Coaches

Coach Kevin Cherrick

I began CrossFitting in August 2006 and haven’t looked back. I have seen CrossFit change lives.  I believe that CrossFit has the potential to reverse the growing obesity epidemic in America (in fact, around the world as there are 1300 CrossFit affiliates world wide).

I grew up in Washington, Texas, Connecticut and Florida before finally graduating high school back in Tacoma, WA. Like many of you, sports were a big part of my youth, playing baseball, soccer and 12 seasons of swim team before settling down to high school football, weightlifting and lacrosse.

I played football and lacrosse at Washington University in St. Louis where I graduated with a double major in Finance and Marketing.  I started my career in Phoenix and always kept my workouts steady, but I had lost sight of my goal and how to achieve it.  Because I was no longer competing in an organized sport, I didn’t have a coach giving me my workout and telling me what to do. More to the point, I didn’t need to be as strong or as heavy as I was in college but I still wanted to stay in shape.

After 10 years of the same types of workouts (Mondays and Thursdays, chest and arms, Tuesdays/Fridays, legs and back) I was bored but didn’t know what else I should do. That’s when a friend told me about CrossFit.  I spent days reading crossfit.com and everything clicked.  This is what I was looking for.  A broad, general and inclusive fitness, a way to measure my progress, and, most of all, variety!  I loved how each day was radically different than the day before it and I loved how quickly I was done!  No more 90 minute weightlifting sessions.

Since opening Cactus CrossFit in November 2008, it has been a privilege to see our athlete’s hard work pay off in the changes they see in the mirror, their ever improving performances, and in the community they have created.

Coach Melissa Pruett

 

Bio coming soon.   Contact at Mel@CactusCrossFit.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coach Payson Clark

Payson began his coaching career at Cactus as our Summer Intern in 2012, transitioning into full time coaching that Fall.   While finishing his degree at ASU and achieving All American Honors as Captain of the Sun Devils Lacrosse team, Payson is point man for our 6am class as well as evenings.  He’s busy, but can be reached at Payson.Clark@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coach Amanda Houser

I found CrossFit through a personal trainer whom I worked with for a year before walking through the doors at Cactus CrossFit in September 2009.  I’ll admit, I was intimidated by the idea of working out in ‘a box’.   But I had to try it, I’d heard so much about CrossFit.   Within a few workouts, I was hooked!   I was able to push myself so much harder in a group setting than in working one on one, and the community feeling is impossible to describe!     Training in an environment where you have a coach watching and available the whole time allows me to focus on pushing hard, knowing my coach will watch my form and help me correct if I start screwing up!

After a few years as an athlete, I got CrossFit certified and I love coaching the CF Grit classes!  Grit is a program we design that emphasizes longer conditioning workouts for those athletes who love the feeling of being absolutely toasted!

 

 

 

Coach Jenna Houser

Ugh, how do I describe my feelings about CrossFit?  I love it, I hate it, I can’t get away from it.  The workouts, the coaching, and the community are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and I love being able to help others find themselves in CrossFit the way I did.

While I don’t consider myself competitive, I do enjoy competing in CrossFit competitions.  They are so much fun, and everyone, strangers and friends alike, are always so supportive!  After a competition, I’m always motivated to keep training hard!   Make no mistake, CrossFit is hard work, but results will come for anyone who is willing to commit to the program!

 

 

 

 

Coach Jon Ruskin

I’m CF Level 1, CF Gymnastics and CF Football certified.  Little known fact: I fenced in HS and was captain of the team as a senior.

Growing up I never put a lot of value on exercise and my primary career has me sitting at a desk all day.  When I got out of college it didn’t take long before I was frustrated with the lack of motion in my daily life.  I got into hiking and snowboarding but never got excited about going to the gym with the same repetitive exercises week after week.  Were you the guy that would put off jumping on the bench for a half hour to go talk with a friend just to break up the boredom?  I was.

In early 2009 my friend told me about this gym he had signed up with that did this crazy “new” style of exercise called CrossFit.  It sounded interesting and I signed up soon after.  What a life-changer!  In particular I’m all about any movements that enable better management of my day to day life.  I’m proud to report that with the strength from barbell movements and body-awareness from gymnastics work I can easily carry two weeks worth of food inside from the car in a single trip.

I love the variation in the program along with the community aspect.  Constantly try different things with friends?  Yes please.  I also love that CrossFit is full of extremely knowledgable people on nearly every subject of fitness and health.  It all goes back to the saying “give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish and you’ll feed him for life”.
Director of Athlete Services Michele Bonaccorso

A friend from Women’s Tri-Fitness introduced Michele to CrossFit in late 2009. “After years of inconsistent training in large fitness clubs, I needed something that was going to produce results. With each passing week, I love and am addicted to seeing progress. Whether it’s lifting 10 pounds heavier or hustling 10 seconds faster, I can see my efforts and dedication are paying off.”Michele swam on her high school team from 1998-2002, and went on to coach the junior team at the Aquatic Club of Temple Terrace during college. “I have not felt this dedicated to anything since swimming. I found it underwhelming to go spend an hour running on a treadmill, and it lacked the team/support community environment that I craved. CrossFit provides the camaraderie and accountability of a team that I missed.”Michele is a graduate of the University of South Florida. In her free time she likes to compete in other athletics, such as marathons and triathlons, using only CrossFit for training.Michele is CrossFit Level 1 and Gymnastics certified.

 

 

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