Member Spotlight

NOVEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Danny Johnson | Cascade CrossFit

Danny Johnson | Cascade CrossFit

For November, we are super stoked to pick Danny J as our Member of the Month! He’s been a part of this family for a long time, and has never ceased to work his hardest…always setting new goals and seemingly, always achieving them!! He is one of those guys who truly puts in the work and practice for things that are his weaknesses, and it is so awesome to see all his hard work pay off…the guy is a stud!

Most recently, Danny hit a huge PR of accomplishing a 220# snatch at 180#. That is freaking phenomenal! I love how he drives technique and form, honing in on the little things that will make him better, rather than just trying to add more weight like we all like to do! :)

And, I’m sure you all know, Danny is another one of those guys that is about the nicest you can get. He is always encouraging other members and always has a smile on his face. He’s also always exposing himself to challenge by constantly doing tons of local competitions, which have pushed him to even be better. We are so thankful that Danny is with us at the gym! To Danny- you are a total stud as an athlete and a guy and thank you for making this Cascade community part of why it is what it is!!

Here is his story…please take a moment to read!

I am so honored and humbled that Nick, Tenny & Kyle chose me to be the member of the month. There are so many great people I get to work out with everyday that are just as deserving if not more so!

My journey to become fit started a long time ago. In July of 2007 a group of friends went out to go cliff jumping. We had brought a camera along to capture all of the amazing (not so amazing) things we would do off of said cliff.  I started going through the pictures when I came across one and literally thought to myself “Who brought the fat kid?”. Well, instant karma hit me for having such a rude thought because the “fat kid” was me. I honestly didn’t recognize myself in the photo. The “pecs” I thought I saw in the mirror revealed themselves as “moobs” in the photo. The “abs” I thought I had…they were really a keg. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. That moment is so vivid to me and so real it has stuck with me for over 7 years. That picture changed my life.

I was 202lbs at my heaviest. I was a bartender at an Italian restaurant that worked late, had unlimited access to fettuccini and partied on average 4 nights a week. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how I gained all my weight. I made a decision to commit to a healthy lifestyle and joined a local gym. I had no idea what I was doing and I didn’t understand clean eating. I would be good for 3 months and then fall off for 1 month. Rinse and repeat this for about 4 years and I was left bored and un-inspired.

I had heard about CrossFit 6 months or so before I actually tried it. It peaked my interest but I was intimidated. How was I going to do all those pullups? I didn’t know how to do a deadlift. Forget about even knowing what a “snatch” or a “clean and jerk” was.

While browsing Groupon I came across a CrossFit deal that wasn’t too far from my work. It was cheap and there was no commitment so I gave it a go. Very first workout I puked and thought there was no way I was going to make it back the next day. A few hours later I felt better and was ready to go back. I was hooked and I loved CrossFit. However it became clear after a couple weeks I did not love the particular CF that I bought the Groupon from. I did some research and found another CF that I switched to for about a year till I landed at Cascade in June of 2012.

The first time my wife and I walked in to Cascade there were a bunch of beefcakes around the squat rack just lifting an absurd amount of weight. That moment in particular stands out because I remember there was a big dude in jeans and cowboy boots, me and my wife looked at each other like “What in the heck?”. Turns out that was just an anomaly :P  We ended up signing up and it has been my home ever since.

I couldn’t be happier at Cascade. Tenny, Kyle and Nick are amazing at cultivating a great community and bringing on wonderful coaches who genuinely care and get excited for their members success. The amount of talent in the gym is insane too. It is so awesome to have such amazing people around everyday to help push you a little harder than you thought possible.

For me that is what CrossFit is all about. Being part of a community that pushes their bodies and minds past their own perceived limitations. It takes a special kind of person to revisit the feeling of a WOD day after day and I am proud to be a part of a community that is so strong both physically and mentally.

OCTOBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Jacob Morgan | Cascade CrossFit

Jacob Morgan | Cascade CrossFit

For October, we’re excited to share with you Jacob Morgan as our Member of the Month! In January it will have been two years since he joined Cascade and time sure has flown by! I’ll never forget Jacob going through our fundamentals program. I know he started Cascade out of his comfort zone with lots of goals to start working towards. I loved (and still do) his tenacity to get after it and start making some big changes in his life. Immediately upon finishing fundamentals, he hopped right into a nutrition seminar we held and was ready to get started on transforming his diet as well. We loved that he was all in, because we all know how hard it is to start a completely new workout routine and add to that making huge diet changes.

Jacob really has come so far from when he began. He’s lost a bunch of weight, while also building a ton of strength. If you know Jacob, he loves his squats! It’s ridiculous to watch him squat…the guy is a machine! I love watching the bar just jiggle with weight because he’s got so much weight on there! ;-). His endurance has also improved soooooo much since his first days at Cascade. I know his first several workouts were a challenge. But to see what he is doing and accomplishing now, makes us so proud of him. It’s also what inspires others at the gym….knowing that not everyone starts out RX’ing workouts, that we all have starting points, but if you work hard and stay determined, there are many amazing accomplishments to come your way! It’s also so amazing to see how much he inspire his kids who are always wanting to copy what their daddy does! How incredibly awesome is that, to be able to inspire your kids to live a healthy lifestyle?!

Like Jacob mentions, his wife Shaylin, is now a long time member of Cascade and they completely resemble the community we strive to have here at Cascade. You look at them and see humility, sincerity, hard work, and a true care for others around them. It really does brighten my day seeing Jacob or Shaylin, because they always have smiles on their faces. It may sound cliche, but it truly makes this gym a better place and community!

Cheers to Jacob and being such an awesome person and for all his hard work inside and outside of the gym! You really are an inspiration!

From Jacob:

It was pretty cool getting the note that I have been named member of the month. There are so many consistent, hardworking, and deserving people I work out with on regular basis. It’s definitely an honor. If you read the Cascade Crossfit Testimonials, you’ll see the start of my journey which began almost two years ago January 2013. The part I left out was prior to starting Crossfit I was so out of shape I had a couple close calls fading at the wheel on my short 20 minute commute home after work. On top of that, most evenings I could barely stay awake at the dinner table. I knew I had to change if I wanted to be an active participant in my life and those that I love… oh and I guess it doesn’t hurt that my amazing wife, Shaylin, and 3 wonderful kids want me to stick around for a few more decades.

Cascade Crossfit has been the answer. I am sure there are a lot of other great Crossfit affiliates where you can get just as good coaching and workouts, but Cascade has a unique quality that is hard to articulate. The best I can do is point to the owners, coaches and members who genuinely care about people. I love when the whole place gets excited when someone hits a goal or pushes through a tough workout or Friday Night Lights. It’s an amazing community! It’s contagious for my kids as well. They’re too young to join the classes, but they ask us to create WODs for them and compete with each other after class or at home. It’s a whole new way of living that is being passed to a new generation.

Some days I get frustrated that I haven’t achieved all my goals. Lucky for me, my wife is wiser than I am. She continually reminds me to celebrate the progress and not to overly focus on what I have yet to achieve. It’s still a journey and my goals have changed from when I first started. Initially it was all about weight loss. Now it’s about healthy living and enjoying life… oh and anything squat related! Thank you all for building an awesome community!

SEPTEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Robin King |Cascade CrossFit

Robin King |Cascade CrossFit

Oh my goodness, I’m seriously, SO excited to spotlight Robin King as this month’s Member of the Month! I really cannot believe it’s almost been 3 years that Robin has been at Cascade. Crazy!

Personally, some of the most inspiring people to me, are people who start CrossFit and I never know if it’s something they are going to stick with. As a trainer, you can read people and see who’s kind of digging what you’re laying down, or who is a little more hesitant to understand it all. Robin was one of those who, I knew CrossFit was just a new realm to. Which I love! It’s the best to be able to teach new, empowering things to people who aren’t familiar with any of it. Honestly, most fall off, but some stick it out. Those that stick it out, deserve all my respect! With Robing and others like her it’s, literally, the coolest thing to see her doing so many things now that were just so unfamiliar to her at first! Take this picture for example! A split snatch! LOVE!

I can’t tell you how much it means to me (and to Kyle and Nick too) to see such a transformation. I never knew how rewarding and incredibly inspiring it would be to see the journey of stories exactly like Robin’s…of people overcoming things to persevere and accomplish their goals. We are so honored and truly blessed to have Robin as a part of Cascade and we are SO proud of her!!!!! Robin helps me to remember that, whatever you want in life, work for it and get it! Be true to yourself and what brings you strength and joy!! Congratulations Robin!! You’re amazing!

Here is Robin’s story :-)

Thank you Tenny and Kyle for nominating me for member of the month. I’m not sure how much I deserve it because I see many people working harder than I do! Regardless, I am humbled and honored by the gesture and your kind words.

My crossfit journey began almost 3 years ago when my husband and I were encouraged by our neighbors who had just started at Cascade Crossfit. They absolutely raved about it! I was unprepared for the intensity and strength required, but I was intrigued by the program and knew it was something special. My friends and husband have since moved on to other activities, but I persevered despite myself.

It’s difficult to express how unbelievably hard it was in the beginning. I struggled, both mentally and physically. I’m not known for my athleticism and was very self-conscious of my perceived lack of ability. I would get so nervous before a WOD that I would sometimes make it to the parking lot and be unable to overcome my nerves and come inside. I nearly quit more times than I can count! I’ve tried to consider what made me keep coming back. Undoubtedly, the fantastic coaching helped me stick with it, but mostly I’m just stubborn.

Earlier this year I started a new job which enabled me to devote more time to crossfit, among other things. What a difference it made in my strength and self-confidence! At almost 44 years old I am amazed at what I can do. In a million years I never believed I had the ability to perform a snatch or a clean. Every time I successfully jump on the box I cheer a little inside. I still have one of the longest times on the board, but I’ve come to grips with that and enjoy moving as fast (or slow) as I can through the WOD. It’s the only time of the day where I’m completely in the moment and stress-free. I’m so happy I have the opportunity to experience crossfit and it’s inspiring community.

Thanks for reading my story!

AUGUST MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

David Lujan | Cascade CrossFit

David Lujan | Cascade CrossFit

We are excited to share with you all that we have picked David Lujan as our August Member of the Month. David is a frequent member at the 2:30 class as you can find him there almost every day. And it’s been that way since the beginning…consistent, consistent, consistent! He’s always early, never complains, accepts correction and tips, and works his freaking butt off each time he’s in. David is so kind and respectful and it’s clear he just wants to get in and get the best workout he can. And the dude is STRONG. David, you are a total stud and we feel so grateful to have you at Cascade!

I am honored to be the August member of the month, especially knowing how many very worthy people there are.  I am married with three children ages 7 to 1.  Both living in the northwest and having three very energetic children has both forced and invigorated me to live an active lifestyle.

I have been a member of Cascade CrossFit for a year now.  Prior to joining CrossFit, I focused my fitness on running. I trained for and completed the Seattle marathon four times.  Running began to lose its luster for me and I was searching for something more rewarding.  I wanted something that would provide overall fitness and strength with challenges beyond just a cardio workout.  I did the 24 hour fitness thing and the home gym thing.  Both worked for about 6 months or so but then it was a real struggle coming up with workouts that were challenging and able to accomplish my fitness goals.  About 2 years ago, I found an article in a magazine that had 10 CrossFit-type workouts.  After 3 months, I knew that CrossFit was for me.

After doing considerable research, I chose Cascade CrossFit because the facility is top notch and I definitely have not been disappointed.  Not only does the gym have premium equipment, I really enjoy the people.  The trainers are very knowledgeable and encouraging.  When I can’t RX certain movements, they are very helpful with modifications, either a different movement or lower weight.  The fellow members are both inviting and motivating. They’re motivation not only comes from cheering you on to complete a WOD, but it’s also very motivating to workout alongside some awesome people.

I attend the 2:30 or 3:30 class at least 4 times a week and I look forward to attending!  The workouts are tremendously challenging and I have noticed significant improvements in my strength and overall fitness.  I am currently a brown belt in judo and with the addition of my CrossFit training I have felt an enhanced development in my judo stamina as well.  CrossFit has had a very positive impact on my life.  I now look at working out as something exhilarating and fun to do and not just a chore that I have to do.

