Saturday saw a dynamic Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting ceremony for Divergent Crossfit as they welcomed South Pasadenan dignitaries along with hundreds of friends and family to celebrate their new home in the old bakery building on the corner of Fairview and Mission.
You may have driven by and seen the doors wide open, “garage style”, and witnessed dozens of people lifting barbells, doing pull-ups, riding stationary bikes and getting their sweat on, but Divergent member Bethany Scamara says we should not be intimidated. Scamara couldn’t say enough about her newfound gym, “it’s very friendly here, not intimidating at all. I like coming here because it’s community; not just working out. We get outside of the gym, we go on hikes and it’s a lot of fun. It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your fitness; we’re all here to work on ourselves and cheer each other on.”
Weightlifting coach Danny Ear says the coaching at Divergent is progressive and the coaches are very experienced saying, “we pay attention to all the athletes and clients, we make sure their technique is the most important thing. We have a weightlifting program to help the Crossfit side get better. It makes their workout more efficient and helps avoid injury. The lazy way to do it is the worst way. The best way to do it is the right way.”
Divergent has group classes as well as private training. They have developed a football program for the high school football team helping them get ready for the upcoming season. When co-owner Raymond Ciria was asked why they chose South Pasadena he said, “we think it’s one of the healthiest cities in the San Gabriel Valley and we wanted to be a part of that. We wanted to bring a health conscious facility to South Pasadena.” Co-owner James Do’s girlfriend, Cassie Tsang, is a native South Pasadenan and was instrumental in helping them see the potential of South Pas and when they found the space, they knew it was right. Ciria says as soon as they walked in for the first time he said, “this is the place!” He goes on to say “everything we do here is scaled to someone’s ability. Most of the folks coming in right now have never done Crossfit before. Our job is to make sure that people are doing the workouts correctly and having fun at the same time.”
The owners say they chose the name Divergent because they felt they were breaking away from the mold of other Crossfit facilities in that they want to make sure they are bringing something different to this community. They say it’s not just a business for them, that first and foremost is making sure that they are a perfect fit for South Pasadena and vibe with what South Pasadenans want and need. Says Ciria, “we bring a mentality of community and fitness, bringing people together to get fit, have fun and enjoy life.” He says what drives him every day is meeting people. He teaches the 5am class and says “they are the most energetic people out of all the classes; they wake me up!”
James Do took to the mic before the ribbon cutting to thank the mayor and everyone for coming out to support them and said, “South Pasadena is the best city in the San Gabriel Valley!” Helping to cut the ribbon were chamber ambassadors, Monica Hong and Sam Hernandez , City Council Members Bob Joe and Dr. Richard Schneider and Mayor Michael Cacciotti. The Mayor noted that it was the fifth ribbon cutting this month saying “Divergent is a part of an incredible economic revitalization of this city brought about by the Gold Line several years ago. We are honored and excited to have you.” Cacciotti went on to describe our not so typical City Council Members with Dr. Schneider who rides his bike to work every day, Bob Joe jogs the city streets every day, Diana Mahmud who is out walking her dog every day and the mayor who, as everyone knows, bikes everywhere. And then for something completely different, our rad Mayor then challenged James Do to a pull-up contest!
The crowd went wild, cheering the two men on as they did about 20 pull-ups side by side. Do said they were reviewing the footage but admitted that Cacciotti was looking strong!
Chamber President Laurie Wheeler thanked the City Council Members for coming out and always being so supportive of all the new businesses in town and then she presented Certificates of Recognition from Anthony Portantino and Chris Holden.
The team introduced the vendors who were on hand for the event; The Munch Spot, WOD Gear, Sage and Metal, Onyx Straps, Nomad Ice Pops, Greater Than Sports Drink, Grabbz Grips, Xendurance, Mava Athletics, Charlie’s Coffee and Thomas Yuan Videography.
The crowd who came to work out was then led through a Crossfit workout followed by snacks and drinks. It was quite a party and a great time was had by all.
Divergent Crossfit is located at 1101 Mission Street. (626) 274-7763. Follow them on Instagram @divergent_crossfit and Like them on Facebook at Divergent Crossfit.