Coaches & Staff

We are proud of our coaching staff.  CrossFit Roots is the only affiliate in Boulder with certified CrossFit coaches who possess Level 3 and Level 4 coaching credentials.

NICOLE – Owner // Director // Head Coach // CrossFit Headquarters Seminar Staff

Nicole Christensen started CrossFit Roots out of her one-car garage in 2008.  Since that time she, and her husband Eric, have grown Roots into a 10,000 square foot facility with an accomplished and passionate team of 8 full-time coaches and staff.  Nicole earned her CrossFit Level 4 Certification in 2014 and is one of only 52 individuals world wide to hold this distinction.  In 2009 she was hired to the CrossFit Headquarters traveling Seminar Staff.  She is now a flowmaster for the CrossFit Level 1 and CrossFit Level 2 Certificate Courses and travels around the world to teach and coach CrossFit.  She has an extensive competitive background and has competed in 5 of the last 6 regionals (she was pregnant in 2012), placing in the top ten in four out of five years.  Her passion for coaching comes from a deep-seated belief that every individual has the potential to thrive through CrossFit and a love for the art and science of the coaching profession.

Coaching Credentials Certified CrossFit Coach (CCFC / CF-L4).
CrossFit Headquarters Seminar Staff for the Level 1 and Level 2 Course. CrossFit Level 1, 2, 3, 4. CrossFit Kids. USAW Club Coach.

Hometown Alexandria, VA
Education University of Colorado – B.S., University of Pennsylvania – M.C.P.
Athletic Background college swimming, softball, triathlon, distance running, backpacking and hiking, skiing

ERIC – Owner // Coach

Coaching Credentials  Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3)
CrossFit L-I, CrossFit L-2, CCFT, and CrossFit Kids.  USAW Club Coach.

Hometown Portland, OR
Education Oregon State University – B.S.
Athletic Background Wrestling, Muai Thai Boxing, Mountain biking, Snowboarding, Skiing

RYAN –  Coach // Olympic Weightlifting Program

Ryan Landis began his love of weightlifting in the summer of 1985.  Since then he has trained and competed in powerlifting, strongman and Olympic style weightlifting.  Ryan was a shotputter on the Collegiate Track Club at Northern Illinois University. He won his class at the 2002 Deadlift Nationals and has placed at the top in many weightlifting competitions.

Before coming to Roots, Ryan was the head strength coach at Boulder High School and Lyons High School working with the football and track and field teams as well as being a throws coach.

At Roots, Ryan works as the strength and weightlifting coach and heads up the USAW Roots Weightlifting Club as well as the Vitality program for 55+ year old individuals.

His motto is: Attack Heavy Weights Fearlessly!

Coaching Credentials CrossFit Level 2 (CF-L2)
C.S.C.S. USAW Advanced Coach, CrossFit Level I, CrossFit Coaches Prep and CrossFit Kids

Hometown Morton, IL
Education Northern Illinois University – B.S. in Exercise Science
Athletic Background Football, Track and Field, Weightlifting (powerlifting, weightlifting and strongman), disc golf, camping/hiking

SHANE – Coach // Sports Massage Therapist // CrossFit Endurance Coach

Shane Upchurch began CrossFitting 7 years ago. At the time, he was a mechanical engineer on a professional race car team with very little athleticism.  CrossFit gave him health, confidence, and a level of fitness he had never been able to achieve before.  It wasn’t long before he decided that sharing that experience with others was his new passion in life.

Shane, originally from Atlanta, moved to Boulder in 2010 and began coaching at Roots.  Since then he has also earned a certificate degree in massage therapy, graduating top of his class.  In addition to being a Head Coach at Roots he also manages his sports massage therapy office at Roots, Boulder Performance Therapy.

Combining his knowledge of mechanics, CrossFit, and massage he has successfully helped many injured athletes return to their chosen activity.  His passion for mobility helps him teach athletes how to prevent injury.  Shane is also well versed in Paleo and Zone nutrition and has helped many athletes improve their fitness and health markers through food.

Shane has his Level 1 certificate in CrossFit, he has completed the CrossFit Coaches Prep Course, he has a certificate degree in Massage Therapy.  He has a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and he continuously adds to his education through seminars and self-guided study.  He is motivated by the enthusiasm and never-ending capabilities of “everyday” athletes.