Again its an honor and thank you very much,

David

 

JULY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Ruth Roth | Cascade CrossFit

Ruth Roth | Cascade CrossFit

For the month of July, we would like to spotlight Ruth Roth as our Member of the Month! It feels like Ruth has been with us since the beginning of time…she’s one of your longest members we’ve ever had! Since the day walked in, we immediately clicked with Ruth. And it’s hard not to with that sweet, genuine, goofy attitude she always comes in with. I don’t know how that lady does it, but she is constantly full of positive energy, and there is not a class that goes by without me laughing with her.

We have all loved watching Ruth on her journey her at Cascade. I, honestly, am so impressed and inspired by her and what she has accomplished at her age, where most people would think it’s too late and not ever try. Not every day in the gym is the best of her life as she navigates through things that constantly push her and challenge her. But one of the absolute BEST things about Ruth, is she knows and listens to her body. If it doesn’t feel right, she doesn’t do it. And she’d rather take extra time to perfect her form, then rush through things just to finish because everyone else is done. And I absolutely LOVE that about her. There is no ego…only motivation to be the best that she can be. And through that, her accomplishments are so impressive! Ruth- I’m so inspired by you…and I KNOW there are so many more members and people out there who are as well. This gym would be the same without that Ruthy voice hollering out something during our classes! ;-)

We are so proud of you for not only accomplishments, but who you are. Thank you for being such an incredible part of this family because the gym truly wouldn’t be the same without you!!

Here’s Ruth’s write-up:

I have always been an avid outdoorsperson.  From the time I was young, I have loved being outdoors; camping, hiking, skiing, cycling, swimming, boating, playing soccer, fishing, riding horses, triathlons, gardening etc.   Because of these activities I was able to maintain my fitness and enjoy my passions.  Once married with kids, I became a 5 AM’er gym rat.

Sometimes without you realizing it life happens and it can get in the way of you living your life.  I woke up one morning and realized this had happened to me.  I was out of shape and not participating in the life I had always cherished.  I knew I needed to do something.

Tenny, asked me why Cross Fit. I may regret sharing this story because I know Nikoli is going to razz me but really this is the catapult to CF.  3 years ago Thanksgiving, I was hosting a huge family gathering at my home.  I was ready with oven mitts on to pull the 25lb turkey out of the oven. Leaned over, hands holding the pan, I almost dropped it! I had to call for help to get it to the counter.  My first thought (after cursing under my breath that I did not have a wall oven) was what happened to my core, back, hamstrings, wrists, grip and forearm strength, how could I be this out of shape?  It was a huge awakening!

The very next day I was at Cascade Cross Fit.  I needed to get my strength back and the exercise needed to improve my functional daily living and mobility.  Something to strengthen my body so I could effortlessly enjoy the activities I love and test my mental fortitude!  I had found it.  My first day, I almost cried in disbelief of what I could no longer do.  But I came back the next day and the next day, regardless of how sore I was.  It was almost better to go in and do another WOD to get things going again than to stay home not able to move.  My progress was slow, but I did progress. Sometimes in very small increments and in other stretches huge gains.  At one point I did my first ever rope climb in my entire life.  I was so proud when I tapped that pink tape.  And, then I did a pull up.  WOW.

Because of this great place, today, I am stronger, more flexible and my mobility has substantially improved.  In any situation that I am using my body strength, I give a little nod up and say a thank you!  I adore all the coaches and appreciate the feedback they give me in making sure I get the best WOD.  For me it’s all about the quality of the WOD and I appreciate any tweaking of form they offer.  Often this is very mental for me and I can count on all of the great members to keep me going with all of the encouragement.

I continue at Cascade Cross fit because the camaraderie in this place lifts my spirit every time I walk through the door.  The functional fitness I attain and the amazing friends I have made. And the coaches!  It’s great to see the friendship they share.  Their efforts to stay current in training, knowledge and information they bring to the members is much appreciated.  And seeing the progress of all members is just as fulfilling as realizing your own.

I am so thankful for it all and feel proud to walk around with my shins scraped up, calloused palms and a core that is now functional! Now that’s sexy

YEAH BABY!

 

 

JUNE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Rick Soland | Cascade CrossFit

Rick Soland | Cascade CrossFit

Two words: Rick Soland. Bam! Our June Member of the Month!!!

I, seriously, couldn’t be more excited to share Rick’s story. I remember back when Rick started (can’t believe it’s been two years already!!). Kyle and I were at Crescent Bar and we get a phone call from Nikoli saying how this older guy had just come in and repped out something like 315lb bench presses like it was no big deal. From the beginning, Rick just got us all. I love how he called rounds, “laps” and just kept telling me “I’m getting through it…I’m just going to do as many laps as I can!”. That’s been Rick for two straight years. He has realistic expectations of himself and works his butt off. He gets through every workout with a smile on his face and, most likely, some joke to go with it.

In my opinion, Rick embodies what CrossFit is all about. He’s just in there to get a great workout, have fun, and work his hardest to learn some new skills or accomplish new goals. He listens to his body and has absolutely no ego at all. And in 2 years, he has accomplished incredible achievements like losing 55lbs, RX pull ups, and running farther than he ever could before. As a coach, that’s what it’s all about. And it’s so fun to see him and his wife, Teiko, working out together!

Rick, you are so freaking awesome and we are so proud of you! You and Teiko and Carol are such an awesome family to have as part of Cascade! Congratulations!!!

Rick’s write-up:

Thanks so much for all the kind words and encouragement. I first started crossfit after officially retiring from a competitive powerlifting background. I had heard about this crossfit thing but really did not know what it was, so I did a little research and found Cascade Crossfit. I figured I would just give it a try.

I walked in the door and Nick M. and Kyle J. were more than welcoming. I came back a few days later at the 10am class to get started (everyone always remembers the first class they attended). The WOD involved running to the 400m line and back doing some wall balls and burpees, then to the 600m line and more wall balls and burpees then finally to the 800m line and back. I could only manage 3 wall balls at a time and one burpee, i made it to the 400m yard line the first time but had to just walk the rest. I remember Pat S. running by me with a 50 pound sandbag on his back and I told myself “dang this dude is an athlete”. After class, on my way out the door, I was walking down the steps thinking I can never do this…I’m done.  Pat and Ruth said “hey Rick it was nice to meet you and we will see you here tomorrow morning!”. Pat said, “I know how you feel right now, just come back it will get better.” I am truly grateful for his words that day or I would not have came back. I figured I was just too old for this kind of training.

I came back and just told myself to suck it up and try. Pullups were only jump ups on the box for me. Then came the bands (the biggest bands you have), then I was finally able to reduce the bands and eventually managed to get over the bar without the bands. I truly enjoy coming to class and getting my butt kicked. I get more done in less than an hour here than I ever did at my other gym. I’m 54 years old married to Teiko and have one 17 year old son. My work as an Airline Pilot takes me out of the country for several days each month but I always get some kind of workout in to tide me over until I get back to class again.

All of the coaches here are fantastic and have a wealth of knowledge and I learn something new each workout. The encouragement during the wods from all the other members and coaches makes this truly a place to come on in and get some fitness. I have finally learned to pace myself and just get through the WOD’s and to use a weight that is manageable to avoid injuries. I started 2 years ago this August at a powerlifting bodyweight of 295 pounds and am down to 240 pounds now. it is nice to finally be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded and actually be able to run a mile. The Cascade family is one that Teiko and myself are very happy to be part of and thanks for all the coaches and members that make this happen for all of us Cascadians.

 

MAY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Lindsey Woelke (4 days over due! | Cascade CrossFit

Lindsey Woelke (4 days over due!) | Cascade CrossFit

For the month of May, we are thrilled to spotlight Lindsey Woelke as our Member of the Month! I think it’s fitting that she ended up being May’s Member of the Month, since it is also the month that she is due with her second baby. :-) In fact, as I am writing this, she still might be in the hospital welcoming their baby girl who was due 1 week ago. Congratulations Lindsey and Jake and we can wait to meet your baby girl!

One big reason we wanted to spotlight Lindsey is because of her consistency and hard work. And if you hadn’t have noticed for the last 9 months, she has been pregnant. There has always been lots of concern surrounding pregnancy and CrossFit. And I understand why…CrossFit is seen as this intimidating, crazy intense, super heavy weights, workout. But, it doesn’t have to be all that. As we have said many times before, the beauty of CrossFit is that it can be scaled to meet where anyone is at. I remember when Lindsey told me she was pregnant. She had talked to her doctor and still wanted to keep up with CrossFit since she had been doing it for a while. I was so proud of her in that moment, because it’s not an easy decision to make! There are so many days when laying on the coach is all you want to do while putting up with tired days, morning sickness days, and all that goes along with being pregnany! But, it’s so important to stay active when you’re pregnant to stay healthy, keep your baby healthy, and help you recover after the baby arrives. Lindsey approached it the perfect way. She scaled the weights back, took her time to not get her heart racing crazy fast and stayed consistent. I even saw Lindsey 4 days after she was due, and she was still in there getting her back squats in and doing thrusters, step ups, and airdyne. It’s so inspiring to me (and I know to many others) to see her full term, doing what she can, taking the time she needs, and keeping herself as fit and healthy as possible. For those who may question CrossFit and pregnancy, I definitely would recommend talking to your doctor first and foremost, and not starting CrossFit while pregnant. Lindsey is the 7th mom we’ve had who has done CrossFit their whole pregnancy and it’s just awesome to see her making no excuses and getting it done. Love it!

We are all so proud of you Lindsey and I truly mean that! You’ve always been one of the sweetest, kindest, most consistent, hard working people and it’s been so wonderful having you and your family as a part of this Cascade family. People like you are few and far between and bring a special presence to our gym! Thank you for your inspiration to our members and coaching staff and we can’t wait to have you back once you are back in action!! Congratulations!!

Here’s Lindsey’s story.

I joined Cascade Crossfit in April of 2013 after a very stressful fall/winter. My husband, Jake, had recently gotten out of the Navy and we were so stoked to finally be moving home to Washington after four years in Norfolk/San Diego. Our first week home, my grandma passed away. Jake, Jameson (our then 15 month old) and I moved into my parent’s basement while Jake was job hunting. Then the kicker- my dad was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and amyloidosis.

Needless to say, I was emotionally on a downward spiral and felt like my life was out of control. Things started to work themselves out- Jake got an awesome job, we bought a house in Issaquah, and my dad responded well to treatment. However, I was still feeling down and generally unhealthy. I decided to bite the bullet and join a crossfit gym. The first couple months were ROUGH! I was incredibly out of shape and totally embarrassed after every workout but I loved the intensity, the workout high, the sore muscles, the feeling of community, the stress outlet… I could go on and on.

The more I worked out, the more comfortable I was and the more confidence I gained. When I found out I was pregnant last September, I decided to just take it day by day thinking I would give it up a few months in. As the months went by, I felt great, the baby was great and I was feeling healthy! In fact, much healthier than my first pregnancy in which I didn’t work out. I discovered I felt off if I let two or three days go by without doing a WOD. And now here I am, due any day and still working out!

I couldn’t have kept up the WODs during my pregnancy if it weren’t for this box, the coaches and the members. Everyone is SO supportive, encouraging, and helpful, even when I have to modify or find a substitute for every movement! It’s definitely humbling to scale back, but I have felt nothing but encouragement. I love it so much, I finally convinced my husband to join.

As a stay at home mom, it’s easy to put myself on the backburner. But I know now that my health and happiness depend on a little me time, which I get with crossfit. It’s my time to unwind and not think about anything other than getting through the workout ahead. While my dad’s diagnosis was and is devastating, it was no doubt the driving force in pulling myself up from a funk and getting healthy. He’s always been optimistic and upbeat and I can hear him telling me “It’s no hill for a climber!”

With a hiatus from the gym impending, I already know I’ll miss Cascade, the coaches, the members, and my me time! I look forward to getting back ASAP and getting after some PR’s!

APRIL MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Ben Lavallee | Cascade CrossFit

Ben Lavallee | Cascade CrossFit

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.

MARCH MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Corey Mosley | Cascade CrossFit

Corey Mosley | Cascade CrossFit

For this month’s member spotlight, we chose to show off miss Corey Mosley!!! Corey and her husband, Regan (another amazing member!!!!) have been members now for almost two years now. OMG I can’t even believe that! From day one, I was so excited for Corey. Like me, she’s built smaller, and I’ve seen those types of women stay away from CrossFit at the fear of getting bulky and huge. I was so incredibly happy and impressed when she kept coming in and kept getting after it. The phrase “small but mighty” couldn’t be more applicable!

