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We’re very pumped to announce Nick Ballard as our April Member of the Month! We basically think he deserves this since he has to put up with those 9am ladies every morning!!! 😉 Totally kidding.

Nick has been a member of Cascade for years and has always brought an awesome energy to the gym. What has been a stand out about Nick is that he works his butt off, is very consistent, strives to move well and holds himself accountable for proper movement. He is always cheering others on (which, most the time, is the 9am mom crowd…love that!) and cracking some sort of joke.

Nick has put in a ton of effort at the gym and it’s definitely paid off. With finally hitting a goal of a 200# snatch and whipping out skills like Muscle ups, Handstand pushups, and perfect pushups. The dude is strong and puts up some killer times.

Watch the video to learn more about Nick and make sure to give him a fist bump or high five when you see him at the gym! Proud of you, Nick, for all your hard work, and thank you for being such an awesome representation of what Cascade CrossFit is all about!


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Beyond proud of Carise Martindale and so happy to have her as our February Member of the Month!

Carise has been coming for 5 years (umm…has it really been that long Carise?! Time FLIES!!). It’s hard for me to remember that far back as my memory is not the best! BUT, what I do remember is who Carise has always been. She has always been the most genuinely kind person you could ever meet. I could probably ask her to clean the bathroom and she would say, “Oh my gosh, honey, of course! Just show me what I do!” Seriously. She would.

She’s also been one of the most determined women to get after in it. I watch her in class and she treats every time as a learning opportunity. Many of us (especially after so many years) can get complacent, lose interest when the coach is explaining the workout or movements, and not pay attention. I can tell she is always taking it in learning as much as she can each and every time. She’s respectful, helpful, and the biggest cheerleader for all the others in class.

Now, one of the other things I love about Carise, is that grunt! 🙂 When I played tennis, I always grunted and Kyle totally made fun of me for it. Sometimes, you can tell Carise is really dialing it up when you hear some grunts slip out. It secretly makes me smile (and I’m sure a lot of others) so much because I KNOW how hard she is working. She gives it her all every freaking time.

To see how far she has come is so inspiring. I know I said I don’t remember much, but I do remember her as being quite thin, which reminded me a lot of myself. Look at her transformation…strong and beautiful! In my opinion, what she represents is hard freaking work, passion, and such a beautiful strong mama!

So proud of you Carise. You are one incredible and inspiring person!!!

Here’s from her!

I feel extremely honored to be chosen as Cascade’s Member of the Month for February! My journey here began back in 2011. I was introduced to crossfit by my brother-in-law. He had quickly fallen in love with the sport, so much that he had partnered up with another couple to start his own gym. As many of you know, this is Nick Martindale and Tenny and Kyle Jacobson and the gym was our very own, Cascade CrossFit.

When I first went to try cross-fit, I was intimidated. I had never in my life been a fit person. To add to my apprehension, I had 6 months prior given birth to my second child, making me the sole caregiver for two kids under two and a half. From the beginning everyone was so encouraging. They told me to start out nice and easy. In the beginning, I was just getting the movements down with light weight. I was always last to finish but everyone cheered for me more than they did the members who finished first. The positive energy and encouragement in the place was palpable.

Throughout my 20’s I had tried to get into a fitness routine. It almost always looks like this: get motivated, join a gym, stick with it for a month or so and then loose interest and motivation. With cross-fit it was very different; all I had to do was get to the gym. The other members and the trainers would get me through to the rest. It wasn’t long before I was craving my time at Cascade. I felt amazing physically. I could see physical results within the first few months. I felt happier and more positive than I ever had. Plus, I had joined a community of people all focused on living better.

Within 6 months I was hooked. Movements started to click. I could kip my pull-ups and was lifting more weight. With the encouragement of coaches and other seasoned members I was starting to be able to RX some work-outs.

One of the biggest draws for me was that I could bring my kids to the gym. Isaac and Audrey have grown up at Cascade. It makes me so happy to know they know how important physical health is for an optimal life. In seeing Tudor, they both ask me when they get to start working out.

