Pipeworks Member of the Month: Philip Wilbur

Whether daytime or night, blazing hot or ice cold in the gym, most likely you will find our next member with his signature hooded sweatshirt on. He is a husband, father, pet owner, friend, and far too many other titles to mention in an introductory paragraph. When it comes to life advice, I can say that Philip has shared many great words and phrases to serve as a model for our own existence. He is a staple of the community, and is always more than generous with his donations of Blue Diamond almonds in exchange for old ropes that he uses for teaching purposes. Today, Sacramento Pipeworks is proud to introduce you to Philip Wilbur.

Member of the Month: Philip Wilbur

MOM.Philip Wilbur.31

Bove) Are you a Sacramento native, and what are some of your favorite things about living here in the valley?

Wilbur) Yes, I was born here is 1959. The house I grew up in is located on 14th and P. The diversity of the people, and the proximity to everything within 2 hours are some of my favorite things about living here.

B) How and when did you come to the Pipeworks family?

W) I was looking for a gym for my son Stefan as a place to train for Rugby. I started coming with him and have never stopped.

B) What is a typical workout regimen while at the gym?

W) Cardio, and weights. Plus, I do like to talk, and Pipeworks has the most interesting people I have ever met.

B) You have told me before, “I are not a climber”. I recently noticed that your son, Stefan, started climbing. Does this mean that you are going to try climbing too? Why or why not?

W) A few of the older climbers have asked more than once for me to try climbing. At some point I will. I really respect the supportive culture of climbing, however, I have not seen a lot of 280 pound climbers. In fact, watching some of the climbers on the practice walls makes my fingers hurt.

B) Do you have a family pet? What is the name, and how does it add to your quality of life?

W) Yes! We have a Terrier mix named Meggie. She is a part of the family (our pets have always been). I enjoy my interaction, walks, watching her dig, chasing after gophers- complete focus and effort. Take your spouse and dog, lock them in the car for 3 hours; which one jumps up and licks your face when you let them out? You have got to love those pups!

B) You always have a positive outlook on situations. How do you maintain your optimistic outlook despite the challenges of being human?

W) Great meds! No, I was blessed with a mother who had the ability to “connect” with people, and I feel I have some of that in me. She always told me to treat people with respect. “Be like a ship as you pass through life. Make sure your wake pushes those it encounters towards their destination, not capsize them.” Life is too short to worry about the score- you miss the game!

MOM.Philip Wilbur.21

B) What do you do for a living, and how did you get into this line of work?

W) By day, I am the Chiller Team Technical Lead (working on large tonnage HVAC) for Johnson Controls (JCI) here in town. My team services central utility plants in NorCal (KP, ATT, Raging Wire, Verizon, Blue Diamond, UCDMC). I have been doing the job for 37 years. At night, I am an instructor for the Pipefitters/Plumbing local where I teach HVAC, Industrial Rigging, Signalmen Certification and OSHA 10/30. Come September, I will have also done that for 30 years. As far as getting into the trade...my friend was going to school at SCC, and I was taking classes to become a chemical engineer. One day, I went to wait for him at his building and ended up talking to the TA. Next thing, I dropped all of my other classes and signed up for the MET program. It was Fall of 1977, and I now sit on the advisory board of that program.

MOM.Philip Wilbur.1

B) As a benefactor of local art, how do you express your own creativity?

W) I am truly challenged to draw, paint, sing, play an instrument, anything creative...period. I appreciate and admire those that can, and if possible, I will help an artist with logistics.

B) Where can we most likely find you when you are not at home or work?

W) Believe it or not, here at Pipeworks!

MOM.Philip Wilbur.4

B) Indoors or outdoors...which do you prefer best?

W) A little of both. My work sometimes affords me time outside on a roof for 12 hours on a 105 degree day (not a pleasant day, but outside). I enjoy being wherever I am at.


Construction at Sacramento Pipeworks

The 2015 bouldering expansion is currently under construction! "It's amazing to see our designs becoming a reality," said Pipeworks manager Vaughn Medford. 

The bouldering area will be 9,000 sq ft, which more than triples the current bouldering space at Pipeworks. “We are working with Walltopia to build the walls,” said Sr Touchstone Manager Jeffery Bowling. “We’ve worked with them to build or expand four of our gyms in the last 2 years, and we couldn’t be happier with their product.”

Check it out and stay tuned for Open House dates! 









Member of the Month: Phillip Czabot

unnamed-8You can’t find someone more stoked on life than this dude! If you have trouble locating our newest member of the month, you may not be alone. He could either be in the rafters at your favorite concert, topping out your next boulder problem, rappelling down a Yosemite classic route, flying down the slopes of the Sierra mountains on his snowboard, or looking for love on the streets of your hometown. Meet, Phillip Czabot...a Detroit, Michigan native that made his way to the sunny shores of California in his quest to find his true self.

Member of the Month: Phillip Czabot

Bove) How long have you been rock climbing, and what brought you to the Pipeworks family?

Czabot) I started climbing when I was 25, and have been for 8 years now. My first climbing experience was a multi-pitch trad route in Yosemite. My two buddies came to the house one day and said, “Let’s go to the valley to climb.” I was broke, so I told them I couldn’t go. An hour later, they returned with a new harness and shoes! It was SUPER RAD; it really showed how much they cared. In Yosemite, we climbed After Six (a 5.7 classic); I was hooked almost instantly! I loved the way the gear worked, the feeling of being up high, and, of course, how the valley looked from being up on the wall. I was SO stoked! When we came back down, I asked my buddy Chris if I could place some gear, because I wanted to see how it felt on lead. He looked puzzled and said, “Really?!”, but we placed gear in some cracks, and he would tell me what was bomber and what was not. After an hour at ground level, placing cams and nuts, it was time. Holy smokes, I was the most focused I have ever been! It took me 45 minutes to do the first pitch of After Six. When I got to the top, my leg was shaking. Later, in this game, I would find out I had “Elvis leg.” Chris lowered me to the ground and my leg was still going nuts. I had this twisted grin on my face, and he said, “You’re feeling it, huh, bro?” I started clapping, yelling, and jumping all over the place. Climbing would forever change my life! ...A few years later, I found Pipeworks and knew this was the gym for me. Climbing chicks are HOT!

unnamed-10B) You are one of the lucky ones whose hobbies have also turned into a source of income. Can you tell us more about how this happened, and what you do for work?

