Valerie is the perfect model of a beautiful, bad ass woman who embodies incredible resilience, positivity, and courage. She has warmed our entire team’s hearts with her radiant smile, sassy sophisticated style, and good-natured humor. She started out shaking like Bambi in xBURN but is now conquering those planks like nobody’s business. THANK YOU, Valerie, for believing in yourself and in X-CORE!



After a breast cancer diagnosis followed by chemo, surgery, radiation and months in bed, I needed a workout that strengthened all my muscles and X-Core fit the bill. It’s helped me regain my strength and makes me feel strong and capable.

How did you stumble upon X-CORE?

Sherri McMullen - of McMullen Boutique is my boss. I’m a stylist at her Grand Avenue flagship store. As a team bonding experience she treated all of her employees to xCLIMB followed by breakfast at Brown Sugar Kitchen. I loved xCLIMB but, since I run, I already had a cardio workout. What I needed, after cancer treatment, was to strengthen my body. My muscles had atrophied from so much time in bed. What I found at X-CORE was a great workout, tons of encouragement, gifted and motivating instructors and Elaine and Cora. They are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met and they and their staff always made me feel welcome and encouraged. Now I look forward to going to class because I can feel and see the difference it’s making in my body and it’s fun.

Where are you from originally?

How long have you lived in Oakland? I’m a third generation Oaklander. I live in Piedmont with my husband and two children now but it’s fair to say I’ve lived in Oakland for 45 years with stints in Berkeley when I was a student at Cal, and Central America when I was a reporter covering Iran Contra for KPFA radio.

What is your favorite restaurant in Oakland?

Dopo. I love their Little Gems salad, Dopo pizza and they make a mean Negroni. (We love them too!)

Do you have a favorite between CLIMB or BURN?

xBURN. It has taught me about muscles I didn’t even know I had.

How do you feel after doing a double?

I feel elated and completely relaxed.

How did you work your way to doing a double?

I probably tried doing a double too soon after finishing chemo. xBURN was fine but 15-20 minutes after the start of xCLIMB class, I wanted nothing more than to get off the machine and slink out the door. I stayed there because the instructor kept exhorting us with “just 2 more minutes,” but after that I went on longer runs, working up to four to five miles, so I knew I had the stamina to finish strong.


Can you tell us a little more about your journey with cancer?

I was diagnosed with breast cancer and lost my wonderful mother within about two months of each other. Losing my mom made breast cancer seem easy as it reminded me there are other things in life that are much harder to deal with than cancer. Not to sound too Pollyannish but I also had to rely on my husband and he more than took care of me, he took care of everything: came to every chemo appointment, made dinner every night and was my cheerleader. The vows we made “in sickness and in health” were just words, but he was really there for me. I would let others who face a similar diagnosis, to remember that they are stronger than they think they are and that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I may not be quite as strong yet as I was when diagnosed, but my mettle and mental fortitude is so much stronger. Also, little things, for example someone pulling out in front of me without signaling, don’t bother me anymore. The whole experience has taught me not to sweat the little things.


Any fun facts about you?

I went from being a brunette to a platinum blond after losing my hair after chemo.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to run, read, (I’m currently reading Margaret Atwood’s new book, “The Testaments” as well as “She Said” by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.) I’m a bit of a political junkie and between the Economist, The New Yorker, SF Chronicle and New York Times, I’m always busy reading something.

Favorite quote?

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even felt - they must be felt by the heart. - Helen Keller.

Who/what inspires you?

Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She has had three bouts with cancer and comes back fighting every time. I also love reading her dissents.


Why we love Angel.


She is fearless - she owns everything she does, is not afraid to be pushed and has the determination of a bull. We love seeing her embrace the quiver and continue getting her Versa PRs. Angel's energy resonates with her name - she is calm and brings a comforting energy when she enters the room. Angel - Thank you for being our angel!

How did you stumble upon X-CORE? Why X-CORE?

I was a Class Pass-er and taking cycling classes across the street when I noticed X-CORE Piedmont being built. I looked it up online and was intrigued by the VersaClimber so I tried the class the first week the studio opened and have been coming ever since. I love how I can get in both my strength training and cardio while being challenged and pushed to my limit (and then some) every time I take either class

Where are you from originally? How long have you lived in Oakland?

I am hella proud to be born and raised in Oakland!! You can say I am a unicorn because we are in small numbers nowadays. I moved to Seattle and LA for a number of years for school and work, but moved back to the town 6 years ago.

favorite restaurant in Oakland?

Shan Dong!

What do you like to do for fun? Hobbies?

