Member of the Month: John F. Davis

Member of the Month: John F. Davis

By: Jason Bove

When someone truly cares about themselves and their daily practices, it shines through onto the people that encounter them daily. An interesting human that we see very frequently, because of his practices, is member John F. Davis. He is a gentleman who sees things through the eyes of experience, and is always able to smile and tell you how his day is going. You may have been dazzled by his incredible inversions in a yoga class, or heard him high above you on the climbing wall discussing law and ethics. If there were a way to introduce him to everyone that I know, I would...he is a good friend and an inspiration.

John Davis 1Bove) If you could describe yourself to our readers in a few sentences, what has made you into the man that you are today?
Davis) A great marriage, coupled with steady determination. I have used physical activity to calm and steady myself.

B) Participating in classes such as yoga and rock climbing, you seem to have a very active & healthy lifestyle. Can you tell us about what draws you to these and other activities you enjoy?
D) I like physical activities which are aerobic and use different parts of my body and mind. Having fun and not getting injured are good things. My wife, Chris has been rock climbing for 25 years. I took up rock climbing so that we could do it together.

B) From a professional standpoint, what kind of work have you done/are you doing now that has been enjoyable enough to make a career out of thus far?
D) For more than 30 years I used my law degree to help affluent people. It was rewarding, but incredibly stressful. 14 years ago I switched to doing pro bono legal work to help less advantaged people. I work at Legal Services of Northern California, which is minutes from Pipeworks. I find the work to be very rewarding. I look forward to my work every day.

B) How long have you been a member here at Pipeworks, and how did you find us?
D) I started taking yoga at Pipeworks around 7 years ago. I think I became a member around 4 years ago.

B) Are you a Sacramento native, and what things do you find interesting about this city to keep you living here?
D) I was born in Sacramento. I was raised in L.A. Chris and I moved to Sacramento from Chico in 1984. It is a city that is large enough that both of us can have interesting careers. It is a very diverse place with a wide range of activities we can do.

B) In the past, I have heard you quote Zen Buddhist Monk, Thích Nhất Hạnh. What is it about this teacher, activist, and author that draws you to his teachings?
D) I love his book The Miracle of Mindfulness. It explains in very simple terms how to meditate and maintain an active lifestyle. It has no jargon, and is not trying to sell a lifestyle, seminars, or workshops. It showed me how I could meditate and walk the dog or practice yoga. The mindfulness and meditation make me calmer and allow me to face the challenges in my life more directly and simply.

B) Can you describe some ways you cultivate mindfulness in your everyday life?
D) I practice yoga at home daily, and meditate while I practice. I also meditate when walking and hiking. Meditating while rock climbing , bicycle riding, or practicing law is not possible. Talking about meditation and mindfulness around people who do not practice is not a good idea.

B) I’ve heard you are an avid traveler; what’s next on your list of places to visit?
D) We are going to British Columbia on a fishing trawler for a week in August. We are going to Antarctica in December.

B) How does a “normal” day in the life of Mr. John F. Davis play out?
D) Chris and I get up early and have coffee and talk. I practice yoga for around 20 minutes. I take the dog for a walk. Some mornings I rock climb. Some mornings I ride my bike to work. A little before noon I stop work to go practice noontime yoga. I eat a quick lunch, then return to work. I bike home to Chris and dinner. Chris and I have a second home in Truckee. We usually go there for weekends. We hike, bike, kayak, ski and snowshoe up there. Sacramento is very close to the Sierras, which both of us love.

B) If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
D) I would be a human. We can change and improve our lives and can work on our sense of humor.

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Member of the Month: Rudy Meyers

By Jason Bove

If you have come in to Pipeworks on a weekday at 9 pm or later, there is no doubt that you have met and/or had a worthwhile conversation with Rudy Meyers. Amongst other things, he is a father, local photographer, music lover, wine aficionado, and a beacon of insight and knowledge of all things cool. His thoughtful answers to my simple questions left me thinking about inviting him to all of my future dinner parties, so that we could always have something interesting to talk about! Without further adieu, meet…

Member of the Month: Rudy Meyers

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Bove- How long have you been a member at Sacramento Pipeworks, and what keeps you motivated to keep coming back, time and time again?

Meyers- I have been a member for about six years and retarding the aging process is the main reason I consistently come. Plus, climbing is simply more fun than most other forms of athletic endeavor.

Are you a Sacramento native, and what is your favorite thing about living in Sacramento?

Well, I’m not exactly a Sacramento native. I was born in San Francisco and raised in the foothills of Northern California. In no particular order, I like these things about Sacramento: Trees, and lots of them!, Great weather, The long, warm summer evenings, Acres of free parking, And yes, the proximity to the Sierras and The Bay Area as well

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Can you tell us a bit more about your professional career in photography, and where we are able to see some of the work you have done?