Another gift I have received from Cascade, beside a sense of accomplishment and physical fitness is the friendships I have developed. After I stopped working a lost most social and personal daily interaction with adults. At Cascade, not only did I get back adult interaction, I met a group of amazing friends. I have made friendships that I cherish. Some of my favorite ladies in the whole world, I met right here at Cascade. We all meet-up regularly outside the gym now for ladies night out, kiddie functions and just to laugh our booties off. I love you girls!

All and all Cascade CrossFit has given me many gifts. Most importantly it has given me back confidence and a passion for something I can call my own. I consider Cascade not just the gym I go to, but an extension of my life and family. It has changed my life so much for the better.

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I’m really excited to show off our January Member of the Month, Tudor Magda! I’ve had so many people come up to me telling me how Tudor deserves it and we 100% agree…this kid is a stud!

Tudor is 13 years old and has been working out since he was 9 years old. I have to say, we are generally very conservative when it comes to letting kids workout in classes, for obvious reasons. So, I think we were all a little nervous when Tudor started. However, with the amazing guidance of Marius (his dad) there with him every time, Tudor was able to be slowly get introduced to CrossFit and how it all worked.

It was a very long time of Tudor taking it easy and needing to modify for his age. This past year though, I feel like things just changed and Tudor hit his stride and it’s been amazing to see what he accomplished. Being around 70#, he out lifts several people in the gym (myself included) and has crazy skills on things like muscle ups, butterfly pull ups, handstand walk, handstand push ups, double unders…the list goes on. It shows how hard work pays off as Tudor is probably one of the only members I see constantly coming in early or staying after to practice something he wanted to get good at. Sure, it came with a lot of frustration (as working on weaknesses does….), but it showed what determination and perseverance can accomplish. I find myself constantly inspired by him and I know tons of other members are as well!

Tudor’s story is not just about being consistent and becoming good at CrossFit…it shows a kid who loves this as his sport and his passion, and what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Now that CrossFit has a teens division, it is going to be SO excited watching Tudor compete in this and cheer him on!

Thanks for inspiring us Tudor and we are so proud of you for all you have accomplished!

From Tudor:

Hello everyone,

I feel greatly honored for receiving the title of member of the month for the month of January. I have been crossfitting for four years now and I can assure you that it has improved my lifestyle, both inside and outside of the gym. I started Crossfit in February 2012. Before, I had played soccer recreationally since I was in kindergarten and I always thought I was “active”. While I was playing soccer my dad started Crossfit in the fall of 2011 and went to the gym regularly.  After my soccer season ended at the end of November, I wanted to keep myself in shape during the offseason. My dad said that I should come to his Crossfit gym to try it out. I told him I would and that was my first class at Cascade Crossfit. I instantly fell in love with it and when the spring soccer season came up I decided I wouldn’t register for it to pursue my goals in Crossfit.

My Crossfit journey started off small. I could barely do a few pull-ups so I used a band to assist me during workouts.  A 20-pound barbell was enough to tire me during workouts. The one skill I did have was a little endurance and speed from playing soccer. During workouts I scaled the movements and weights. After a few months I was getting better and the results were showing it. I wasn’t using the pull-up band anymore since I had learned how to kip. I also could perform a few double unders with singles in-between.  Soon enough, I had mastered the kipping pull-up and found out that there was an even more efficient way to perform pull-ups – butterfly pull-ups. I was practicing every day after the class had ended but I just couldn’t get the momentum to perform a few in a row. Then one day, I went after the class to practice as usual, and, as if I had already known how to do them, I performed three unbroken butterfly pull-ups with ease.

After a year had passed since I started, you could see the difference in overall fitness comparing me then and me when I had started. I could easily lift more weight with good technique and I had just about mastered the art of performing double-unders. I could also do bodyweights movements that I struggled with before like handstand push-ups and rope climbs. The one movement that I struggled to execute was the muscle-up. The coaches and everyone in the community was very supportive of me, telling me that I could do it and cheering me on when I attempted one. I had enough strength to pull myself to the rings and do a dip but the element I struggled with was the transition. I eventually got my first muscle-up after I had worked on drills to improve my transition but I couldn’t have done it without the support of the community at Cascade Crossfit.