C) I came in to the gym one morning three years ago, and the beautiful Nicole, who at that time was working the front desk, said, “Hey, this Oakley wearing NorCal dude (Lane Cooper) came in. He does work for Cirque du Soleil, and is looking for guys that are good with ropes and comfortable at heights.” I went home and called him that day. A month later, he flew myself, and desk staff Ryan Rougeux, out to Seattle to try out. It was an instant fit! I got certified in rope access the next month. Since then, I have been able to travel around the world with RAD people, like Ryan, get paid to play with ropes, and be up in high places that most people don’t get to see. I do theatrical and rock and roll rigging as well. We were working on Shoreline amphitheatre this past year, and I got to meet the head rigger.

He asked if I was interested in theatrical rigging, and I said, “Hell yes, I am!” He called me a few weeks later to come down and shadow to see if I liked it or not, and I was hooked. I love everything from building the steel, to going up in the rafters and walking beams to set up points, surrounded by sound and lights. I have been able to rig for some of the greatest entertainers of our time, and am looking forward to doing a whole lot more. Don’t get me wrong, there are still times when you’re on a job and things are just downright horrible. The weather can kick your ass in so many ways. Some jobs are more physical than others, and lots of variables may be out of your control, but therein lies some of the beauty. You can look back when the job is done and feel the sense of accomplishment, especially when you’re doing things that nobody has done before, or not thought possible. Sure, free soloing a building to set up rigging for co-workers might not be the smartest, but it’s a f#@king blast!

B) Did you grow up in California, and if not, how and when did you know that the West coast was to be home for you?

C) I spent the first 19 years of my life in Detroit, MI. I first came to Cali when I was 13, and I knew that I would live here one day. Of course, this was the playground of my idol, Bodhi (aka Patrick Swayze from Point Break). I knew at a young age that I wanted to climb mountains, jump out of planes, catch waves, shred the Sierras, and push the limits. I came to Sacramento on vacation when I was 19, and never went back. I still have the ticket as a reminder. I knew this was the place I needed to live to become the person I wanted to be!

B) From the stories I have heard you tell, travel is a very important element in your life. What was your first out-of-country experience, and what moment did you realize that this was the lifestyle you desired?

C) My friend Morgan Jane hit me up out of the blue when she was in Europe, and was like, “You need to meet me in Amsterdam.” I had some extra cash, so I jumped online, bought a ticket, and flew over to run around Amsterdam and Belgium for a bit. It was a blast! People like to plan things, but sometimes it’s best to just pull the trigger and go, because life is crazy and short. I have been broke my whole life, but it still didn’t stop me from traveling. You need to get while the gettin’s good. In the snap of your fingers, life will fly by...so do it now!

unnamed-7B) Back to the United States now, where is your favorite climbing destination, and why?

C) Hands down Yosemite! I love the history of the place, from John Muir to Royal Robbins, Ansel Adams, and, of course, the stone masters from the 1970’s. I’m a trad climber at heart, and Yosemite is the birthplace. It’s a great honor to pull down in a place like this, as it demands so much attention. The gifts that it gives do not come easy. You have to eat many spoonfuls of humble pie to get good there, but that’s what makes you stronger. Before you know it, the route that was spitting you off, like you have no business being there in the first place, goes down clean. There is some good sport climbing there too, if you’re into that. I mean, sport climbing is neat and all, and I do a little of it. But, when the war breaks out with trad-vs-sport, I’m going straight to Jailhouse. When I leave that place, I will have a bag full of scalps! #tradclimbersrule.

B) Are there moments when you wished that you had an office job instead? Will you ever?

C) Yes, when I’m walking around downtown at lunch time and I see all the gorgeous office women, I think…“I would like to work with her.” But really, I would just be flirting and not working. So in reality, I am the worst choice for an office job. In fact, it was hard for me just to answer these questions using Microsoft Word.

B) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is another interesting sport that you actively pursue. Do you compete in tournaments, or just “roll” as an exercise regimen?

C) I did compete when I first started doing BJJ. Brad Sandoval (Pipeworks instructor) and Urijah Faber pushed me to compete quite a bit before I was stepping into the ring or the cage. When you compete, you find out where you stand in your abilities. The more you do it, the more it becomes second nature. So, when you do step into the ring, or cage, or a real combat setting in the streets, you fall into a default mode. I hope to be competing into my old age.


B) As a young man who seems to have it all, where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

C) Wow! That is a hard one. Not only because it’s hard for me to even see past today, but that you would perceive me as someone that has it all. I had to think hard on this one. I am super grateful for the life that I have, and the rad people around me. The most important thing in my world is the shared experience. It’s a wonderful thing to have that bond with people. For instance, to have Rougeux be with you when you pull that first v5, or to top out on your hardest multi-pitch with Dr. Gallagher, or to be chest deep in powder shredding with the Friedlines...RADICALS!! I don’t know where I will be in ten years, but I know I will be surrounded by amazing people and doing wonderful things.

B) What type of music keeps you going, and what genres would we find on your current playlist?

C) I like it all! Growing up in Motown, where you are bombarded with all types of music, makes you appreciate it all. Some days, I want to nod my head to some hip-hop. Then, other days, throw on some metal and get WILD, then, switch it up with some Tears for Fears. It’s all good to me, but one thing for sure, you will see some Eli and the Sound Cult on there!

B) Lastly, Gin or Whisky?

C) Well, I’m more of a fernet guy, and for the record, I’m not a hipster! If I had to choose, I would say whisky, as gin is too dry for me...unless it’s in a Moscow Mule. 

Member of the Month: Marissa Treece

Have YOU still found yourself wanting to get in better shape and try CrossFit, but not doing so for one reason or another? Have you waited for some kind of inspiration to find you first? Well, WAIT NO LONGER! Perhaps, our October member of the month, Marissa Treece, can inspire all of us to personally succeed even when life tends to get in the way.

From Michigan farm girl to Division 1 athlete for the University of Notre Dame, we learn something from tree forts to teletransit, and almost everything else in-between.


Member of the Month: Marissa Treece


    Bove) Can you tell us a bit about your childhood, and where you grew up?