As summer approaches, you can find me hiking in the hills or camping on the weekends. I also like to go to live music shows and festivals when I can and am always hanging out with my cat.

What's your day job?

I am the production manager for Mamacitas Cafe, a women-owned and operated catering company 

Favorite quote?

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." - Audre Lorde


Right now, I am leaning towards X-BURN because I am actively trying to build more muscle and get stronger. I do love X-CLIMB for the music though!

How do you feel after a double?

Usually I am in a shocked daze about what I just did that last 70 minutes, but I always feel pretty proud that I powered through when I take any class at X-CORE because no matter what its hard as hell!!!

You did 50 classes in 40 days in the Sweat & Reset did you feel after? What motivated you to keep pushing?

I am a Capricorn so I am a competitive and super goal oriented person. When I found out I was at the top of the leader board after the first 2 weeks I knew I had to lock in and try to win the challenge. I think that the challenge pushed me to make working out and exercise a priority in my life when before it felt like a chore or something I would make excuses to not do because of lack of time or motivation. Since the challenge ended I have been keeping up the momentum and coming to X-CORE at least 4x a week and have been seeing positive results in not just my physical body, but my mental clarity and mood.


How has X-CORE changed you?

I had no idea I’d love X-CORE so much or that it would be so challenging. I’ve been working out all my life and this has been the most effective core workout I’ve ever done; the high intensity transformed my body almost immediately. I keep coming back because I love the instructors, the music, the intensity, the schedule and I trust X-CORE to hire solid instructors. It’s a personal challenge every time and assists me in my other passions; yoga and mountain biking.  

How did you stumble upon X-CORE?

A personal trainer at my local gym suggested I try X-CORE. I wanted to rehab a knee injury and like to train early morning so this worked out perfectly for me. 

Where are you from originally?

How long have you lived in Oakland? I’m from LA but don’t tell anyone. I have lived and worked in Oakland for almost 30 years.  

What is your favorite restaurant in Oakland? 


What do you like to do for fun?

I love yoga, mountain biking, gardening, cooking for my girlfriend, dancing, studying neurology (I’m a chiropractor and a geek), reading articles on health & nutrition, spending time with my nieces, watching women’s basketball and athletics and traveling. 

fun facts about you

I’m a Burning Man Vet! 13 years on the Playa. I took a 17-month sabbatical and lived in Asia and Europe in 2015. I’m always studying yoga and yoga therapy (like last night I read several articles about yoga before going to bed).  

What is your day job? 

I’m a chiropractor ( just up the street from X-CORE. I specialize in restoring functional movement, reducing chronic pain, injury management, sports injury, women’s health and repetitive stresses.  

Favorite quote?

“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

- Rumi

As a professional in the chiropractic industry - what are the benefits of the method? 

A strong core promotes a strong spine. A strong spine leads to better posture and better posture leads to better breathing. Breathing is everything. I teach this with my yoga therapy patients. X-CORE covers all points as you are doing deep breathing while in these poses that strengthen your core. Chiropractic care is important for the body and mind. This coupled with fitness (such as X-CORE, Pilates and yoga) and focus delivers endless benefits. It keeps the body balanced, vital and improves the body’s neurology. Chiropractic care is our systems reboot. It supports every organ, every cell, every tissue in the body. It supports our structural function, allows for equilibrium and potentiates our health.  

Who/what inspires you? 

Community inspires me. Being part of different communities (Burning man, dance, professional, exercise, friends) motivate and support me to express myself in everything I do. The collective of individuals make me feel loved and provide a mirror. That goes for my significant other as well.  

What X-CORE move do you love?

I love piking, mermaids and the challenge of all the lunging balance moves. I hate the bungee!

Maria, Cat & David


X-CORE is certainly not the only ones who love this family! This popular family caught our attention when we saw them occupy 30% of our Strength class one night. And then we got to know how wonderful they are. We appreciate Cat's infectious energy, David's sincerity, and Maria's sweet smile - we even get to see Edie (far left) quietly coloring while her family gets their workout on. It’s been so fun seeing each one of them get stronger. When we see them, we think...#familygoals


Maria: I love coming to X-CORE because I always feel super strong after. I really like doing it in the morning because it sets me up for a great day. X-CORE was the first exercise class that I actually liked and I love it more every time I go to class.

Mom: Because when you've had four babies (including twins) you need a little extra core work. The best change is finding a workout I can do with my teenagers!

What is your life advice to your kids? 

Dad: Live a healthy lifestyle – all things in moderation. But the one they probably hear more often is “Its OK to be silly and have fun – don’t let other people dampen your spirit”. (we agree!)

