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Get to know our family! The Cave’s coaching and support staff have backgrounds and experience in a wide variety of sports and other disciplines. With extensive knowledge in strength training, conditioning, and kinesthetics, our coaches will help you obtain and exceed your goals.
412 Tamal Plaza
Corte Madera, CA 94925
staff (at) inthecave.com
Roger comes to The Cave with over 30 years of experience in gymnastics, and over 25 years of coaching experience. His passion for fitness is contagious. His technical knowledge and scientific approach help to refine everything we do. Roger holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and spent several years working on enormous processing plant projects, ore refinement systems and chemical weapons disposal facilities. Throughout it all he has kept a hand in coaching and training and has finally dedicated full time to his true passion. Roger has been involved in CrossFit since the early days and is also the gymnastics curriculum writer and core competency expert for the global CrossFit community.
When Roger is not at the gym he is with his incredible family. His wife Pam of 20 years and their two children, Caitlyn and Logan. You can meet the three of them at the gym either taking classes, or being involved in other capacities.
Level 3 CrossFit Certification
Founder CrossFit Gymnastics Certification Program
Co-Founder CrossFit Marin
Athletics Director, Coach
Upside down and smiling—that’s how Amanda’s parents always found her as a little girl. By the age of four, after years of watching her flip around the house, Amanda was happily enrolled in gymnastics and was off to a lifetime involved in athletics.
Amanda found great success as a gymnast as she competed for over eight years, winning several impressive titles including a few State Championships and one National first place on the floor exercise. Injuries became an issue for Amanda, so she slowly phased out of competition and into coaching.
She went on to study at UCLA and graduated with a degree in World Arts and Culture with a focus in Dance Studies. She found that dance could be used to help fill the void left by gymnastics. But, then came CrossFit…
CrossFit put Amanda back in the gym and reintroduced her to gymnastics. She now feels better than ever, with no injuries or lingering pain. She wishes she had CrossFit while she was a competing gymnast, because she feels she would have been better and stronger. As a coach, this offers her a unique perspective on how to help her athletes and develop well-balanced athletic programs at The Cave.
Amanda is currently the Athletics Director and a premier CrossFit and Gymnastics coach at The Cave, home to CrossFit Marin. Aside from her professional life here, she has stayed active in the community over the last eight years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, as well as the Director of a free Jr. Lifeguard Program. She is currently in school to further her career in the medical field and also working hard to put her name on the map of the CrossFit community. Already making a mark as a 2012 and a 2014 Northern California Individual Regional competitor, Amanda is still smiling.
Facilities Director, Coach
Russ started working at The Cave in late 2006 and has happily been part of its growth since then. Apart from teaching movement education to two and three year olds (while they learn how to jump, roll, lift, and land safely) to coaching Gymnastics, Russ has mentored young children and teens so they can approach life with confidence through physical accomplishment.
Russ also coaches adults in both CrossFit and Gymnastics and particularly enjoys helping those who have never approached either sport. That said, he also enjoys all types of fitness enthusiasts The Cave attracts, from ex-athletes who strive for excellence and love to test and retest their athleticism, all the way to the average Joe/Jane wanting to get off the couch and get in shape. His approachable and patient nature, love for the moment, and enthusiasm for what the body is capable of achieving drives him every day to pass on that knowledge to whoever crosses his path.
Whether it be Gymnastics, CrossFit, or Parkour, his lifelong experience with understanding the human body allows him to teach movement to all who enter The Cave in a progressive, safe manner.
Level 1 CrossFit certified
31 years of experience in the sport of Gymnastics
21 years of coaching Gymnastics (recreational as well as competitive)
7 years experience coaching CrossFit
Parkour Director, Coach
JB was born in Southern California and raised in San Pedro. His mother, father, and brother are a big part of his life. Growing up, he experienced a constant need to challenge himself. He did this in many ways: gymnastics, skateboarding, sliding down the stairs in cardboard boxes, snowboarding, surfing, rope swings, basketball, baseball, swimming, volleyball, making up obstacle courses, climbing trees, and, of course, monkeying around. In high school, he focused on basketball and played four years on the varsity team for Palos Verdes High. He is still very close with his coaches and teammates from that time.
JB moved to Sonoma County in 2006 and attended Sonoma State University, where he earned a business management degree. In 2010, he started an internship as Director of Marketing at Rohnert Park Gymnastics, where they had a brand new parkour class. One thing lead to another, and when he graduated in 2011, it was clear his passions were movement and inspiring movement in others. JB believes that God has a plan for him, and it involves sharing these passions with others.