Treece) I grew up on a farm in Northern Michigan and was always outside, doing “kid” stuff, which was probably the start to my interest in physical activity. That, and my older brother always set me up to lose when I played video games with him; so, I guess I can thank him for my interest in EVERYthing else. Growing up, my parents always kept me playing some sort of sport...starting with soccer at age 5. Outside of athletics, I grew up riding horses, building tree forts, and raising cattle and pigs for 4-H.


  1. Was there a particular life experience that you found, would set you forth on the demanding path of fitness that you pursue today?

T) I’m an incredibly competitive person, so I think athletics was just a natural path for me. Even when I was just a kid, I can remember a ridiculous drive to win a race on the playground, jump farther off the swing set, clean my room faster than my brother (yes…..you can see where my parents used this to their advantage as well!) When I was in 5th grade, I convinced my parents to let me play Pop-Warner football with all the boys; making a boy cry was what I considered a successful day at practice.

My path from playing sports to actually competing came during my freshman year in high school. My high school was very small and didn’t have a soccer team (which is what I was originally naively convinced I was going to go pro in), so I joined the track team. With relatively minimal training, I won the State Championships in the 1600m and 3200m. At this point, I thought I might actually have a shot at being a real athlete, if I dedicated myself to sports. The real focus on my track and field endeavours came during my junior year, when I lost my first two state championships to the same girl by less than a second combined. At this point, I decided I needed to focus on my training, if I wanted to pursue a collegiate or professional career.  This is where things really clicked for me. Again,…losing isn’t really my thing.


  1. While studying at the University of Notre Dame and competing in Cross Country running, you have accrued many noteworthy achievements and awards. Is there a favorite amongst them, and why?

T) In 2008, I competed in the Cross Country Junior Nationals and placed 4th, earning a spot to represent the United States at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is one of my favorite achievements because: (1) it was an experience that was unprecedented by anyone that I knew on my team; 2) it was my first opportunity to race abroad; and,(3) while I didn’t perform well at Worlds, I was able to perform when I needed to in order to qualify for a, what I would later realize, once in a lifetime experience.


  1. Despite your other pursuits, you maintain a professional career as a Director of Design at Digital Firefly Marketing. Do you find that your commitment to such intense athletic endeavors make your professional life easier or more difficult?

T) Fortunately, I have an amazing boss who understands athletic drive and dedication. He was a world champion rower and olympic hopeful in the 90s! Obviously, I would love to dedicate more of my day to moving from a CrossFit hopeful to a (semi) professional CrossFit athlete, but I consider myself fortunate for having such a flexible schedule. I do think having a professional career helps me maintain a good life-balance, and honestly, I really love what I do. It also helps me to not take my training for granted, and allows me to continuously look forward to the gym.

  1. What is an example of a workout routine you feel would challenge you most? Why?

T) In terms of a CrossFit workout… you’ll always hear people talking about “working your weakness” and the more serious I dive into it as a sport, the more weaknesses I find. I would say my biggest weaknesses are anything overhead and my gymnastic abilities. I was involved in gymnastics as a kid, but I think I’ve lost EVERY ounce of that training ;)

Bat Cave Games

  1. Many people speak of you as an instructor at Crossfit Pipeworks, and how you inspire them to be better at their sports. Do you have any motivational advice for them?

T) Honestly, I’m humbled to hear people are inspired by my involvement at Crossfit Pipeworks. I LOVE helping people, especially women, reach their potential. I think much confidence can be cultivated from a consistent positive workout routine. When people see gains in their fitness, or perform at a level that surpasses their own expectations, that confidence affects not only their workouts, but so many other areas of their lives.

To actually answer the question: I’ve done just about every fitness routine there is...from running, cycling, yoga, (a bit of zumba) CrossFit etc. My advice is to find something that works for you and matches up with your fitness goals. If you think running sucks, DON’T BE A RUNNER! Once you’ve found what you like, it is significantly easier to dedicate yourself.


The second thing is, find a reason to do it. This is different for everyone, for instance, I CrossFit because I want to do well at competitions. Some people do it because they’ve developed a good group of friends who also do it. The good thing about our Box is that we have a very energetic group of coaches and members, so if you immerse yourself in our culture, it’s hard to stay away.

Bat Cave 3

  1. Although you have only done Crossfit for a nominal amount of time, you recently placed first in the Bat Cave games at Crossfit Natomas. From the sound of it, you crushed lots of other tough competitors. Can you tell us more about this proud win?

T) I had an amazing time at the Bat Cave Games and had a HUGE group of CFPW supporters who came to watch. It was the first time I had competed in the sport, and the first time since college that I had done any sort of competition at all.


I think it was a great way to get back into “the game”; my competitiveness just sort of takes over when I compete. I think there is a level of pain ignorance that occurs and I can just shut that part of my brain off when I compete. But the competition was great! It was a great opportunity to represent Pipeworks and our coaching/programming abilities, and I look forward to MANY more comps in the future--namely, the CF Roseville Women’s Gauntlett on Nov. 1, with my teammate Abbie Crews.

Bat Cave 2

  1. As our facility at Sacramento Pipeworks grows in the next couple of months, what can we expect to see happen to the Crossfit space? Will there be any differences in the program once the box gets larger?


T) Well, I’d expect to see a huge space and expect some growing pains. I think it will take a few months to settle in, but a lot of positive growth in the long run. I doubt we’ll see a direct change in the programming, but we will have some additional space to use some of equipment we aren’t optimized for right now. What I hope to see is more inspiration! With one of the largest facilities in the area, I hope people continue to explore the possibilities CrossFit Pipeworks can provide for them.

nicholaswray.com-20140917-40 1

  1. When you are not busy with your professional life and athletic career, how do you utilize your free time? Do you have any other hobbies that you enjoy?

T) I dabble in a bunch of things. I had mentioned “life-balance” earlier, and over the years, I’ve found it to be essential in my life, so I try to make sure I stay involved in other activities.

First of all, I have a dog who LOVES to fetch and swim, so we kinda like to spend a lot of time at the river in the summer. Collan and I have recently re-discovered mountain biking, which serves as the perfect amount of adrenaline and “active recovery.” I’ve been known to slackline a bit, although I’m still pretty bad at it. I really enjoy cooking (and eating), and lately have been really into this traveling thing.


  1. If you could possess one superpower that is not considered to be of natural means, what would it be, and how would you use it?

T) Teletransit...for three reasons.

