J: All of the above, ha-ha-ha.
M: We’ve been together like 20years. We’ve been married for, 14 years.
A: You two own “The House of Bagels” Are you guys the original owners?
J: This was opened in 1962; It was the first bagel bakery west of the Mississippi. So no. We’re not that old.
A: How did this happen? Were you both just like “We’re going to buy the bagel shop”.
M: She was a professor at a junior college in Illinois and I was working for a pharmaceutical company in Chicago. My parents owned this.
J: Oh and we were pregnant with our first, about six months pregnant, well, I was 6 months pregnant with our first.
A: Hey, passive pregnancy is a real thing.
J: Yeah, It wasn’t quite what we had carved out, what we thought we would be doing. So this one night we were kind of like, Hey why don’t we buy a business and we can do all the stuff we had talked about.
J: Within 24hrs he gave notice at his job, we put our home up for sale. I was going to give notice but my faculty mentor had said, “Don’t tell anyone anything” because I had already developed online classes and I was on a tenured track position. So she told me to not say anything and just do what I needed to do and if it works out then you know, quit or move on. So I taught classes for a year here.
M: without anyone knowing she wasn’t in town.
A: nice, that’s smart.
J: Noo, I feel really bad.
M: And the baby was born like 2 weeks after she moved.
A: Jenny you were a professor, what is your training?
J: I am ABD, I received my job offer before doing my defense and my advisor retired before I finished my program in Cognitive Psychology.
A: And you Mike?
M: I have a masters in psychology and social psychology. I started in market research, and then I moved into the international marketing department. That was really challenging because I was travelling almost two weeks out of the month.
J: Well, we had also met in Santa Cruz and at that time life was hand to mouth. Pay rent and whatever is left you used on food. So when we moved to the Midwest for graduate school the plan was to get into our careers and move back to the bay area but work took us to different places. While we loved living in Chicago what we really wanted to do was to make it back to the Bay Area.
A: And somewhere down the line, You stumbled upon SFCF.
M: That was me, I was getting into exercising after not exercising since High school. I was doing a lot of different exercises and I was really serious about it, my friend Steve Green told me “you gotta check out this Crossfit thing” so I did some research and everyone was telling me “Yeah you should go do crossfitt” so I started in the parking lot about 5 years ago.
A: Jenny I’ve seen you make some celebrity appearances at the gym, I haven’t pinned down what your normal time is. What convinced you to come in?
J: hahaha, I love exercising, specially in the more traditional sports like tennis, but I was doing the same stuff as Mike 5 years ago and he was like “lets check out Crossfit”. My thing is that I always spread myself too thin across many things and, it may or may not be such a great thing, but that’s just me. With Crossfit, I was also doing Judo, Jiu-Jitsu and dancing. I also have some injuries I’ve had for decades, and depending on how that is I pick up and put down things over time. Right now, I’m working with John Post and I think he’s amazing and that’s probably when you see my cameos, but I’m also doing Yoga and dancing.
A: Mike I see you much more often and you seem to love power lifting. Sir, may I say you are freakishly strong . What’s the deal?
M: hehe well, my mobility is so bad, The Olympic lifting is hard for me and I kind of have to muscle through a lot of the lifts, but strength comes a little more naturally to me I think.
A: I saw you playing around with 385 on the back squat and when I asked you about it you said “warming up.” Where are you at?
M: Well we haven’t tested the 1Rep Max yet, but that day was 4×5 at 415. I’m hoping to test at 500.
A:…. How old are you?
A:…. :O That’s amazing, All of it.
A: Would you like to share anything else with your fellow crossfitters and powerlifters?
J: Always get stronger, physical or mental.
M: Yeah keep learning.
A: There you have it people, Mike and Jenny Puentes. I had the pumpkin kregel, OMG. Delicious. I love everything pump-king, I promise, everything. The House of Bagels, On 14th and Geary. visit them at facebook.com/sfhob and on twitter: sfhouseofbagels Thank you both.
P.S. They have gluten free bagels! ROOP, I’m talking to you.