I do corporate/commercial work which means I shoot virtually anything that walks in front of my lens. We are guns for hire and every day is different, so that literarily can mean we are shooting trains, planes, & automobiles (like the movie), people, and products A-Z. If you had to pin me down, I would say that in essence, what we do mostly is create images that sell our clients goods or services. It can be artsy, but it has to have a message.

What new projects are you currently working on, and what lies in store for the rest of 2014?

We are currently in the planning stages for the following shoots: An Intel shoot, a three day shoot for a new casino client, two new law firms, a new restaurant client and a new construction client

All these shoots are multi-day shoots with a lot of moving pieces. We are a fairly busy studio and we do a lot of big projects. Part of the reason for that is that I have an amazing staff that is good at keeping me focused and on point. When you are a visual person and when you see something unexpectedly great, then your job is to shoot it and ask questions later. In 2014 we are focused on continuing to build a broad base, and servicing our existing clientele while also focusing on growth in favorite industries like food, wine and travel.

check Rudy Meyers Photography here

It is really great to see that you workout with you son. How old is he, and is he your only child? Have you found that working out together strengthens your family bond?

Yes, I bring my son every time I can. He is a few days shy of 15. He is my only child and I am his only parent. It is by this nature a very close relationship, where I get to wear all the parental hats. Now he really enjoys climbing and sees that through hard work and dedication he can actually get better. I dabble in a serious manner, but I suck and he climbs circles around me. It is nice to see him grow in the sport and I hope he will continue to see the value in intense physical activity. He knows that quality of life depends on keeping a balance between the physical, mental and spiritual aspects—they are all important.

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 As you know, June is the month that Father’s Day is celebrated. Do you have big plans for the day, and what other kinds of activities do you enjoy doing with your son?

We have had two big vacations this year, one to the desert and one to New York City for 17 days. So, a quick trip to San Francisco might be it for Father's Day (every day is kids day, they just don't know it). We always have fun in The City! We are foodies and museum freaks, so we always have stuff to do in SF; it is a world class city with world class offerings. We really are lucky to have it so close to Sacramento; we could be living somewhere with little art and culture, and no climbing. We both like to shop the Mission and Hayes Valley. We even climb at Dogpatch!

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I know that you greatly enjoy outdoor activities. Can you recommend any hikes or trails that we should experience in our lifetime?

For over 20 years I guided Class V whitewater here and overseas. The rivers in California are some of the best in the world, with challenging whitewater and beautiful scenery. Running rivers was a fun gig and the guys I boated with are all alive and kicking, and for that I am thankful. In 20 years of boating we ran something like 300+ Class V runs. Then, I got Lucien and I felt like I had to cool my jets. I had my fun in that adventure land, and I was ready for Disneyland and Star Wars.

Hiking is still cool and relatively safe, but we go off trail all of the time. A journey to Precipice Lake on the Kaweah Gap trail, an amazing lake made famous by Ansel Adams, is on our list for this summer. I hiked this in my early 20's, before I became or even knew I would be a photographer, but it was an amazing trail built by the California Conservation Corps and blasted out of solid rock—it feels like a Hobbit trail. If you have time, head to Moose Lake as well.

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I also took my son on an amazing backpack/horse pack trip to Evolution Valley high in Kings Canyon National Park. It was a beautiful nine day trip. At one time, we were 26 miles from trailhead. The valley itself can almost rival Yosemite Valley; it is just more remote, but it has monolithic rock formations, peaks that rise to 14,000 feet and shimmering waterfalls—all surrounding a long, lush, high Sierra meadow with a beautiful river running through it. You are far enough in that you will not see a lot of people. If you are a Muir Trail nut (you know who you are) then you already know about this place. You can also stay a night or two, depending on availability, at The Muir Trail Ranch (a wilderness hotel). I recommend staying because they have naturally occurring hot springs. More to the point, they have built soaking tubs in charming log structures that are all gardened and in the feng shui swing of things. It is not cheap, but it is rustic and they will feed you. Plus, you get to sleep in a bed too! The ranch is a relatively easy five mile hike in. They can also rent horses and guides from the ranch. The hike to Evolution Valley is still 15 miles away and (dauntingly) it is another 4500 feet up. We took horses, it was my son's first multi-day hike and I did not want it to be his last.