  1. Cars are eliminated. Zero Carbon Emissions (plus I have serious motion sickness issues).

  2. I’m forgetful. Like when I forget my keys at the gym and have already ridden my bike ALL THE WAY HOME. I never have to double check for anything.

  3. When you get home at 8:30 and you’re starving but don't want to cook. And the good Taqueria is on the other side of town. Problem solved.


Marissa Treece takes 1st place in Sacramento

What a weekend! While San Francisco was cheering on finalists at Dogpatch Boulders, Sacramento Pipeworks's staff Marissa Treece was crushing in a different arena! She took first place in a competition at Bat Cave games at CrossFit Natomas.

1620660 782472718475771 4527159135668559686 n

Marissa, who ran track for Notre Dame has become a valuable part of our training team. Congrats Marissa! Way to represent! To find out more about our trainers and CrossFit Program, click HERE

Member of the Month: Phil Buerk

Oh boy, have I got a story for you! I love that each month I get the opportunity to introduce the readers to someone that I feel is an integral part of our community. I have had the pleasure of knowing Phil Buerk for a number of years now. I am constantly impressed by his accomplishments and grateful for the gift of his friendship. He is (in no particular order) a father, husband, gardener, chef, music & art aficionado, creator, designer, art director, and all-around great guy! You will find yourself in his presence one day, and realize what a treasure he is to have around. For now, I will let you read some of his story...in his own words. Enjoy!

phil.1Member of the Month: Phil Buerk

Bove) I am so excited about this interview; I don’t know where to begin. How long have you been in Sacramento, and what keeps you here?

Phil Buerk) We’ve been in Sacramento for almost 13 years and enjoy the people, the trees, and the definite seasons as opposed to same season Southern California.

B) My meeting you was largely due to your wife, Linda Wagner, who works as a yoga instructor here at Sacramento Pipeworks. Her Anusara style class takes place a couple of times a week, and is inspirational to many attendees (including myself). Can you tell us how you two met, and is yoga a part of your daily routine?

PB) Linda and I met through our work in advertising and graphic design. She was a professional photographer, and I was a designer/art director. We met while we were on an assignment. I did learn yoga while we were in Japan and enjoy it still as I am able, but walking has always been my thing...when Linda taught at a studio near Land Park I used to walk 5.3 miles during her 1.5 hr Saturday A.M. class. I do miss that.

B) Do you have family that live in the area, and if not, where are they residing now?

PB) I have an older sister living in the East Bay area and 3 children and 3 grandchildren (from my 1st marriage) live in Southern California, New York, and New Hampshire.

B) As we know, California is a hotbed for gardening and farming. I have learned over the years that you have been quite an advocate of sustaining a garden of your own to grow crops to feed yourself and your family. Is there a particular vegetable that you would recommend we plant here in Sacramento that is both easy to care for, and delicious to consume?

PB) We have had good luck with summer squash, strawberries, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant and tomatoes grown in raised beds, with minimal drip irrigation.

phil.2B) Like many of us, Walt Disney has had a large effect on my upbringing and life. Can you tell us about your experience working with such a diverse company?

PB) My Disney history dates way back to high school. My senior year, I volunteered to help decorate the floats for the Pasadena Rose Parade, and that particular year the parade theme happened to be Disney. So, almost every participant had at least one Disney character on their float. I ran into a Disney creative director who found out I was creative. He asked me to help him run a team of adults who, along with him, would do all the faces of each Disney character (because they had to be spot-on correct or Walt would not agree to allow them to be used). Our team covered each and every character face out of rose petals to get the skin colors, as well as the expression just right. I guess the Disney guy liked my abilities, because he invited me to meet with him at the studio, which I did, and toured the set of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. He offered me a job when I graduated. If I had taken that job, I’d probably be a millionaire by now from all the stock splits and bonuses! 30 years (or so) later, successfully spent in advertising, I was hired by Disney to head up their Asia Pacific Creative Department in Hong Kong. After 2 years of establishing that, I moved to Tokyo to be Creative Director of Walt Disney/Japan. There, I headed up a group of 42 character artists, illustrators, and designers (most of which had been trained at Disney, US), and many of which were bi-lingual. It turned out to be the best job I ever had--the most fun, most interesting, and most challenging way I can imagine to wrap up a creative career!

B) Do you have a favorite Disney character/creation, and why do you find them to be so intriguing?

PB) Oh yeah, I do! Bambi, of course, and Dumbo (‘cause I had big ears as a boy too). But, my favorite was Jiminy Cricket (he was Pinocchio's conscience) and I guess he sort of became mine, along with my paternal Grandmother who looks down on me from on high.

B) I know that you enjoy music, and find ways to weave it into your daily life. Are there any particular genres of music that you are consistently drawn to?

PB) I love classical music, jazz, some rocky top, and some western and mountain music. I’m still drawn to 50s modern jazz, Brubeck, etc., and some contemporary folks too, like Sting etc. But, I always seem to go back to the classical for real enjoyment!

phil.3B) If there were a major shift we could make as a civilization in regards to new technology, which way would you like to see the changes go? Why?

PB) Part of me thinks that we may have come too far, too fast. While society loves the instant gratification, I’m not sure any of us is prepared for the eventual colossal cost of what we have lost. I long for simplicity in life, and I think that’s one reason why I like cooking. It’s “hands on”, requires simple concentration, creativity, decisions, and proven methods, and you get to eat the results. Bingo!

B) Do you have a favorite artist or illustrator? What do you enjoy most about their work?

PB) I like Andrew Wyeth’s work and most of the Impressionist Artists and Sculptors. Probably as a result of being in-and-around advertising and design for much of my life, I also enjoy American illustrators such as Norman Rockwell (and too many others to mention). Most of these artists speak to me on such a personal level that I feel as though I knew them. I usually have a good time in a decent museum, like the Crocker.

B) If you could be any cartoon character, what would you be and why?

PB) Probably Donald Duck, because he is so irascible, and some days I can really get behind that. Know what I mean?

Member of the Month: Suleka Sun-Lindley

By: Jason Bove

This month, I proudly introduce...Suleka Sun-Lindley. You may have seen her upside-down in a yoga class, climbing, cooking, painting, designing, smiling, or bringing the local community together through some other ambitious pursuit. I have had the pleasure of knowing Suleka for many years now, and I am constantly impressed that one woman can accomplish so many things, while keeping a positive attitude and staying grounded. She is, among many other things, the owner/manager of Thai Basil; a restaurant voted “Best Thai Restaurant” by readers of Sacramento News and Review consecutively since 2001.