Now I’m miles ahead of where my fitness level was when I started Crossfit. Although I have come so far, it’s only a fragment of what can be accomplished. The thing is: Crossfit challenges me across all domains of fitness, something that I didn’t feel when I was playing soccer on a recreational league, that I participated in just for fun. One of the main reasons I’m at the level that I am now is because of the support from the community. People cheering me on during workouts inspire me to push harder. The coaches at Cascade are so supportive, always willing to help if you have a question.  At a regular gym most people do their own thing rarely interacting and getting involved with other people.  Most Crossfit gyms are the complete opposite. I can almost guarantee that the Crossfit community will make you feel included, supporting you through your hardships, and cheering with you in your success.

Thank you again for Member of the Month honor and I will see you at the gym.

Tudor

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Aimee

Well, I apologize that I am a little behind here with the craziness of the holidays, but I finally got to share our Member of the Month for December….Aimee Rich!

Aimee has been with Cascade for almost a year and it her progress, attitude, and consistency have been what made her stand out to pick as member of the month.

It was clear from the beginning that Aimee was an active person, but CrossFit was definitely something new to her. What we all loved about Aimee was her willingness to be patient with the process, work on technique, and challenge herself with every workout. I was also always so impressed that -being a nurse- she would often be coming to the 8am class straight from working a 12 hour night shift. I mean, I would be headed straight to my bed if that was me!

Over the last several months, it’s clear how much her hard work and patience paid off as she is destroying workouts. I will sometimes get a chance to workout next to her, and I’m always impressed by her level of technique for such a rather short period of time. Additionally, she’s constantly pushing me to not slow down. This girl is crazy enough that she sometimes is even coming in twice a day to make up workouts or work on something.

Aimee is the perfect example of what CrossFit can bring with lots of hard work, consistency, and trusting in the process by being patient, humble yourself, and take time to learn. You can tell she is always working to grow and be better and is one of the kindest people I’ve met. And when her boyfriend, Joe joined us a little while ago, these two just are so much fun to have in class.

Aimee, you are awesome!!!!

 

Here is from Aimee:

Holy smokes, you guys. Thank you! I am extremely honored to be your December Member of the Month. The Cascade community is full of quality people and athletes, and I am so glad to have been a member here for the last (almost) year.

I have always been fairly active-ish – hiking, running, occasionally going to the free gym at my old apartment complex to play on the elliptical and copy the pictures on the machines… I didn’t even know the world of CrossFit existed until earlier this year right before joining, and it has been a truly amazing journey, very challenging, but so rewarding.

Each workout has been a humbling kick in the pants, but there is something wonderful about this place that keeps me coming back. Cascade absolutely shines in that the coaches are not just knowledgeable and helpful, but they are also encouraging and genuinely get excited when the members perform well and meet our goals. There is nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment after completing a particularly nasty WOD and knowing that you will only be better for it the next day.

Thank you all for helping me become physically and mentally stronger. I so appreciate the coaches and members of this community. Everyone here is incredibly strong, driven, dedicated, and I am proud to be a Cascadian!!

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Brent-MOTM-Web_TAustin-Photography

Each month, I look forward to reading the story of the member we picked as Member of the Month. It’s so cool to read and learn more about the amazing members we have here at Cascade. It always reminds me of how lucky we are to be surrounded by such an awesome group of people and much you all truly enrich our lives. I learn something from each story and definitely have from this one.  

We couldn’t be luckier to have Brent as one of our members. Talk about one of the nicest people you will ever meet. His humility, ability to laugh at himself, and complete lack of ego, are some of the main reasons we picked him as Member of the Month. But also, he is freaking strong and one of the best rowers at Cascade…Brent is a stud. He’s actually so studly, you’ll read about how he completed an Ironman. I’ve never had the slightest urge to ever want to do something like that, but I have insane respect for someone who can accomplish that. Absolutely incredible.