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We are desert lovers. One of our favorite places to go is Eureka Valley, situated in the northern end of Death Valley and about an hour and half out of Bishop. The dunes lay up against a fault block range called the Last Chance Range. The exposed layers are 350 to 500 million years old, way before the age of the dinosaur. The formation is massive, with dunes rising to 700 ft and spreading out over an area of several square miles. Climbing them can be a chore; five steps up and three steps back can be discouraging. If you make it to the top though, you have to follow the ridge line south until you get to the highest and steepest dune. Why? Because you have worked so hard that you now deserve some fun. Run straight down the dunes and jump in turns like you are skiing and see how soft the landing is and how exhilarating the experience is. At the bottom you can look up and decide that you are not doing it again—too damn much work! If you go during the spring of a wet year you will be surprised and possibly overwhelmed by the number of desert flowers. Yes, the desert does bloom and when it does it is nothing short of breathtaking! Take water because there is none, know that sand will get everywhere, but the beauty is worth the effort.

If you could offer any kind of advice from the perspective of starting and running your own business nowadays, what would it be?

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs would be:

Be prepared for long hours

Learn your craft

Be honorable in all personal and professional relationships

Build and maintain a reputation based on quality and professionalism

Lose money before you deliver a crummy product—don't lose money and always deliver a quality product

Take nothing for granted

Never rest on your laurels

Have goals that are daily, weekly, and long term

I have never had a plan b; it remains photography or die

Most importantly, do not be afraid to fail; you learn more in failure then you will ever learn in success

I have quite a few sayings that I tell my son and employees, but a few get repeated all the time:

I live in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world

When's the next race?

True character is what you do when no one is looking

Member of the Month: Dustin Raúl Stumpf

By Guest Blogger: Jason Bove

This month, we observed Mother’s Day. But, assuming we celebrate, we should not limit ourselves to just one day a year to celebrate our Mothers. With this in mind, it was abundantly clear who we should feature for May: Dustin Raúl Stumpf. Not only does Dustin have a rewarding job as a CrossFit instructor here at Sacramento Pipeworks, but he also has a positive and healthy relationship with his Mom. While there are lots of things that can be attributed to this happiness, the thing that he keeps coming back to is being able to include his mother, Elba, in his ambitious exercise training schedule. I had the chance to talk with Dustin recently about CrossFit, what drives him as an athlete, and, of course, his Mom. Thanks again for being a part of the Pipeworks family, Dustin, and for letting us peer into the life of such an inspiring individual, such as yourself.

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Member of the Month: Dustin Raúl Stumpf

Bove- First off, what drew you to personally pursue CrossFit as a way of life, and what are a few of the major benefits of the workout regimen itself?
Stumpf- What drew me to CrossFit as a way of life was the fact I would never get bored with my workouts ever again! After ending my College Athletic Career, I needed another challenge to conquer! The benefits are endless with CrossFit because it exposes your weaknesses and makes you focus on them in order to become a better coach/athlete.

B- How long have you been a CrossFit instructor and where did you receive training to become one?
S- I have been a Level 1 Certified CrossFit instructor for 2 years. Before becoming Level 1 Certified, I started my own internship program at American River CrossFit in 2011 while fulfilling units at Sacramento State’s Kinesiology program. ARC is where I learned the fundamentals of teaching CrossFit classes under the supervision of trained professional instructors. After graduating from Sac State in 2012, I used all of my savings to take the weekend long CrossFit Level 1 Course at NorCal CrossFit, under the watchful eyes of Jason Khalipa (currently 2nd man in the world in CrossFit!).

B- What kind of athletes/workout enthusiasts are attracted to your classes for CrossFit, and what makes these classes different from normal workout routines? Is Crossfit for everyone?
S- The types of exercise enthusiasts who are attracted to my classes are people who love learning and perfecting Gymnastics, Power/Olympic Lifting, and Plyometrics. What makes these classes so much different from a “normal workout routine” is that A.) It is always in a class setting. By working out with others, people are more motivated to perform better amongst fellow athletes for the friendly competition aspect. B.) All movements and weights are modifiable for different fitness levels. C.) Most of our workouts are short and sweet! CrossFit is meant for anyone looking to better their current fitness level--anyone willing to work very hard. In my experience of coaching, I have found that the people who do best and excel the quickest in CrossFit (regardless of age) make it to class routinely and live a healthy lifestyle outside of the gym.

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B- What should I know before attending class? How should I prepare?
S- CrossFit is very challenging both mentally and physically! One should prepare by being open minded to a brand new methodology of exercise. Having a positive attitude is a MUST when learning CrossFit. I repeat, the BEST WAY any CrossFitter will excel is to remain open minded.

B- As you know, the month of May contains Mother’s Day! I notice that sometimes your Mom comes to your class. Has she been an advocate of your training since you were young?
S- My mother, Elba, has always been my #1 Fan when it came to sports and athletic events! She has always supported my training efforts on and off the Baseball field since I was young. I got her into CrossFit 2 years ago, and she is AMAZING!

