Meet the Coaches

MEET THE CROSSFIT COACHES

TRANSFORMATIONAL COACHES

Discover your potential with personalized coaching from a trainer who understands your goals and will help you push past your limits. We’ll show you how to do all the right moves, so you’ll see long-lasting changes for the better. We’ll help you find—and safely use—the power of your potential.

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Ken Nodes

Owner/Coach

Ken Nodes

Owner/Coach

Head Coach/Owner Ken Nodes has been a CrossFitter for nearly a decade—and specializes in Olympic lifting, with a focus on making people healthier and helping them attain their goals. "I absolutely love seeing them ‘get’ something," he says. "That moment when things click and their mind and body work together, and all their hard work pays off, and they achieve that goal they’ve been striving for, is pure magic".   Once upon a time, he worked on Wall Street—and that lasted for 25 years.  "When I was little I wanted to be a gym teacher, because I loved gym class. Now I've become that gym teacher."

Ken’s own athletic background includes playing college basketball. "I have always trained," he says. "I have always played sports: Baseball, basketball and football in high school; basketball in college, and later on in my adult life, skiing. Through it all, working out has always remained a constant."

"I’ve always chosen a training methodology using this theory: If it makes sense, try it.  If it works, keep doing it. And if it doesn’t, find something else that does.  By ‘it works,’ I mean that it improves my overall fitness level, and perhaps just as important, it’s not boring.  If it’s boring, you’re not going to want to do it, and lousy results will be the only outcome. That’s what led me to CrossFit—the boredom set in quickly, so I started thinking about challenging myself in other ways, such as a marathon or triathlon.  While researching training methods for these, I stumbled on a link to CrossFit.com and haven’t looked back."

Ken opened CrossFit Persist to share this fitness methodology. "This is something that can truly help everyone, and that everyone can do," he says. "I’m a good trainer, because I’m going to bust my ass for you if you commit to bust yours for me. I couldn’t care less if you’re good at it, or have any real athletic skill at all. All I require is a good attitude. I can teach you everything else."

Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1 & 2
  • CrossFit Olympic Lifting
  • CrossFit Gymnastics
  • CrossFit Mobility
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Kathy Thoresen

Head CrossFit Kids Coach

Kathy Thoresen

Head CrossFit Kids Coach

Coach Kathy Thoresen is our Head CrossFit Kids Coach and has six years of experience, specializing in mobility. "I enjoy learning about and understanding human movement and mobility," she says. "Getting athletes into full range of motion without restriction due to mobilizing efforts allows them to make progress, which makes me very happy."

For Kathy, the best part of coaching is that each member of our CrossFit community has different needs and goals. "Everyone is like a puzzle piece," she says. "They are unique and looking for their own place. Some puzzle pieces find their way more easily than others. Others take a little more time and patience. Coaching athletes and helping them fit into their ‘big picture’ is what I love most."

Kathy has always been physically active since childhood, participating in cheerleading, softball and gymnastics. CrossFit and yoga have replaced those activities into adulthood. "The same time I discovered CrossFit, I was earning a personal training certification," she says. "I fell in love with CrossFit and decided to earn my L1 and hopefully coach others to love it, too."

Besides spending time with family and friends (including the dogs!), Kathy enjoys finding peace on her yoga mat, where she can also meditate on her favorite saying: "What we think, we become." - Buddha

Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2)
  • CrossFit Kids
  • CrossFit Gymnastics & Advanced Gymnastics
  • CrossFit Mobility
  • CrossFit Kettlebell
  • Yoga Teacher Training (100 Hours)
  • W.I.T.S. (World Instructor Training School) Personal Training
  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
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Elizabeth Abate

Coach/Head Nutritionist

Elizabeth Abate

Coach/Head Nutritionist

Coach Elizabeth (Liz) Abate is our Head Nutritionist and is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. "I love helping them transform their lives through health and fitness," she says. "Not only can they conquer any challenges they face during their journey, but they feel like a superhero!"

