I started coaching at CrossFit Roots in August of 2010. We were in a small location of 1500’ish square feet and ran a similar schedule to what you see now, but with one class at a time only, and usually capped at 6-8 athletes. Other than Oly and Strength with Ryan, Nicole and I coached all the classes. We had one restroom with one toilet that we shared with the hair salon and dispensary next door. The dispensary also shared its skunk marijuana smell with us every time they received a fresh shipment. Handstand push-ups were done with one’s feet in the window sill and if you think the GHD’s we have now are scary, you should have seen the two shade-tree versions we had then! Runs were completed around the block of 8th and Pearl and involved running by smoking transients hanging-out outside of Lolita’s Market. To say things have changed a bit is an understatement.

We didn’t have a sweet audio setup then so tunes were usually played through an iPod dock with whatever songs the Coach had on their phone or iPod. Luckily for the ladies in my first ever 5:30am class all I had was Eminem’s new album on my iPod. Here was some young guy they barely knew who they were trusting with their fitness and movement and meanwhile Eminem was blaring some pretty obscene remarks in the background. It was a little awkward, but we made it! Over time Roots continued to grow and I continued to build a new network of friends. A network of friends that challenged me in ways I never dreamt of and that I couldn’t be more thankful for now. To say that I’ve changed a bit is also an understatement.

While helping you all increase work capacity you all were helping me increase my capacity in patience, compassion, empathy and grace. I know some of you are probably laughing at that last statement, but just know that I’m WAY better in all of these areas now than I ever was in the past because of each of you (and yes, I know I still have much further to go). Not only has everyone at Roots helped me become a better human you all also stepped-up and helped me and Ari out in times that were very trying, and there is no doubt in my mind that the support we received had a huge impact on my successful recovery, so again I thank you all!

A successful affiliate is not only its members though, and the staff at Roots has also influenced me heavily and for the better. Nicole and Eric have created a Roots culture that you can’t ever fully appreciate until you spend some time at other affiliates. I have learned more about how to create such a culture and run a successful business from those two than any college education could provide. I am forever in-debt to you both for showing me the value of professionalism, consistency and patience, and having confidence enough in me in the early years to give me this opportunity. I also owe a Thank You to all the Coaches: Ali, Castro, Cody, Covey, Dave, Kirk, Lauren, Ryan and Trevor. You each have your own special gift that has washed over me and wether it be from helping you or receiving help from you I have gained tremendously.

This is the closing of one chapter so that another can be opened. Ari and I will miss everyone like missing the comfort of one’s own home, but we’re also very excited to see what the future has in store. Many things are up in the air for us at the moment but as a testament to CrossFit we’re not scared of a little unknown and unknowable. We’d love to keep in touch with any and all interested so I’ve included my personal email at the bottom as well as my Instagram account (I don’t have Facebook, but Ari does).


Email: shaneupchurch@gmail.com
Instagram: @ShaneUp