Tell us about yourself:
Hello! My name is Juan Manuel Perez Jr and I was born in Oxnard, CA. I have lived in Ventura County (Oxnard, Newbury Park and Ventura) for the last 10 years of my life and sporadically before then. After being born, my family and I moved to Mexico where I spent the first 12 years of my life in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. I moved back to Oxnard during my Junior High years and then moved briefly for 4 years to Santa Barbara to receive my Bachelor’s degree from UCSB. I am married (my wife is also a BSCF member) and have a very active 1.5 year old, Juan Manuel Perez III (aka JP3) and a 2 year old Golden retreiver, Logan.
What do you do for a job?
I am an Electrical Engineer for a medical device company in Santa Barbara. I help design and provide input on visualization tools used for orthopedic surgeries…I’m trying to make it sound more interesting that what it is.
Tell us something people might not know about you:
I recently learned, due to back problems, I have a 6th lumbar vertebrae, which only affects ~10% of the population. If you don’t know if you have this extra bone…it’s a good thing!
What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?
A coworker was doing Crossfit at a different box here in Ventura county, and she brought a few of us to try it. Haven’t stopped since. I joined Beachside when my wife and I moved from Newbury Park to Ventura in 2019. I had always been intrigued but intimidated on where to begin.
What was your first impression? How has that changed?
First impression is that it is very intimidating…but every box I’ve been to, people are very welcoming and encouraging. I often try to introduce my self and encourage new members because I was once there. I have grown more comfortable with CrossFit so it is not as intimidating as before…the trick is to know your limitations and listen to your body. There are days (mostly Fridays for me) where the victory is just showing up and getting my body to move. Other days, we try to go full send.
What was your first bright spot?
Anything upper chest that I’ve improved on. For the first 22 years of my life, I played A LOT of soccer. I know I can trust my quads, but my upper body strength was non-existent when I started doing CrossFit. I have seen the progression from ring rows to strict pull ups. We have some of the best and very knowledgeable coaches in the area…Every Coach has given me a pointer/tip that has helped my mechanics and technique improve.
What are you working on now?
My dream is a bar muscle up…we will get there.
What’s your favorite BeachSide CrossFit memory?
The opens are always very fun…but lately seeing my 1 year old walking around the gym as my wife and I switch off between classes puts a big smile on my face.