grow from this, even myself.
Through the difficult transition of my departure, I encourage you and everyone within the CFNSC community, the clients, to pull together and find strength in each other. ...After all, it is the CFNSC community,, ...the clients, that truly make CrossFit North Santa Cruz a beautiful place.
Jason “J-Dog” Highbarger