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Well…yes…pigs are flying somewhere because Michelle Anderson is our May Member of the Month! 🙂 No, that’s not very nice. Even though one of Michelle’s most toned muscles is her mouth and she doesn’t exactly win the “World’s Most Punctual to Class” Award, this lady is so deserving of Member of the Month.

It’s crazy that it has already been over three years at Cascade. I totally remember when Michelle first started because CrossFit was so foreign to her and I really didn’t know if she was going to stick with it. Over the last three years, Michelle has accomplished so much and her body has completely transformed. I mean…check out those arms in her pic! Get it girrrrrrl! From starting at very low and taking her time to slowly increase, Michelle is now impressively strong. One thing that has stuck out to me is that she is always challenging herself to do a little more. She might do 75# instead of 65# or a 24” box instead of a 20”. Even if it isn’t a recommendation to go advanced, she still does it. I also totally love her attitude towards lifting. She works hard and cares about proper form and is totally humble enough to not go more than she should do. But, I also think she is constantly surprising herself at what she actually CAN do!

Besides becoming such a stud, Michelle  is an amazing person. She can talk to anyone about anything with being so sincere and caring. It’s no wonder she has made such a slough of friends here, because she genuinely cares about people and treats them that way. We are so lucky to have people like that at this gym. Even as much as a hard time as we give her for talking all.the.time…she’s respectful, thoughtful, and incredibly hard working.

Michelle- you are totally inspiring and we are so blessed to have you as a part of the Cascade family!

Here’s Michelle’s story:

Hello!

Well, I can truly say that miracles do happen… I can’t believe I was chosen as Member of the Month!!  It has been a running joke for a couple of years amongst the 9am’ers that the only Member of the Month I will ever receive is the “Social” Member of the Month award.  Haha!  On a more serious note, I am truly honored to be recognized.  My Crossfit journey began a few years ago when I was in a fitness rut.  I had been a member at The Pine Lake Club for years doing the same old aerobic classes and not seeing the results I was looking at achieve.  I started researching other types of workouts and watched YouTube videos about Crossfit.  I was totally freaked out after watching the videos, and put Crossfit on hold for awhile.  Fast forward a few months… I was standing at the bus stop waiting for the kids when my neighbor Heather Harris walked up wearing a Cascade Crossfit tank top with perfectly cut arms.  I started talking to her about Crossfit, and more importantly, Cascade Crossfit.  She encouraged me to give it a try and raved about the gym and the amazing trainers.  I can safely say it is one of the best decisions I have ever made!

I am so grateful for the people that I have met at the gym, the endless support and the dedication to fitness that I feel every time I step into the gym.  Cascade Crossfit is more than just a gym; it is a community of fun, happy, dedicated and goal oriented people.  Crossfit for me is really about setting attainable goals and working to achieve them.  It is the little victories along the way that keep us all coming back for more. I am thankful for being introduced to Paleo a few years back.  It has changed my life!  I had been struggling with food allergies and been mis-diagnosed for years.  I decided to heal my body through good nutrition and awesome advice from my friend Brooke Erickson, who is studying to be a Nutritionist.  If you haven’t taken the Paleo plunge, I totally encourage it.  You will see results and feel amazing.

Lastly, I have to thank all my girls’ (and Pete) at the 9AM class for all their support and encouragement over the years.  I can honestly say that I have made life-long friends at Cascade Crossfit.  The friendships even trickle down to my son Brady and his friendship with Conor Mosley.  They met at the gym a few summers ago and have been best friends since Marshall allowed them to move his car… a bond that will never be broken.  Fitness is a personal journey; but I could not have done it without Cascade Crossfit.  Thank you Kyle, Tenny and Nick for taking a “chance” on opening the gym and pouring your heart and soul into the success of each member.  Your hard work even paid off for this “chatty” girl!  ☺

Jeff Holy | Cascade CrossFit
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Jeff Holy | Cascade CrossFit

Jeff Holy | Cascade CrossFit

He may not like the spotlight very much, but your Mr. April Member of the Month is Jeff Holy! 😉

Jeff and his wife Aimee have been at Cascade for years, and it has been so awesome to have them as a part of the family. What has stood out with Jeff is that he really is such a kind person and so hard working. But, I think the thing that stands out the most about Jeff, and that we respect so much as coaches, is his dedication to form and technique. He is humble enough to know when he needs to scale weight or movement…which is rare! We have always commented on how Jeff is one of the people in the gym who has the best form, and he certainly has worked hard to get there. Really proud of him for that and hope that others see how awesome that is as well.