Coaching Credentials Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3)
Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), CrossFit L-1, CrossFit L-2, CCFT, USAW Sports Performance Coach, Nutrition Certification, Mobility Certification

Hometown Locust Grove, GA
Education B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. Massage Therapist Certificate from Boulder College of Massage Therapy
Athletic Background Football, baseball, wrestling, tennis. Raced cars through high school. Now enjoy hiking, climbing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, the occasional CF competition

STEFANIE – Business Operations Manager

Stefanie Christensen first tried CrossFit in 2009 when her brother and soon to be sister-in-law (Eric & Nicole — if the name didn’t give it away) gave her a call and told her she should check out this thing called CrossFit.  At the time, she was living in California and called around that week to find an affiliate close to her, went in, and was hooked from the first day.  Never a competitive athlete, she had spent years at big box gyms trying to figure out what to do on her own, jumping headfirst into the latest best selling diets and seeing minimal results from her efforts.  CrossFit gave her the fitness and confidence to try activities she would not have put herself out there to do in the past, including competitive Outrigger Racing.

In the meantime, Eric and Nicole had started a successful affiliate in Boulder (If you guessed Roots, you are paying attention) and were looking for some help as they expanded.  With a background in merchandising management and business and a passion for CrossFit, it was a perfect fit.  In early 2010, Stefanie completed her CrossFit Level 1 Course and made the move to Boulder.  Since then, she has also completed the CrossFit Kids Certificate Course and has worked closely with athletes on nutrition challenges.  Her passion for CrossFit comes from the idea that anyone who is willing to work hard and stick with it can do it and see measurable results.  She considers herself fortunate every day to work with the amazing community of athletes and coaches at Roots.

Coaching Credentials  CrossFit Level I (CF-L1)
CrossFit Kids

Hometown Gresham, OR
Education BS in Merchandising Management, Minor in Business from Oregon State University (2003), Mind Body University (2011)
Athletic Background Competitive outrigger racing

ALISON – Coach // Women’s Only CrossFit Program // CrossFit Endurance Coach

Ali Minton began participating in and coaching CrossFit in 2010 when her then roommate opened CrossFit Southie in Boston, MA.  Her career in health and fitness started years prior as an Integrative Physiology student at CU Boulder, where she graduated with a BA in 2007.  She then completed her Master’s in Clinical Exercise Physiology at Northeastern University in Boston, MA in 2009.

As a graduate student, Ali became an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist (ACSM HFS) and worked as a personal trainer, participated in exercise at altitude research with the US Army, worked in a cardiac stress lab and also in out-patient cardiac rehabilitation.  Much of her clinical experience was based on working with patients who were already suffering from cardio-pulmonary and other diseases, oftentimes directly related to one’s lifestyle.

From 2009-2011 she held the position of Fitness Director at an independent living community for older adults, teaching them that one is never too old to benefit from exercise.  In late 2010, she completed her CrossFit Level 1 course and began interning at CrossFit Southie, while in the meantime applying CrossFit methodology to clients of all ages and health levels.  At this point, Ali began her shift towards working with a mostly healthy population, focusing on the crucial role that fitness has in health, wellness and longevity.

She made the move back to Boulder, CO in 2011, initially working full-time at CU and part-time at Roots, later transitioning to full-time coaching in January of 2013.  Ali has also completed CrossFit Coaches Prep Course, CrossFit Endurance and CrossFit Kids seminar courses.  At CrossFit Roots, she runs also the Women’s Only Program.  Ali‘s passion for coaching is deeply rooted in the belief that exercise is nature’s best medicine in enabling all individuals to live healthy, fulfilling and active lives. 

Coaching Credentials Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3)
CrossFit L-1, CrossFit L-2, CCFT, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Endurance, ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist

Hometown Eau Claire, WI
Education Northeastern University, Boston, MA – MS Clinical Exercise Physiology 2009 University of Colorado, Boulder, CO – BA Integrative Physiology 2007
Athletic Background Gymnastics, running, mountain biking, hiking / backpacking, skiing


TREVOR – Coach // CrossFit Kids // CrossFit Teens // CrossFit Headquarters Kids Seminar Staff // CrossFit Endurance Coach

Trevor Gibson came to CrossFit Roots in 2013. His background includes a Bachelor of Arts from Santa Clara U, four years active duty as a Marine Officer, a Masters in Education from Stanford U, and three-years teaching math at a public school, Summit Preparatory Charter HS. During his time as a teacher, he led his students to the school’s highest Algebra 2 testing scores in its history and started a CrossFit club for students. Trevor’s official CrossFit qualifications include CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course, CrossFit Kids Course, Coaches Prep Course, and Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3). He loves CrossFit’s potential to better the human spirit and, at Roots specifically, the opportunity to work with a professional team of coaches who constantly seek to improve how they support Roots athletes.

