owner of SoLa CrossFit

Dave Appel - OWNER

Dave Appel is the Founder and Head Coach of SoLa CrossFit. After receiving a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a short stint as a physical education teacher, Dave followed his passion and worked in fitness for over 20 years. At the helm of SoLa CrossFit since day one, Dave has been on a mission to create the most exceptional CrossFit in Austin. Delivering outstanding, form specific coaching in a friendly and inclusive environment. Austin Fit Magazine has voted Dave one of Austin’s Best CrossFit Coaches twice and one of Austin’s 10 Fittest.

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OUR coaches

Dave Appel

Level 2 CrossFit Trainer

Voted one of the Best CrossFit Coaches in Austin twice, Dave Appel has a lifetime of experience in fitness. He holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois and has been coaching CrossFit for over 10 years.

He is passionate about creating a space where everyone can feel comfortable pushing themselves towards their personal fitness goals.

His favorite movement to train is the Thruster and his favorite workout is Fran.

Dave is an incredibly technical coach, who is skilled at both welcoming beginners and fine tuning top end athlete performance.

When he’s not in the gym you can find Dave entertaining his three kids or researching biohacks and longevity technologies.

Jess Appel

Director Of Operations
Level 1 CrossFit Trainer

Jess has been involved in fitness her whole life. A collegiate basketball player, she began personal training over 20 years ago. She has dabbled in CrossFit off and on for over 9 years, mixing it in with Ironman Triathlon, Marathons and Cycling.

Jess loves coaching beginner athletes and athletes recovering from injury. Her favorite thing is helping women to discover and embrace their strength.

She took over Operations at SoLa about 5 years ago and manages all things logistics!

When she’s not in the gym you can find Jess hanging with her three kiddos!

Aly Hagglund

Level 1 CrossFit Trainer

Aly has been doing CrossFit for 7 years and just recently started coaching. A life long gymnast, Aly leads the Specialty Gymnastics Courses at SoLa and jumps in to coach Saturday classes.

Her favorite thing about coaching is the community! You can’t beat a CrossFit community especially SoLa’s. Of course, she loves gymnastics so having the opportunity to be part of the journey as someone kicks up into their first handstand or gets their first muscle up is what keeps her excited.

Aly’s favorite thing to coach is anything gymnastics but handstands are up there as #1!

When she’s not in the gym you can find Aly enjoying that Texas sun and getting on the water. Whether it’s paddle boarding, Barton Springs, or a pool day with friends! She also loves reading (she’s one of the founders of the SoLa Book Club), listening to podcasts, or checking out one of the many Austin coffee shops.

Neal Riley

Level 2 CrossFit Trainer
USA Weightlifting
CrossFit Gymnastics Certification
CrossFit Weightlifting Certification
CrossFit Endurance Certification

Neal has been doing CrossFit for 16 years and coaching for 15 years.

His favorite thing about coaching CrossFit is the entire process of coaching. Getting to know the community before class, improving technique and efficiency during movement review and skill sessions. Motivating the class during workout – it’s all fun part of the process.

Neal’s favorite movement to coach is cleans.

When he’s not in the gym Neal loves to go out. He enjoys music and comedy shows, and trying new food spots around Austin. He stays active outside the gym playing lots of rec sports, disc golf, and riding his bike. He also likes to help out around the community and work with two great organizations – Meals on Wheels and Austin Bicycle Meals. In the summers he loves to be on the water!

Rudy Rodriguez

Level 1 CrossFit Trainer
Certified CrossFit Running Coach

Rudy has been doing CrossFit for 5 years and coaching for 3.

His favorite thing about coaching is watching people improve everyday. It’s thrilling watching athletes learning new movements, perfecting form and the excitement when accomplishing PR’s!

Rudy’s favorite thing to coach is Clean & Jerks.

When he’s not in the gym Rudy loves to use his fitness outside of the gym. An avid runner he loves to hit the road/trails and usually brings his favorite running partner. His dog Brooks. He also loves to play golf, mountain bike, and ski. To relax he checks out Austin’s many breweries.

Jessi Roesch

Jessi Roesch

CrossFit Trainer L2
Texas State Olympic Weightlifting Master W35 59kg - 5th Place (2024)

Jessi has been doing CrossFit for 8 years and coaching for 6 years.

Her favorite thing about coaching is seeing athletes have the ‘aha’ moment about a new movement, skill or cue.

Her favorite movement to coach is Pull Ups.

When she’s not in the gym you can find Coach Jessi saving the planet by helping a new generation of regenerative farmers and ranchers restore our soil, fix our food systems and grow profitable businesses.

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