B- It’s great to see a mother and son working out together! How has this influenced your mother-son relationship?
S- Doing CrossFit with my Mother has made our relationship that much stronger. We always talk about workouts and how to improve ourselves as athletes. We are both competitive by nature, so we talk about how we did in recent competitions. My Mother is the epitome of what a 55-year old athlete can accomplish with proper instruction and a hard work ethic! She makes it to all of my Seminars and has seen drastic improvements in all of her movements! She can now perform 5 unassisted pull-ups NO PROBLEM!

B- There are 10 Onramp classes that need to be fulfilled before someone can attend any regularly scheduled class. What can I expect to be doing during the session?
S- Beginners attending Onramp classes can expect learning the fundamentals of all CrossFit movements. Here at CrossFit Pipeworks, we are all about making new members feel welcome, and we give them the opportunity to create relationships with our training staff and fellow athletes.

B- How do these classes differ from a normal one?
S- OnRamp classes differ from regular classes in that we focus on lighter weight and less volume in our WODs (workout of the day). We also focus on introducing new movements and reviewing exercises recently covered in prior classes.

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B- What other hobbies and activities do you enjoy outside of CrossFit?
S- I am an avid Outdoorsman and LOVE to fish! I try to get out of town at least once every 2 weeks to go slay some fish and give myself a break from my intense training routine.

B- Is there a specific event or clinic that you are hosting that you would like to tell us about?
S- I try to host Seminars at CrossFit Pipeworks at least once every 2-3 months, to allow members the opportunity to get better at practicing more complex movements.

B- I have seen that you feature an Athlete of the Week on the Pipeworks facebook page. Can you tell me more about this special shout out? How would I become featured?
S- I introduced athlete of the week on the CrossFit Pipeworks Facebook page to get our members involved. In order to become Athlete of the Week, one must show exceptional work ethic, dedication, and leadership characteristics. These three traits allow others to try and follow in their footsteps in a POSITIVE manner.

Well, I guess THAT cat is in the bag! See you in class!!

Women's Empowerment at Pipeworks

Women's Empowerment, a non-profit based in Sacramento, made their 53rd visit to Pipeworks. We were able to catch up with leaders and participants in this amazing program to get the scoop on their partnership with Pipeworks.

"Sacramento Pipeworks has been working with Women's Empowerment since 2004," said Pipeworks manager Vaughn Medford. "They are headquartered only a couple blocks away from the gym, so it is not unusual to see a group of women 10-15 power walking over to the gym. They use the gym to work out in the weight area and do cardio. The members have become accustomed to seeing the group, and we're all supportive of such an important cause." "On our morning walks to Pipeworks, the ladies share their excitement and enthusiasm for the opportunity to focus on themselves for that one hour," said Nancy Nguyen, the program assistant at Women's Empowerment. "By attending Fitness Fridays, the ladies step out of their everyday lives and enter a world that allows them to make a change for themselves and their children."

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The group assists women who are homeless, jobless or in abusive situations. Women’s Empowerment has served 916 women and their 1,376 children. In May 2009, they were named Nonprofit of the Year by the Nonprofit Resource Center, one of the highest honors a nonprofit can receive in the Sacramento region. Over 1115 women have graduated from our program.

"The mission of Women’s Empowerment is to educate and empower women who are homeless with the skills and confidence necessary to get a job, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and regain a home for themselves and their children. Our partnership with Pipeworks has become essential to the fulfillment of that mission," said Nguyen. Women's Empowerment runs eight week sessions in which a new group of women learns the importance of caring for their bodies through exercise and healthy eating.

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“I joined Fitness Wednesdays at Pipeworks because it was an opportunity for me to focus on myself and to be healthier. I wanted to get back into a consistent schedule because that’s what being back in the workforce is like,” said Sharon McGuire a graduate from Session 53. “When I first entered the building, the front desk staff members were so friendly. They greeted us and gave us assistance in filling out first-time waivers. During our workout sessions, I often used the treadmill. While I spent most of the hour on this machine, I reflected a lot because it reminded me to keep my goals in perspective. I had so much fun during this time and felt extremely rejuvenated after I finished my workout.”

Sharon continues to strive towards her main three goals: to keep her recovery, secure permanent housing, and to see her daughter graduate from high school and enter college. “I truly needed this program because it’s part of my recovery process. The process encourages us to make time for ourselves and Fitness Wednesdays allowed me to do that. I highly recommend Pipeworks!” said Sharon.

Pipeworks makes it possible for her to continue on our journey towards a positive and healthier lifestyle.

 

Member of the Month: Brad Sandoval

There are often times in life when you enter into an assignment or situation believing that you know exactly how something will turn out, only to find many surprises along the way. These unanticipated circumstances may bring stress to set deadlines, but in the end may yield very exciting and unexpected results. For example, take the story of this month’s member, Brad Sandoval.

