Tamalpais CrossFit is the best gym EVER, it gives women a feeling of empowerment, success, happiness, growth, and support! I have seen women between the ages of 19 and 65 find the strength inside themselves they never knew they had, and thrive personally as well as within a group – because we all suffer joyfully through the workouts together.

I have never, EVER written a positive commentary about a gym or trainer, and I am a former collegiate athlete as well as a chronic sufferer of fibromyalgia.  But the changes in my body and health have been significantly impacted by Tamalpais CrossFit.

My mother and I joined Tamalpais CrossFit together last fall after we saw the physical changes in a family member attending who we hadn’t seen in 6 months. Down 2 sizes in pants, muscle definition, and pure happiness and excitement about the progress she was making.  We both now have experienced these same results. I am down 20 lbs and multiple clothes sizes, as well as I am stronger and have muscle definition and my fibromyalgia is improving.  My mom says the classes have “empowered” her, she feels strong and successful which carries on into her career.

Progress is seen, within weeks, but the long haul is even more of a reward. I had coffee with a woman (mom of two daughters ages 25 and 27) after class one morning who said after 4 years at a “women’s gym” she saw no improvement in her knees, weight, anything really but after 8 months at Tamalpais CrossFit she was down 25 pounds, and a year later I have watched her use her very strong hamstrings to dead lift 185 pounds.  Plus the pain in her knees is almost gone, and she hopes to be running and jumping by the end of the summer.  She is an inspiration.

The workouts are one hour and are a mix of cardio and strength training. When I started I not only could not do a pull-up, I was scared to even attempt one (they have these great elastic bands so almost anyone can do it). A wonderful mom, who comes with her daughter, sons, and nieces and nephews, helped me just to be comfortable on the band – and that was a tough day (which we laugh about all the time).  Now I am almost ready to do a pull up all on my own. I did 120 last Saturday on a 1 inch band… WOW!

It is not just the workout – it is the amazing trainers/owners/coaches Michael, Meshelle, and Corey. They all being different specialties and skills and we learn so much from each of them. They are so in touch with our personal skills and strengths and in-tune with where we are at each day, and they remember!!! They challenge us, but are SO (and I can’t stress this more) SO in touch with our personal health concerns and safety.  As a sufferer of chronic pain and told not to exercise more than walking by some doctors, they each individually worked with me, modifying work-outs when necessary, and supporting my physical successes however small in the “scheme of things” but HUGE for me!

The group of athletes at Tamalpais CrossFit are AMAZING!!!! I hate to say it’s a family but I have never been so proud to learn from this group of students, artists, lawyers, dog-walkers, nurses, doctors, moms, teachers, dads, family-run business owners, social media gurus, web designers, fire fighters, police officers, etc. (I’m sorry for those careers I left out because we are all represented.)  They are all like family and you will never find a group, led by the coaches, of quality people who really want everyone to succeed. And believe me, this was a strange, and wonderfully welcoming experience. This is the main reason I continue to return.
Heather K., San Rafael, CA


Working out is a very important part of my life.  It isn’t something that I “fit in”.  It is something that I must do.  Working full-time and the mom of 3 busy boys require that my workouts be efficient and effective.  I have one hour a day to workout and I want to get the most I can out of that hour.

Running had always been my “go to” workout until knee surgeries limited my weekly mileage.  I was always a HUGE cardio junkie and thought that the best workouts involved logging big miles.  Eight knee surgeries and 10 years later, I realize that isn’t the case.  In the last 10 years, many of my workouts have been using a cross trainer machine and some running for cardio, and lifting weights.  I was stuck in a workout rut and not seeing the results I wanted.  I found that I was doing the same workouts day after day, week after week (you get the picture) and my enthusiasm was waning.  I was substituting miles on trails with “miles” on the cross trainer and bored out of my mind.

I learned about CrossFit through a friend.  She had been doing CrossFit for about a year and loved it!  She described some of the workouts to me and I was intrigued.  As luck had it, I was driving home from work one day and saw that a “new” CrossFit gym had opened between my work and my house.  In addition, they had just added a 5:15 am class which was the PERFECT time for me and I could start immediately.  I took all of this as a sign that I was meant to give it a try.