I also love seeing how Jeff and his wife always get after the Saturday partner workouts. It’s not too often that you see couples partnering up and getting after a workout together, and it’s awesome to watch them crush it together!

Make sure if you see Jeff, to congratulate him! We are so thankful to have him as a part of the gym and just another example of why we are so lucky to be surrounded by this group of people!

Check out his story!

 

Thank you Tenny, Kyle and Nick for considering me worthy of member of the month. There are so many great people at Cascade that this is truly an honor for me.

When I was 45 years old I found myself in a terrible physical and mental state. Like many, I was working far too many hours in a very stressful environment and my fitness had decreased to a pathetic level. To make things worse, middle aged metabolism had fully kicked in and I started packing on the fat – I looked and felt like total fluff. So, there I was with a beautiful wife and two wonderful boys of 3 and 9 and I was literally falling apart on them. Fast forward five years later and now I’m Mr. April….<Big Grin>. All joking aside, I literally woke up the morning after my 45th Christmas and pledged to make whatever changes were needed to help ensure that I would see my boys start families of their own one day.

A few months later I had successfully lost 20 pounds at the standard gym alone and I emphasize alone – boring!.  My wife Aimee, had been doing Crossfit at Cascade for a few months when she invited me to join her for a Saturday morning partner workout. I remember it being a hot summer day and that we had to do lots of box jumps, rope climbs and running. It was a really long and hard workout and I was amazed by how supportive and nice everyone was. I was also very impressed with how great the coach was. She was very supportive, highly competent at coaching the movements and very good at keeping newbees like me out of trouble. At the end of that grueling WOD we all staggered about congratulating one another for conquering that beast. I would no longer be working out alone – I was hooked!

Crossfit has been an amazing journey for me that has transformed exercise from a necessary chore to a hobby and sport that I can’t get enough of. There seems to be a never ending list of things to learn and try to master and the people are welcoming, down to earth and, just like me, they want to live the best lives they can for themselves and for their families. For anyone looking to start Crossfit, Cascade is one of the best affiliates you’ll find anywhere – my travels have taken me to many. And for the new members at Cascade, take your time and focus on becoming proficient with the movements and before you know it you’ll see your scores start to jump up the leader board. After all, Crossfit is a journey not a destination.

Cheers!

Photo Credit: TAustin Photography

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Leah Fox

 

We’d like to congratulate Leah Fox as our March Member of the Month! 🙂

Leah has been with us for two and a half years, and is very deserving of this because of all the hard work she has put in to get the results that she has. She has always been one of the most consistent members, usually making it in at least 5 days a week. Consistency is the key to results and it sure has been the case as how she has achieved what she has. Leah is also one STRONG woman. I love how she focuses on proper form, and if you watch her, her movements always look awesome. She doesn’t just sacrifice technique to get the best time or score. Love that.

The other huge reason we picked Leah was because of her attitude. I, honestly, do not know if I have ever not seen Leah with a smile on her face. She always comes in with a smile on her face and is the one cheering others on in the workout. And as much as it might not be said, those things are what help motivate others and make it such a positive environment to be in. So we are truly grateful for that.

We are proud of you, Leah, for accomplishing so many things I know that didn’t come easy and thank you for helping to make the Cascade environment what it is!!!

Here is from Leah 🙂

Hello Everyone,

First, thank you for recognizing me as the member of the month.

I joined Cascade Crossfit September of 2012, but let me tell you a how I got here.  Since high school I have always been considered a “gym rat”. I was active with traditional workouts while competing in powerlifting and bodybuilding.  In 2010 my husband relocated with the Coast Guard and we moved from the Central Coast of California to Washington. I was in a new state with no close friends or family.  The first year here was extremely hard for me. I gained more weight than I ever wanted to so I signed up at Golds Gym. Nothing was inspiring me to stay though.  My sister, who lives two states away, kept telling me to try Crossfit. I owe a big thanks to her for this suggestion! I finally agreed and that’s where my Cascade Crossfit Journey begins.

With my weightlifting background I thought this was going to be an easy transition…WRONG!  My very first workout was a HERO WOD.  After that workout I thought Icyhot was going to be my new lotion. It was borderline torture, but something kept me going back.  All the coaches and the members were so inviting, knew my name, and kept cheering me on.  The motivation was outstanding!

I am a regular 5:30 member but try to switch it up when I can.  With clean eating habits and Crossfit I have been able to keep off the weight that I gained and could not be happier.

To everyone who has joined recently and those who have known me for a while, I did start with modifications. I used bands for my pull-ups and did pushups on my knees. Don’t give up! Keep striving for small goals and you will look back to see great accomplishments.

