One of the sad realities of being a San Diego-based gym is that some of our favorite members eventually receive orders to serve our country from other places in the world. While we were so excited to get Richard back to San Diego after his last deployment, we are equally saddened that he and Patrice have been assigned to a post in North Carolina. We will miss you both!
Jaimie - Patrice and RJ, you two have been familiar faces at Invictus for some time now! Must you leave us?
RJ/Patrice – Well, as you know, we’re one of many military families here at Invictus and I just finished 4 straight years of sea duty with 3 deployments. This past spring, it was my time to pick orders to my next assignment. I put my preferences in for a few San Diego assignments and other various jobs around the world. I was originally selected to teach at the US Naval Academy but didn’t quite meet all the requirements so my detailer wrote me back and said she had billets available to be a Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer with the US Marine Corps…but only in Japan or North Carolina so Patrice and I talked and decided North Carolina would be best. So I am going to coordinating artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire in support of Marine ground operations, either as a forward observer on the ground or in a fire support coordination center. We’re born and raised California kids so Camp Lejeune and North Carolina are going to be an interesting experience that we are excited for.
How long have you been members at Invictus and why did you join?
RJ – I sort of dabbled in CrossFit for about 6-7 months on and off in 2008-2009 while deployed and finally, fellow Invicti Thom Knapp convinced me to check-out and join Invictus in the Spring of 2009. I had been lifting for years on and off during high school and college because of various sports I played and never felt like I really made any progress in the basic barbell lifts and I needed a change.
Patrice – RJ convinced me to to give Invictus a chance. I was very intimidated at first but after my first few group classes I was hooked. I’ve been coming five times a week ever since!
Have you guys already scoped out a new CrossFit gym for when you move?
RJ – We recently purchased a few items for a garage gym (barbell, plates, wall balls, plyo box, etc.) and hope to have that fully set up in the next couple of weeks. There is also a CrossFit gym on base called the “High Intensity Tactical Training” Center that has everything a typical crossfit gym has that we can also use, plus around 8 other gyms and a few pools on base.
Patrice – In addition to our garage gym, the CrossFit gym on base also offers kettlebell and other conditioning classes that I can take to meet people. The closest CrossFit gyms are at least 45-60 minutes away from us.
What are you two going to miss the most about Invictus?
RJ – I am going to miss the camaraderie the most. I am also going to miss the way everyone pushes and encourages each other to never stop and never give up. I’ve made a lot of good friends here and it’s hard to leave everyone but we’ll be back eventually.
Patrice – The community! All of our closest friends from San Diego are friends from Invictus. I’m going to miss everyone so much.