Throughout the last couple years, I’ve seen this petite little stud learn so many new skills and get so much stronger than I am sure she ever imagined. From pull ups with no band, to all the weights she can now throw down, solid push ups….so many things…I’m just so impressed, and honestly, inspired too! I have a hard enough time coordinating with one child, let alone this woman has four kids AND runs a business. The fact that she makes it a priority to fit this in her hectic schedule, is so admirable because it shows how eager she is to make health a priority in her life.

I seriously love walking in the gym and seeing Corey lift. It proves to so many people how you can be a smaller gal but still be strong, fit, and not bulky! ;-) I also love seeing when she brings in her kids because I know they are looking at their mom and seeing an amazing example of a healthy woman who works her butt off. And to top it off, Corey couldn’t be more humble, funny, and kind. She truly makes this gym a better place and we are so grateful for both her and Regan to be in this family!

Corey, we are ALL so proud of you for all you have achieved. I know you inspire so many women and am excited for you to get to inspire more!!!

Here’s Corey’s story :-)

I heard of Crossfit a couple years ago when one of my friends had made some amazing transformations in her life, not only physically but mentally as well. I had four kids under the age of seven and my youngest was not quite three when I considered starting Crossfit. I heard the workouts were brutal but quick and produced results and since I needed quick and I liked the sound of results I decided to give it a try. Little did I know what was ahead of me!

I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to make it work into my schedule given that I had to get my three older kids to two different schools and my youngest was in a preschool that started at 9am. I also was really intimidated since I had never done any type of weight lifting. I have never been an athlete, and after having had four kids in seven years was really out of shape. For those of you that know me, yes, I am petite.  But just because I am small in stature doesn’t mean my triceps didn’t keep waving long after I had stopped! It seemed like something that would be impossible to accomplish. In the end, it was something that I really wanted to do, and I couldn’t wait to get back in shape and just mentally and physically feel better. I was drained and like most busy moms, I wasn’t taking any time for myself. I ended up paying the preschool extra to drop my youngest off 15 minutes early so that I could have all four kids dropped at school by 8:50 and then race over to the gym. Once all the details were worked out I was committed!

Walking into a Crossfit gym as an out of shape stay at home mom with not an athletic bone in my body was a little scary to say the least. But it turned out I had no reason to feel that way. I hardly made it in the door and people were saying hello introducing themselves, and it was such a welcoming environment. I had no idea what I was doing, but I felt perfectly comfortable and the coaches and members made it so easy to be there.

Honestly, after fundamentals I thought all the coordinating I had done was all for nothing because I was so sore I could barely move and wasn’t sure I’d make it back. Then my first official workout was the “Filthy Fifty” which I had to modify to the “Dirty Thirty”. I felt relieved during the workout that many of the trainers are firefighters and trained in CPR because I was pretty certain I was going to suffer a cardiac arrest!  But I came back and was quickly hooked because of how good I felt after the workouts and all the members that helped cheer me on to get through those first workouts.

Before long I wanted to go not only for the health benefits of the WODs, but also because I love the coaches and members and all the great people I got to work out with. I started to see that I was making progress and getting stronger and feeling great. I made goals and stuck to them and started to RX some workouts and was able to do some things I never thought I’d be able to do, like pull ups which took me a whole year to accomplish! At almost 40, I am in better shape than I ever have been and most importantly feel so much better mentally and physically.

Cascade Crossfit really has changed my life in more positive ways than I can count.  The 9am class is my go to, and I look forward each day to the “ladies power hour” (all the ladies & Pete ;) ) who now are all friends that I love starting my day with. I have SO many things that I need to work on and still have tons of workouts that I am not RX’ing, but I am getting so much stronger.  I try hard to set goals for myself so that I can continue to see improvements.

I am so thankful for Cascade and all the coaches, there is just something special about this place. It is hard to explain but I think everyone who is lucky enough to be a member knows just what I am talking about!!

FEBRUARY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

David French | Cascade CrossFit

David French | Cascade CrossFit

For February’s Member of the Month…we really had to think long and hard…Who was the suavest guy in the gym? Who has the best comb over while still looking fly? Is there possibly SOMEONE who warms up in a sweater and head band and can pull it off without a hitch? Well…the answer is, yes. And his name is David French!

Let’s just call him French, because really, it sounds weird calling him David :-) But, honestly, French came right to mind when we were contemplating who would be our February Member of the Month. French has been a consistent 3:30 pm’er and is always coming in early to work on lifts and technique. And it’s all paying off, because his strength has gone way up and his times are some of the fastest on the board. He’s a perfect example of how hard work and dedication pays off and we are so proud of him for that! He has even committed himself to learning forward double unders (in comparison to the backwards double unders he has done forever)!

All joking aside, French really is an incredible athlete and it’s been so awesome seeing him accomplish all he has set his mind too. As coaches, the best thing to see is the potential in someone come out and have them achieve that potential. And, it’s been so fun watching French do so. One of my favorite memories of French is when he competed in the Bacon Beatdown and PR’d his deadlift by 50 pounds! That’s seriously, out of this world! Most athletes are lucky to tie their PR let alone PR by 5-10 pounds. Such a proud moment seeing him accomplish that PR!!!

And of course, can you have someone more fun to be around then French? His picture says it all :-) He’s a perfect fit to this group of goofballs at Cascade, but yet who still get after it in workouts! His smile is contagious and he brings an awesome presence to the gym. We are sincerely grateful for that and so thankful to have both him and Ashlee as a part of this family (and their future baby!!!!!). French- you are an awesome dude and we are so proud to spotlight you for all your hard work and the awesome person you are! :-)

Here’s his write-up:

I am really honored to be February’s member of the month! It really should be members, because it is the same bunch of great guys at 3:30pm that has helped me get to where I am and bring such a great, fun and hard training atmosphere day in and day out.

I first heard of Crossfit from a good buddy of mine about 2 years ago. I was pretty skeptical at first and stuck with my Gold membership so I could really focus on my bicep growth. However, he finally wore me down and I decided to give it a shot. I initially signed up at Crossfit Amped and was hooked. I am a pretty competitive guy, and I loved how the programming worked to be competitive not only with other people, but yourself as well. The only problem was I felt something lacking at Amped (what I later learned was the community aspect) so I began looking at other gyms.

My first time in Cascade I felt WAY more welcome than any other gym, everyone was so nice and the coaches really focused on the members. I can’t tell you how many other gyms I have been to where the coaches text all class and don’t care what their members are doing. I really appreciated the coaching and encouragement from every one of them. Once I found my groove at Cascade, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. My groove has been the 3:30pm class, it tends to be a bit of a boys club every day with a lot of the same guys. I literally look forward to it every day, for the workout and as well as seeing all my friends. I have made some incredible friendships at this gym, and it is but a side note to how much CF has changed my life. I really owe a lot to Cascade, crossfit has helped me find more focus in my life, it has pushed my physical capacity, my can do attitude, and all of that has carried over to every other aspect of my life. I can honestly say Cascade Crossfit has changed my life for the better in all aspects.

I want to give a special shout out to the 3:30 boys, Eric and Sean in particular. All these guys have pushed me really hard and helped me be my best day in and day out. You guys are studs and I love our bro time every day at 3:30pm.

Cascade, in my opinion, is one of the best gyms around. It has the best trainers, best facility (even with a leaky roof) and the best atmosphere. I look forward to the many years to come and finally beating Marius in a running WOD one day.

JANUARY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Matt Ward (image courtesy of WODfest) | Cascade CrossFit

Matt Ward (image courtesy of WODfest) | Cascade CrossFit

I can’t believe it’s been already a year and a half since Matt has joined Cascade! It truly is amazing how fast time flies by!! Matt was our pick for December, but with all the craziness of the holidays, I think he missed our email! So, we’ll just make him both December and January!

Matt has been an awesome addition to the Cascade family, and he was another one of our members that was “nominated” by his peers for Member of the Month. He has worked his butt of since he joined and has come such a long way. For me, one of the biggest differences I’ve noticed (besides getting stronger and faster, of course) is just how much his mobility and “good position” has improved. That might sound like a silly comment, but I remember in the beginning him barely being able to hold the bar for a front squat, and now that is so different! That’s truly an awesome improvement to make.

It’s been awesome seeing Matt really be able to hone in on his training and get after it. I know it’s a battle between all those 6am guys to get the day off to a great start, and Matt is always putting up freaking awesome scores and times that I know the PM’ers are eyeing to beat :-). And can’t be more proud of him challenging himself by getting involved in local competitions and working to achieve his best. It takes guts to do that. We are super proud of you Matt and really enjoy having you and Veronica as a part of this community!!!

Here’s Matt’s story:

My Crossfit journey started here at Cascade about a year and a half ago. I have an athletic background and have competed at a professional level in BMX (In my early years)! However, after 20 years in the automotive industry and being a single father of two I found myself a bit soggy to say the least. Even staying active in the outdoors riding my bike, snowboarding and playing basketball wasn’t enough to really get into shape. I’ve never been much of a gym rat and had very limited exposure to lifting weights. Most of the time it was intimidating going to the gym because I really had no clue what to do other than cardio. About 7 years ago I hired a personal trainer that kicked my butt for about 4 months and I got in the best shape of my life since my youth. The challenge was the cost of training as frequent as I needed and I eventually fell off the wagon. In the past I’ve excelled in individual sports, but I also like the motivation of being on a team and being around winners. You are who you associate with!

Two months before joining Cascade I met Veronica, which has been the best thing to ever happen to me. Her athletic background, motivation to be fit and her competitive spirit inspired me to get my ass back in shape! Her daughter had been going to Crossfit for over a year and was always talking about the positive environment. One day I just decided to stop making excuses and join a Crossfit and get the show on the road. Within the week I started my ramp up at Cascade and immediately started attending the 6am class 3 days a week. Even though I was very out of shape, I never felt like an outsider. All the trainers and members were always very encouraging to me. Then I caught the bug, my competitive juices started to kick in and I began attending 6am class 5 days a week. Trying to keep up with Victor, Kyle M, Regan and Brandon every morning helps me stay accountable to the daily grind of progression. Cascade has done a great job of creating a friendly and competitive environment that allows you to progress at your own pace.

In the last year I’ve competed in the Crossfit Open, WodFest and the Gorilla Games. For me it’s been about harnessing my competitive background and transferring that into something that has made my health top priority in my life. During the middle of last year I moved from Issaquah to Mill Creek, but couldn’t imagine training at another gym so Veronica and I make the drive at 5am to be able to put ourselves in a positive environment and surround ourselves with great people.

 

NOVEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Sharmon Morris | Cascade CrossFit

Sharmon Morris | Cascade CrossFit

Time to spotlight our November Member of the Month…Sharmon Morris! Sharmon has been a stand out ever since she joined last year. She’s one of those ladies who is just naturally good at everything athletically and is just STRONG! When she first started, I had just had Lyla. I remember seeing her name on the board, the weights she would do and her times…and I thought to myself “Who the heck is this Sharmon gal?? Is she young? Has she done CrossFit before? Why the heck is she so strong?” Yep…I’m just a little competitive. I was just so impressed at someone who was just starting was just smoking all these workouts! And she’s only gotten stronger and faster!

I know how inspiring Sharmon is, because I can see all the afternoon ladies scoping at the board when they come in and checking the morning times. :-) Sharmon is always one of those “times to beat” (yeah, I admit trying to try and beat her too!). I love seeing people do that, because that is one of the things that is great about having a CrossFit community, is having those people to inspire you and push yourself farther than you think you can. I admire Sharmon so much.  She is the most perfect combination of a kind heart, humor, hard work, and respect. One thing we all respect about Sharmon so much is her attention to making sure she does things right. A lot of times people  can get caught up in trying to go fast and get the best time, they count missed reps or don’t take the time to do a legit reps when they can. Sharmon takes that time, swallows her pride, and seemingly, could care less about it so she does it right. And one of the reasons she has done so well is because she takes the time to do that. We respect that so much!