Now a CrossFitter for more than six years, Liz never worked out prior to embarking on her CrossFit journey. "Being a working mom of two young children, I was tired all the time trying to manage everything (both physically and mentally)," she says. "One day, I realized that I didn’t do anything for myself. Everything that I did was to make sure everyone around me was taken care of and satisfied (sound at all familiar?). I completely forgot how important it was to take care of myself. So enough was enough...I decided it was time I dedicated an hour a day to my health. After all, what good would I be to my family if I wasn’t healthy?" Once she joined CrossFit Persist, her whole life changed—and she was doing things she never thought possible. "I gained energy, strength, confidence and met so many amazing people," she says. "My passion for this sport grew each and every day. I knew that I wanted to be more involved in this community. I wanted to help others feel as amazing—an unstoppable—as I do."

When she’s not CrossFitting, Liz can usually be found helping people shed unwanted body fat, at a cheerleading competition supporting her beautiful daughter, or at a baseball game cheering on her talented son.

Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 2
  • CrossFit Kids Certified
  • Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant
  • Holistic Health Practitioner
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Neela Atluri

Coach

Neela Atluri

Coach

Coach Neela Atluri has been CrossFitting for nearly five years and is passionate about "living life to the fullest, living in the present, and celebrating each victory and milestone no matter how small. I love encouraging our members and helping them become the best they can while also having so much fun," she says.

Though she doesn’t really have a very athletic background, Neela played recreational sports as a kid (tennis, soccer, figure skating, skiing, and swimming). "From college onwards, however, I switched to using a gym for weight training, aerobics, spinning and other usual gym stuff," she says. "By the time I had heard about CrossFit, yoga and running were my primary forms of exercise. To challenge myself, I would run races like the Spring Lake 5 and small triathlons. The bottom line is, I was always ‘doing’ something."

She started CrossFit to try to find a different form of working out. "I have never looked back ever since," she says. "I love that each and every day is a new challenge. I love the community and the support system the box brings to its members. Four years into my CrossFit journey, at Coach Ken’s suggestion, I took the Level 1 certification class. This was one of the best decisions I have made! I have a natural inclination to want each person to be the best that they can be. Coaching brings the added benefit of becoming even deeper rooted into this amazing CrossFit family."

When she’s not CrossFitting or working as a Systems Engineer, Neela enjoys spending time with friends, family and her dog. "Our new home closer to the ocean keeps us out and about for hours, whether it’s walking the dog around the neighborhood or just being by ourselves on the beach," she says. "I love to travel and still have a list of countries yet to be visited. I also volunteer for a women’s shelter because I strongly believe women should have the complete freedom to be independent and strong without having to look over their shoulders."

Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
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Michelle Rubino

Coach/Head Gymnastics Coach

Michelle Rubino

Coach/Head Gymnastics Coach

Coach Michelle Rubino has been CrossFitting for almost four years and specializes in gymnastics. "I love watching an athlete improve and accomplish their goals," she says.

Michelle’s athletic background inevitably led her to become a CrossFit coach. "I was a competitive gymnast for 10 years and coached it for five years," she says. "After having done CrossFit for three years, and seeing how similar it is to gymnastics, I wanted to share my gymnastics knowledge and love for teaching. That’s why I became a CrossFit coach."

When she’s not in the gym, Michelle is training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu—or teaching 3rd grade.
Her favorite inspirational quote: "It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop."
- Confucius

Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1
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Shawn Boyle

Coach

Shawn Boyle

Coach

Coach Shawn Boyle has been a CrossFitter for nearly four years and specializes in Olympic lifting. "I love making athletes better—and seeing them achieve results," he says.

Active in baseball and wrestling while in school, Shawn earned MVP in college for cross country and placed third in the state track 4x100. After having two shoulder surgeries, he joined CrossFit to help strengthen his shoulder. "I was determined to get back in shape, but my shoulder was always holding me back," he says. "Within a few short months, I was pain-free and my persistence helped me excel at many movements. My coaches noticed my determination and they asked me if I would be interested in coaching. It was then when I looked into taking my L-1."

When he’s not in the gym, Shawn enjoys spending time with his kids, riding motorcycles, and racing. His favorite motivational saying: "I'm going to do today what other people don’t, so I can do tomorrow what other people can’t."

Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Olympic Lifting
  • CrossFit Kettlebell Certified
  • CrossFit Masters Certified
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Isabell Mecker

Coach

Isabell Mecker

Coach

Bio coming soon!

Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
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Justin Son

Coach

Justin Son

Coach

Bio coming soon!

Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1

"Excellent coaching and great support!"