When you first lay eyes on Brad, it seems natural to categorize him as a formidable presence with an overwhelmingly serious demeanor. Off the mat, he is a humble and approachable man living with no computer and making time for the things closest to his heart...training for Jiu-Jitsu and enjoying good food.

As the deadline for my story quickly approached, I anxiously checked my email time and time again only to find nothing there. The questions I wrote remained unanswered, and I watched as April was drawing to a close. I almost felt as if the interview would never come to fruition, and THEN THEY CAME!! Brad showed up at the last minute of the last day before the end of the month with 9 pages of torn out yellow notepad paper with his handwritten responses. Each answer was crafted with a genuine heartfelt explanation that could only be attributed to someone who loves what he does. In this case, it was talking about Jiu-Jitsu with you and I, the readers. I can guarantee that once you read the interview, you will want to know more about this man, Brad Sandoval, and the martial art that he holds so dear to his heart. His experience, knowledge, and instruction is offered to you weekly just for being a member at Sacramento Pipeworks! Stop in, take a class, and say “hello”.

Brad Sandoval Image 2Bove: What does a typical Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class consist of and what can I expect if it were my first experience with the sport?
Sandoval: A normal practice session is 1 ½ hours, including a 10-15 minute warm-up/stretch incorporating many of the same movements we use in Jiu-Jitsu, followed by 30-45 minutes of instruction/practice with a partner, aka “drilling”. The last 30-45 minutes we “roll”.

Bove: How would I prepare for the class from a fitness perspective?

Sandoval: As far as physical preparation, I would suggest being well hydrated, because you will sweat! Aside from that, having an open mind and willingness to learn would be at the top of my list. Jiu-Jitsu is like chess in the way that you first learn how each piece moves before you develop strategies to checkmate other players...or a musical instrument where, you practice scales and chords repeatedly to develop mind and muscle memory; with enough practice, you can create music.

B: Is it something suitable for all ages and abilities?

S: Jiu-Jitsu is for all ages, however, at Sacramento Pipeworks we only offer classes for adults. Hopefully, in the future we will expand to offer classes for children. That being said, if a young person is mature enough to take the class they are welcome.

B: Would it make a difference if I wore normal workout clothes, or is there something specific that I should wear to class?

S: We practice with both the Gi (Kimono) and without Gi. For example, shorts and T-shirts. (Please check our class schedule for “Gi” or “No Gi” specification, days and class times.)

B: Is there a martial arts lifestyle and/or philosophy involved in the culture of the practice?

S: When you learn to see Jiu-Jitsu as a whole, you learn to accept a victory or defeat, to forgive your adversary, and to be more humble and balanced.

B: From a historical standpoint, can you tell us more about Jiu-Jitsu and its origin? What makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu different from other styles?

S: Mitsuyo Maeda was a Judo expert and a member of the Kodokan Judo Institute in Japan, and a student of Jikoro Kano, Judo’s founder. Unlike many members of the Kodokan Judo Institute who believed that the art should be demonstrated mainly through teaching and performing Kata, Maeda advocated demonstrating through actual combat. While Judo tends to focus more on throws and takedowns, Maeda’s style highlighted grappling in which Maeda was a specialist adding his innovations and philosophies. Maeda would compete in challenge matches against fighters from around the world, where he was more often than not the smaller combatant. Eventually stories spread of a smaller Asian man defeating larger, stronger opponents of many disciplines,including boxing and wrestling with little effort, rightfully earning Maeda the nickname, Mr. Impossible. Maeda traveled the world making a living through Judo demonstrations and prize fights.
In 1914, Maeda arrived in Brazil where he was befriended by a politician named Gastao Gracie, who at the time was helping Japanese colonies migrate to Brazil. Out of appreciation, Maeda offered to teach Judo to Gastao’s 14 year old son Carlos, who would in turn teach his brothers. Maeda not only passed along his techniques, but also his philosophies on combat. These techniques and philosophies would lay the foundation for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. The Gracie family would go on to reveal the mysteries of Jiu-Jitsu to the world. Mitsuyo Maeda would never know the impact he made by giving us the gift of his martial art. THANK YOU MITSUYO MAEDA!

B: Where did you study and who was your mentor throughout the years?

S: I began practicing Jiu-Jitsu with Gi in 2001 in Wildomar, CA under then brown belt and great instructor, Jeff Bolton. That gym closed around 2003, so I began training No Gi (without Gi) Jiu-Jitsu, Muy Thai Kickboxing, and wrestling under UFC & Pride Fighting Championship Veteran, Chris Brennan of Next Generation Fight Academy in Temecula, CA until 2005. In 2005 he moved his Academy to Texas, which was unfortunate for my training. It was at this time that I decided to move back to my hometown of Sacramento, where 2003 World Champion professor Cassio Werneck runs his Academy in Citrus Heights. I have practiced at Cassio Werneck’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy from 2005 to the present.

