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The Cave Staff
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
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
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.
Strength & Conditioning Director, Coach
Rec. Gymnastics Director, Men's 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.
Parkour Director, Coach
Kevin grew up in Scotts Valley, CA. Most of his early athletic experience was based on informal tree climbing and exploring what the wilderness had to offer. At CSU Stanislaus, Kevin found success in running. He became an all-American in track and field, and was state champion in three disciplines. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management.
Kevin was working in finance and in management when he found greater athletic success in the emerging sport of Obstacle Racing and the television show American Ninja Warrior. He’s been prominently featured since 2014, appearing on (and winning) 5 obstacle course competition shows over 6 seasons and counting.
Kevin launched and operated Dojo Boom (now Defy Thousand Oaks), a top of the line entertainment complex, for 2 ½ years. We are thrilled to have him join us at The Cave to further the business on both the back and front ends.
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.
Emily grew up in Novato, CA, and is proud to be the adopted daughter to her parents. She started gymnastics in the seventh grade, eventually working her way up to compete as a gold-level gymnast in the Xcel program. She is currently studying business at College of Marin. She loves going on adventures, seeing new places, hiking, and trying new food. She is constantly learning more about gymnastics so she can be a stand-out team coach!
Chloe started gymnastics at The Cave when she was very little. Over the course of eight years she practiced hard, eventually landing on The Cave’s Competitive Gymnastics Team up to Level 4.
Chloe is currently at student at Mt. Tam High School in Mill Valley.
Dessa was born on the East Coast and moved to the Bay Area in 2008. She started gymnastics at age 5 and has loved being upside down ever since. She competed in the Xcel competitive gymnastics program before switching to acrobatic gymnastics. She competed across the country with her team and won two national titles! After many years of competition, she decided to take up the less competitive sport of diving at Redwood High School, where she currently attends school.
Dessa loves sharing her passion for gymnastics with kids. She feels most rewarded when kids smile after successfully completing a new skill and when they arrive in class excited and ready to learn! She loves to see young gymnasts work hard and persevere to accomplish both their gymnastics and mental goals.
Carmen was born and raised in theCorte Madera area. She is currently enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College, with plans to transfer to Sonoma State to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Environmental Science. She hopes to one day work at a museum and share knowledge about human cultures developing around environment.
Carmen participated on the Competitive Gymnastics Team at San Rafael Gymnastics, then coached there for two years. She has also been involved in Girl Scouts since the age of 9 and is now a lifetime member, volunteering at camps throughout the year.
Olivia grew up in New Jersey and moved to California when she was 12. She joined The Cave’s Competitive Gymnastics Team upon arrival and competed with us until she was a Level 6 gymnast at age 14. Even as a child she dreamed of being a coach one day and hopes to continue doing so for a very long time.
Olivia is currently a student at Redwood High School. She puts her gymnastics skills to good use as a diver on the high school’s varsity team!
Gymnastics Coach, Graphic Designer
Janel grew up in Northern Detroit, Michigan. She went on to study at University of Michigan, exploring different majors including psychology, kinesiology, sports medicine, physical therapy, and nursing. She also competed as a Division I diver for Michigan.
Janel grew up in the world of competitive gymnastics and competed all the way up to level 10. She finished first on bars at the 2008 Region 5 Championships as a Level 10 gymnast. Also known as Coach J, she is thrilled to now be coaching competitive gymnasts at The Cave.
In the past two years, Janel has taken a deep interest in her own yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices. Yoga has taught her the importance of flexibility and stability in addition to power and strength in gymnastics. When she coaches, she likes to emphasize the brain-body connection to improve gross motor development.
When she is not coaching she is working on graphic designs for The Cave. Lastly, she loves all things water, being from the Land of the Lakes. Go Blue!
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.
Strength & Conditioning Coach
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.
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Cosmo fell in love with sports at an early age. He was drawn to the element of competitionand the camaraderie that comes with it. He played on a traveling baseball team and when he wasn’t playing ball, he was outdoors with his friends skateboarding. After sustaining a wrist injury, he switched gears and picked up running, which eventually led him to compete on the San Francisco City College Cross Country team.
Cosmo spent many years training in endurance sports. With the desire to pick up a new challenge, he jumped headfirst into strength training and CrossFit. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology/Personal Training at San Francisco State University.
Sami has been an athlete since she started playing softball at age 7. She pitched for competitive softball teams for nine years and led her high school to their first conference championship appearance in nearly a decade. She was recruited to play softball at Oberlin College in Ohio, where she graduated with degrees in Environmental Studies and English.
Following graduation, Sami turned to CrossFit as a way to stay active. She loves the competitive atmosphere and the challenge to constantly get stronger and faster.
Sami believes in the power of sports to teach confidence, teamwork, and personal responsibility to kids. She continues to coach softball outside of The Cave, and loves to bring CrossFit-style conditioning to her teams.
When not in the gym or on the softball field, Sami enjoys reading, writing, and volunteering for numerous local organizations.