The perfect team to help you achieve unreal results.
Andrew Rape, Owner/Coach
As an 8-year veteran of CrossFit, Individual CrossFit Regionals athlete, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and competitor, 2-year starter in the National Pro Grid League, and USAW Olympic lifter, Andrew has a vast understanding of what athletes need to accomplish a broad range of abilities in fitness. As an athlete who personally boasts a 400lb Clean and Jerk, 310lb Snatch, 525lb Back Squat, and 1:59 Fran, he’s been able to set realistic goals, establish the path to accomplish them, and succeed in carrying out the plan with dedicated focus and discipline. These are the same attributes he brings to the table as the Owner and Operator of CrossFit Trussville, both through his actions of continued improvement of CrossFit Trussville itself, and for each of his athletes that he hopes to inspire. Certified in a range of areas, including; CrossFit Gymnastics, CrossFit Olympic Lifting, CrossFit Level 1, OPEX Business Systems, OPEX Life Coaching, OPEX Program Design, OPEX Assessment, and OPEX Nutrition, Andrew brings not only experience, but also a very real understanding of fitness from objective knowledge and education. Competing alongside and against Games athletes throughout the year in competitions around the country, including Madison Square Gardens in New York City, Andrew can bring a unique level of understanding to nearly every situation. As a young man, Andrew was significantly overweight and quit nearly every sport because he was to out of shape to even complete the warm-ups. Since deciding to take a hold of the reigns and push the limits in his pursuit of excellence, he pushed his doubts to the side and realized his own potential through determination and hard work. Here is what he had to say, “Fitness to me isn’t just a physical attribute and small portion of our lives, I truly want to make each individual better in one way or another. Regardless of what life is like outside of the walls of CrossFit Trussville, I want to make each athlete smile, enjoy their day just a bit more, and realize their own true potential. In this I hope everyone can accomplish new levels of confidence for themselves, as well as inspire those around them to enjoy their journey through life and experience it to its fullest potential.” If you don’t see him at the gym, you can be sure he is spending time with his beautiful wife Candace and very well-mannered pit bull, Kona.
Candace Rape, Owner/Coach
As an athlete who has played competitive sports her entire life, Coach Candace has dedicated herself to helping people around her realize their own potential through fitness. Always with a loving smile on her face, Candace brings a wealth of knowledge to the table along with a caring attitude and genuine love for her athletes. She was a collegiate softball player at Bevill State Community College and says that, “Growing up as an athlete taught me discipline, teamwork, and dedication. This is exactly what I would love to instill in my athletes.” After her years at Bevill State, she finished out her education where she graduated from the Physical Therapist Assistant program with an Associates in Applied Science. After being licensed in 2011, she worked hands on with athletes suffering from a host of physical issues for three years as a PTA at EW Motion Therapy in Trussville. The experience she gained working in the Physical Therapy field makes her an invaluable asset to us as she can ensure her athletes are moving properly, safely, and effectively.
Braden Rayburn, Coach
Having had a background in fitness since 2009, he’s now continuing his journey of helping others accomplish their goals through expert coaching and care here at CrossFit Trussville. As a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he’s had the opportunity to gain significant sports application coaching as a student coach on the UAB football team for the past 5 years. He’s been able to bring his collegiate coaching experience to our athletes here at CrossFit Trussville. If you’ve been able to experience his coaching, you know he is nothing short of compassionate, caring, selfless, and very knowledgeable. Here is what he had to say about coaching, “I love this place and all of the athletes I get to interact with on a daily basis. Every single person here is like family to me and I couldn’t appreciate each one of you anymore. Just come to the gym with a positive attitude, maybe a competitive mentality, and ready to pursue excellence, and I promise if you bring these attributes to the table you will continually improve each and every day.”
Mark Mehringer, Coach
As a former National Champion gymnast, NCAA All-American, guest instructor and speaker nationwide, Mark has coached at all levels of athletics. Coach Mark Mehringer has been involved in CrossFit for over 4 years now and has an extensive and distinguished background in athletics. Originally from upstate New York, Mark has coached athletes across a broad spectrum of sports, including; CrossFit, gymnastics, and cheerleaders from youth through the collegiate level and beyond. A former strength and conditioning trainer, Mark developed his passion for CrossFit after serving in the US Army Special Forces as a green beret. Since then, he has catapulted into the Southeast Region as one of the top master's age competitors and is on the brink of qualifying for the CrossFit Games. His accolades include podium finishes at a host of CrossFit competitions and even placing 3rd in the WORLD during the Reebok CrossFit Team Series. Mark's talents were also recognized by the National Pro Grid League and received 4 invitations to compete at PRODAY where he had the top score in his division earning him a spot at the NPGL Combine. Mark is a CFL1 and CFL2 trainer who is CrossFit Gymnastics certified, and has been a certified CrossFit judge since 2012, including being the lead judge for CrossFit HQ throughout the Atlantic Regionals. When Mark isn't working as a police officer in the city of Birmingham, Alabama, or coaching at CrossFit Trussville, he can be found doing what he describes as his favorite job in the world, being a Dad.