Reading Brent’s story, embodies why we picked him as Member of the Month. We are truly lucky to have Brent as a part of this community, as well as his boys who make appearances at the gym from time to time.

Here is his write-up.

Hi everyone!  First of all, I want to applaud Tenny, Kyle and Nick for having the courage to start Cascade Crossfit as well as the energy, enthusiasm and perseverance to keep it going and make continual adjustments and improvements.  They have created a safe and wonderful place filled with amazing trainers and athletes.  Thank you so much for selecting me as the member of the month for November.  It is always so fun and inspiring to read other members’ profiles and learn more about their story.  As one of the elder athletes at CCF, my story is a bit longer than most, so I will try to keep it succinct!

I was a successful high school athlete that participated in water polo, basketball and swimming.  I played a couple of years on the USC JV water polo team before hanging up my Speedo.  After college, I got married, fathered 3 boys, focused on my career and fell into a state of physical disrepair.  I still thought of myself as an athlete, but I would get winded chasing my kids around the swing set.

I decided I needed to get into shape, so of course I went out and bought a treadmill for the garage.  I ran on it for about 8 minutes, got a little tired, set my feet on the edges to rest and then woke up with the treadmill whizzing by my ear as I lay in a crumpled mess on my garage floor.  Luckily I only had a couple of abrasions on my knees,  a little lump on my head and a badly bruised ego.   The incident really opened my eyes to the stark truth about my fitness level.

I’m a competitive guy, so I figured I would try triathlons.  I trained for one that catered to newcomers that happened to coincide with our neighborhood trip to Lake Chelan.  I ended up getting second place and I was hooked!  I competed in triathlons for several years, gradually increasing the number and length of the races I would participate in each year.  I ultimately ended up doing an Ironman when I turned 40 which (despite being one of the coolest things I’ve ever done) is something that I never want to do again.

I was burned out after all the training and took “some time” off.   The months rolled by and in the following year my wife passed out and hit her head on a table while on a girl’s trip to New Orleans.  Despite my initial thought that she was just having a little too much fun, it turned out she had a 12 cm in diameter mass in her chest that was causing swelling around her heart.  Lymphoma.  She fought and received the best care and treatments available for two years, but ultimately succumbed to the disease in February of 2010.

The next couple of years were a blur.  I’d try to get to the gym and swim and do spin class as regularly as possible, but it was difficult while working and managing the lives of 3 active boys all on my own.  There was this one spin friend though that had disappeared from class but would show up from time to time in the weight room.  It was obvious she had transformed her body noticeably for the better.  In speaking with her, it turns out she was doing crossfit.

I thought, “What the heck, I’ll give crossfit a shot.”  I initially started out at another crossfit gym, but when my initial membership expired, I couldn’t get them to call me back to renew.  The workouts were challenging and rewarding.   I liked the “one hour” format and the initial results that I was getting were encouraging, but I never really felt welcome there and this was just another sign that maybe it wasn’t the place for me.   After taking the summer off, I looked around and saw that CCF was nearby and took the leap to walk through their doors and give it a try.  I can’t believe that was over three years ago now.  I knew after that first workout that it was the place for me and I’ve never regretted it.

The trainers and athletes make you feel welcome from the minute you arrive.  They push you hard with their programming, but are always willing to work on the modifications necessary to keep you safe based on your fitness and skill level.  While I have occasionally entertained thoughts of competing outside of the gym, my goal thus far has been to work hard and be safe so that I can make it back to the gym the following day.  The results have been perfect for me.  My “seasoned” body has been able to do some really fun things in my mid to late 40’s that most people my age wouldn’t dream of attempting, including spending a week at a Costa Rican surf camp and hiking the mountains of the Colombian jungle for 4 days to see the Lost City.  

As I’ve painfully learned, life is precious and for living.  Every. Single. Day.  I am so grateful to CCF for all that it has done for me and the CCF community to make the quality of our lives better.

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