After completing a baseline, I started attending the 5:15 am class on a regular basis.  Meshelle was our coach and she had this great, positive energy!  Even at 5:15 am, she is like the energizer bunny!  Never once, with all of my flexibility and knee issues, did I feel intimidated by the workout.  For every move where I had a limitation, the CrossFit coaches are right there giving you an accommodation.  At first I was VERY hesitant for CrossFit to be my “main” workout.  Again, being a cardio junkie, I just couldn’t get my head around how CrossFit could replace my more cardio workouts and keep me fit.  I was DEAD wrong.

I started by attending classes 2 days a week.  This quickly moved to 3 days, 4 days….I was hooked!  Within 2 months I felt stronger than I had in a long time.  My cardio fitness had always been my strength.  CrossFit was teaching me that as fit as I thought I was, I was weak strength-wise.  Meshelle, Michael and Corey show us new workouts on a daily basis.    You are NEVER bored.  The thing that also amazes me about CrossFit is how acutely aware the coaches are of each and every person in class.  The slightest change in gait or execution of a particular move is noticed by them.  In addition they give me the confidence to push harder and lift more than I ever thought I could.

Prior to starting CrossFit I could not do a single pull up.  Now I can do 10!  I have seen more changes in my body in the last 9 months than I have seen in the last 10 years.  Even my metabolism has changed.  At 44 I feel physically stronger than I did at 34.  This enhances every area of my life.  I have more confidence in what I can do and that is because Meshelle, Michael and Corey tell me I can!!  I can’t say enough about the positive affect CrossFit has had in my life.  I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is looking to make a head to toe change or even those who are just looking for something new, different and FUN (and don’t think that because it is fun it isn’t hard work!)
Kelly B., San Rafael, CA


I walked into TCF with an unstable ankle, a chronically bad lower back and an old neck injury that was re-occurring so frequently I basically lost full mobility of my neck. I had a whole team of people working on my various issues (who I referred to as ‘Team Staci’) including my massage therapist who is the person who talked me into trying CrossFit.

I soon realized that what my body really needed was to be stronger. I was humbled by how weak I really was at the beginning and in awe at the body’s capacity to heal itself if you just strengthen it. The fact that I can get the best workout of my life and be in and out of there in under an hour is still a shock to me.

These are the things that I was told and hence compelled me to try CrossFit. What I did not expect was how supported, welcomed and watched over I would be, or how much damn fun I would have or how much I would love all of you or how fun and cool everyone is who attend the classes.

I am now watching all of my physical issues slowly evaporate, along with the need to see the ‘Team Staci’ people- except for my massage therapist who is blown away by the change he has seen in my body. You are my new Team Staci and I feel extremely grateful that I have managed to find TCF – where each one of you is not only excellent in terms of your expertise and ability, but also how amazing you are as people. Life is too short to not surround yourself with those who care about you and bring out your very best. This is what TCF is for me. I am even finding that as my body gets stronger I notice my confidence level increasing in areas where I need a boost. I’m happy and grateful that every trainer at TCF is of the same caliber of those I call my dear friends.

It’s like each of you has a sixth sense- you know when I need to be pushed and you know when I need to back off- and I feel like each of you truly cares about my health and well being. There aren’t too many places that one can walk into where everyone knows my name, my physical issues and what I’m working on to improve- not even at my yoga studio! The heart and sense of community at TCF is the biggest and happiest surprise out of everything.

You are sending people back into the world stronger and more supported than they were when they walked in. That affects how they are in the world and allows them to be strong and more supportive for others. In my opinion that is creating peace on earth.

From the bottom of my heart- Thank you for your contribution
-Staci J., San Rafael, CA


Michael Papes- This is the man who taught me to do pull-ups.  That should be enough right there to get you to click on over to his contact link and call him up to teach you whatever you want to learn in.

Michael is an extraordinary athlete, a hilarious guy, and the most gifted person I’ve ever seen at being able to spot EXACTLY where your body is stuck/resisting in the moves its trying to make — and then devising drills to get that part of you going.  It is truly stunning.  Here’s how it goes: Michael watches you trying to do something you can’t quite do.  Then he says, “Here — do this.”  And you do the drill he gives you.  Then, you do the next drill he gives you.  Repeat.  And then one day, BOOM!!!  You are doing what you couldn’t do before.

