The Cave

History of The CaveCave Tag


The history of The Cave goes back to 1994. The founders Roger Harrell and Andres De La Rosa were on the UC Davis gymnastics team together. Roger ran the Davis boys gymnastics program and recruited Andres to help coach and develop the program. Through this relationship discussions of opening a facility dedicated to gymnastics and fitness began. Being that both Andres and Roger had experience and knowledge in other fields this path was not immediately followed. Roger spent nearly a decade as a Chemical Engineer with Bechtel Corporation ultimately leading to a position as CIO of a software development firm. Throughout this time Roger kept involved with coaching helping out at local gymnastics facilities and consulting with various fitness organizations. Andres spent this time coaching at a variety of facilities learning programs and developing his own coaching skills.

In 2003 Roger Harrell and Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, Inc., were brought together through an intersection of their websites Drills And Skills and CrossFit. After several discussions on training concepts and a few days spent at each others facilities training groups Roger was brought into the CrossFit community as the Gymnastics Subject Matter Expert. Roger spent three years working with CrossFit Inc. developing curriculum, teaching at the CrossFit Certitfication Seminars and developing the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program. This role lead to the decision to open CrossFit Marin with Andres.

September of 2006 CrossFit Marin was born. Roger and Andres began training a small group of pastors in the basement of what is now Epic Faith Church. After about a month an agreement was reached with the City of Novato to move operations into the Novato Gymnastics Center. This facility was well suited for hosting a CrossFit program run by two gymnasts. Parkour was introduced to the program at this time, but no gymnastics program beyond an adult gymnastics group was added as it would compete with the Novato Gymnastics program. A year was spent in Novato building the program and training athletes. It was clear that this program was going to have a strong following from the very beginning. Through the first year CrossFit Marin grew rapidly, unfortunately the City of Novato went through a major insurance audit in 2007. This ultimately led to a declaration that a private company could not continue to operate out of the Novato Gymnastics facility. 8 days notice was given on December 23, 2007 to vacate. Finding a facility to house a CrossFit and parkour program in 8 days, in Marin is an impossible task, so we were left without a facility.

Andres and Roger took this hit in stride and just moved the program back to the basement and in parks. During this time an aggressive search for the right facility was started. It became apparent that finding a location with the ceiling height needed to develop the full program as planned was not going to be an easy task. Several potential locations were scoped out, evaluated and ultimately did not work out for a variety of reasons. Roger had his car loaded up with about 500 lbs of barbells and plates, and Andres kept running back and forth to and from a storage facility to fetch other equipment as needed. Training in parks is nice for the outdoor feel and fun, but weather was continuously a problem, and the logistics were brutal. In spite of all this people were getting fit and having a blast, so it was well worthwhile. After 9 months of searching, all while continuing to train a dedicated group of people who were apparently going to follow anywhere, a small warehouse with a sufficient ceiling was found. The owner of 400 Tamal Plaza in Corte Madera reluctantly agreed to allow the use of the a studio's 500 square foot storage room as a fitness facility. This occurred in September of 2008.

This 500 square feet now had to house a CrossFit program, gymnastics program and parkour program. Parallel bars, a pommel horse and a squat rack were crammed into the space. A small area was left open for lifting and the outdoors is always available. If you know the program now, picture this. An adult gymnastics class with 8 individuals and a CrossFit class with 8 individuals all training in the space under the mezannene that houses Roger's office. Panel mats were laid out in the parking lot for tumbling, at night, in the winter, with no building lighting. Training was done by the light of a small construction lamp that Andres happened to have. In spite of the rediculous situation the program continued to grow. After a few months of talks the program was allowed to expand into the smaller of two studios in the building. The gym now encompassed about 2,300 square feet, but was not allowed to do any remodeling. This is how 2009 began.

Our next phase left the CrossFit program in the 500 square foot storage room, and gymnastics and parkour were moved next door into the studio, which happened to be a green screen room. While much better than outdoors, the program was still pretty constrained, tumbling continued on panel mats over concrete, a beam was added and training kept progressing. More members signed up and allowance for remodeling was granted. See a video of the gym just before demo. In the middle of 2009 our first major demo began. Watch a video of how demo is done CrossFit style.

At this point the facility was finally to a point where all of our programs could truly operate as intended. The gymnastics program was brought into full swing, the CrossFit program had a dedicated space to function and parkour was able to utilize the facility well and train. This was the facility for about another year. In June of 2010 Another 2,500 square feet of space was taken over, a full kitchen was added and another remodel began. It was at this time that the name change began. It was clear that our non-CrossFit programs were struggling a little bit with the name and we needed something more all encompasing. Development of the new name began.

The following months lead us to where we are today. In the end of 2010 and early 2011 the program has exploded. We have added another 1,200 square feet bringing our total training space to around 6,200 square feet with another 1,000 square feet in office, kitchen and changing/rest room facilities. The training staff has grown continuing to add to our ranks and knowledge. Our members are getting more numerous and more fit. Lifelong friendships are being formed and the community just keeps getting stronger. Figuratively and literally.

2013 Update: As anticipated we have continued to grow the program. We have taken over an additional 4,500 square feet of space. Our total facility is now over 11,500 square feet. Each discipline has a dedicated space, though there is still cross over utilization as we encourage cross discipline activity. A large remodel project is in the works and we keep looking forward to our next phase. Give us a call (415) 927-1630 to join us.