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Meet Carlos Rodriguez, Jr. of CrossFit Collaboration in Chula Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carlos Rodriguez, Jr.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Carlos. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my CrossFit Journey, unknowingly, in college (2010) when my cousin insisted I try it. Like most others, I was intimidated by the fitness movements and intensity levels so I refused to take his advice. Flash forward 7 years… I’m now the proud owner of CrossFit Collaboration, which just celebrated it’s 2 year anniversary on September 1. I say I started my journey in college because even though I didn’t try my first CrossFit class until 2 years after college, the thought of me wanting to try this new fitness craze and getting out of my comfort zone was something I couldn’t rid myself of. I always enjoyed taking on challenges but trying CrossFit when I was in the worst fitness shape of my life was overwhelming. My excuse was “I am not fit enough to do CrossFit” and now that I look back, that had to be the worst excuse ever! You go to CrossFit to get fit, not because you are fit. So, I finally took the plunge when I realized that my dad was having health issues. I wanted to make sure that I did my best to avoid the same path. Around this same time CrossFit Hillcrest opened up and it was that small act of courage that changed my life forever.

I was always involved in sports, from the age of 4 I started playing baseball and to this day I have not stopped. I was also participated in football and soccer through my teenage and high school years. So I had some sense of fitness and health. CrossFit wasn’t life changing to me because I was able to get fit again but because I was able to meet people who were able to inspire me to change the way I approached my life. It was so much more than fitness.

After being an athlete at CrossFit Hillcrest, I noticed the amount of time that I was spending there was increasing to the point that I would spend 4-5 hours a day there. No, not working out the entire time but enjoying the community and assisting other athletes. Naturally, the next step was to become a coach. After coaching for a couple of years my goals in life gradually started to change, I went from my sole objective of being money driven to really wanting to help others. At this point, I was working in the financial industry. I started what I thought was my career two months after graduating from Cal. State Northridge in 2012. In 2015 I got the opportunity to purchase a CrossFit Gym and re-brand it to my likings and I jumped in head first! (This comes from the same guy that took 2 years to try CrossFit for the first time because he was scared.)

CrossFit Collaboration opened its doors September 1, 2015 and I resigned from my finance job November 1, 2015. It’s been 2 years since opening day and I love what this experience has turned me into. Since then, I have returned to work in the financial industry and learned to revolve my life around assisting others, whether it be physically or financially. The gym is still in its growing phase but I’m proud to say that in the past 6 months we have grown 178% (sorry I’m a math guy.) With this rapid growth we have decided to put all additional revenue back into the business but more specifically into our members. My biggest goal, is to implement ideas that the members can benefit from immediately. We have a really close group of members, it’s an extension of our family and we want to make sure that they get everything they deserve.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been far from a smooth road. The first year was more like driving a bouncing low-rider on a trail, intended for 4×4 off-road vehicles, that recently experienced a landslide and is floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean during a massive hurricane. (Can you picture that?) Okay, it wasn’t that bad but it was challenging as expected.

The first obstacle I had to overcome was the decision for me to resign what I thought was my “career job.” After that, my partnership (I did not start this journey alone) started to fall apart and for over a year we attempted to work things through. After a year and 4 months, we agreed to go our own ways. Also during this time, because my girlfriend and family were there to support my goals they were the first to step up and also the first to experience the downfalls. With that came the pressure and the last thing I wanted to do was let them down. Then came the last obstacle, which was trying to sustain a business that at first was experiencing very little to no growth. As cliché as it might sound, these events that we overcame only made us better and helped us plan for a better future both as a business and in our personal lives. My Girlfriend now assists me in the running of the business. But as I stated earlier, these were just small bumps on a newly paved road. (Haha)

As we reflect, it’s easy to say that this is the reason why CrossFit Collaboration has become a place of so much character, naturally, through are past negative events we created an environment where everyone feels like they can generate results and take their mind off the stresses of everyday life. There is absolutely no way that this gym would have made it this far if it weren’t for the amazing members, coaches and staff wanting to be a part of something bigger than themselves and continuing to assist. This business is ran by a committee and the ones with the biggest input are the members. As I’ve stated before, this business is ran by the members, the owners just handle the paperwork that no one wants to deal with.

Please tell us about CrossFit Collaboration.
CrossFit, for those of you that don’t know, is high intensity functional training. “Functional” meaning working on movements and muscle groups that the average person will use on a daily basis outside the doors of our facility. Specifically, for CrossFit Collaboration, our goal is to offer a service that will either improve or sustain your standard of living. Like I stated earlier, the reason I started CrossFit was because I saw my dad’s health depleting at a rapid rate to the point where he could no longer perform the everyday tasks that he was used to doing.

Naturally, I wanted to avoid the same thing happening to me and decided that I needed to be proactive. When I realized that I had the opportunity to assist a mass of people I decided that that was going to be my same goal for them. The way this is accomplished is through a class setting that lasts approximately 1 hour. During this class we’ll allow up to 14 people and have 1 or 2 coaches explaining and demonstrating movements and workouts that are changing every day. Something I say often, “We never do the same workout twice” and this is because we like to keep it exciting and our bodies guessing. Our coaching staff of 7 are always making sure that all athletes are performing movements with proper form and will dictate when you should or should not step up intensity.

Even with everything that goes on behind the scenes to make sure this type of business runs smoothly and the tremendous amount of growth we have seen, what I am most proud of is our membership type, or the personality of all our members as a whole. The love and support the members have for one another is incredible, this is truly one big family. It is insane how when you walk in the doors you feel the excitement and you hear the screams of support not from staff or ownership but from members themselves. Our family at CrossFit Collaboration is so vested in what has been created that they too get joy and satisfaction in seeing others succeed. It is safe to say that when an individual accomplishes a goal, so does every other single person that is part of this gym. Inside this facility you will never feel like you’re alone and to make things better, our members are extremely welcoming to new individuals who are looking to accomplish the same.

We are not a facility that houses the “freaks of nature” that you see competing during the CrossFit Games on T.V. (even though we do have a few) but we are mostly made up of your “average Joe’s” who are looking to be healthy and sustain or better their fitness levels, health and standard of living.

I have never been a part of anything like this before!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood has to be when I was on the baseball field and had my grandparents (from both parents) and mom in the stands, my Dad in the dugout (coaching) and my cousin next to me at second base. It was a combination of multiple things that I loved all in one place.

A close second, would be spending the holidays with my family. My parents divorced at an early age and many people would think that the holidays under those circumstances would be hard for a child. As I look back, it had to be some of the best days of my life. I got the opportunity to be with my dad, his parents, his siblings and my cousins for half the night and as hard/sad as it was to leave it was always a bittersweet moment because that meant that I was on my way to see my mom, her parents, her siblings and the rest of my cousins. Plus, I received double the amount of gifts!

Pricing:

  • Fundamentals + 1 month of CrossFit $250
  • 3 month contract (month-to-month afterwards) $139
  • Military, First Responder, Teacher, Students etc., (month-to-month) $129

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. John

    October 27, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Great writeup
    Congratulations Carlos

    • Carlos

      March 16, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      Thank You!

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