Since working at The Cave, JB has picked up slacklining and an interest in CrossFit. The Cave also helped him train for American Ninja Warrior seasons 4 and 5, where he made it to the finals in Las Vegas both times. During season 4, he fell on Stage 2 on the unstable bridge, and during season 5, he fell on the jumping spider in Stage 1 of Mount Midoriyama. He also tried out for ANW seasons 6 and 7. While he didn’t receive a call back, it didn’t discourage him from training and continuing to strive for total victory. Wish him luck, as he is always trying!
CrossFit Director, Coach
Growing up moving every couple of years, Amy discovered that playing sports was a good way to fit into her constantly changing environment. She was a strong soccer player from an early age, often playing on boys’ teams because the opportunities for girls were limited. She was an All Conference and All State player in high school and was recruited to play Division 1 soccer for Villanova University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, double majoring in English and Communications.
Four knee surgeries took Amy off of the competitive soccer field, but she continues to play a diversity of sports and stays fit by participating in CrossFit classes and running. She is also an adrenaline junky and has felt the thrill of solo accelerated free-fall skydiving, bungee jumping off a 500-foot railroad bridge, class 5+ whitewater rafting, running the New York City marathon, and circumnavigating the country on her motorcycle more than once. True to her gypsy roots, she’s lived the softer side of San Francisco and the harder side of New York City, and she has backpacked through thirty different countries within South America, Central America, Mexico, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Prior to becoming Operations Director at The Cave, Amy served as Office Manager where she helped create the administrative infrastructure that is in place today. She previously worked in a variety of service and management positions, including being a Product Development Manager for Restoration Hardware. She also spent a year in Africa working for eight different non-profit organizations in twelve countries. She worked in orphanages, counseled street children in the Kampala slums, taught kindergarten and art classes, coached a traveling girls’ soccer team in the Kibera slums, helped build and paint schools, took photographs for fundraising and social media back in the United States, and created a large-scale art mural with child soldiers in a village in Northern Uganda. Her outreach and working with children were clear indications that she was a good fit for The Cave.
Amy stays involved in the community by volunteering with the American Red Cross as a First Responder for national disasters and on the Northern California Disaster Action Team. She loves all things creative, spending one of nine years at Burning Man building a 20-foot art sculpture with acceptance from the Black Rock Arts Commission.
Business has more than tripled since Amy joined The Cave in 2012. She can’t wait to see what’s next on her journey.
Crystal is a Southern California native (Los Angeles) but immediately fell in love with the state’s northern parts while traveling in 2016. She made Marin County her home shortly thereafter. Crystal loves to travel and is passionate about saving the world. She enjoys the community surrounding the music and art festivals that take place around California throughout the year. She’s been music curator, events manager, and logistics coordinator at many of them, and continues to support the DoLab with Lightning in a Bottle.
Crystal started at The Cave in August 2016 as an Administrative Assistant and quickly moved into management after showing her value as a leader. She goes to school part-time at College of Marin, and enjoys running during her time off (having previously participated in 4 marathons and 2 Spartan races).
Office Assistant Manager
Haily-Jo grew up in Petaluma, California and loved gymnastics, cheerleading, and martial arts as a child. She started Tae Kwon Do when she was 8 years old and received her Black Belt by the age of 11. She then went on to train for her second degree Black Belt, which she received when she turned 13. Haily joined The Cave in 2017, previously having worked at Soul Cycle, and has been an amazing addition to our office team. She is currently enrolled in classes at Santa Rosa Junior College, loves animals, and her favorite color is happy (yellow)!
Events Manager, Coach
Lexi is a Bay Area native, born in San Francisco and raised in the East Bay and Silicon Valley. She has always had a passion for coaching and working with children. She played competitive travel soccer for 10 years and has a State Cup win under her belt. Lexi enjoys working as a sportscaster for her university’s radio station, going to National Parks, and taking her dogs on hikes. She will be graduating in May 2018 with a BA in Communication and Media Studies and a BA in History. Since her start with The Cave’s Events staff in the summer of 2016, Lexi has fallen in love with the creativity and freedom of parkour.
Graphic Designer, Office Administrator
Boys Team Head Coach
Den has been active in the outdoors since he grew up on a farm in Wisconsin. He began lifting weights at 16, and working out became a part of his daily routine. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art, and photography has threaded through all the different careers he has explored. At age 40, he found himself in the best shape of his life and found himself onstage in a bodybuilding competition.
At The Cave, Den left the bodybuilding world behind and focused solely on gymnastic bodyweight strength and movement, and realized that he may have been worshiping the wrong god all his life. Den has photographed many annual events such as the parkour Pitfall competition and the Crossfit Throwdown.
