Our Story

Just Go Lift Mission

The mission of Just Go Lift’s first Southern California location is to provide a facility that focuses on functional movement catering to the OCR (Obstacle Course Race), Ninja Warrior and Calisthenic’s Community. Whether you are a novice or seasoned athlete, Just Go Lift can help you become your best possible self by helping you achieve a balanced lifestyle through fitness, nutrition, health and wellness.

Just Go Lift Story

Just Go Lift‘s name was conceptualized by Michael Jogoleff after participating in his first OCR race in 2012. Mickey (Michael) was introduced to the sport in 2010 via YouTube. After watching numerous videos he dreamt about competing in his first race, but never thought he would ever be ready to actually sign up for one. In 2012 Mickey set aside his insecurities about being “race ready” because a good friend of his was in need of a supportive race partner. After completing his first Spartan Race the sense of accomplishment at the finish line and the loving supportive energy of the Spartan community on and off course was overwhelming. From that moment on he instantly knew he was addicted to the sport and wanted to submerge himself within the racing community so that he could help influence as many people as he could to obtain the same feelings of accomplishment that he had race day.

Just Go Lift is a spin off of Michael’s last name, Jogoleff, which also coins the term of “Just Do It.” Lifting, or elevating, is essential to progressing in life and the OCR community – a person grows as they go through and overcome obstacles, and sometimes we have to face a particular obstacle a few times before we can successfully overcome it. Whether this be physically lifting something or elevating your standards emotionally, mentally, and financially. Elevation is something we do on a daily basis. Sometimes we don’t necessarily feel like doing something, but we just do it.

Fitness and health is a way of life and many feel obligated to get into fitness/health. Just Go Lift transforms this unwilling obligation into a flourishing individualized passion. We are the training center where you don’t feel like you “have to do it.” You will “want to do it” and you will create a new way of living that allows you to thrive in every area of your life. Just Go Lift seeks to recreate the feelings evoked during race day on an everyday basis.

Samantha Jo Ward (Sammy), an Emergency Room nurse for the last 8 years, has seen the detriments of poor health first hand. She became determined to ignite a paradigm shift in how we take care of ourselves as Americans. If people are ending up in the ER because of poor health decisions, why not create a shift in the other direction. The Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) community helped her with this. So instead of just a weekend hobby, why not create a movement for life: train to live life to the fullest! After participating in her first Spartan Race in 2015 a new fire was lit. A new found passion for life, love, and happiness was born and she knew her purpose was to make this a reality for others.

Sammy met Mickey at the Lake Tahoe Spartan in 2016 during one of the obstacles on course. They were instantly drawn to each other for the passion that they shared for the sport. They realized that they both had a similar mission in life and learned that they paired well together. Both having completed a handful of different OCR races they saw a need for a facility where these athletes could train. Just Go Lift’s founders, Sammy and Mickey, involvement in the OCR Community allowed them to see a need for creating facilities where athletes would be able to train for races physically and mentally. Their goal is to help people find a more balanced way of life through fitness, nutrition and mental health. We strive to eliminate fad diets and the health rollercoaster that so many have become accustomed to – even OCR athletes. No more “on or off season”, “beat the holiday bulge”, get “swimsuit ready”, or “starving” yourself just to end up “binging” later, just a one stop shop facility where people learn how to live a healthy balanced lifestyle.

Just Go Lift seeks to solve two conundrums:

Conundrum 1: The conditions that bring people to the ER can be prevented with a balanced healthy and fit lifestyle. The conundrum though, is that obesity, diabetes, cancer, and chronic illnesses are on the rise; yet, equitable access to health choices, fitness knowledge, and a fun inspiring community to instill new lifestyle habits are nearly non existent, especially within poor working class neighborhoods.

Conundrum number 2: The craze for OCR is rapidly growing, yet there aren’t any facilities dedicated to enhancing performance, grooming the skills for race day, learning holistic nutrition, and translating the race day mentality to everyday life.

So why not have a facility that addresses both of the conundrums?!

With Sammy’s goal of wanting to open up an OCR gym and Mickey’s passion for helping people achieve their nutrition and fitness goals they started the first Just Go Lift Gym Concept.