Sharmon- you are an amazing person and we just love having you as a part of this gym. I don’t know if you are aware of how many people you actually inspire, but you truly do! Can’t wait to get you in your first CrossFit competition! ;-)

Here’s Sharmon’s write up! Congratulations Sharmon, you stud!

Hello Cascade Family!   If I haven’t met you yet, my name is Sharmon Morris and I started at Cascade CrossFit in October 2012.  I actually discovered Cascade when our son (Jimmy) did the strength/conditioning youth program with Brett Bergstrom.  It was too far for the “mom bus” to drive home while he worked out so I would stay and watch.    Poor guy puked his first workout and to be honest it didn’t exactly make me want to run to the front of the line to sign up!  After a few of his workouts, however, it started to seem like something that might be “interesting” to try.

I have always been active, playing various sports in high school, college, and into my adult/parenting years.  I have always enjoyed running and still enjoy long trail runs with my hubby Joe.  I gave triathlons a try for a while, but quite frankly I don’t like swimming and I really don’t like swimming in cold lakes AT ALL!!  I had recently gone through some major Re-Orgs with my professional life and I decided it was time to do the same with my exercise….  CrossFit looked like something different, new, and challenging.   As you all know, different, new  and challenging  equates to can’t walk, cant’ sit down, can’t roll over,  pretty much CAN’T MOVE…. For a good month or two.  Yep, I was hooked!

Like most women, I had never lifted weights before and I was pretty intimidated by all these things I’d never heard of “Thrusters”, “Cleans”, “Jerks”  etc… not to mention these amazing gals that seemed to just tossed these weights around like they were feathers!!  My first workout after Fundamentals….. BARBARA… are you kidding me….boy was that humbling!! The coaches here are all great; so helpful and patient, at first helping me learn the movements; extremely helpful in helping me swallow my pride!!….  and now helping me improve my form and technique.  The members and coaches here are truly what keep me coming back.  What an amazing, supportive, STUDLY group of people!! It was Ruthy who pushed me to try my first workout RX….she certainly had more confidence in me than I did…but I finished it and it was such a great feeling!  My first pull up without a band was pretty cool too!! I love seeing the new members get something new – watching them go through all these same “firsts” and I love seeing more established members push themselves, getting new PR’s …. All of it makes me try harder and keeps me coming back every day!  I have a lot more “firsts” to check off the list… !! One of the coolest things about CrossFit for me was when my husband Joe joined.  It was so fun to have something totally new to do together… and after 20 years together and in the midst of raising 2 teenagers…you don’t often find yourself cheering your spouse on, verbally, publicly, daily…. What a neat feeling to both receive and give these cheers from and to your spouse!!   Thanks Cascade Crossfit….. You have an amazing place here and I am SO happy our family is part of it!

 

OCTOBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Pete Aldassy | Cascade CrossFit

Pete Aldassy| Cascade CrossFit

You’re in for quite a story on this one and we are so beyond happy to spotlight Pete Aldassy as October’s Member of the Month. I don’t even know where to start when it comes to Pete! He’s been a part of this family for so long and has always worked his butt off. Talk about someone who epitomizes a positive attitude…Pete always has a smile on his face and, most likely, something funny to say right along with it. I truly love being around Pete as he always seems to make me in a better mood! And I know that is the case for several of our members who get to workout with him.

You’ll read, once you start his story, Pete has been on quite the road. I, honestly, would have never known what a tough road he was on, since he truly always has such a great attitude. To me, his strength through that, is so incredibly inspiring. Everyone has crap in their life…some more than others. I admire Pete for never giving up and fighting through it. Not only did he just get through it, but ended up landing his dream job as a firefighter, which is no easy feat! It truly was awesome feeling like we were on the journey with him…and then seeing him finally achieve his dream!

It’s honestly, has been so long since he joined, I don’t even remember his level when he first started. But, I do know Pete has worked his butt off to get to where he is. He’s always been so consistent and never gives up. In fact, he’s so consistent, the guy does several two-a-days every week. STUD! He has gotten so much stronger and accomplished so many new skills which is the product of his hard work and dedication. We are all just so proud of you Pete and so grateful to have you as a part of our Cascade family!!

Here’s his story and thank you so much for sharing with such honesty, Pete!

Believe it or not, this story has a happy ending.

Early in 2010, my life was turned a bit upside down. In a span of 9 months, the softening economy had basically rendered my career obsolete and I lost my job, my home fell into foreclosure, I learned that my wife of 8 years was having an affair and we subsequently divorced shortly thereafter. Just when I thought things could go no worse, my dog passed away. I had hit what psychologists refer to as “a low point”.

In the aftermath, I had plenty of time to figure out the next steps in my life. I decided that I would pursue a career in firefighting. As part of the testing process for the City of Seattle, I went to a seminar that offered tips on how to succeed in the testing process. A captain came in, wrote one word on the board: CROSSFIT. He followed with this: “If you’re doing this, great. If not, you’d better figure this out quickly if you hope to have a career with the SFD.”

The rest is history. I was in the next fundamentals class. That was February 2011. I succeeded in getting hired by the SFD and I am now finishing my first year of employment, and I live in a beautiful new home that I built with my brother, dad and uncle. I am in better shape than I was in high school and I’ve never felt better.

I can honestly say that I would not have been able to reach my personal and professional goals without Cascade CrossFit. Sometimes I think it saved my life. Not only did the gym provide a safe place where I could clear my head, but it rebuilt my confidence. Getting through a WOD, pushing myself to the limit (and succeeding!) and sharing a common bond of torture with new people was EXACTLY the therapy I needed. I don’t have enough space here to properly show my gratitude to Kyle, Tenny, the Nicks, Mar, Cody, Eric, Jess and all the members I’ve met the last 3 years. I can’t thank you all enough. You’ve been instrumental in my success the last three years. Thank you so much.

 

 

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Sue Frederick | Cascade CrossFit

Sue Frederick | Cascade CrossFit

Happy September everyone! We apologize for having to skip August’s MOTM, just has been a really crazy moment in time for us and just couldn’t quite pull it together for the month of August. It is certainly not for lack of qualified members!

For the month of September we have picked one of our first clients who joined…Sue Frederick! It was obvious that Sue was into fitness when she started at our gym, and since over here three years here, it has been awesome to see Sue check things off her list of goals. Sue has got freaking strong, fast, and has accomplished so many skills that take time and practice to learn. It’s truly awesome and inspiring to see what she accomplishes at the gym, most of which I’m sure most women with teenage kids thought they might never be doing!! And even now, with her arm in cast, she’s still coming in consistently modifying the workouts however she can to keep it up! Not many people would do that!

Sue’s attitude is awesome and it’s another huge reason why we wanted to spotlight her. She is so positive, fun, and supportive of everyone at Cascade and I know she is so excited to watch fellow members accomplish their goals. She’s also always been a huge voice of support for Cascade in our community, and for that, we are so grateful!!! It’s just fun to be around Sue and that attitude is what helps make Cascade what it is :)

With that all said….the real reason why we actually picked her is because she is the only woman at the gym who works out with her hair down! Stud status!!! No, that’s not why we really picked her, but gotta love it!

Sue, we are so grateful to have you as part of this family. Thank you for being such a wonderful person to be around and for helping to make this Cascade community what it is!

Here is her story!

Hey, CrossFit family!!  My name is Sue Frederick and I joined CCF a while ago…..to get in better shape for Sarah and Ryan’s wedding in Hawaii. I can’t remember what month or year I joined. I really had no idea what this journey was going to entail.  I have been a member of several gyms and was even a personal trainer for a few years, how hard and different can this be????  Silly question.

My first WOD…150 wall balls, yep couldn’t walk for days, but I was totally hooked!

I love coming to the gym to challenge myself in many ways, sometimes the biggest challenge is just getting there after teaching kindergarten all day and keeping track of my own kids activities.  But once I am through that door let the fun begin.  I love the warm up time (those that workout at 3:30 or 4:30 I know you are laughing right now) my warm up is mostly related to things I can do while I check in with all my friends who I haven’t seen for 24 hours!  So whenever it’s goal setting time, my goal is to always complete the warm ups!

Other challenges would be getting to RX the workouts or pushing myself to advance, mostly thanks to Sean, Sarah and Jess for that!  In the beginning I would hate to be last so I would go hard at the start and then be dying in the middle and completely wasted at the end.  By then I couldn’t care less if I was last…I was DONE!  I had completed the WOD.  I would look around and see that others were done before me and you know what they were doing ( besides gasping for air) they were cheering me on and yelling at me to pick up that bar or get back up!!!!  What other sport cheers for people who are not first????  CROSSFIT!!!!

Since I have been a member since close to the beginning of Cascades existence I have loved watching this place grow.  Growth in equipment, pictures on the wall, coaches, new babies being born into this place we call a CrossFit  family and of course all these great members that I can call my friends.

Thanks everyone for being part of this CrossFit family and hanging out with me at the gym!

Sue

 

JUNE/JULY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Victor Corey | Cascade CrossFit

Victor Corey | Cascade CrossFit

 

Time for another Member of the Month! Technically, this is supposed to be for June, but with everything that has been going on, we unfortunately, fell a little behind. So, our Member of the Month for July is…Victor Corey!! Victor and his wife Nachelle have been members with us now for almost two years. If you haven’t met Victor yet, it’s because he is almost always found in the 6am class. Victor is definitely one of our most consistent members and you can always find him with a smile on his face. He’s one of those people that you just feel comfortable to be around because he is so genuinely friendly and kind. Victor has improved so much from when he first started and that’s easy to see why because he always loves the toughest workouts. He is always so welcoming to our newer members which we appreciate so much because we know how much it means to them.

This last year, Victor did his first CrossFit competition and competed as a Master in the Gorilla Games. He did an incredible job and certainly proved himself as a stud! We are so proud of him for all his hard work…and for all those awesome tattoos ;-). We’re also grateful to have such an awesome dude, with just the best attitude, as a part of this gym. It’s truly what makes this gym the Cascade community that it is! Also, if you ever need a beer recommendation…this guy should be first on your list! Congrats Victor, we are so proud of you!

Victor’s write up:

I admit, I drank the CrossFit Kool-Aid and liked it. It all started almost 2 years ago when my wife, through a recommendation from Sarah Lenihan, joined Cascade CrossFit. I saw her come home and trudge up the stairs sore and tired, but not once did I hear her complain. She continued to be excited about the following days WOD, whatever that was.

Then I accompanied her to a Cascade summer barbeque at Kyle and Tenny’s house. I was standing in the backyard with my one year old son in my arms and through the gate walked Kyle, Eric, and Trey glistening sweat dripping off their chiseled pecs and washboard abs. My eyes were opened, “This is why she loves CrossFit!”, I thought to myself. As I stared down at my t-shirt stretched tight across my round belly, I looked at my son and decided I did not want to be the out of shape dad watching his kids play sports. I wanted to be the kickass dad who played sports with his kids.

With that decision I went to my first Fundamentals class and found out why Nachelle really loved CrossFit. CrossFit kicks your butt and makes you a better person while doing it. Not only are the coaches inspirations physically, but they are great people inside too. Cascade CrossFit makes you better all around.

I now have a love/hate relationship with CrossFit. I hate each rep that hurts so bad that I want to quit and give up. Then I get motivated by the other 6am’ers that are going through the same SUCK and not giving up. So I keep pushing “1 more rep” I say. Then I LOVE the fact that I finished the WOD and am I little better than I was before.

The other night I was carrying my two kids up the stairs, with my son’s arms wrapped around my neck in back and my daughter in my arms in front, taking them to bed and it struck me, “THIS is why I do CrossFit!”. A couple of years ago, I would not have been able to carry both my kids up the stairs to bed, today I don’t even have to think about it. CrossFit gave me that ability.

 

MAY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Lisa Richmond | Cascade CrossFit

Lisa Richmond | Cascade CrossFit

Congratulations to our May Member Spotlight, Lisa Richmond! If you have not had the opportunity to meet one of the most dedicated, positive, strong and relentless women, then you are missing out! Lisa joined the Cascade CrossFit family a couple years ago and has continued to be a force to reckon with since day one. She becomes stronger, faster, and leaner every single day! Lisa also has some amazing, and hilarious, stories of her career as a marathon runner. For example, she ran Bloomsday 7 months pregnant! Who does that?! Lisa does! She has lived a life dedicated to fitness and is truly inspiring and an incredible addition to the Cascade CrossFit family!

