REMINDER – Bon Voyage Party for George and Sarah is on Sunday!
Where: Liberty Station NTC Park
When: Sunday, August 5th from 11am – 1pm.
What to bring: A chair and/or blanket, plus any fun group-type activities you might have, such as a football, frisbee or cornhole/bags.
Food: This will be a pot-luck style party so just bring something to share plus whatever beverages you might want. We will supply the plastic wear, napkins and plates.
It’s just about that time. Sarah and I head off for our big adventure right after the BBQ/sendoff on Sunday. We’ll take the long way up the coast and try and match up our arrival time to Portland with that of our PODS – thanks again to Sean and Tino for helping us with that! We’ll spend a night/morning in Santa Barbara, camp a day in Big Sur, camp and explore Redwoods National Forest, and then grab coffee and granola (gluten free, of course…) and embrace our inner hippie as we arrive in Portland. I’ve already had a chance to chat with a bunch of folks about the move, but wanted to use the blog to answer some of the frequent questions we’ve been getting…
But seriously, I decided it is the best fit for my growth in this field (health and fitness). When I left the Corps to become a strength and conditioning coach, it was because I wanted to make a positive impact on peoples’ lives, and I knew I could do that by making them fitter and stronger. My perspective changed after a couple of years. Yes, strength and fitness are important, but there’s also a health and wellness component somewhere in there. I started seeing that we were improving and enriching our members’ lives by also working with them on a broad spectrum of things: what foods to eat, what supplements to take, how to improve sleep, methods for de-stressing, who to see when we’re injured, and even who to see to make sure you DON’T get injured. In essence, I saw the gym and our staff as being in the trenches of preventative health care. In order to provide a better service to this community, I felt that I needed to get me learn on, and after looking at many options, chiropractic fit best.
There are only 15 chiropractic schools in the US, and Sarah and I really wanted to stay on the west coast, which narrowed us down to four different schools. Of course, location isn’t everything. I also needed to make sure that the school was a good fit for me, and that it would help me work towards my vision. After researching, speaking with admissions folks, and visiting campuses, I decided that the University of Western States was my best option.
What is my vision?
First off, it’s a 4-year program, so a lot can change between now and then. As of right now, my vision for a practice involves Southern California, a strength and conditioning facility, massage therapists, acupuncturists, physical therapists, and maybe even a medical doctor. I would love to be able to work back into the Invictus community and serve you all again.
Are we joining a CrossFit gym up there?
While there are several great gyms in the Portland/Vancouver area, Sarah and I are going to put together a garage gym for our personal use. One of the required elements for our home search was a garage or space suitable for a squat rack, pull-ups, etc. We found a terrific house with a nice 2-car detached garage and a driveway that’s about 40m long. With me being in school full-time and Sarah working remotely from home, it just makes sense for us to go that route. We are looking forward to dropping in on the occasional group class at local affiliates just so that we can keep that connection with the CrossFit community.
I think those are the big questions we’ve been getting, so here’s the mushy part.
Thank you all for letting me be a part of your life, and for being such a huge part of my life. Having had to move and leave an organization a time or two (seven years in the Marine Corps), this is the hardest move I’ve had to make. I can’t believe the number of great relationships I’ve been able to cultivate in my short time here. Thanks to all of our members for trusting me as your coach, for listening to my NPR news updates, my random 80s movie references, my outside voice, the Classic Rock Power station, the various hair styles, letting me jump into the occasional group, the OCDness of setting up the gym, and most importantly, for teaching me how to be better coach. Some folks wake up dreading having to come into work, but I always looked forward to coaching you… even (especially) at 6am. No matter how down a day I could have been having, starting up a group always reminded me that I am living the dream.
Thanks to all the staff for being such great co-workers and friends. I know you guys didn’t always understand why I liked to laminate stuff, write checklists, or insist on knowing what was going into the trailers as we got ready for an event, but you put up with it all. I really do think that you guys are the most talented staff of any gym out there and I’ll miss seeing you guys every day.
And thanks to CJ. I’m not sure what I’d be doing if you didn’t send me an email while I was deployed in 2008 talking about how you wanted to revolutionize the San Diego fitness industry. I know you don’t like to take a lot of credit, but Invictus is a great place. True, it’s because of the amazing people that make up our community, but you put all the pieces and elements together in order to make it happen. Thanks for giving me the great opportunity to be a part of this special place, and for helping me figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
But this isn’t really a good bye. We may be moving to Portland, but we’ll be keeping ties with San Diego. Sarah will be commuting here once a month for work, and I’ll tag along every once in awhile. You’ll see stuff from me on the blog, and we’ll see everyone at Regionals and Games. And if you can’t wait until one of those times, you can always come visit us in Portland! We’ve built so many great friendships here at Invictus and we don’t want to lose that. Please feel free to stay in touch ([email protected]), and if you’re going to be in Portland, we’d love to get together, even if it’s just to throw around some steel or flip tires in our driveway.