Member of the Month: Suleka Sun-Lindley

unnamed-16How long have you been a member here at Sacramento Pipeworks, and how did you initially find out about us?
Suleka) I started practicing yoga at Pipeworks in 2009, and I became a member a year after. Two of my favorite yoga teachers are at Pipeworks, and had invited me to practice there. I loved the space so much, I became a member.

You have a very active lifestyle that includes both yoga & climbing. Are there any other hobbies that you enjoy as much as these?
I like all outdoor activities: camping, backpacking, etc. I love Snowboarding a lot! I recently tried paddle boarding and really like it too. I windsurfed and kitesurfed, and I look forward to trying it again. And, of course cooking is one of my passions, along with painting whenever I have time.

Recently you went on an outdoor excursion to Bishop, CA with Blue Aspen Adventures. Do you wish to highlight any exceptional moments of the trip?
The trip was awesome! It was so low key. Everyone was easy going, and no one stressed out about anything, even when we had two cars with flat tires in the middle of nowhere and had to change a tire in the dark. Another car broke down twice in one night. Robert and Rich were great and fun. I helped out with cooking, and everyone was really appreciative. We climbed all day and went to Wild Willie Hot Spring at night. It was epic.

unnamed-12In Sacramento, you own/manage a restaurant, Thai Basil. Would you care to tell us how you came to the restaurant business by way of a background in architecture?
After graduating from UC Davis with a degree in environmental design, I was working as a designer/project manager for various architecture firms for 12 years. My sister and my mom asked me to help them to open a restaurant. I thought I was just helping with the design and construction, but when we opened Thai Basil in Roseville in 1994, I realized I was needed to run both the front and the back of the house. We later opened another one in Elk Grove in 1998, and one in Midtown in 2001. (We decided not to stay in Elk Grove when the lease was up in November of last year).

Since there are many locations to enjoy the authentic Thai cuisine offered to us by Thai Basil, are there any differences between the menu options/ambiance at each location?
There are currently three locations in the Sacramento area: Roseville, Cameron Park and Midtown. Each location is individually owned and operated by each sister, and offers different specialties and unique ambiance. The key items from the original menu are offered at all locations.

Level Up is a lounge that exists upstairs from the midtown restaurant. The lounge includes a full bar and great happy hour specials! More than that, it supports local music, local art, and our local community. What musicians and artists do you find inspirational as of recent, and why?
As part of the Midtown community, we embrace the local art and music. One of our favorite artists is John Krempel, who was our 1st featured artist when we opened Level Up seven years ago. And, Clemon Charles is our favorite musician. Both John and Clemon are very professional and have great personalities, which makes them fun and easy to work with.

unnamed-13Do you make frequent trips back to Thailand, and do you still have friends/family living there?
My mom moved back about 8 years ago, after she retired. I have been visiting Thailand about every three years. This year, I plan on going in November and staying there for a few months, and possibly planning a cooking and yoga retreat.

Your daughter, Hanna, seems to enjoy similar athletic endeavors as yourself. Does she find climbing to be fun?
She is a very active young girl, and I have to work hard to keep up with her. We enjoy snowboarding together. She likes climbing whenever I bring her to Pipeworks.

There is a cute dog that accompanies you on your visits to the gym sometimes. What is the name of the animal, and what does a normal day in the life your pet entail?
“Charcoal” is a three-year-old terrier/poodle mix. He’s friendly and loves riding in the car with me. He’s a mommy’s boy; you can hear his whimper sound when I start climbing. We adopted him from a rescue center in Walnut Creek when he was 6 months old. He goes to the gym with me sometimes, and to the restaurant on the day I work in the office. He also has a play date with his BF, Charlie, down the street on Wednesdays. Our neighbor, Libby, picks him up for a dog run at 6 am on Sat. & Sun. He’s a busy boy!

If YOU could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Big smile ;)! My daughter thinks I should be a mama bear, because I like taking care of people and making them happy. But, I think I would be a big Whale. It would be cool to explore the undersea, where no man has gone, and not be eaten by sharks.


Bouldering Expansion at Sacramento Pipeworks


That's right people. It's finally happening. We are pleased, proud, and pumped to announce that our long awaited expansion has an end in sight. We are finalizing construction plans and are set to open our expansion in Fall 2014. As you might know, we have been around since 2001, and since then our gym community has grown. It's time we grew with it! We will be adding a HUGE bouldering area along with increasing space for CrossFit Pipeworks. Here are the nitty gritty bouldering details you've been waiting for. We'll cover our CrossFit expansion plans in our next blog post. 


The bouldering area will be 9,000 sq ft, which more than triples the current bouldering space at Pipeworks. “We will be working with Walltopia to build the walls,” said Sr Touchstone Manager Jeffery Bowling. “We’ve worked with them to build or expand four of our gyms in the last 2 years, and we couldn’t be happier with their product.”

3510 - C02

The bouldering area will include 17 ft tall walls, top out boulders, cracks, and a training area complete with a hydraulic systems wall. “This bouldering expansion will make downtown Sacramento a destination,” said Touchstone Marketing Director Lauryn Claassen. 

3510 - C04

All this will fit in the building on the west side of the existing gym. The current bouldering area will be demolished and a hallway will be constructed so that members and guests can still check in at the front desk. The old bouldering area will be turned into multi-purpose training area - a place for calisthenics, slack line, rings, etc. The weight room will not move, but it will get a slight expansion when we move the current stretching area. "It's pretty exciting," said Pipeworks manager Vaughn Medford. "Bouldering has exploded in the last 10 years. We have seen the demand for world class bouldering grow at our gym, so the expansion makes perfect sense.”

3510 - C06

How good looking are these walls?! Our design team has been working with Walltopia to bring something truly special to Sacramento. So get used to big changes dear Pipeworks members - this Fall is going to be one for the books! Stay tuned for the play by play and more details about our progress. 