Thank you to all the coaches and Cascade members for being our extended family!

 

Photo Credit: TAustin Photography

 

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Aaron Rose

Aaron Rose

For February, we are excited to get the chance to spotlight Aaron Rose as Member of the Month! Ever since joining Cascade around 1 year ago, it really has been such a pleasure to get to know Aaron and workout along side him. In my opinion, he really embodies the perfect CrossFitter…he’s consistent, he works on his weaknesses, he mobilizes and warms up every class, he is kind and friendly to everyone, he’s not too prideful to take a step back and listen to critique, he is humble, respectful, listens and is eager to learn, he doesn’t take himself too seriously…he is just one awesome guy!

If you’ve worked out with Aaron, you also know what an awesome athlete this guy is. One thing that impresses me so much about Aaron is how strong this guy has gotten. The other week he hang cleaned for a set of four (I believe) 245#. That’s so impressive! And the strength doesn’t just stop at hang cleans, it’s in all movements. It’s definitely a result of all his hard work, form and technique work, and consistency.

Aaron is just one more member who represents why this gym means the world to us. Getting to go into the gym and see Aaron and other members alike, truly enriches our lives beyond what we could have imagined. We are just so grateful that Aaron has found a home here, and thankful for his friendship and making this gym a truly better place!

Check out Aaron’s story…congrats Aaron!!

My Crossfit story started at 24 hour fitness about 3 years ago. I was strictly following the BroScience workout program… which is: everyday you do chest, bi’s & tris. About once a month, if and only if you feel great, if the gym isn’t too crowded, you perfectly timed your NO Xplode and an epic song comes on… you do legs.  Well the stars aligned and that day came… so I did squats. I think I am athletic but I didn’t play high school sports. Never took weightlifting.  I suspected my form wasn’t great but I watched several YouTube videos plus I would occasionally watch others in the gym, so I threw on as much weight as I could and went to work. Before long, I had tons of knee pain and was in a physical therapist’s office with patella tendonitis.  The doctor told me that squatting deep was dangerous. I asked if I should squat to or below 90 degrees and he told me not to even squat below 75 degrees. I was skeptical of his recommendations and I knew some crossfitters – and I knew that they squatted below parallel all the time – so I thought I would give it a shot.

Lightning round biography: I started at Crossfit Devotion, then moved to Snoqualmie Ridge and joined Snoridge Crossfit, and now I have been at Cascade for about a year. I eat about half Paleo and half Fatburger, Papa Johns, Panera & Starbs. My goal is usually four workouts a week. I graduated from UW in 2004 then joined the Air Force.  I have been an Air Traffic Controller at SeaTac for the last 6 years. I have a gorgeous, sweet wife, two boys (10 & 13) and a baby girl (hopefully!) on the way in September. Oh and I have had pretty much zero knee pain since I started Crossfit 3 years ago.

Physically, there are two main reasons why I am a member at Cascade:

  1. Programming: allowing each coach to rotate weeks and develop their own program creates a seemingly unlimited amount of variation from day to day and week to week.  Each hits the main movements and all are ridiculously intense but one week could lean towards cardio a little more, next week is heavy on Oly lifting, next focuses more on gymnastic movements… resulting in a much greater variety of workouts than you could possibly program on your own.
  1. Structured mobility, everyday, no exceptions. When I first started Crossfit I couldn’t overhead squat the bar. And the only reason I could overhead squat the pvc pipe was because it was basically weightless. My hips and shoulders were so tight that when I overhead squatted my arms were pretty much parallel to the ground.  A few weeks ago I overhead squatted 195 lbs.  For me it wasn’t really the weight that is the issue, it was an inability to get my body in the right position for the movement.  As my mobility improved, the weights would go up. Cascade is one of the few gyms I have been to that has structured, group mobility and it’s been a huge help for me.

More important than any of this though are the people at Cascade.  It starts with Nick, Kyle & Tenny (the owners)… I haven’t met a more inspiring trio.  They are freakishly athletic yet remarkably humble, supportive and encouraging.  You’ll never hear about their PRs, where they rank in the CF Open (despite ranking amongst some of the best in the world) or any other self-endearing stat. They are uncompromisingly positive and encourage every member of Cascade to be their best.

The coaches bring more of the same.  Tessa, Marshall, Miller, Cody, Paul and Caitlyn.  All are incredibly impressive athletes with PhDs in Crossfit, but they have a desire to teach and can explain these complex movements in a patient and inspiring way for all of us beginners.  Their programs are challenging enough for athletes who compete on a monthly basis but fundamental enough for someone who has no fitness experience and just walked in the door. They adjust weights and movements and are able to make sure every member at Cascade: A) Gets a great workout and B) Leaves feeling better than when they walked in.