He currently spends his time as a coach for the Boys Gymnastics Program at all levels and is passionate about helping students who are focused and deliberate in their gymnastics training. He is hoping for them to reach a competitive level by 2019, and is honored for the opportunity to work alongside the Cave’s incredible staff to make this a reality.
Girls Team Head Coach
Erin Ballantine was a competitive gymnast in her youth and started coaching at a young age to help pay for her competitive seasons. After discontinuing her own training, she continued to teach children and assist in the junior elite training program at her home gym. Since that time, Erin has accumulated over twenty years of experience as a gymnastics coach. She is a USA gymnastics professional member and certified instructor, and her experience ranges from teaching Mommy & Me classes to training Level 10 competitive gymnasts. Erin spent several years doing community outreach work in the Bay Area, traveling to low-income communities and teaching gymnastics to kids who would not be able to afford it otherwise. She has coached at a number of gymnastics schools in the area and spent over eight years managing and teaching at Cal-Star Gymnastics in Novato. Erin started teaching at The Cave many years ago but only recently came on as a full-time employee. She coaches recreational and competitive gymnastics and is proud to be a member of the incredible staff here.
Outside of the gym, Erin has returned to school to pursue a degree in occupational therapy. Her hope is to work with children who have a challenging time with mobility and physical activity. Although she has a ways to go in pursuit of this degree, she has already spent time working with physically challenged kids and has found the work rewarding and inspiring. She, herself, enjoys all types of physical activity, including hiking, biking, CrossFit, wake-boarding, running, snowboarding, and skiing. She enjoys traveling, reading, and—most of all—exercise!
USA Gymnastics professional member
USA Gymnastics certified instructor
Certified in safety and risk management through USA Gymnastics
Adlae has been surrounded by gymnastics since age four, when her older sister started doing cartwheels around the house. She quickly fell in love with the physical and mental components of the sport. Adlae was a gymnast for seven years and now loves helping young kids fall in love with gymnastics just like she did.
Seven years in gymnastics
Level 4 Gymnast
Andrey Pfening was born on March 11th, 1990 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. He spent his childhood in Samara, Russia, and at the age of twelve moved to America. He has resided in the San Francisco Bay Area ever since.
While in high school, Andrey came across a YouTube video of David Belle (co-founder of Parkour). He was instantly drawn to the activity and began seeking out knowledge and experience, practicing with friends and dedicating himself to training on his own several days a week. As he gained proficiency, others were drawn to his abilities and attracted to his teaching style.
Andrey has now become a recognizable member of the Parkour community. He helps orchestrate local monthly jams in San Francisco and is committed to educating himself about Parkour and the most effective teaching tools. He frequently attends local and national parkour summits, with well known practitioners, which review the most up to date trends in the discipline and how to implement these trends into his teachings.
Outside of the gym, Andrey spends a lot of time coming up with skill progressions, class outlines, and visual aids, which assist his physical and vocal style of teaching. He uses video of himself and his own students to break down progressions, frame by frame.
Annually, Andrey performs in live performances, working with local choreographers such as Scott Wells, Zoe Klein, Natasha Kaluza, and others. In 2015, he had a rare opportunity to be part of a massive San Francisco Opera production “The Trojans.” And in 2016, he will be part of the San Francisco Opera’s “Carmen” production. He also periodically choreographs and performs pieces of his own.
Gymnastics has been a part of Ashlyn’s life for as long as she can remember. She began taking gymnastics classes in kindergarten and never stopped. She was a competitive gymnast for six years, including 2 years at The Cave (Level 7). After she stopped competing, she began coaching at The Cave. When Ashlyn is not in the gym she enjoys spending time outside, running, and cooking.
Chelsea moved to the Bay Area from Columbus, Ohio in 2014. She loves learning and growing as both an athlete and a coach in new, fun, and challenging ways. She believes movement variety is the spice of life!
She has a passion for inspiring others, not only in fitness but also in personal empowerment, developing new habits, behavior modification skills, and truly falling in love with movement. She specializes in helping develop a growth mindset in people of all ages.
Chelsea has a degree in Dietetics (Nutrition) from Columbus State in Ohio. Prior to moving west and joining The Cave, she worked for five years at the Public Health Department and at Ohio State University, doing child and family nutrition counseling. She has been an athletic trainer since 2008 and has been coaching CrossFit since 2011. She is also a USA weightlifting coach and a certified intuitive eating counselor. Chelsea started teaching swim lessons to young children when she was fourteen and has been working with children and teenagers in a wide variety of sports and activities ever since.