Member of the Month: John F. Davis

Member of the Month: John F. Davis

By: Jason Bove

When someone truly cares about themselves and their daily practices, it shines through onto the people that encounter them daily. An interesting human that we see very frequently, because of his practices, is member John F. Davis. He is a gentleman who sees things through the eyes of experience, and is always able to smile and tell you how his day is going. You may have been dazzled by his incredible inversions in a yoga class, or heard him high above you on the climbing wall discussing law and ethics. If there were a way to introduce him to everyone that I know, I would...he is a good friend and an inspiration.

John Davis 1Bove) If you could describe yourself to our readers in a few sentences, what has made you into the man that you are today?
Davis) A great marriage, coupled with steady determination. I have used physical activity to calm and steady myself.

B) Participating in classes such as yoga and rock climbing, you seem to have a very active & healthy lifestyle. Can you tell us about what draws you to these and other activities you enjoy?
D) I like physical activities which are aerobic and use different parts of my body and mind. Having fun and not getting injured are good things. My wife, Chris has been rock climbing for 25 years. I took up rock climbing so that we could do it together.

B) From a professional standpoint, what kind of work have you done/are you doing now that has been enjoyable enough to make a career out of thus far?
D) For more than 30 years I used my law degree to help affluent people. It was rewarding, but incredibly stressful. 14 years ago I switched to doing pro bono legal work to help less advantaged people. I work at Legal Services of Northern California, which is minutes from Pipeworks. I find the work to be very rewarding. I look forward to my work every day.

B) How long have you been a member here at Pipeworks, and how did you find us?
D) I started taking yoga at Pipeworks around 7 years ago. I think I became a member around 4 years ago.

B) Are you a Sacramento native, and what things do you find interesting about this city to keep you living here?
D) I was born in Sacramento. I was raised in L.A. Chris and I moved to Sacramento from Chico in 1984. It is a city that is large enough that both of us can have interesting careers. It is a very diverse place with a wide range of activities we can do.

B) In the past, I have heard you quote Zen Buddhist Monk, Thích Nhất Hạnh. What is it about this teacher, activist, and author that draws you to his teachings?
D) I love his book The Miracle of Mindfulness. It explains in very simple terms how to meditate and maintain an active lifestyle. It has no jargon, and is not trying to sell a lifestyle, seminars, or workshops. It showed me how I could meditate and walk the dog or practice yoga. The mindfulness and meditation make me calmer and allow me to face the challenges in my life more directly and simply.

B) Can you describe some ways you cultivate mindfulness in your everyday life?
D) I practice yoga at home daily, and meditate while I practice. I also meditate when walking and hiking. Meditating while rock climbing , bicycle riding, or practicing law is not possible. Talking about meditation and mindfulness around people who do not practice is not a good idea.

B) I’ve heard you are an avid traveler; what’s next on your list of places to visit?
D) We are going to British Columbia on a fishing trawler for a week in August. We are going to Antarctica in December.

B) How does a “normal” day in the life of Mr. John F. Davis play out?
D) Chris and I get up early and have coffee and talk. I practice yoga for around 20 minutes. I take the dog for a walk. Some mornings I rock climb. Some mornings I ride my bike to work. A little before noon I stop work to go practice noontime yoga. I eat a quick lunch, then return to work. I bike home to Chris and dinner. Chris and I have a second home in Truckee. We usually go there for weekends. We hike, bike, kayak, ski and snowshoe up there. Sacramento is very close to the Sierras, which both of us love.

B) If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
D) I would be a human. We can change and improve our lives and can work on our sense of humor.

John Davis 2

Member of the Month: Rudy Meyers

By Jason Bove

If you have come in to Pipeworks on a weekday at 9 pm or later, there is no doubt that you have met and/or had a worthwhile conversation with Rudy Meyers. Amongst other things, he is a father, local photographer, music lover, wine aficionado, and a beacon of insight and knowledge of all things cool. His thoughtful answers to my simple questions left me thinking about inviting him to all of my future dinner parties, so that we could always have something interesting to talk about! Without further adieu, meet…

Member of the Month: Rudy Meyers

 MG 9116

Bove- How long have you been a member at Sacramento Pipeworks, and what keeps you motivated to keep coming back, time and time again?

Meyers- I have been a member for about six years and retarding the aging process is the main reason I consistently come. Plus, climbing is simply more fun than most other forms of athletic endeavor.

Are you a Sacramento native, and what is your favorite thing about living in Sacramento?

Well, I’m not exactly a Sacramento native. I was born in San Francisco and raised in the foothills of Northern California. In no particular order, I like these things about Sacramento: Trees, and lots of them!, Great weather, The long, warm summer evenings, Acres of free parking, And yes, the proximity to the Sierras and The Bay Area as well


Can you tell us a bit more about your professional career in photography, and where we are able to see some of the work you have done?

I do corporate/commercial work which means I shoot virtually anything that walks in front of my lens. We are guns for hire and every day is different, so that literarily can mean we are shooting trains, planes, & automobiles (like the movie), people, and products A-Z. If you had to pin me down, I would say that in essence, what we do mostly is create images that sell our clients goods or services. It can be artsy, but it has to have a message.

What new projects are you currently working on, and what lies in store for the rest of 2014?

We are currently in the planning stages for the following shoots: An Intel shoot, a three day shoot for a new casino client, two new law firms, a new restaurant client and a new construction client

All these shoots are multi-day shoots with a lot of moving pieces. We are a fairly busy studio and we do a lot of big projects. Part of the reason for that is that I have an amazing staff that is good at keeping me focused and on point. When you are a visual person and when you see something unexpectedly great, then your job is to shoot it and ask questions later. In 2014 we are focused on continuing to build a broad base, and servicing our existing clientele while also focusing on growth in favorite industries like food, wine and travel.

check Rudy Meyers Photography here

It is really great to see that you workout with you son. How old is he, and is he your only child? Have you found that working out together strengthens your family bond?

Yes, I bring my son every time I can. He is a few days shy of 15. He is my only child and I am his only parent. It is by this nature a very close relationship, where I get to wear all the parental hats. Now he really enjoys climbing and sees that through hard work and dedication he can actually get better. I dabble in a serious manner, but I suck and he climbs circles around me. It is nice to see him grow in the sport and I hope he will continue to see the value in intense physical activity. He knows that quality of life depends on keeping a balance between the physical, mental and spiritual aspects—they are all important.

IMG 1223

 As you know, June is the month that Father’s Day is celebrated. Do you have big plans for the day, and what other kinds of activities do you enjoy doing with your son?