B: How and when did someone with your experience and competitive prowess come to be an instructor at Sacramento Pipeworks?

S: About 2 years ago, my friend and fellow student under Cassio Werneck, Wayne Gregory (AKA the white Dave Chappelle), whom I am sure that many of you know from climbing here at Sacramento Pipeworks, asked if I would be interested in teaching here. I said, “Absolutely!” and was introduced to Vaughn Medford, General Manager Extraordinaire of the greatest gym in the world! The rest is history.

B: Do you have any rewarding moments and/or stories about yourself that you can share with us?

S: Some of my most rewarding moments include seeing my students improve and reach their goals.

B: What time/day can we join your class, and how many other people are normally present?

S: We have class Monday-Friday at 6 PM. An average class has 5-10 Jiu-Jitsu players give or take, and growing.

B: If you could be any type of animal, what would you be and why?

S: I would be a Na’vi (Avatar)...how cool would that be?!

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Member Profile: Sariah Crull

If you are already a member of the Touchstone family, you know that there is an instant community of individuals similar to yourself to hang out with. You may have also found out by now that we have some of the best teachers in town to guide you through our many fitness classes offered daily. This month, I am pleased to introduce you to another one of our very talented and unique instructors, Sariah Crull. Although it took a while to encourage her to talk to me about herself, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to steal a few minutes and write about such an inspiring human being!

Teaching fitness in and around Sacramento is nothing new for Sariah, from step aerobics, spin, bootcamp, kickboxing to acrobatics. However, she is a recent addition to the Sacramento Pipeworks team, and let’s just say that we could not be happier!

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Throughout the day, Sariah wears many hats ranging from a busy mother of two children to a multi-faceted fitness instructor and photographer. She is also a noted AcroYogi and founder of The Handstand Nation, a local platform for classes, Acro meet-ups, and other upside down fun! Knowing the importance of a well-rounded workout, she teaches a playful style of Vinyasa flow yoga at Pipeworks that has an equal balance of both yin and yang elements to help with overall mobility, greater range of motion, and complete mental and physical fitness. 

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What motivates Sariah in daily life becomes a part of her practice on the mat, where she shares her wisdom with students. Her all levels class makes yoga accessible to everyone, regardless of shape, size, and ability. Sariah’s clientele through the years have been very diverse including everyone from lay people to active duty soldiers, combat veterans and firefighters. In honor of her service to combat veterans, Sariah was awarded a plaque by the Department of Defense. She considers her style to be a moving meditation, with emphasis placed on how the pose feels and not necessarily how it’s “supposed to” look. Sariah says, “I do yoga to have fun and feel good...Come play with me!” If you were wondering what the next step is for you to achieve a new level of fitness, I would personally recommend Sariah Crull. Please check the calendar for class times. There are smiles to be had, and a new outlook on health and complete wellness to be achieved. I’ll see YOU in her class!

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Member of the Month: Ryan Rougeux

By Jason Bove

Sacramento is abuzz with chatter about the Touchstone Climbing Series coming to town TOMORROW, February 21st. At which time, we will all revel in excitement as we merrily eat, drink, adorn new T-shirts, and climb new routes! What you may not remember as you are enjoying all of these things this weekend, is the hard work that goes into bringing together such a magical night of festivities.


One of the many individuals that have spent long hours bringing this event to fruition is this months’ staff pick...Mr. Ryan Rougeux. Besides working at Sacramento Pipeworks and Stone Age Climbing, Ryan has many more talents up his sleeve. First and foremost, he has already climbed most of the routes that you will lay your calloused paws on this weekend...because he helped to set them!

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Bove: Some folks describe you as a modern day renaissance man, due in part to all the activities that you participate in. Can you tell us a bit more about what you do around Sacramento Pipeworks for Touchstone Climbing?

Rougeux: I’ve worked behind the desk for over 7 years, and a few years ago I started to diversify my roles at Touchstone. I started working at Stone Age almost 3 years ago assisting Wes Tite in manufacturing the glorious holds that grace every climbing wall in the Touchstone universe. Somehow, they also let me set routes twice a week at Pipeworks. I am mostly in charge of the Pipeworks Facebook page, and for a short stint I was coaching the kids team. Wearing so many hats at Touchstone keeps me from getting burned out on just one job. Oh, and I also teach clinics from time to time.

ryan3Bove: Your rope access duties for ISCC (Industrial Structure Cleaning Company) have taken you to various countries and places around the United States. Do you have a favorite destination thus far? Is there somewhere in particular you would like to go next?