In addition to killing it in the daily WODs, Lisa usually runs additional miles (1-10+) on any given day. If you ever need to run an extra mile or two after (or before) a WOD, she will be out there running on the road. You will never hear her complain about a WOD, movement, or anything for that matter. She truly seems to live each day to its fullest and is so incredibly inspiring. Lisa is one of those people that has an infectious smile. You can be having the worst day EVER but come afternoon time (when Lisa usually comes to the gym) there Lisa will be with her beautiful, warm smile and will eventually make you laugh or smile!

One major aspect about Lisa, and why she is even inspires us even more, is that she has been diagnosed with MS. You’d never know it because she’s not the kind of person who would bring it up, but to know how she must have some really hard days, but still comes in and gives it her all, is just amazing. Truly an inspiration to us all.

We are so very thankful to have Lisa as part of the Cascade CrossFit community! Now it is time to hear from this incredible athlete.

(Lisa) Ok, I’ll give it a whirl…

My story…

I started at CCF about a year in a half ago… I had heard about crossfit from my older daughter, she told me that it would probably kill me (the workouts).

I have been a runner my entire life completing 15 marathons, a half-ironman, a 200 mile bike ride and every distance in between.. …I just had to find out if it was true- could I do the work outs? Could they really be that hard? As hard as running a marathon?. – (They were- the workout killed me). The first day, walking into the Box…I thought I was in pretty good shape.. boy was I wrong…There’s in shape…and then there’s IN SHAPE. CrossFit gets you IN SHAPE!

Part of the reason I think Cascade is so important to me are you, the members. Every day, I love being part of a group of people that have the same mindset: Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.

What I get from  CCF I can’t express in words…I’ll try..There are only two, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart to every member. THANK YOU.

November 21, 2009, I thought my above aforementioned world of running, … my “runners high” was ending, forever. I was told I had MS. All I knew about MS was that there was no cure, it’s a progressive disease and that there’s a strong likelihood that one day I’ll end up in a wheelchair. I allowed myself that evening to have a pity party…-and boy did I, but since then, I’ve decided that I wouldn’t let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.

What I can do everyday is surround myself with great people that motivate me and bring out the best in everyone…and though this sounds cheesy, but a healthy body is a happy body… Some days, my MS body isn’t very happy with me, but as long as I can move, it will be a good day.

The problem with MS is no two cases are alike, symptoms relapse in about 85% of people, and  even more frustrating is that there are no biomarkers for the disease and no metrics for disability.

The good news of being diagnosed with MS, Is that I’ve learned some great life lessons. The biggest, MS has humbled me. Humility is needed for answered prayers…My prayers have been answered that I am successfully managing this disease with the help of CCF. Humility shows gratitude…If I haven’t had the opportunity to thank each of the CCF members in person, thank you. I am thankful for your encouragement that you give to everyone in the Box..it is inspiring, and know that you all mean the world to me.


Lisa

APRIL MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Pat Sprague | Cascade CrossFit Photo Credit: Andy DeVol

Pat Sprague | Cascade CrossFit Photo Credit: Andy DeVol

I don’t think anyone can disagree with us for our pick for April’s Member of the Month, Patrick Sprague! I can’t believe it’s been a year and a half already since Pat has been with us. Since the first day of joining, he has brightened up this gym so much and brought an incredible energy to Cascade CrossFit. He is, hands-down, the most supportive and encouraging person we know. And it doesn’t matter who he’s cheering for…he cheers for everyone. All.The.Time. In fact, we have had members who have specifically told us that one of the main reasons they had the courage to come back and stick with CrossFit, is because of Pat’s encouragement. And that’s what CrossFit is ALL about. I’ve seen him partner himself with a middle-aged woman who was just beginning CrossFit for one of the Partner Saturdays. If that doesn’t scream “No Ego”, than I don’t know what does. And that’s the thing about Pat, what an incredible athlete, but so incredibly humble at the same time. It’s something we beyond respect and admire.

Beyond Pat’s attitude, it’s obvious that one of the reasons we picked him was also because of what an amazing athlete he is. Pat qualified and made it to the 2011 CrossFit Games, which means he finished in the top 20, in the world, of athletes his age. And, we’re bound to make that happen again! For this years CF Open, Pat finished 5th in the Northwest and 49th in the world, pretty darn incredible. I think we all have seen Pat’s scores on the board, and at 48, he’s consistently posting one of the fastest times in the gym. And he’s never afraid to throw in his “extra credit” at the end of workouts which may include a 10k row or the “5 mile hill run” which goes past our mile marker, and then in like a half mile, he veers to the left and runs straight up that gnarly hill. The man’s a machine!!!!!

Pat, we are so beyond proud of you and what you have achieved. And we couldn’t be more grateful to have a person in this gym that is as encouraging and supportive to all of our members, as you are. You inspire people every single day and I know you have changed people’s lives by how treat people. People like you are hard to find, and we are so fortunate to have you in this Cascade family. The gym definitely wouldn’t be the same without you!!

Here’s what Pat had to say:

So I started my journey with my buddy Jeremy Olson at Cascade Crossfit in August of 2011. I had done Crossfit at another location for two years prior to this but the atmosphere was not a “good fit” for me. I am so happy that I am part of the “Cascade Crossfit” Family for many reasons. The environment is honest, humble and supportive as well as very competitive. This is the perfect “storm” for the most effective training.  I feel loved and welcome here and I also feel compelled to give back what Crossfit has given to me! Better Health, Better Attitude, an overall better life! Crossfit is extremely hard but that is what I like about it the most. I feel a great feeling of accomplishment after working out at Cascade. I also appreciate the people at the box. I really like to hang around people that practice humility because I always need more of that in my life. This gym seems to attract humble, nice people.  The other thing I like about Crossfit is that there is ALWAYS a weakness to work on and that is my challenge. I remember what it was like when I started with the bands on the pull-ups, not being able to do a 45 pound overhead squat or a hand stand push up. I can only say it gets better if I practice! Practice, practice, practice.

There are 4 things I really want to stress:

1) ALWAYS think positive and that you can do anything, your work-outs will improve tremendously!

2) If you finish a WOD before someone else, go cheer on and support someone who is still in the workout. Who knows, the encouragement you provide might turn someone’s day around! What a gift!

3) I am grateful to the trainers and members of Cascade Crossfit. For an older guy, I feel like part of the family!

4) Diet is so important! I have just learned that in the past 3 months! I have been fighting that all my life! Thank you Aimee Holy and Advocare!

Love you guys! Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this great “box”. There is something special happening here!

Pat

 

MARCH MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Heather and Beau Raines | Cascade CrossFit

Heather and Beau Raines | Cascade CrossFit

Chase, Heather, Parker, and Alec | Cascade CrossFit

Chase, Heather, Parker, and Alec | Cascade CrossFit

Alright, it’s about time we rolled out March’s Member of the Month…or shall we say…Members of the Month! This month we picked a perfect pair for the spotlight and are so happy to share with you Beau and Heather Raines!! They started with us last August (2012) and have come so incredibly far on their CF journey! They have become two of our most consistent members, not only during the week, but also during our weekend classes. They work so incredibly hard each and every time they come. With CrossFit, a lot of things aren’t the easiest, and it’s so easy to get discouraged and frustrated. It happens to all of us. However, if that happens with these two, I’ve never seen two people work so hard to just get that missing piece and work through the frustration. And, that’s a big deal. It’s the reason why people quit and why they give up and ultimately think that CrossFit isn’t for them. CrossFit exposes our weaknesses and that’s not fun for anyone. Again, when it would have been easy to call it quits, they didn’t. They just worked harder. Through that, they have made huge accomplishments and we couldn’t be more proud of them. They embody the beauty of CF and how it can take two people, and transform their lives.

Heather and Beau wrote an awesome write-up, below, that is so inspiring and just reinforces why they are the perfect members of the month. To the two of you, we are so proud of you for all you have accomplished! You have worked your butts off and it’s totally paying off. Thank you for being such awesome people and such a great addition to this Cascade Family!!! We are lucky to have you!

From Heather and Beau:

Hello Cascade CrossFit community!!

Wow!  We were so shocked and honored that we were picked to be highlighted this month. My husband Beau and I embarked upon our CrossFit journey last August.  Beau found it a little intimidating looking at the YouTube videos of the guy doing a 59″ box jump, but we tried it out and it kicked our butt… in a good way. He found the WODs tough, but once the initial soreness wore off, motivating. Ever since, Beau has been an incredibly consistent 6 AM-er.

On the other hand, it took me a while to warm up to it.  I guess that happens when you have been a coach potato for 15 years. I could not complete a WOD without dry heaving or hyperventilating. I was terrified every time I drove into the parking lot. I would look at the WOD online and literally panic.  Ok… and sometimes I still do.  However, since January I have been a daily (and sometimes twice a day) addict that floats around at the 10 AM and then evening classes. I fit it in wherever I can and always try to add some extra credit at the end. Beau does extra credit at home and even got down double unders down (Yes, I am so jealous!). He started not able to do one pull up and now can do them unbanded with the blood blisters to proudly show for it.

You might not suspect it, but Beau and I are former Army officers that met at Cal’s ROTC program and subsequently fell off the fitness path.  Last year, I was a 40 year old overweight, depressed, work-at-home blogger and swim mom with a list of health issues as long as my arm: Liver inflammation/scarring, bad back, hips torqued from an Army injury, rotator cuff injury, messed up ankles with surgery suggested, trigger finger, acid reflux, mystifying inflammatory issues, memory issues, fatigue, insomnia, high blood pressure…basically a hot mess.  The last person you would think of when one thinks of CrossFit athleticism. Beau, a supply chain desk jockey at Amazon, also had a list of health issues with shoulder injuries, high cholesterol and also some inflammatory conditions. CrossFit?  Not even close to being on our radar.

I actually had clued into gluten free and finally paleo living to improve our health last spring, but still was feeling sluggish and exhausted.  My kids’ swim coach Ash Milad had just experienced an amazing transformation with Stoneway CrossFit and he finally had enough of my wallowing.  He looked up the closest CrossFit to my home.  He met up with some Cascade trainers at a competition. Then?  Then he told me, “They were expecting my call.”

GULP! Ohhh crap!

The first weeks of foundation classes?  We could barely move. Dozens of years of inactivity can do that to one.  My husband at least had started to run again and was an infrequent hiker. He thought he had an average level of fitness, but CrossFit was a great eye opener. However, I knew I was in bad shape. To be honest, walking upstairs or around the block left me winded. Since August though, both my husband and I have shed pounds like crazy.  As of today, I am down 24 lbs. without counting one calorie. I have lost two clothing sizes and fit into clothes from 30 lbs. and 5 years ago.  I have another 70 lbs. to go, but really my goals have changed.  I don’t live by the scale anymore, but rather eat clean and gauge how strong I feel.  It took 2 months for me to RX my first WOD, but the empowerment was amazing. It is humbling at times to be the last ones at a WOD, but Beau and I realize that every day we get fitter, stronger.  Everyone is a work in progress. I started unable to jump over those little yellow hurdles and I have graduated to the 20” with the occasional 24″ if I am living dangerously. However every jump scares me.  I won’t lie. Yet, every time I fall on a box jump (and boy do I fall a lot), I gain resilience.  When WOD’s seem impossible, I remind myself of the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  Or in this case, one repetition at a time… For me the breakthrough was when I did the 9/11 workout last year.  Without a partner and fired up as a veteran, I proved to myself I could do every rep. (Many thanks to KYLE for letting me stay 45 minutes after class to do it).  Hero WODs fire Beau and I up like nothing else can.