Sure, it takes hard work and commitment on your part.  There is no magic pill, silver bullet, whatever, to make what is “hard” turn in an instant to “easy.”   But Michael will break down what you thought was impossible into smaller, eventually-doable parts . . . and voila!  Someday you will be surprised to find yourself doing “the impossible.”   THANK YOU, MICHAEL!!!
-Tamara H., San Rafael, CA


Comfortable – Everyone is welcomed openly. when a new face appears there are smiles and introductions.
Safe – The workout can be scaled with weight or movement substitutions, to suit individual needs with supported strength and guidance.
Inspiring – Each class is filled with every age, body, backround and lifestyle imaginable.
Surprising – TCF is the epitome of ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’.  Be prepared to be amazed by the athletic feats of those around you, as well as your own.
Growth – The incredible physical changes become secondary to the overall transformation.  TCF builds a stronger self, far deeper and broader than the physical.
Fun – Health and Fitness becomes fun, simple and easy when you have the right kind of support.  Mini challenges throughout the year give excitement and motivation for continued progress.
Community – There are no outsiders within the walls of TCF

K.P-G, San Rafael, CA


I’ve enjoyed a sedentary lifestyle and Doritos for the last 20 years.  ..so unless I want to crap out by stressing my hummingbird heart with an extra 70lbs. of fat, it was time to do something.

That is when I found Meshelle at Tam Crossfit in San Rafael.  She is the best!  She got me started on the Paleo diet and a workout that was designed for a complete beginner..  The workouts are not, 60 mins of spin class like you would find at some gyms..  The workouts range from running, kettle bells, jump rope, medicine balls to burpees, and just about any exercise you can think of.  The workouts are always different, and she changes them by the minute.. …Honestly, I can say there is FINALLY, a workout where there is always something new to keep from getting bored!!..

I’m pretty big, in the 260 range, and I just finished my 13th workout.  Between the workout, the change to my food intake, and lighter shoes, I lost a total of 13lbs..  NUTS!..

GET (and stay) MOTIVATED:
Everyone starts as a beginner and the people there are cool.. the only thing I can say, is get off your ass, and try out TCF!..  Yeah, it sucks to be brand new and barely able to get the form down, but the way they keep track, each new improvement is noted, and helps to keep at it.

Easily a 5 star gym.. my heart and health thank you guys!   …. although the pizza place, probably hates you guys right about now, hahaha.

-Rob B., Novato, CA


That was one of the most challenging and exciting workouts I ever had in a gym. Fun and fast! The hour flew by! You are all right on top of things with the coaching and guidance. As a “newbie” I felt really confident that you all “had my back!” Looking forward to more workouts with Tamalpais CrossFit. … and I will tell my friends! Whooo hoooo!
-Barbara A., San Rafael, CA


Michael Papes is a top notch fitness trainer.  I highly recommend him and Tamalpais CrossFit for life changing fitness (they couldn’t have picked a better tag line).  Michael has an extraordinary level of fitness expertise and he has such passion and enthusiasm for what he does.  He is genuine, caring and respectful of you as a person, no matter what fitness level you’re at. He makes you feel comfortable in your body and so you’re completely comfortable with him.  He can and will convince you that you are capable of way more than you think you are – and he’s always right.  Add to that, his workouts are never boring, definitely challenging and produce results like I’ve never experienced before. My 48 year old body has never been in better shape. I love my newly developed abs, arm, back and shoulder muscles! I’m strong, I’m fit, I’m feeling sexy and I’m happier with my body than I’ve been in a long, long, long time.  How many women can actually say that and mean it?
-Susan Z., Richmond, CA

I drank the crossfit kool aid and loving it.  Tam Crossfit is the best crossfit gym in Marin.  The instructors are fabulous with a ton of knowledge in exercise physiology and nutrition.  All members are friendly and supportive.  I highly recommend Tam Crossfit.

Alex P. Corte Madera, CA

I have been a member of many gyms in Marin over the years and have to say that Tamalpais CrossFit is by far the best in the area.
First of all the facility is great.  It is big, open, clean and most importantly safe.
The instructors are very knowledgeable and motivating.  The classes are intense but also very fun!!!
The equipment is new and there is a good instructor to athlete ratio across all the classes.  The instructors all have a strong emphasis on safety and technique.
They have built a great CrossFit gym and now a wonderful community of members.  I feel lucky to be a part of TCF!

-Joe K., Greenbrae, CA