Leave a Comment

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

1 Comment

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!!

2 Comments

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.

20151110_175714-1

Leave a Comment

Well, it probably comes as no surprise, but we have selected Trina Huarte as our October Member of the Month! So fitting that she happened to just win her SECOND first place CrossFit competition at the Kill Cliff Cascade Classic, beating CrossFit Games veteran, Kendall Burnham. Seriously, for someone doing crossfit for just over a year, beating a CrossFit Games athlete is incredible.

I could stop here, and it’s obvious why we have selected Trina. In having this gym for nearly 6 years, I don’t think Nick, Kyle, or I have ever seen an athlete quite like Trina. It’s no wonder why her swimming records at UW still stand! She obviously came in with a ton of strength, but to watch her learn new skills like double unders, handstand push ups, muscle ups, the list goes on….I’ve never seen someone learn things so fast. Her learning curve is ridiculous. Almost makes me want to quit crossfit when I watch how fast she learns. Totally kidding…but maybe not 😉

I remember Shawn talking about how he really wanted to get her wife at Cascade. He said she was the one with the muscles. Well, dang, he was right! I can remember seeing her name on the board when she started and was like “who the heck is this Trina?! Did she CrossFit before? No? Holy crap!!” It truly has been some of the most exciting stuff to watch her develop into such an incredible crossfit athlete. I’m so excited for this next year when the CrossFit Open comes around. She has worked her butt off to improve and get to that top 20 in the World, and I can honestly say, I have no doubt that she will.

And if you know Trina…it doesn’t stop there. Her humility, selflessness, and kindness towards others makes me want to be a better person. She is every bit the definition of inspiration. I truly couldn’t imagine a day without Trina, Shawn, and the kids coming to the gym. Thank you, Huarte family, for enriching Cascade and making it all that more awesome!

Here’s what Trina wrote:

I LOVE Cascade!  I am so honored and humbled to be chosen as your athlete of the month.  If you had told me 14 months ago that I would be a complete crossfit addict, I would have told you that was impossible and that the only way to be ‘fit’ would be to spend 2 hours on a treadmill or a bike with some nominal weightlifting, like bicep curls;) After spending my youth and college years in a swimming pool, I was convinced that fitness could only be achieved by putting in as many hours at the gym as possible.

Did I mention how wrong I was??

Enter Tenny, Kyle and Nikoli.  They have turned my idea of fitness upside-down! (literally and figuratively) I have never had so much fun in my life!  Cascade is a true blessing to have in our community and there is no place like it.  My husband, Shawn, and I are both airline pilots and have traveled all over the world and been to many crossfit boxes.  As fun as it is to meet new people and try different workouts, I still eagerly look forward to my first day home and catching up with all the members and coaches at Cascade.  

Cascade has won my heart. I thank God every day that Shawn found this gym and that he tried day after day to get me there, and didn’t give up.  I thank Tenny for her beautiful spirit and welcoming heart.  I still remember her and Chellsi and their big smiles the first day I came to class.  Those smiles have never wavered and I will never cease to be amazed at the time and dedication these guys give to their members.  And members such as Pat and Casey have been unequaled and untiring in their tremendous support and encouragement, in addition to their efforts to catch me up in the strategic side of CF competition.  They too have been huge for me in this journey, I can’t thank them enough!

I remember going to the gym but having to select the classes based on the instructors.  Not at Cascade.  No need to look.  Every single coach is incredible and each have amazing strengths and an abundance of knowledge to share.  Marshall makes me laugh out loud every time I see him and taught me how to finally string my DU’s.  Cait and Paul gave me the confidence to try a competition and didn’t give up on me when I failed at said DU’s at my first competition.  Nick enabled me to actually move forward on my handstand walks instead of staying in one place!  One day, maybe when he has a cold, I might beat him at a WOD.  I will keep dreaming.  Tess has the ability to say one or two words and fix your movements.  Tanner will help you until he knows you’ve got it.  And Kyle makes me want to be a better athlete and do things correctly, no shortcuts, but maybe a beer if you do really well☺

Thank you for being an amazing family.

Leave a Comment

Brian Levesque | Cascade CrossFit photo credit: Armaggeddon Games

Brian Levesque | Cascade CrossFit (photo courtesy of the Armageddon Games)

 

September’s Member of the Month!!! Brian Levesque! Here’s another member that it is no question why we have selected him to be member of the month. Brian is obviously a stud and when he started, he certainly was pretty fit. He is one of those people who is just a natural athlete, but has also put in a ton of hard work to get to where he is at. You give him a couple cues…he gets a muscle up. Another couple cues…he is double-undering. Although that can be super annoying to the rest of us where it takes us forever to learn a skill, it’s certainly inspiring that he accomplishes what he puts his mind to so quickly.

Brian has built some crazy strength as well and it was awesome to watch him compete in his first CrossFit competition, the Armageddon Games (photo above) with his partner, Tanner. They finished 11th, I believe, out of 30 super competitive teams, which is freaking awesome. And, of course, Brian is about as nice a guy as they get. He always is listening and always accepting of constructive criticism, which is really unique. We are so grateful to have both him and his wife, Julie, as members at Cascade, as well as their daughter Faith! Check out his story below!

Well I first want to say a big thank you to everyone on the coaching staff and I feel honored to be the September member of the month. I truly believe that Cascade has the best coaches I’ve ever worked with. Their knowledge of how to do lifts properly and the encouragement through a workout is what has kept me wanting to push harder and be better every time I walk in.

I’ll start off why I started crossfit. I was in the military for 8 years and when I got out, I missed that feeling of accomplishing a challenging run or exercising together as a group and pushing each other harder past a limit we thought possible. I was going to the gym and doing hot yoga but I was getting tired of the same routines and needed a challenge. I started looking online at boot camps and came across a groupon for a crossfit place in N. Seattle for just a couple weeks. I didn’t really get that welcoming feeling and wasn’t receiving enough instruction so I started to do some research to look for a new box. I remember my first day walking into Cascade around lunchtime and seeing Martindale building a bobsled out of the box jumps with a few of the other coaches playing around. I wasn’t sure what to expect but after doing my first WOD I knew that I had found my new home.

I had started right around when the open workouts began in 2014 and after watching everyone come out and give it their all during Friday Night Lights, it made me want to strive to be the best I can be and maybe even reach competition level one day. I was determined to continuously work on my weaknesses and about a year and a half later, I feel ready to do my first competition and it’s all thanks to Tanner for encouraging me to do it with him. I have reached goals that I never thought were possible and have never felt better. I know I haven’t mastered every skill and technique and might not ever, but this is why I love crossfit. There’s always room for improvement.

It really is like a second family and I feel like a kid at a playground every time I workout. Everyone is so friendly and I don’t have to worry about finding child care so my wife and I can work out together. We are all happy to be a part of the Cascade community (including Faith). My wife and I currently live in Seattle and started to look for a new box but nothing could compare to Cascade so we decided to stick out the long drive until we move back to the east side. You all make it worth the drive!