So we have now become a CrossFit family.  At any given time, our two older competitive swimmers Alec (16 years) and Chase (13 years) supplement their swimming with CrossFit.  Recently we are really proud that our youngest Parker (11) embarked on his own journey in February and has become a daily regular as well. He looks forward to pushing himself during his off-season from football as well as hanging out with the other kiddos at the gym.  It’s been a confidence builder for us all.  It brings out the competitors in us as well. Typically our older kids kick our butts.  I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I try to beat my husband’s or daughter’s time every morning…and then I try to beat my morning time when I go at night.  And yes, our dinner time conversations revolve around comparing work outs and who is more sore today. Yep, you guessed it—my kids’ swim coach is now a CrossFit certified trainer and their dryland training is now WODs too. We compare burpee techniques and yes, we have PVC in the corner of our kitchen for pass throughs…HEH! Heck, we even vie at every check in on Foursquare for who is mayor.  Anyone want to join us? Yep, the family that CrossFits together…

What we have discovered is that anything is possible when you have a group of warm, supportive, welcoming trainers and community cheering you on. I had a friend ask recently why not just do WODs at home?  I laughed and said, there is no way I would do a third of what I do at Cascade CrossFit at home if I did not have skilled trainers keeping me honest, safe, and motivated and friendly faces like Pat, Courtney, Travis, Bridgit, Rick, and so many, many more in the rack next to me telling me I could do it and spurring me on.

Beau has had a similar experience with the closeness of the 6 AM group and has found true support and friendship. He tells me it doesn’t  matter that he could barely hang from the pull up bar or that lifting the 45 pound barbell was tough because no matter how poorly his day goes at work, he’s had a great workout and accomplished something that day and whenever he shows up at another session, everyone is always welcoming. It’s more than a gym –it’s a bunch of friends.  We love that the gym’s motto includes the word, “No excuses, No egos.” We don’t let injuries hold us back as an excuse and we love that there are not the typical egos you would have seen at our former gym…you know the one we never used.

CrossFit drives results. Both Beau and I have been able to stop or reduce prescription meds and many of our health ailments have vanished. The ones that remain have only improved with conditioning. We set PRs almost every week. Beau even completed the last workout for the CrossFit Open where the RX weight was 10 lbs more than his PR.  Every lift was a PR and he did it. As Beau says, “ CrossFit reminds me that I can push myself a little bit further every day. My runs have gotten faster and longer. I can do pull-ups now.  I’ve converted a lot of my body fat into muscle (but there’s still quite a bit more to go).  I’m Rx’ing every once in a while and I’m lifting heavier; Open WOD 13.2 was the first time I ever put 115 pounds over my head.”  Never would we have attempted this 9 months ago. Cascade CrossFit is the perfect formula. In the end, we could not do it without you all so thank you very much!!

Everyday we’re getting fitter.  We stand taller. We are CrossFitters.

FEBRUARY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Dylan Skusek | Cascade CrossFit

Dylan Skusek | Cascade CrossFit

Dy-Lon started coming to the gym exactly one year ago and he has been extremely consistent for that entire time!  He is a 6:30pm guy so a lot of you folks probably haven’t met him.  Dy-Lon came into the gym as a pretty quiet guy who kept to himself.  Fast forward a year later and he is mucking it up with everyone in the 6:30pm class!  It is really cool to see how Dy-Lon has come out of his shell and is now friends with so many of you.  Another amazing thing about Dy-Lon is that he has come SUCH a long way since he started.  Dy-Lon is the type of guy who tries to push himself with the weights in every workout.  There are times when it takes him a little longer than most of the others at 6:30pm, but since he pushes himself with the heavier weights he has seen tremendous strength gains.  A couple of months ago I was training the night shift and there was a workout with 135# power cleans…a lot of them.  Well, Dy-Lon stuck with the weights and finished the WOD as prescribed, which is pretty awesome!  It really is a cool thing to see people be able to accomplish movements that they never thought possible.  Dy-Lon is such a friendly guy who loves to push himself as well as others.  Dy-Lon, you are a stud and we love having you as a member so keep up the good work my man!!!

Here’s what Dy-lon has to say about it!

Hey everyone! My name is Dylan Skusek, but everyone calls me Dy-lon. I started doing Cascade Crossfit about half a year ago…or maybe it was a year? I’m not sure, time flies when you’re having fun! I was pretty excited to hear I got member of the month. Do I get to put this on my résumé? I dunno, but anyways; I originally joined due to recommendations of friends, and figured I could at least try the fundamentals

Previously, whenever I went to gyms the workouts were maybe limited to treadmill and maybe a few machines. I didn’t really feel confident or comfortable to go take up any spaces on free weight areas, where other more “dedicated” people might be waiting to use them. So, I never took fitness seriously.

After the millionth time of being suggested to join Cascade CF, I took a look online. Workouts seemed simple enough. I thought I could totally waltz in there and just jump into Rx weight and breeze through the workouts.

Ohhhhhhh man. I was wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

When I first entered the gym at Cascade Crossfit, I could maybe do ONE pull up? Anytime I tried to do a workout Rx, I would be out of my element. I would always be the last one to finish, and while I originally thought it was embarrassing, nobody really cared. You would maybe get scoffed at if you were in a regular gym, but there was only encouragement from the other members and trainers. There’s a gym whose slogan reminds me of all other gyms I’ve tried “At Global Gym, we’re better than you, and we know it!“ And that’s how it actually felt. But not here. It is because of the other members that I take my time to finish a set with good form, to go a little higher on my box jump, or throw another 20 pounds on the deadlift.

And that’s what I love about this gym; the members and trainers are what make it great. All gyms have the same equipment, but doing a WOD alongside everyone is what keeps me coming back for the next workout. If it weren’t for the people and trainers who made up this gym, I know that the progress I’ve made wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks so much for the previous months everyone, and I look forward to months that are still to come.

My name is Dy-lon, and I like to Crossfit.

JANUARY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Kelley Fisher | Cascade CrossFit

Kelley Fisher | Cascade CrossFit

It is with pleasure we kick off this New Year, introducing Kelley Fisher as our January Member of the Month! And it’s not only us that believed so….we definitely had other members mention her name as someone who is deserving of this!!

I remember back when Kelley first started like it was just yesterday. She was like a lot of women who just start CrossFit where the strength part was a bit of a challenge. If I am remembering right, I remember us doing deadlift maxes and she lifted around 80lbs. I think I challenged her that she could do more, but she knew that was where she needed to stop. She would allude to how weak she was and that strength was difficult for her. Now with a deadlift max of 200lbs, and many other impressive weights for her lifts, in addition to tons of new skills earned, it’s awesome to see how far she has come. And it certainly hasn’t come without major hard work. Kelley has worked her butt off to get to where she is. She is one of our most consistent members, getting in the gym every chance she gets. Not only is she one of the most consistent, but she is also always coming early and staying late to work on all the goals that she wants to achieve. And it’s 100% paying off and we couldn’t be more proud of her! Not only does she inspire other members, but she inspires me.

I think we can all agree Kelley is also one of the kindest people around. She always has a smile on her face and a positive thing to say. For me, Kelley is one of those people you just feel better about yourself when you are around. She’s warm, caring, supportive, generous, and humble as all get out. Oh, and can’t forget funny! J She’s always coming to competitions to support those competing, which means more than you know to all the athletes. Kelley is a huge part of Cascade’s family and it wouldn’t be the same without her. I mean…what would we do without the annual holiday party at the Fishers?!?!

Kelley—we are SO proud of you. You show what hard work and determination can bring to those who really put their minds to something. Thank you for being an amazing representative of this gym and inspiring more people than you know. If you’ve already achieved this much in the time you’ve been here, we’re so excited to see what 2013 will bring!

Kelley’s story:

Hi, my name is Kelley and I started crossfit at Cascade a little over one year ago.  I came to Cascade on the recommendation of one of the trainers.  He kept telling me, “You will love it there” and he was right!

Like most beginners, I thought I was strong and fit until my first class.  That first month, I was able to clearly see my fitness weaknesses, both physical and mental.
The other gals in the gym thought I was lifting light because I was “afraid of getting big”, but the truth is that I was lifting as heavy as I could.  I could see that strength was a big challenge for me.  This meant that I couldn’t do a workout anywhere near the recommended weight and often had to cut reps to finish in an hour.  I’ll never forget how amazing it was to finish the first workout that I actually achieved the recommended weight.  This measurable progress felt incredible!  In fact, this is one of the best thing about crossfit -how modifiable it is depending on your skill level and fitness level.  Even though I lacked strength, there was never a day where I could not do a modification of a certain workout because it was too hard and as I have gained strength, there has never been a day where I felt the workout was too easy-there is always a new skill to learn, a way to increase the intensity.

The main reason that I started crossfit is the stress relief.  As a dentist, a business owner with 7 employees and mother of two, I needed something for myself and a transition from work to home.   My time at Cascade is the only hour in a day that is truly mine, where I have no employees or patients or kids.  I look at the workout blog every morning and as I pack my gym bag, I am already thinking about the reward at the end of the workday-my hour of freedom.  I can feel the physical and mental strain of work melt away as soon as I start stretching and warming up and by the end of the workout, I am ready to go home and be a great mom.  Lately my nine year old daughter has been watching my workouts and cheering for me on the weekends. It makes me feel great to be a fit role model for her.

The other reason that I crossfit is for the challenge.  Like most crossfitters, I have always had a desire to push myself.  This challenge, both physical and mental is a big driving force that keeps me coming back.  There is always something new to learn, another goal to achieve.  My goal for the last six months has been to gain strength and learn new skills.  I’ve seen my strength increase 25-75% on some lifts and I’ve learned kipping pull-ups, handstand push-ups and many other new skills.   Being the first day of 2013, it’s a great time to set new goals and my big goal for 2013 is to push myself mentally.  I was so inspired by attending different crossfit challenges by the mental strength the athletes find during competition.  I want to find the uncomfortable spot where I often slow down and learn to push through it to accomplish more.

A great side effect to crossfit is the changes I’ve seen in my body.  Like many women I know, I think I have always had a distorted view of the way my body looks and crossfit has helped me focus more on the way my body feels.  Despite huge gains in strength, I haven’t got “big “ but rather I have gone from “skinny fat” to more athletic and dropped my overall body fat by 3% this year.  I have also dropped three pant sizes!”  I appreciate my body now more than when I was in my twenties.

The last but really critical reason that I crossfit is for the AMAZING community of people here at Cascade.   I have met people of all ages and skill levels that I would truly call friends.  The support that I get from the owners, trainers and members is unbelievable.  There aren’t really words to describe what it feels like to watch these friends achieve their goals, see their hardships and successes and feel their support.  There is a sense of being part of a team, a family – This is what sets Cascade apart from other gyms, the network of people who go out of their way to help you succeed.   I have met friends who have shared my successes and failures both personal and physical.  What a rare opportunity for support that I never expected.  Working out with friends also keeps the motivation high and the workouts fun.   So a big thanks to Cascade for helping me have a “life-changing year”.   Looking forward to a great 2013!

DECEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Tammy Chicklero | Cascade CrossFit

Tammy Chicklero | Cascade CrossFit

Well, it’s December, which marks Tammy’s one year anniversary at Cascade CrossFit, but also the month we picked her as our Member of the Month!

Tammy has stuck out to us for quite a while now, and if you know and have worked out with Tammy, you know exactly why picked her! This woman lives and breathes CrossFit. She’s not someone where this is just her workout and what she does to “get her workout in for the day”. No, this woman works her freaking butt off to get the results she has. And not just in the WOD’s but the diet she has chosen as helped her reach her goals and do the best she can in her workouts (later she’ll mention her body fat percentage and it’s just ridiculous!). I’m so inspired to see her working out because she gets after it and doesn’t hold back. As someone who is half her age ( J ) it’s so inspiring to workout with Tammy and makes me think to myself “if Tammy isn’t stopping…why the heck should I?” Tammy has accomplished so much in this past year from getting so much stronger to learning many many new skills like pull ups, toes to bar (watch her toes to bar…they ROCK), and all the other crazy things we do.

You can also see Tammy’s commitment to reaching the results she wants by how she got after it this summer. This summer she had her membership on hold because she stayed at her lake house. Well, that did NOT mean she stopped CrossFit. She had tons of things in her garage and she would look at the blog every day and then just modify the workout to work for the equipment she had. So cool. So, when most people fall off during the summer, Tammy improved.

And, of course, Tammy is one of the kindest, sweetest, ladies around. I’ve not once heard her say a negative thing, and is always cheering others on and encouraging those around her. She’s humble. So humble that she wasn’t really even sure about us picking her (but I didn’t give her an option). And, she’s just fun to be around. When Tammy’s in the gym, it just brings positive energy and fun vibes.

Tammy, we are so grateful to have you as a part of this family and are so proud of you. Whether you know it or not, you are inspiring so many people here. With as much as you’ve achieved this last year, it’s going to be so awesome to see where you’re at a year from now!! Congrats!!!