Cascade Crossfit is more than a gym.  It is a place to see friends.  It’s therapy, anger management, stress relief. Take your mind off life for an hour. Show up, be humbled, then pick yourself up off the floor and go accomplish something. I am thankful to be a member of Cascade and look forward to getting better tomorrow.

Every month it is tough to choose a Member of the Month. Throughout the last 4 ½ years (omg!) there have been so many amazing members and it’s crazy when we pick a member of the month and realize how long they’ve actually been coming! That’s how we feel with April’s Member of the Month…Ben! Cannot believe it’s already been a year and a half! I still remember when both him and his wife, Danielle, had just started.

We feel very honored to have both Ben and Danielle as a part of this community. Even though they are both extremely hard workers in their professional and almost always traveling, both of them work hard to fit fitness into their lives! Ben has been such a wonderful example of “no excuses”. It’s always fun to catch up with him on Saturdays, hear about where he’s been the last week and about all the hotel WOD’s he fits in since he has to miss most the week. When he is in town, he’s always adding something to the workout. Whether it’s practicing double unders, pull ups, or the several strength exercises, he’s always going the extra mile to accomplish his goals. And it’s been so awesome to see him achieve those goals, which is all impart to his hard work and dedication.

As with all other Members of the Month, it’s also Ben’s amazing attitude that makes us want to spotlight him that much more. He’s always offering a helping hand and always has a smile on his face! Before I even was able enough to start putting my bar away yesterday, he already had it half broken down…then continued to put it away AND spray it down for me (which it definitely needed!). And he does that for so many others. I honestly believe that helping others is one of the greatest gifts you can do in life, and to see him be so encouraging and so helpful day in and day out, Ben truly makes not only this community, but the world a better place! 🙂 Although…he may hang around Kyle a little too much, since I have noticed sometimes their hair resembles each other(the peacock feathers in the back). 😉

Ben- couldn’t be more proud of the hard work you put in all the time to achieve all that you have! And we couldn’t be more grateful to have both you and Danielle as a part of this family. You both bring such a wonderful spirit to this gym!!

Here’s Ben’s story!

Hi all…

When I found out I was chosen as the member of the month I was quite shocked – clearly this is not an ability based selection!  I discovered CrossFit about 16 months ago when after grad school I realized I had added 38 pounds to my frame tipping the scales at 230lbs. (See the picture on the Great Wall…  Not sure what was worse.  The belly or the bag I was carrying).   I’m a pretty normal 38 year old guy who has a desk job and lots of excuses to not to work out but CCF has cancelled them out and when I’m on the road it is a lot of burpees and air squats but I always look forward to getting back and hitting the gym.

I’ll never forget finishing fundamentals with my wife Danielle and how challenging the simple work-out was and the smiling look on Kyle’s face after the short AMRAP had torn me apart…   This was nothing compared to the first full work-out I attended – the Filthy 50 – which crushed me physically and required significant modification to simply finish. While I thought about not going back I stuck it out. As the weeks went on I was shocked at way the training improved how I felt physically and mentally.  It transformed my goal-setting priorities to include things outside of work – my own health and well-being. I owe this to Cascade CrossFit. While I continue to chip away at my CrossFit goals I find it really cool to be part of something where more respect is given for working on your weaknesses than showcasing strengths. I’ve lost 35 pounds but more importantly, I have built some great connections with the people at the gym that keep me coming back every day I’m in town.  Admittedly, I’m completely hooked. We built a garage gym at home as back up when the work schedule gets in the way of making it to the gym but it is not the same as being in the mix at the gym.

The culture and people at Cascade CrossFit, in my opinion, make the experience so remarkable. I travel pretty consistently for work and have visited 30+ boxes around North America. I find that it is not the equipment, facility or the costs but the community that make the difference. The combination of Coaches and the members makes for an incredible experience. My work schedule varies which means I have had the benefit of attending a range of afternoon classes from 3:30 on during the week plus the weekend classes. Each class, no matter the time, is filled with really awesome and genuine people. There is something really cool and motivating about being around people in the gym who are there for all different reasons, working hard, and encouraging each other to do their best. You truly get what you put into your workouts and Cascade makes it really easy to give it all you have.  I’m not hard to find in the gym as I’m the guy with Whip marks on his legs working on double-unders, with hat head and yellow shoes…

Whatever brought you to Cascade I really hope you find what you are looking for and you find the experience as rewarding as I have.