Chelsea’s athletic background is in strength sports. She started lifting competitively in high school and has competed, on a national platform, in Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and Strong(wo)men competitions. She also has dabbled in competitive CrossFit, swimming, volleyball, and shot put. She is also passionate about and actively involved in gymnastics, mountain biking, surfing, yoga, hiking, snowboarding, and kayaking. You can find her around Northern California doing one of those things every weekend.
Registered Dietetic Technician with The American Dietetic Association
Certified USA Weightlifting Coach
Level 1 CrossFit
Level 2 CrossFit
AFAA certified fitness trainer
Dana has been an athlete all her life. Her passion for movement started when she was just a child, and after a lifelong career in athletics, she realized she loves being a part of other people’s fitness stories. She was a competitive gymnast for sixteen years and was awarded two All-American NCAA Division 1 titles. Apart from her Master’s degree in chemistry (not exactly applicable to The Cave, but you never know), she has an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology, ACSM personal training certifications, ACE group fitness instructor certification, Kinesiology taping and RockTape Fascial Movement Taping Level 1 certification, and CrossFit Level 1 and Mobility certifications.
16 years as a competitive gymnast, 6+ years CrossFit
2x all American NCAA Division 1
CrossFit Level 1 certification
CrossFit mobility certification
ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) personal trainer
ACE (American Council on Exercise) group fitness instructor
Certified in Kinesiology Taping and RockTape FMT1 ( Fascial Movement Taping Level 1)
Nancy Rush came to The Cave in 2013 with gymnastics career experience that began in 2002. This includes eight years at Redwood Empire Gymnastics and one year at Rohnert Park Gymnastics. Since 2012, she has been with Flying Angels Gymnastics, traveling throughout Sonoma and Marin counties teaching gymnastics at preschools. She loves teaching your children at The Cave!
Nancy has taught gymnastics to children ranging from eighteen months to twelve years old, but since 2010, her focus has been with preschool-aged children. She was the Director of the Preschool program while at RPG. Nancy believes that gymnastics helps children build self-esteem, self-confidence, and mind-to-body awareness—all while having FUN!!
Since 2009, Nancy has also been a choreographer for Cinnabar Theater’s Young Rep productions.
Nancy is happily married and lives in Petaluma. She has two daughters and two grandchildren. She is crazy about dogs, especially large-breed dogs (she has three!).
Ron has always been into fitness and team sports, having played basketball in elementary, junior high, and high school. He also played football in high school, participated in outside recreational leagues, and was a cheerleader for his school’s competition squad—mainly focusing on partner and group stunts and tumbling. (He’d probably need a few months of practice now to show off that roundoff back handspring back tuck!).
Ron was in the traditional Globo gym scene and was introduced to CrossFit in 2007. CrossFit Newport Beach came by his work to hold a Pose running and kettlebell clinic, and he has been hooked ever since. From 2007 to early 2009, Ron mainly participated in group WODs, and it wasn’t until summer 2009 that Ron began to spend time with the founder of CFNB, Melissa Metzke, where he shadowed her and volunteered his supervised coaching abilities with the adult classes, kids classes, and barbell classes. In late 2009, his corporate job took him to San Francisco, where he worked out at CrossFit San Francisco and began training with Diane Fu’s FuBarbell Club. In 2009, Ron tried out for the Team CrossFit Games. Although Ron did not make the team, he has always enjoyed the community and competitive atmosphere surrounding the tryouts.
Life and work took Ron and his wife back and forth to Southern California and San Francisco between 2010 and 2011. Finally, he and his wife settled in San Francisco—she to open a small apparel boutique and he working back in the corporate world. Currently, Ron is helping with his wife’s store and focusing on fitness. Having been an athlete most of his life, his goal is to take what was a hobby and turn it into something more tangible, inspiring others the way his past coaches and CrossFit boxes have inspired him.
Ron and Tricia have a little girl, Harlow Sloane, who was born on February 26, 2015.
Sarah moved to California after growing up in Massachusetts. She loves all kinds of sports and is not shy about trying new things, including circus training and martial arts. Sarah fell in love with gymnastics at the age of 17 when she started coaching. She currently coaches all ages at all levels at The Cave, including girls working towards becoming competitive. What does the future hold for Sarah? She’s not sure yet, but she’s confident it will include working with kids, coaching, and the sport of gymnastics!
Zach is a San Francisco native who first fell in love with Parkour as a 10-year-old boy because it gave him the confidence to be himself. He loves being a coach at The Cave to help others realize the same confidence in themselves through control of their bodies. He is a Junior Teaching Major at Dominican University, and loves teaching and participating in sailing, poetry, and all forms of art.