What is your favorite and least favorite X-CORE move?

Maria: My favorite X-CORE move is definitely the plank to pike at the end of class. My least favorite is a panther especially when it comes right after holding a plank. (ugh, we hate/love this combo too)

Any bad Dad jokes? 

Dad: Dad actually doesn’t do jokes well, prefer bad dumb movie quotes… but either way, they usually garner the same frowny reaction and more importantly, the complete embarrassment and eye rolling reaction!

Favorite restaurant in Oakland as a family? 

Mom: Cosecha or Lin Jia!

What was your favorite family vacation?

Maria: My favorite family vacation was Puerto Rico because I love the beach!

Favorite quote?

Dad: Well there are many inspiring quotes that I come across constantly, but the one what I try to live by is from the Pope Francis…”Who am I to judge?”.

Favorite date place with David? 

Mom: Le Charm (now Mathilde) in SF. We've been going there since we were dating in the 90s.

What is your day job?

Dad: By day I venture to San Francisco and lead a team of amazing professionals at PG&E; we work on the buying of ‘stuff’ for PG&E’s needs, whether services or materials. I have been with them for 10 years now.

Mom: I'm a partner at Fenwick & West, specializing in securities litigation.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Maria: I haven't really decided what I want to do when I grow up but I am interested in being an anesthesiologist.

Fun facts about the Kevane's:

  • Dad grew up in Puerto Rico, Mom in Philadelphia.  

  • Mom ran her 1st marathon in Los Angeles, and we intend to do it together this year in LA again!

  • Holiday tradition: On XMAS eve we all get new sets of pajamas! Recent favorite: star wars themed PJs.

  • We have 4 daughters, including 13 year old twins in the middle.


We love this bad ass woman for crushing every single workout. Don't let her sweet nature fool you. Janet is a fierce warrior and will take whatever challenge we throw at her...super platform twister on her pinky...check! We admire her tenacity and resilience, and we always look forward to her smile when she walks through our doors.


I love X-CORE because of the love they give to their community, their brilliant instructors, and because of the way they challenge me through each and every butt-kicking work out. I’ve honestly never felt stronger and I genuinely look forward to each session with them, because I know that I am doing something really positive for my health and happiness.

What’s your day job?

I get to support amazing middle school students as a school social worker for Oakland Unified School District.

Favorite restaurant / bar in Oakland?

Ohhh....that’s a tough one. I would have to say Vientian Cafe for one of my favorite restaurants, and Double Standard for favorite bar.

Favorite quote

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Holiday plans?

I’ll be holiday market hopping and eating my way through New York :)

What do you like to do for fun?

I personally love going to shows/concerts whenever I can, and Kenny (my partner) and I both enjoy checking out new restaurants, going to comedy shows, and spending time with good company and our dog, Smalls.

Favorite holiday treat you look forward to?

I really enjoy drinking a hot toddy during the holidays and love making it for my friends.

Favorite X-CORE move? Least favorite?

My favorite X-CORE move would have to be standing inner thighs (because I feel that move the most the next day), and my least favorite move is hands down, hamstring curl! One day I will be able to do that move without crying. 


Craig has been an inspiration to our studio and instructors. He inspires X-CORE to challenge him and provides constant encouragement to newbies around him! We appreciate Craig for his thoughtfulness and perseverance to master and hold every move. We promise to do our best to find moves that will keep him challenged. Thank you, Craig, for being part of our X-CORE family!

Why do you love X-CORE?

There’s a lot to love.  First, I’d say the instructors.  I love their passion, energy, and positivity.  They are all wonderful.  Second, I love the variety of exercises you can do on the megaformer.  Third, I love that you can continually challenge yourself daily in the classes.  Even after a year of coming to classes regularly, I can walk out exhausted after every class.

How has X-CORE changed you?

It has put me back in touch with my body.  I used to exercise a lot when I was younger and loved it, but when children came along it became harder and harder to find the time and the energy.  It also allows me to unwind after a long day of work.

As a Father, what is the best advice you've given to your kids? 

Whatever you do, do your best.

Favorite place to eat in Oakland? 

Nido (by Jack London Square).

How long have you lived in Oakland?

Total of 26 years – 4 years as a child, 1 year as a young adult, and 21 years since we bought our house in 2007.

Why do you love Oakland?

I love the diversity.  Weather is great too.

Favorite quote?

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."  - Aesop

Who inspires you?

People who are passionate about things they do – could be sports, work, politics, anything.

What X-CORE move do you love to hate?