Rougeux: I just got back from 18 days in Houston, TX, and I don’t ever need to go back. By far my favorite destination was Brasil. After a week of work and partying with the Cirque du Soleil crew, myself, Phil (PW member), and Sarah headed to Rio for a week. We then climbed a 4 pitch 5.9 route called K2 up Corcovado that ends at the giant Jesus; it was as awesome as it sounds! My boss is currently working on expanding his business into Dubai, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that trip.

Bove: I know that your busy schedule includes lots of fun things as well. How do you mainly enjoy your free time away from work?

Rougeux: When I’m not climbing I train a lot of different aerial acrobatic skills. Static trapeze is my current favorite apparatus. I’m also hoping to do a lot of mountaineering this spring and summer to complete my quest of all of California’s 14’ers.

ryan2Bove: You have been involved in dance and acrobatics routines for years. Where is the next level that you want to reach in these pursuits?

Rougeux: I really want to put together a routine on the static trapeze--maybe solo, maybe doubles, nothing too crazy, just something polished enough for small shows. I also want to get more climbers interested in aerial acrobatics; it’s great cross training!

Bove: Are there any upcoming shows where we can watch you showcase your skills?

Rougeux: Nothing in the books currently. However, it looks as though I’ll be an extra on stage for the Sacramento Ballet’s production of Carmina Burana on March 27-30. It’s more of a stand there and look pretty role.

Bove: Back to the competition on Friday at Sacramento Pipeworks...are there any format changes that may be different from years past? Are there any particular routes that you are excited about and/or want to see someone climb? Why?

Rougeux: Pink with a black stripe, because I set it! The route clocks in around 12b, and is a compression / heel hook masterpiece--one of those climbs it’s hard to breathe on, because your entire body is squeezing. Really, all of the routes will be worthy of a send! We have received a huge new order of Teknik holds, and Stone Age is debuting a few new lines of holds. If you’re a gym rat that already knows every hold, then there are surprises waiting for you on the wall!

 

Get Ready for TCS in 5 Easy Steps

The Touchstone Climbing Series - or TCS2014 - is a fun and friendly competition series that will tour all nine Touchstone gyms throughout California. It's a great way to challenge your climbing, have a blast, and visit different gyms. This year, the competition series will rotate between roped climbing and bouldering each month, so everyone gets a chance to climb. On February 21st at Sacramento Pipeworks, we're kicking off the season with ropes!

Comp nights are one big, huge, climbing party. Come prepared to have an absolute blast. This event is FREE for members, and only $10 for guests.

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How to prepare yourself for TCS2014.

#1. Bring a paper waiver.

Yes, you've already signed one. And yes, you get to do it again. A printed paper waiver is required for ALL competitors. You can either print one up ahead of time HERE, or grab one from the front desk of your local Touchstone Climbing Gym.

#2. Register online to get your comp code.

That's right. 21st century baby! Every competitor will get a 3 letter code that will follow you for the rest of your life. To get your code, click HERE to sign in once you're done reading. It will look a little something like this:

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If you've competed in a Touchstone Climbing Competition in the last 2 years, you should already have a code. Click 'Already Registered?' Once you know your code and have registered for the Pipeworks comp, write the 3 letter code on the top of your wavier. You'll need both to pick up a score card on Friday.  

#3. Plan ahead

Think about riding your bike or carpooling to alleviate parking woes! Even though we happily added a ton of parking this year, our lot has been knows to fill up on busy nights like this. The competition will begin at 5pm and end at 10pm. You can come or leave at any point during the night - just remember to turn in your score card when you're done climbing!

#4. Come hungry and thirsty

Climb your little heart out, then feast on local pizza, beer, and beverages. 

#5. Have fun.

That's what it's all about, right? Be sure to post photos and tag them with #tcs2014 to share the magic with all your friends. 

See you at the comp!

 

 

Member of the Month - Nicole

Jason Bove, aka Doctor Bove, sat down with Nicole Moffatt for his monthly 'Member of the Month' chat. 

One of the many perks of being a Pipeworks staff member is the connection to the ever-growing Touchstone community. Due to initiation specials and resolutions January is historically our biggest month, so we get to meet lots of new folks and joyfully welcome back some of our beloved Pipeworks family. For our new members it is a refreshing change to experience such a welcoming atmosphere. For the long-term guests, it is a pleasure and a comfort to walk in and be greeted by a familiar smiling face. If you have not yet had the good fortune to meet Nicole Moffatt, it is an honor to introduce you to a wonderful friend, healer, world traveler,and art aficionado.

For more than ten years, Nicole diligently held down the 6am - 2pm front desk shift at Pipeworks. After an impromptu change of gears and a small hiatus which included a trip to India, she has come back to the Touchstone family as the company Human Resources Manager. When asked if it were more comfortable in-front or behind-the-scenes for her now, she responded, “Strangely enough, I find them to be relatively similar. I had a lot of fun working the front desk, our members are awesome! However, getting to know them and how to provide a positive experience while at the gym was an interesting challenge at times. Now being in HR, I’m getting to know a different group of people, how they communicate, and see that their needs are met.”