Tammy’s background:

Hi, my name is Tammy Chicklero, I’m 52 years old and I have OCD.  That would be ‘Obsessive CrossFit Disorder’.  I’ve been a member at Cascade Crossfit for one year now, December is my anniversary month!! We are a CrossFit family.  When my daughter Tandi came home from college for winter break last year she asked if I would get her a monthly membership at Cascade again and she encouraged me to join.  I wasn’t really sure that I wasn’t too old – I thought only those young and/or already in shape would be there. And I wasn’t at all sure that I would be able to do the things that they talked about. I didn’t even know what a lot of the skills were.  I mean come on – Man makers, ice creams, monster hips??? I joined anyway and signed up my youngest daughter Tiana, too.  Best thing I have done for myself!!  It was NOT easy.  Trainer Eric F did fundamentals personal training sessions for us.  We did 3 in 5 days.  After the second session I made sure that I didn’t have to climb the stairs again that day. After the 3rd, I needed help washing my hair, raising my arms over my head was almost impossible.  But it was TOTALLY worth it.  Today I can say that I not only know what these things are but I can do them!!  I can’t always RX a WOD due to some physical limitations, but the trainers always work with me and help me modify my workouts if needed.

Let’s talk about my ‘OCD’.  The daily work out is almost always posted on the Blog by 10:30 PM.  I wait up and check it before bed.  If it’s not posted I wait… checking every 5-10 minutes. I truly hate it when I have to go to bed before it’s posted. This is in anticipation of how I’m going to get my butt kicked the next day!!  When I’m not in town, I check the board for my daughters names and if I’m not seeing them, I call them out “haven’t seen your name on the board at x-fit”.  That earned me the “CrossFit Nazi” title.  I text with my daughter who’s back at college and a member of x-fit there, sharing our WODs and pictures of our torn up hands.  My niece, Jessica M, did home x-fit with me all summer over in Spokane and she has the x-fit addiction, too. For me CrossFit is not just a workout and Cascade CrossFit is not just the box that I go to, it’s an extended family and a healthy life choice for me.  I have GREAT x-fit days and I have GOOD x-fit days.  I never have a BAD x-fit day, because any day that I make it to CrossFit is a GOOD day.

I’m inspired every day by other members.  Shout out to Lisa Richmond & Ruth Roth who work out with me regularly.  So glad I have you girls.  I remember watching the other members, my daughters included, just kick my butt in skill, time and weight.  I kept thinking “Just get through it.  Just finish. Don’t throw up.” Then it was “I can do this, I can do pull ups!!  And rope climbs!! WOW an RX”.  Now 1 year later, 15 lbs lighter and in the best physical shape I’ve EVER been in, I am actually keeping up and sometime finishing ahead of these youngsters.

The accomplishment that I’m the most proud of:  14.8% body fat and I have defined abs at 52 yrs!!

The best advice I received from our trainers:  Work on your core.  A strong core will make you strong in all other areas.

 

NOVEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Nick Rocco | Cascade CrossFit

Nick Rocco | Cascade CrossFit

Well, I don’t think we will have to explain ourselves on this one… our November Member of the Month, Nick Rocco!

Nick Rocco (i.e. Rocco) is one of our members who manages to humble me every single day.  Not only is he one of the, if not the most, athletic people we have, he is a quiet and reserved guy who has no ego.  I remember when Rocco first came into our gym and he was already “beef cake” strong, but he gassed out pretty quickly.  It was nice being able to beat him in workouts since he hadn’t worked on his lungs a ton.  Well…that doesn’t happen anymore because he is not only WAY stronger than me; he is faster than me too!!!  I actually love seeing this because it inspires me to work hard to get stronger and faster. His times and weights rival all the top level CrossFit athletes. In fact, Rocco just finished Grace (30 clean and jerks at 135#) in 1:09…faster than Rich Froning, two time winner of the CF Games! And, of course, you wouldn’t know unless you were talking to other people, because he never boasts his accomplishments.

Some of Rocco’s huge accomplishments come from the 2012 Regionals when he snatched 265 pounds, which was 20 pounds more than he had ever done before, as well as 20 pounds more than any other guy who competed at NW Regionals!  It was so cool seeing Rocco have the stage and the entire arena be so fired up for him.  Martindale and I were going crazy every time he completed a snatc, as was every single person there. Another event which showed Rocco’s awesomeness was when he was supposed to be partnered up with Silke on the 3rd WOD and they needed to complete 30 dumbbell snatches at 100lbs for men and 70lbs for women. Silke, unfortunately, got injured in our first event and therefore left Melanie and Vanessa who had never even been able to snatch the 70lb dumbbell (I wonder why?….70llb dumbbell one arm snatch?!?!?! Ew.) Well, it became a big debate whether or not we should even go out there and if we should just bail out of the competition because we didn’t have a girl that could snatch that weight. Well, Rocco thought it was ridiculous that we wouldn’t even try. As we all know, he is such a nice guy, but he made it known that he would not accept giving up even if we finished in last place. He got Melanie out there, and with that, she completed 29 of the 30 reps, which was INSANE. And I’ve never seen someone light up as much as Rocco did each and every rep Mel completed. It showed so much about him that he didn’t care what place we finished, just that he was so incredibly excited for Mel’s accomplishment. That’s a true teammate. And side note, the 100lb one arm dumbbell snatches probably only took him 30 seconds or less to complete 10. Ridiculous. When we were at regionals on the team it was a great feeling knowing that Rocco was the beast who was on OUR teamJ  Once again, Martindale and I would just laugh about how lucky we were.

The thing I think is so remarkable about Rocco is his unassuming personality.  He really is a humble guy who will cheer for others while they work out and be genuinely happy for them when they finish…a long time after he doesJ. Rocco is also so kind and respectful always being thoughtful of those around him. He is truly a remarkable athlete and we are so blessed to be able to compete and train alongside him and look forward to 2013 when we hope he can help lead our team to the 2013 CrossFit Games!!

Here’s a little background from Rocco…

Hey everyone, my name is Nick Rocco and I have been a member of Cascade Crossfit since May 2011. I started crossfitting in November of 2009 and have loved every minute of it. I originally started Crossfit through the Crossfit football program and then evolved into the general Crossfit workouts.

My fitness background has gone back to when I first started playing football. I had played football and baseball growing up as a kid. I attended Skyline High School where we won a state championship in football my senior year. After High School, I played football at Western Washington University for 3 years until their football program was cut due to funding. Still looking to pursue my college football career, I accepted a scholarship to Dixie State College in Southern Utah. I graduated from college in May 2011 with bachelors in business with a focus in finance. I am currently working at the T-Mobile corporate offices in Bellevue.

I have always been very competitive and Crossfit gives me the opportunity to express that quality. I love to participate in competitions and hope to one day (hopefully 2013 Team!), make it to the Crossfit Games in California. Crossfit has been a blessing to me and has changed my life in many ways. Cascade Crossfit has a great group of members who are so helpful and supportive. Thank you for everything!

OCTOBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Vanessa Scalzo | Cascade CrossFit

Vanessa Scalzo | Cascade CrossFit

Vanessa Scalzo | Cascade CrossFit

Vanessa Scalzo (had to show one of her smiling!) | Cascade CrossFit

A big congratulations to Vanessa Scalzo who we have selected as October’s Member of the Month! I’m sure you all know who Vanessa is as she is one of our very first members at Cascade. Or you may just know her just by her name on the whiteboard with some awesome times and scores for workouts! :-) She is actually the one person we’ve picked where I sincerely thought she might not let us recognize her and beg me to pick someone else (although I wouldn’t let that happen). If you know Vanessa, she is very reserved and absolutely does not like any attention on her. She’ll go and PR on her deadlift and lift 260# and act like it isn’t a big deal at all. When how many of us could only dream of lifting that much (I know I sure do)!

 Vanessa has always done well in the gym, but that doesn’t go to say how much she has improved over the years and developed into an incredible athlete. She has been an extremely consistent 8’amer, coming nearly five days a week these last three years. And, it’s paid off! This year, she made it as one of our ladies on our team for CrossFit Regionals, and did freaking awesome!! Partnering with Silke, Rocco, and Nick, they placed 3rd out of 29 in the first workout of Regionals. And in the 5th workout where ladies have to be able to snatch at least 105# to even contribute a score for the team, Vanessa got her very first snatch at 105#, achieving a 7lb PR. HUGE. I’ll never forget that moment and was so proud of her after all the work she put into her snatches to prepare for Regionals. She works hard and it shows in all she has achieved and continues to achieve.

One thing that is incredibly endearing about Vanessa is her humility.  In fact, she’s almost too humble sometimes to the point where we need to whip some sense into her to believe she can do it. I think Vanessa is a shining example of how the mental factor comes into play in CrossFit. She’ll say she “can’t do it”, and she won’t. Then we’ll see a little switch flip and when she really decides she wants to try and go for it, she achieves it. It’s been fun to see her growth especially over the last year, as I think she has seen how she really can do what she puts her mind too, and ever since, has just been knocking out achievement after achievement.

On top of everything, Vanessa is such a kind hearted and wonderful person to be around. To me, she’s one of those people you just feel better about yourself when you are around them. Vanessa is an inspiration to me for what I hope to accomplish in CrossFit and how incredibly beautiful strength is on a woman. And, I know she is an inspiration to tons of other members as I always hear people look to Vanessa’s time or her score as their goal. Vanessa-we are so proud of you and believe in you so much and look forward to continuing to watch you grow and achieve all that you set your mind to, because you will!

Vanessa’s turn:

Hello everyone! My name is Vanessa Scalzo and I have been coming to Cascade CrossFit since April 2010.  I have always been pretty active my whole life, and involved in sports such as soccer and track. After high school my typical workout included running on a treadmill and lifting the occasional weights. As many of you probably know I don’t like change or doing anything out of my comfort zone, and CrossFit was something that definitely scared me to say the least. Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend Cody Turcotte, I didn’t really have much of a choice but to try it; but I have to say that it was probably one of the best decisions I have made.
I’m an individual that needs to be pushed. Without the competitiveness, camaraderie, and persistence of the trainers and Cascade CrossFit I don’t think I would be where I am today with my fitness goals. When I first started CrossFit, I would try to avoid pushing myself to that next level, but as we all know you have to put in the work in to get results. I love seeing women doing pull-ups without a band, even though it may make their times slower, they are pushing their bodies to do something that they probably thought they could never do. That’s what I love about CrossFit; you are always improving no matter your age, gender or fitness level.
When I started at Cascade CrossFit I was just there to get in a good workout. Now I’m there to not only get an awesome workout, but to be surrounded by some amazing people. Cascade CrossFit is what it is because of this tremendous support that we have for each other.
To Kyle and Tenny, you should be proud of this gym and what you have created. To the trainers, thank you for pushing me when I didn’t want to be pushed. I am honored to be part of such an amazing family.

SEPTEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Jason Wiley | Cascade CrossFit

Jason Wiley | Cascade CrossFit

This month, we are excited to spotlight Jason Wiley as our Member of the Month for September!!!! We’ve had Jason on our mind for a little bit now and so did other people because we have had a few people mention to us that they think Jason would be an awesome person to spotlight. SO TRUE. When I first told Jason that we had picked him for Member of the Month, he was kind of taken back. He told me how he felt underserving. He said, “Really?? Me???”…in that quiet, sweet, innocent voice he has :-) He couldn’t be more wrong about being underserving especially when people are suggesting him…obviously he is the one inspiring others!

From the beginning, I feel like Jason was all in. He immediately got to work…he has been incredibly consistent and always was gives it his all. Every. Single. Workout. Like he mentions below, sure he wasn’t close to finishing the fastest, and maybe it was even one of the slower times on the board, but the coolest thing about Wiley was (and is) that you could tell he was never giving up and was doing the absolute best he could. And you have no idea how awesome and inspiring that is to see. From that, he has achieved some amazing results. His strength has significantly increased, he’s much faster, and there are many movements he is doing that he wasn’t even close to when he first started. Jason also comitted himself to changing his diet, something that we all know is a hard change, but absolutely pertinent if you want to see results. Well, results he saw. Down 30lbs after doing the advocare challenge and sticking to the diet changes, and stronger and faster! Wiley- you look awesome!