We have had two big vacations this year, one to the desert and one to New York City for 17 days. So, a quick trip to San Francisco might be it for Father's Day (every day is kids day, they just don't know it). We always have fun in The City! We are foodies and museum freaks, so we always have stuff to do in SF; it is a world class city with world class offerings. We really are lucky to have it so close to Sacramento; we could be living somewhere with little art and culture, and no climbing. We both like to shop the Mission and Hayes Valley. We even climb at Dogpatch!

LO RES ProofsDSC01056

I know that you greatly enjoy outdoor activities. Can you recommend any hikes or trails that we should experience in our lifetime?

For over 20 years I guided Class V whitewater here and overseas. The rivers in California are some of the best in the world, with challenging whitewater and beautiful scenery. Running rivers was a fun gig and the guys I boated with are all alive and kicking, and for that I am thankful. In 20 years of boating we ran something like 300+ Class V runs. Then, I got Lucien and I felt like I had to cool my jets. I had my fun in that adventure land, and I was ready for Disneyland and Star Wars.

Hiking is still cool and relatively safe, but we go off trail all of the time. A journey to Precipice Lake on the Kaweah Gap trail, an amazing lake made famous by Ansel Adams, is on our list for this summer. I hiked this in my early 20's, before I became or even knew I would be a photographer, but it was an amazing trail built by the California Conservation Corps and blasted out of solid rock—it feels like a Hobbit trail. If you have time, head to Moose Lake as well.

IMG 1379

I also took my son on an amazing backpack/horse pack trip to Evolution Valley high in Kings Canyon National Park. It was a beautiful nine day trip. At one time, we were 26 miles from trailhead. The valley itself can almost rival Yosemite Valley; it is just more remote, but it has monolithic rock formations, peaks that rise to 14,000 feet and shimmering waterfalls—all surrounding a long, lush, high Sierra meadow with a beautiful river running through it. You are far enough in that you will not see a lot of people. If you are a Muir Trail nut (you know who you are) then you already know about this place. You can also stay a night or two, depending on availability, at The Muir Trail Ranch (a wilderness hotel). I recommend staying because they have naturally occurring hot springs. More to the point, they have built soaking tubs in charming log structures that are all gardened and in the feng shui swing of things. It is not cheap, but it is rustic and they will feed you. Plus, you get to sleep in a bed too! The ranch is a relatively easy five mile hike in. They can also rent horses and guides from the ranch. The hike to Evolution Valley is still 15 miles away and (dauntingly) it is another 4500 feet up. We took horses, it was my son's first multi-day hike and I did not want it to be his last.

LO RES ProofsDSC01082

We are desert lovers. One of our favorite places to go is Eureka Valley, situated in the northern end of Death Valley and about an hour and half out of Bishop. The dunes lay up against a fault block range called the Last Chance Range. The exposed layers are 350 to 500 million years old, way before the age of the dinosaur. The formation is massive, with dunes rising to 700 ft and spreading out over an area of several square miles. Climbing them can be a chore; five steps up and three steps back can be discouraging. If you make it to the top though, you have to follow the ridge line south until you get to the highest and steepest dune. Why? Because you have worked so hard that you now deserve some fun. Run straight down the dunes and jump in turns like you are skiing and see how soft the landing is and how exhilarating the experience is. At the bottom you can look up and decide that you are not doing it again—too damn much work! If you go during the spring of a wet year you will be surprised and possibly overwhelmed by the number of desert flowers. Yes, the desert does bloom and when it does it is nothing short of breathtaking! Take water because there is none, know that sand will get everywhere, but the beauty is worth the effort.

If you could offer any kind of advice from the perspective of starting and running your own business nowadays, what would it be?

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs would be:

Be prepared for long hours

Learn your craft

Be honorable in all personal and professional relationships

Build and maintain a reputation based on quality and professionalism

Lose money before you deliver a crummy product—don't lose money and always deliver a quality product

Take nothing for granted

Never rest on your laurels

Have goals that are daily, weekly, and long term

I have never had a plan b; it remains photography or die

Most importantly, do not be afraid to fail; you learn more in failure then you will ever learn in success

I have quite a few sayings that I tell my son and employees, but a few get repeated all the time:

I live in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world

When's the next race?

True character is what you do when no one is looking

Member of the Month: Dustin Raúl Stumpf

By Guest Blogger: Jason Bove

This month, we observed Mother’s Day. But, assuming we celebrate, we should not limit ourselves to just one day a year to celebrate our Mothers. With this in mind, it was abundantly clear who we should feature for May: Dustin Raúl Stumpf. Not only does Dustin have a rewarding job as a CrossFit instructor here at Sacramento Pipeworks, but he also has a positive and healthy relationship with his Mom. While there are lots of things that can be attributed to this happiness, the thing that he keeps coming back to is being able to include his mother, Elba, in his ambitious exercise training schedule. I had the chance to talk with Dustin recently about CrossFit, what drives him as an athlete, and, of course, his Mom. Thanks again for being a part of the Pipeworks family, Dustin, and for letting us peer into the life of such an inspiring individual, such as yourself.

dustin raul 1

Member of the Month: Dustin Raúl Stumpf

Bove- First off, what drew you to personally pursue CrossFit as a way of life, and what are a few of the major benefits of the workout regimen itself?
Stumpf- What drew me to CrossFit as a way of life was the fact I would never get bored with my workouts ever again! After ending my College Athletic Career, I needed another challenge to conquer! The benefits are endless with CrossFit because it exposes your weaknesses and makes you focus on them in order to become a better coach/athlete.

B- How long have you been a CrossFit instructor and where did you receive training to become one?
S- I have been a Level 1 Certified CrossFit instructor for 2 years. Before becoming Level 1 Certified, I started my own internship program at American River CrossFit in 2011 while fulfilling units at Sacramento State’s Kinesiology program. ARC is where I learned the fundamentals of teaching CrossFit classes under the supervision of trained professional instructors. After graduating from Sac State in 2012, I used all of my savings to take the weekend long CrossFit Level 1 Course at NorCal CrossFit, under the watchful eyes of Jason Khalipa (currently 2nd man in the world in CrossFit!).