I have a few, but if I have to pick one I’d say Giant Reverse Cobra at the very end of class – preferably after Mountain Climbers so the heart rate is up.

What’s your day job?

President of Rockridge Geotechnical, a geotechnical engineering consulting firm I started in 2006.

The Squad

Have you met some of X-CORE's most amazing women? We knew they were special the moment they walked through our doors. Genuine, thoughtful, and FUN...this ride or die crew has given so much to X-CORE through their passion for life and tight friendship. They've been a crew for over 6 years, but their roots go back to over 34 years!


How has X-CORE changed you?

Leah: I’ve dropped down 2 sizes since starting X-CORE over a year ago, I feel stronger and feel better than ever.

Jada: Such a supportive and motivating group...X-CORE has made me want to work out!

Cameron: I’ve lost 15 pounds & feel great! I’ve improved my overall health in a measurable way and continue to look forward to class. I always feel better after class & can bank on the day's stress melting away.

I think we all appreciate the encouragement & motivation we not only get from each other, but the positive X-CORE community. 


What’s that “thing" that keeps your friendship tight? 

Don't sweat the small stuff and we laugh a lot!


Where have you traveled together?

Mexico, Tahoe, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Bahamas, Spain, Morocco, LA, and Yuba River. One of our favorite things to do is travel around Oakland on our bikes.


What's your favorite day time hang out spot in Oakland? 

1888 coffee station AKA “the stoop” - you can catch us here every Saturday & Sunday after X-CORE.


What's your favorite night time hang out spot in Oakland?

Oeste, Somar, District and Shakewell.

After X-CORE it’s Whole Foods or Kinja.



Cameron: It gives me strength and happiness in 40 min, and I get to spend time with my girls.

Syd: It's a great 40 minute total body workout. Plus the community at X-CORE makes you want to show up and commit to changing your body. 

Leah: It challenges me and after a long day at work it takes away any stress I may have had... and I get to spend more time with my girls! 

Jada: It makes me feel strong...and it's the first workout I've been committed to this long - in years!


What's everyone's day job?

Leah: Marketing / Business Development for a construction company 

Syd: Model & Realtor at Keller Williams 

Cameron: Center Director of Head Start

Jada: Agency Director at Scout Model & Talent agency 

Left to right: Cameron, Leah, Syd, Jada

Left to right: Cameron, Leah, Syd, Jada

Smadar and Mike

The love and support between these two is tangible. We love the silent push they give one another as they fight through every last 10 seconds of each move together. We appreciate their sense of humor and genuine vibes. Best of all, we've seen them grow stronger together since X-CORE's inception!


Who can plank longer?

Mike: Me -- I'm planking right now. I've been planking for days.

Smadar: Definitely Mike. Don't worry though, he hasn't been planking for days.


How has X-CORE shaken up your lifestyle?

S: We wake up early now to work out, which has been tough, but totally worth it. I think it's also been great for the two of us -- I'm a lot more willing to go out and do something active, even just a walk around the lake, which has been great since Mike loves getting out of the house.



How do you keep each other motivated to keep coming?

M: We used to work out separately and it always seemed to fizzle. Lagree became a new activity that we could share with one another. We encourage each other to hold that last plank a little longer, push ourselves a little further, and support each other when we are sore after our workouts.


What kind of changes have you seen in your bodies?

M: I feel way stronger. I noticed I have arm muscles, and three abs.

S: I feel way stronger. Mike is almost at four abs.


What’s your secret to a happy marriage?

S: Working together as a team, communication, compromise, and humor. Our 6th anniversary is on June 3!


What is your favorite spot in Oakland?

S: Temescal Brewing. They have delicious beers and an awesome outdoor space with lots of dogs for us to pet.


What is your advice for newbies?

M: Keep at it. This workout never gets easier but it's so fun! Don't cheat at Mermaid, they always know when you cheat at Mermaid.


What do you do for work?

M: Software Engineer at Twine

S: Transportation Engineer at W-Trans


Why we love Pia. 

Pia brings her A-game to every class; giving up is not in her vocabulary. We love the contagious energy and humor she brings into the studio on the daily. Pia has been a driving force in helping shape our Oakland community. We love you, Pia!


What's your day job? 

Marketing Manager for Clorox


Why do you love X-CORE?

I love the community vibe and all the trainers.It has changed my body in such a short amount of time!


How did you discover X-CORE? 

I live 2 blocks away and I just ran into it.


What makes your smile? 

LaCroix - passion fruit and mango!


What's your favorite move? 

Super lunge - I love getting really deep and I can really feel it in both my arms and legs. I feel strong.

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