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Meet Pam Eamranond of CrossFit 626 in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pam Eamranond.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Pam. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
CrossFit 626 was a dream that took a few years to develop. In 2007, I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from UC Riverside. I found it impossible to find a corporate position in the job market at that time. I had to move back home to Pasadena and started as a swim instructor at the Rose Bowl Aquatics because I needed to at least work while searching for a job. After about a year in I decided to pursue a professional career in the fitness industry. I took certifications in personal training and continued to teach swimming while working at 24 Hour Fitness as a Master Trainer. During my three years with the company, I knew I wanted to own my own gym. So during that time, I learned as much as I could in fitness and nutrition, saved every penny I had to one day start my own fitness business.

In the spring of 2011, CrossFit 626 embarked on humble beginnings. It began with two of my friends who had the same passion for fitness. We had a one car garage in the back of the South Pasadena home the three of us lived in. We put up plywood to secure the garage, painted the walls to make it presentable, and “Craiglist-ed” half of our equipment. We did free workouts at a local park to attract our very first members (who are still with us today). 8 months in we had roughly 25 members and decided to make the leap and start growing our membership in a commercial space. Within two years in the new location, our membership base grew to over 100 members. 6 years later, CrossFit 626 still operates out of the building on Fair Oaks Ave., changing lives one day at a time.

In March of 2017, CrossFit 626 will be celebrating its 6th year anniversary.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s a very rough road, but I ride through it smoothly.

Doing free workouts or giving much discounted training requires a lot of sacrifices to your personal life. You don’t get “fun” money and you have to save everything you have just so you can live out your dream. These last ten years have been a true test of willpower. You hope that everything you do will work out in the end.

Currently, the space I’m in isn’t the most ideal space. There are a few structural walls that make the space not as usable as it could be. So since 2012, I’ve been in search of the “ideal” spot for my gym. I ran into so much bad luck with leasing, permits, loans, and terrible timing. Every empty space I’ve looked at in Pasadena and surrounding cities has been a letdown.

Another huge hiccup for me was in 2015, my two friends left the business due to personal reasons and I had to pick up their workload. On top of that, I had to buy them out so I was back where I started financially.

In the last 6 years, at least fifteen other gyms have popped up within a ten-mile radius. I hate to think they’re competition because my services aren’t comparable, but most people are price shopping.

Needless to say, I’m not upset about any of these events. I choose to look at them as life’s experience and that there’s a reason for everything to unfold the way they do.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
CrossFit 626, Pasadena, was founded in 2011 on the principles of fitness, community, accountability and excellence. It is our mission to connect and help people of all backgrounds, ages, and fitness levels to BE MORE.

We specialize in making a connection, understanding, and guiding people through life. Fitness is just an inspiration and functioning better is a byproduct. We are known for our excellence in coaching individuals, whether that be in a group setting or on a one to one basis. People’s safety is our top priority. Following safety is consistency, then intensity. With a strong foundation in place, people will get results.

I’m most proud of my coaching staff. They have all been with the company since its very beginnings. Each one of them has helped see it through. I’m very lucky to find people who share the same passion and have the desire to suffer to success with me. Their character also makes up the community at CrossFit 626. It’s difficult to explain the good vibes that sets us apart. You have to just come in a feel it for yourself.

What were you like growing up?
I’m a 90’s baby when the internet was just developing. So I played outside like most kids. I never enjoyed school. I was a slow learner and English was my second language. I spoke Thai at home since my parents immigrated to Los Angeles from Thailand. I didn’t have friends when I was young because of language and cultural barriers. Once I picked up English it was a whole new game and I became friends with everyone.

My parents always wanted me to be their definition of a girl. They threw me into ballet, ice skating, piano lesson, and made me wear unpractical clothing – dresses, and bows. I guess you could say I had to do everything my mother wished she could’ve done as a kid. All I wanted to do was play outside with the neighbors’ kids or go to the park. I wanted a bike, a skateboard, rollerblades, a power wheel, and not wear dresses, it took some time for them to grant my wishes. I got a bike with training wheels, so I took them off. I got a plastic skateboard from Chinatown that I burned from riding down the hill too fast (friction). I got a power wheel that I drove down to the ground. I still had to wear dresses.

As you can tell, I’ve always enjoyed being active. When I got to high school, I made my first discovery of team sports. I played a sport every season for all four years of high school. I was captain of my teams because my coaches could see how passionate I was about the sport. I gave 100% at every practice and at every game. I made
Pricing (Optional)my teammates cry because I’d stand in front of the bus after a game to tell them that they shouldn’t bother showing up because they didn’t put all their heart into the game. I hated losing more than I liked winning. And I still do.

My personality in a nutshell… I lust for life. I desire stimulation. I love the sun. I like the snow. I do the extreme to the extreme. If something is good I want more of it. I have tender feelings and good impulses. I master myself and my own passions. I like a worthy opponent. If angered, I will be direct with no hidden agenda. I bend the rules. I provoke and like confrontation. I never regret. I finish what I start. I come on strong. I am loyal, and look to stay friends for life.

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Image Credit:
Elizabeth Kingston Young

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