What’s your fitness background?

I grew up playing soccer and I made it to the Youth National Team in my home country. I then worked with the U.S. military, where my teammates loved CrossFit-style workouts. We didn’t have fancy equipment overseas, so it was a lot of bodyweight and vested work– and that’s still what I like to do now.

So what got you into CrossFit?

I was working out at Anytime Fitness in downtown St. Petersburg and I caught the attention of the owner at the time, Steven Ashton. He’s retired U.S. Army Special Forces, so we quickly bonded over that, and he invited me to his “other” gym– CrossFit9. I fell in love with it.

What do you love about CrossFit9?

I find inspiration in everyone’s different stories. During a workout you might look over and you’re next to a St. Pete Police officer on one side, and a grandma on the other side. You’re all suffering together, and it’s a bonding experience. Age, race, background– none of that matters.

Your dog is a local celebrity. Tell us about him.

Chuck Norris, my Shiba Inu. He’s 17 pounds of magnificence. I rescued him from Suncoast Animal League and he’s the joy of my life. He’s as tough as the man he’s named after.

chuck norris and zack ola crossfit 9 st pete fl


  • CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
  • CrossFit Mobility Certification
  • CrossFit Powerlifting Certification
  • CrossFit Gymnastic Certification
  • CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Certification
  • Crossover Symmetry Shoulder Foundations