Coaching Credentials Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3)
CrossFit L-1, CrossFit L-2, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Headquarters Kids Seminar Staff

Hometown Alexandria, VA
Education Santa Clara University, English ’05; Stanford, Masters in Education
Athletic Background Swimming, Volleyball, Hiking

LAUREN – Erg Program Coach

Lauren Rubini began participating in CrossFit in May 2010 when several rowing friends recommended CrossFit as an excellent support to their overall health and fitness. In November of 2010, Lauren joined the Roots staff as a part-time erg coach, coaching the inaugural 100K Erg Challenge from Thanksgiving until Christmas day. 

Lauren’s rowing career began with the encouragement of parents who both rowed and met along the banks of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA. In her hometown of Alexandria, VA, Lauren joined her local public school rowing team in 8th grade and had great success as a member of the T.C. Williams High School crew team. She received a full athletic scholarship to Boston University and continued her rowing career while earning a BS in Elementary Education in 1998. Upon graduating from BU, Lauren received an invite to join the members of the US National Sculling team training in Augusta, GA enabling Lauren to pursue her dream of a spot on the US National Rowing team. Life had other plans, however, and while observing the World Rowing Championships in Cologne, Germany in the summer of 1998, Lauren was involved in a serious accident that reshaped the course of her athletic endeavors and life.

Realizing that her elite rowing career was over, Lauren relocated to Boulder, CO in 2002 to carry out her professional career as an elementary school teacher. By 2005, Lauren graduated from the University of CO, Boulder with a MA in Literacy, ESL, and Bilingual education. As a full time teacher in Boulder Valley School District, Lauren completed her Education Specialist degree in 2012 from the University of Colorado, Denver with a principal license. While living in Boulder Lauren has ventured into triathlon, downhill skiing, cycling, running, and crossfit. Lauren puts health and happiness at the center of each and every day for herself and for all of the athletes she coaches.

Lauren has completed the Crossfit Level 1 and CrossFit Kids seminar courses. Lauren’s passion for coaching is to support athletes of every level find the balance between physical, emotional, and mental well being.

Coaching Credentials  CrossFit Level 2 (CF-L2)
CrossFit L-1, CrossFit Kids

Hometown  Alexandria, VA
Education  University of Colorado, Denver, CO – Education Specialist with Principal License 2012, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO – MA Literacy & ESL/Bilingual K-12 Education 2005, Boston University, Boston, MA – BS Elementary Education 1998
Athletic Background  rowing, swimming, triathlon

KIRK – Coach // CrossFit Endurance Coach

Kirk Warner came to Boulder from Marin County, CA, to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder where he graduated with a BA in Integrative Physiology and a Minor in Business Administration in the Spring of 2014.

Throughout High School Kirk played many sports, but his focus was on his career as a competitive triathlete on the Junior Elite circuit for both USA Triathlon (USAT) and the International Triathlon Union (ITU). During his triathlon career, Kirk simultaneously found CrossFit in 2007 and trained at TJ’s Gym in Mill Valley, CA. He attributes a great deal of his endurance racing success on his adoption of CrossFit and has a passion for helping others find similar success in endurance racing through CrossFit.

Kirk also has a profound interest in running mechanics and was an early adopter of CrossFit Endurance mentalities for both endurance training and running form. His time at Roots has focused mainly on developing his athletes running form and performance in the CrossFit Endurance program.

Coaching Credentials  CrossFit Level 2 (CF-L2)
CrossFit L-1, CrossFit Endurance Trainer and CrossFit Endurance Cycling.

Hometown: Marin County, CA
Education: University of Colorado – BA Integrative Physiology, Minor Business Admin.
Athletic Background: Football, baseball, and triathlon. Now enjoys mountain biking, running, and backcountry hiking.

DAVE – Coach // Front Desk Staff


Dave Lee comes to us from Bedford, New York. He moved from the east coast in 2011 to attend CU Boulder. Coming to CrossFit with a background in climbing, Dave loves all things related to the pull-up bars and rings.

Dave became interested in strength and conditioning in high school, making a commitment to getting stronger and faster in his senior year. Finding CrossFit at the end of high school, he was quickly enthralled with the program, which complemented his climbing well.

Dave’s climbing career began in 2006 at an indoor gym, but his passion quickly progressed to the outdoors. A rock climber in the summer and ice climber in the winter, Dave has built a solid resume of climbing routes: a car to car ascent of the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome, bouldering ascent of The Gill Crack, and winter ice and mixed climbs such as Winter Dance, The Talisman, and the Smear of Fear.

Outside of his athletic pursuits, Dave studies at the University of Colorado here in Boulder where he is getting his Bachelors in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Coaching Credentials CrossFit Level 2 (CF-L2)
CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Kids

Hometown Bedford, NY
Education Currently studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at CU Boulder
Athletic Background Lacrosse, soccer, squash, hockey, and wake boarding up until college.  Is now an avid rock, ice, and alpine climber.