Taylor Owens, Coach
As a current professional athlete for the NPGL San Francisco Fire, CrossFit competitor, and former competitive cheerleader, Coach Taylor has competitiveness and a strive for excellence throughout her personality. Walking into her first CrossFit workout in 2014, she saw the competitive and engaging nature of the sport that she had been missing so much. Being surrounded by people of all backgrounds, ages, goals, and needs only made her that much more impressed with what could be accomplished through CrossFit. Since then, she's never looked back. Now in her 3rd year of CrossFit, Taylor has achieved many of the goals she has set for herself thus far, including: getting drafted as a professional athlete by the San Francisco Fire in the NPGL as a bodyweight and gymnastic specialist. She is a dedicated athlete who is constantly focused on bettering herself in all regards, including her many fitness goals. With her background in cheerleading and gymnsastics and subsequent knowledge of how the human body moves, she knows exactly how to cue her athletes with proper form and hlp them reach their goals. Her coaching style is a combination of technique and form first presented with an exciting and uplifting personality, so you know you will never see her coaching without a smile on her face and words of encouragement. Her favorite part of coaching is the teaching aspect, and there's nothing she loves more than when she has the opportunity for an athlete to "see the light come on", who she says have become family to her since joining the CrossFit Trussville team. Outside of being a competitive athlete and coach, Taylor is also a Kill Cliff Rep servicing the Southeast, a HUGE Alabama football fan, and the soon-to-be bride to one of our competitors "Boy Taylor" (yes, his name is Taylor too!) They now live in Southside with their 3 fur babies: a tabby cat named Prince, a shepherd mix named Jake and a pitbull mix name Harley.
Sophia Rodriguez, Coach
As an athlete who has been in sports all of her life, including sports such as; soccer, softball, dance, cheerleading, and gymnastics. The sport she devoted the most energy toward was gymnastics. As a natural-born gymnast who spent 8 years in the sport until her senior year, she knows what it takes not only to excel in the sport, but also what it takes to be proficient in bodyweight movements. Beginning CrossFit only wanting to stay in shape, Sophia quickly realized that she had found a way she could train her body and elicit her competitive nature as well. Sophia has a passion for understanding human movement, exercise, wellness, nutrition, and everything involving fitness; graduating from UAB with a major in Kinesiology, Exercise Science, and a minor in Nutrition Science will propel her into her next stage in life. Attending OTA school and eventually working in pediatrics, Sophia will be changing lives for quite some time. She loves seeing people accomplish things they never thought they could and wants all of her athletes to believe in themselves and achieve what they think is impossible. As she says, "It is extremely rewarding as a coach to see confidence grow in your athletes," and she works tirelessly to always help athletes accomplish their goals.
James McCool, Coach
As the first coach ever introduced to our athletes at CrossFit Trussville, Coach James has an extensive track record of coaching experience and personal competitive ability. As a Trussville police officer who patrols our area and keeps us safe when he is not coaching, James is able to provide a 360 degree ability to improve our lives from all ends. He's CPR and First-Aid certified which gives him the opportunity to be engaged in virtually any situation. As the former Director of Operations at CrossFit Trussville, James knows exactly what it takes to pave the way for each individual's success. With such a broad background in so many different disciplines, his knowledge through certifications and understanding of the many facets of fitness gives him the opportunity to bring a fresh approach to his athletes continued success. When not at CFT, you can bet you'll se him riding the roads on his motorcycle with his wife Candice and their miniature dachshund Lilly.
Drew Gilmer, Coach
As the Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator and Linebacker coach at the #1 Ranked High School Football team in the Nation in 2014, and #2 in 2015, Coach Drew knows exactly what it takes to get athletes competitive in sports. As a three-sport athlete himself in high school as well as a college baseball player, Drew has been able to continually hone his craft and learn exactly what it takes to develop an aspiring young athlete into a force to be reckoned with. Furthering his knowledge base and expanding upon his experience, Drew holds a Bachelor of Science degree in General Heath Studies from The University of Alabama. Drew has been coaching high school football and baseball for the past 8 years. Drew is married to his beautiful wife Lauren and has a little boy named Will whom we are confident will grow up to be just as athletically gifted (if not more so) as his father.