B- What kind of athletes/workout enthusiasts are attracted to your classes for CrossFit, and what makes these classes different from normal workout routines? Is Crossfit for everyone?
S- The types of exercise enthusiasts who are attracted to my classes are people who love learning and perfecting Gymnastics, Power/Olympic Lifting, and Plyometrics. What makes these classes so much different from a “normal workout routine” is that A.) It is always in a class setting. By working out with others, people are more motivated to perform better amongst fellow athletes for the friendly competition aspect. B.) All movements and weights are modifiable for different fitness levels. C.) Most of our workouts are short and sweet! CrossFit is meant for anyone looking to better their current fitness level--anyone willing to work very hard. In my experience of coaching, I have found that the people who do best and excel the quickest in CrossFit (regardless of age) make it to class routinely and live a healthy lifestyle outside of the gym.

dustin raul 2

B- What should I know before attending class? How should I prepare?
S- CrossFit is very challenging both mentally and physically! One should prepare by being open minded to a brand new methodology of exercise. Having a positive attitude is a MUST when learning CrossFit. I repeat, the BEST WAY any CrossFitter will excel is to remain open minded.

B- As you know, the month of May contains Mother’s Day! I notice that sometimes your Mom comes to your class. Has she been an advocate of your training since you were young?
S- My mother, Elba, has always been my #1 Fan when it came to sports and athletic events! She has always supported my training efforts on and off the Baseball field since I was young. I got her into CrossFit 2 years ago, and she is AMAZING!

B- It’s great to see a mother and son working out together! How has this influenced your mother-son relationship?
S- Doing CrossFit with my Mother has made our relationship that much stronger. We always talk about workouts and how to improve ourselves as athletes. We are both competitive by nature, so we talk about how we did in recent competitions. My Mother is the epitome of what a 55-year old athlete can accomplish with proper instruction and a hard work ethic! She makes it to all of my Seminars and has seen drastic improvements in all of her movements! She can now perform 5 unassisted pull-ups NO PROBLEM!

B- There are 10 Onramp classes that need to be fulfilled before someone can attend any regularly scheduled class. What can I expect to be doing during the session?
S- Beginners attending Onramp classes can expect learning the fundamentals of all CrossFit movements. Here at CrossFit Pipeworks, we are all about making new members feel welcome, and we give them the opportunity to create relationships with our training staff and fellow athletes.

B- How do these classes differ from a normal one?
S- OnRamp classes differ from regular classes in that we focus on lighter weight and less volume in our WODs (workout of the day). We also focus on introducing new movements and reviewing exercises recently covered in prior classes.

dustin raul 3

B- What other hobbies and activities do you enjoy outside of CrossFit?
S- I am an avid Outdoorsman and LOVE to fish! I try to get out of town at least once every 2 weeks to go slay some fish and give myself a break from my intense training routine.

B- Is there a specific event or clinic that you are hosting that you would like to tell us about?
S- I try to host Seminars at CrossFit Pipeworks at least once every 2-3 months, to allow members the opportunity to get better at practicing more complex movements.

B- I have seen that you feature an Athlete of the Week on the Pipeworks facebook page. Can you tell me more about this special shout out? How would I become featured?
S- I introduced athlete of the week on the CrossFit Pipeworks Facebook page to get our members involved. In order to become Athlete of the Week, one must show exceptional work ethic, dedication, and leadership characteristics. These three traits allow others to try and follow in their footsteps in a POSITIVE manner.

Well, I guess THAT cat is in the bag! See you in class!!

Women's Empowerment at Pipeworks

Women's Empowerment, a non-profit based in Sacramento, made their 53rd visit to Pipeworks. We were able to catch up with leaders and participants in this amazing program to get the scoop on their partnership with Pipeworks.

"Sacramento Pipeworks has been working with Women's Empowerment since 2004," said Pipeworks manager Vaughn Medford. "They are headquartered only a couple blocks away from the gym, so it is not unusual to see a group of women 10-15 power walking over to the gym. They use the gym to work out in the weight area and do cardio. The members have become accustomed to seeing the group, and we're all supportive of such an important cause." "On our morning walks to Pipeworks, the ladies share their excitement and enthusiasm for the opportunity to focus on themselves for that one hour," said Nancy Nguyen, the program assistant at Women's Empowerment. "By attending Fitness Fridays, the ladies step out of their everyday lives and enter a world that allows them to make a change for themselves and their children."

Womens Empowerment1

The group assists women who are homeless, jobless or in abusive situations. Women’s Empowerment has served 916 women and their 1,376 children. In May 2009, they were named Nonprofit of the Year by the Nonprofit Resource Center, one of the highest honors a nonprofit can receive in the Sacramento region. Over 1115 women have graduated from our program.

"The mission of Women’s Empowerment is to educate and empower women who are homeless with the skills and confidence necessary to get a job, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and regain a home for themselves and their children. Our partnership with Pipeworks has become essential to the fulfillment of that mission," said Nguyen. Women's Empowerment runs eight week sessions in which a new group of women learns the importance of caring for their bodies through exercise and healthy eating.


“I joined Fitness Wednesdays at Pipeworks because it was an opportunity for me to focus on myself and to be healthier. I wanted to get back into a consistent schedule because that’s what being back in the workforce is like,” said Sharon McGuire a graduate from Session 53. “When I first entered the building, the front desk staff members were so friendly. They greeted us and gave us assistance in filling out first-time waivers. During our workout sessions, I often used the treadmill. While I spent most of the hour on this machine, I reflected a lot because it reminded me to keep my goals in perspective. I had so much fun during this time and felt extremely rejuvenated after I finished my workout.”

Sharon continues to strive towards her main three goals: to keep her recovery, secure permanent housing, and to see her daughter graduate from high school and enter college. “I truly needed this program because it’s part of my recovery process. The process encourages us to make time for ourselves and Fitness Wednesdays allowed me to do that. I highly recommend Pipeworks!” said Sharon.

Pipeworks makes it possible for her to continue on our journey towards a positive and healthier lifestyle.


Past blog entries can be found at  http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/



Latest News

Latest Routes

  • BI 10 Routes 5.10b - 5.13a
  • MM 2 Routes, 5.9-5.11a 1 Route added 1/29 5.11b
  • MM 2 Routes,5.10a-5.10c 1 Route added 1/29 5.10d

Touchstone's Instagram

Tag your instagram photos with: #touchstoneclimbing