I asked Nicole if her travels in India changed her view of life in the US. “Yes, it brought to my attention just how happy I am to be a woman living in the US, especially California. I was co-chaperoning a group of students from the University of Alabama and we only had 2 men in our group of 14. We drew a bit of attention when we went out even dressed as modestly as we were, often followed by groups of men. It got unnerving at times. India is an intense place on every level: Great beauty next to great atrocity. You really can’t go there and not experience infinite examples of duality and polarity.” That being said, when I asked Nicole if there was one thing she could do before she died (if money were not an option), what would it be and why? She unhesitatingly replied, “Travel, Travel, Travel! You learn so much by encountering other cultures.”

Time for the nuts and bolts and getting to know more about the quiet woman that sat behind the front desk for so long…”What makes her tick, you ask?” Well, one of the many things that Nicole and I see eye to eye on is the need for art, creativity and good design. “I love Tiffany Bozic! Everything she does speaks on many levels to me. I think she’s pretty brilliant! I’ve been following Rodrigo Luff lately. I really like his compositions and his use of neon colors in his work...and Kazuki Takamatsu, what he does with black and white fascinates me. I’m also a big fan of the many unnamed street artists out there. I had a great uncle who was a painter. He lived in the Netherlands and when he’d come to visit we would always talk about art. Some of my earliest conversations were simply discussing art and how it communicated to me, and how art is everywhere. It’s one of the ways I view the world. It’s one of the ways the world speaks to me.”

Besides enjoying art and travel, Nicole devotes much of her time to the healing of herself and others through Craniosacral Practice. “I think the human body is amazing, and I was drawn to CST because I personally found it to be very helpful. I like that the goal of CST is to use the least amount of pressure to create a change, and the modality stresses listening to the body. You can learn a lot when you simply get quiet and listen.” I believe that all of us can learn lessons from that last statement, Nicole!

Although this story is drawing to a close for now, it is a small introduction to a very long tale that continues to be made daily. I wondered, since it had been over ten years getting to know Nicole thus far, where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? Nicole stated, “Wow! No idea. I have a hard enough time looking at the next year. I hope to have lived a happy life.” At this rate, we can be sure of it!
Please be sure to keep your eyes open for Nicole around the Touchstone gyms and remember to say hello if you see her.
Here’s to many more happy times and smiles shared together, thank YOU!

Manager's Favorite: The West Face of the Leaning Tower

The Leaning Tower rises ominously next to Yosemite's Bridalveil Falls. Described by Royal Robbins as "The steepest wall in North America," the West Face of the Leaning Tower was the site of an impressive 1961 ascent by Warren Harding and one of the first big wall solos by Royal Robbins a few years later.

For many Yosemite climbers, the enormous West Face provides a perfect place to climb overhanging, immaculate rock. "This super steep route has a little bit of everything," said Pipeworks Manager Vaughn Medford who has climbed the route three times. "An airy approach ledge, bolt ladders, moderate aid and some free climbing, along with one of the nicest bivy ledges around - the Ahwahnee ledge is perfectly situated just short of half way up."

DSC07349 Bridalveil and Leaning Tower

Read more: Manager's Favorite: The West Face of the Leaning Tower

Pipeworks Member Profile: Larry Knapp

“You can have 15 minutes with the doctor, but only YOU know what is prescribed for your life.”

Pipeworks Member of the Month: Larry Knapp

By Jason Bove

It is always a pleasure to write a story about someone who found a passion for the outdoors, and actively pursues it year round. I have a chance this month to feature Sacramento Pipeworks member and friend, Larry Knapp. Among many other titles throughout life (Father, CPA, Climber, IPA Connoisseur, etc…) he holds the prestigious honor of being MEMBER NUMBER ONE! Let’s start with the burning question…”Can you tell us a little about how you became member #1, and how does it feel to hold such a noteworthy title?

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Read more: Pipeworks Member Profile: Larry Knapp

Women's Empowerment at Pipeworks

The Touchstone Gyms have had amazing opportunities to transform people's lives through fitness. "Sacramento Pipeworks has been working with Women's Empowerment since 2004," said Pipeworks manager Vaughn Medford. "They are headquartered only a couple blocks away from the gym, so it is not unusual to see a group of women 10-15 power walking over to the gym on Fridays. They use the gym to work out in the weight area and do cardio. The members have become accustomed to seeing the group, and we're all supportive of such an important cause."

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Read more: Women's Empowerment at Pipeworks

Past blog entries can be found at  http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/

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