Beyond Wiley’s physical accomplishments, we can’t forget to spotlight his attitude. Like I’ve mentioned before in Member of the Month’s, attitude is one of the biggest things we look for when we think of who we are picking. CrossFit yields some incredibly amazing results, but one of the reasons people stick with it is because of the community. And Jason is the kind of person you want in your community. He is humble, kind, supportive, a go-getter, leads by example, fun, and just all around great-guy. It’s those kind of people that make this gym a better place and help inspire others to be better…not only their workouts but as better people. And we couldn’t be more thankful to have him here!

Wiley-we’re so proud of you and you are so deserving of the spotlight!! Keep up all your awesome work and we know you will reach all your goals!!

Jason’s story:

Hello everyone, my name is Jason Wiley. I joined CCF back in December. I typically workout at 6:30 in the evening and haven’t had the chance to meet many of the morning people, and probably won’t in the foreseeable future. You all that can get up that early and workout are hardcore.

Most of my adult life I haven’t been active. I’ve tried to go to typical gyms in the past but having no idea what to do, would quickly give up. I wanted to be more active and do things with my sons besides sitting around playing video games. So I started searching for personal trainers, thinking they would give me the motivation to workout, and that Google search led me to find Crossfit. It was dumb-luck that I found CCF and made one of the best decisions of my life.

During the fundamentals I was so sore and tired after class that I was questioning if I could do this. The WODs I could finish I was dead last in. Many times I was so sore I couldn’t walk the next day. It’s a very humbling experience realizing how out of shape you are. It’s funny that Sean’s write up for the Member Spotlight he mentions someone telling him he couldn’t use bands anymore for pull-ups because it was him who did that same thing to me. I figured out real quick that I actually could do a pull-up, not many but I could do it.

I’ve realized in the past 8 months that I am capable of doing some things I never thought possible, it takes hard work and dedication, but I can do it. When I don’t think I can give anymore, I always have fellow members or a coach encouraging me to give more. I see the other members achieving such amazing results, their positive attitudes, and always giving their all, it makes me want to try that much harder.  I’m not yet where I want to be, in terms of strength and overall fitness, I’m a work in progress.  But through Advocare, learning to eat better, and the brutal workouts I’ve lost over 30lbs and feel great. I can do pull-ups now, can RX many WODS, ran a 5k, and don’t always feel sick after a workout (most of the time I still do, but not all the time). The best part for me is it doesn’t feel like going to the gym, it’s not a chore. I get to go see my friends and get rid of my daily stress.
Having the coaches remember my name and welcoming me when I first started, the butterflies I get before every WOD, the great people I’ve met, the new found enjoyment I find in working out, are just some of the reasons I’m grateful for CCF. It has made me not only a fitter person but an overall happier person and for that I thank you, and so does my wife!!

AUGUST MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Courtney Montgomery | Cascade CrossFit

Courtney Montgomery | Cascade CrossFit

Introducing to you…Member of the Month…Courtney Montgomery!!! Can we get a WOOOOOOOOO (if you are familiar with Courtney, this is her signature cheer!). I think we all can agree that Courtney definitely deserves this!

I don’t even know where to start when talking about Courtney. From the beginning, Courtney has been probably the most positive person in this gym. She has such a genuine, kind, and supportive attitude and you just feel good about yourself when you are around her. It’s an amazing thing also knowing her and Kyle’s story with all the hurdles that have been put in their path in regards to their son’s, Tye, health. She has always been a consistent reminder to really be careful of what we (or rather, I) complain about…as there are people out there in much more difficult circumstances. I’m personally inspired to be around Courtney and see her incredibly encouraging attitude towards people and dedication to the gym all while in the battle of fighting for Tye’s life. It’s really pretty incredible.

Another attribute that has made Courtney stand out so much is her recent effort in the Biggest Loser Challenge and how she pushes herself the most she can in every.single.workout. Courtney lost almost 20lbs on the challenge by eating appropriately, staying consistent in her workouts, and giving it her absolute all in wod’s, the most important things you can do to see real results. It’s proof that hard work really does pay off and she looks freaking awesome! I absolutely love that she never finds a way to make the workout easier, rather how she can push herself harder. She never lets herself cheat the movement standards. What has come out of that is huge. She has gotten so much stronger and has mastered so many movements she wasn’t close to in the beginning. This is what it is all about for us as trainers…there is nothing cooler to see someone accomplish things, maybe they never thought possible, and to share in the journey of that with them.

Courtney, we can’t tell you enough how proud of you we are for all you have accomplished, who you are as a person and a friend. You bring amazing “juju” to this gym and it simply wouldn’t be the same without you….and your “Wooooooooo’s!!!!”. Going to be awesome to see where you continue to go from here, if this is what you have accomplished so far! You’re an inspiration to all!!

Courtney’s story:

I have always been active and able to muster my way through activities (mtn biking, climbing, backpacking, sprint triathlons, even a marathon at age 17y).  Nonetheless, there have been few times in my life when I felt truly fit.  Turns out, in my case, you do not have to be athletic or disciplined to do all of those things; just willing to take one step at-a-time.  I have known for a long time I could do more, but just never found the right way to push myself.

I don’t even remember how we decided to try Cascade.  Mid-November 2010, we were just getting home after a month at Children’s for Tye’s second open-heart surgery and a lot of unexpected complications.  CCF sounded like a good way to fill my need for intense and challenging physical activity while our little family picked up the pieces from the past year.  I was ready for a little “kick in the pants”!

A few of you might remember me doing push-ups on my knees against the massive tractor tire when I first started.  Now, I do proper push-ups.  This is a big deal!  Oh, and if you didn’t hear me scream, “Did you see that?” at the time, I also recently knocked toes-to-bar, double-unders, rope climbs and wall climbs off of my list.

If you feel frustrated, know it is the JOY of CrossFit.  Push, get frustrated, push some more, reach a new level and repeat.  I am constantly impressed by the fact people of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels come together each day to find that place in themselves to lift, run, jump, climb and swing faster, higher and bigger than they ever thought possible.  A lot of the time it hurts, but we do it because nothing feels as good as knowing you gave a little more than you thought you could and watched others do the same.

This is a great reason to yell, “woooooooooooooooooooooo” and I would encourage everyone to try it.  Here are other reasons.  Sometimes, the class before me is working so hard I feel moved to acknowledge their 100% pure awesomeness.  Sometimes, it’s because I’m tired, had a challenging day, the workout is getting difficult or I’m fading and need to get back on track.  Most of all, the “woooooooooooooo” means “I can do this.  So many people don’t have the physical ability, socioeconomic or political luxury to take care of themselves this way.  So many people work harder than this every day just to have food, a home and religious/political freedom.  The worst thing that will happen to me is I will fail, faint or puke.  Get going, Courtney!  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

I am sure one can live without CrossFit, but certainly hope I never have to.  The changes in my body are impressive.  The biggest loser challenge was so eye-opening.  I was forced to walk the walk, rather than just talk the talk, and actually did it.  I never thought we could do three months of Paleo, but it eventually got to be do-able.  As a result of the challenge, I know what my body likes and needs and what it definitely does not!  And I lost a lot of weight!!!!

But the superficial perks are minor factors in my commitment to CCF.  The people, work ethic and never-ending support and encouragement will keep me going back as often as I can.  Never in my wildest dreams would I think a “gym” could become family.  When Tye was readmitted last summer and headed toward transplant, Tenny dropped off a card tons of you had signed.  No, not signed, actually wrote thoughtful words of concern, support, love and encouragement.  I still look at that card every once-in-a-while and wonder how we got to be so lucky to be part of this family.  Jessica and Kyle H. stopped by to visit and brought a sweet card and gifts.  Others emailed, posted to the blog, and sent good vibes.  We tell people about the MAGIC of CCF, but until they witness it for themselves they are not likely to understand.

Thank you to the incredible trainers who never give up on me, all of you who push me to believe I can do more, Kyle for continuing to uphold our 3-day-a-week promise to each other and everyone else for coming in and doing the work.  It wouldn’t be the same without each and every one of you.

 JULY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Sean Reehorn | Cascade CrossFit

For this month’s Member of the Month, we are happy to feature Sean Reehorn! He’s actually one of the first where we had suggestions that he be the member of the month, and we completely agreed. I have to say, that it is quite hard deciding who to pick each month. We truly do have so many awesome members that it’s not a problem of “who” but “who out of all these freaking awesome people”?!

Sean hasn’t been with us an incredibly long time (joining in December 2011), although it feels like he’s been here forever! Sean has worked his butt off in the time that he’s been here and has made such awesome progress in that short time. He’s often staying after to do extra and always finding a way to make the WOD harder than it is. In doing that, he has seen progress so much faster and will continue to by keeping that up. It’s so cool to see him doing it for himself, but beyond that, it’s also neat because I know it inspires others to do the same. That makes us all better.

One thing about Sean that is really neat and unique is that he truly does try to meet those who he hasn’t met and welcome them into our gym. He’s one person who is always willing to help, either by me asking or him just doing it himself. Being gym owners, that means more than you’ll ever know and it’s these things that make Cascade CrossFit the community it is. We hear so many comments from traveling crossfitters or from people that crossfit at other gyms about how welcoming and kind everyone is at our gym. It is because of exactly what Sean does, that makes people feel so welcome and makes people want to stay and be a part of THIS crossfit community. I think we can all agree that we were intimidated by CrossFit at first, and I know from personal experience that just having someone come up to me and introduce themselves or help me out with something I was totally confused on, makes you feel so much more comfortable in–what can be–a very uncomfortable place. So, thank you Sean, for being that person to many people!!

We’re proud of you, Sean, to see all your accomplishments and so thankful for all your help and support to us and your fellow members. If this is only 7 months…it’s going to be awesome to see where you are next year!!

Here’s Sean’s side:

My experience with Crossfit came before joining Cascade Crossfit full-time.  I dabbled in crossfit once/twice per week at a box in Seattle and on my own time at globo-gym.  A few changes in my life, on the personal side, and I was in need of a new avenue to channel my energy.  Leaving the globo-gym behind and becoming a regular 4:30pm attendee at Cascade Crossfit just before the New Year was the best decision I have made in recent memory.  I haven’t looked back since.  Quitting after the first few weeks crossed my mind, because I was tired of getting my butt kicked by three girls every day.  Instead of those individuals, and many others, not caring about me finishing my workout, they would stick around and encourage me to keep working.  Even with a bum ankle they didn’t allow me to make excuses for not doing a workout RX.  I distinctly remember a workout requiring pull-ups.  As was normal to that point, I grabbed a band to use for assistance, I heard someone say, “You’re done using bands.”  I turned to realize they were talking to me.  Thanks Sue, Sarah, and Jess.
As it seems with every member you read about, checking the blog is the first thing I do after waking and the last thing I do before bed.  I can’t wait to see what the workout is going to be and ready myself for what lies ahead.  I enjoy the competitiveness that Crossfit brings out in me.  Upon arriving at the gym, I usually check the whiteboard as it helps me push myself seeing what others have done whether it’s moose/beast/or whatever mode it’s called.  Every class is impressive, but whatever 6am members are eating for breakfast, please share the secret.  I have found a different gear within myself to finish that last round just from watching others give all they have to finish a workout.  Watching fellow members set PR’s or achieve a goal, is as inspiring to me as it is rewarding to them.

I’ve always thought life is about the relationships you form with others; it is a foundation for success.  Work is a better experience if you enjoy your co-workers.  I believe it is because of this, Cascade Crossfit is the place that it is.  We come in, give all we have every day, because fellow members cheer us to the end.

Thank you trainers, for pushing me, challenging me, and asking more of me.  Thank you fellow members, for making me feel welcome and making Cascade Crossfit a highlight of my day.  I am humbled to be featured this month, but know my hard work is fueled by the people that surround me.

From the beginning it has been my goal to say ‘hi’ to as many people as possible, making others feel welcome, as I felt in those first few weeks.  If we haven’t met, make sure you say ‘hi’ and introduce yourself as I will do the same.

 JUNE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Kim Peltola | Cascade CrossFit

For June, we’re really excited to share Kim Peltola as our Member of the Month! There are a lot of incredible women at this gym, but one thing that makes Kim so special is her incredible attitude. I don’t know if I ever met someone so optimistic, genuinely kind, and enthusiastic. When you are around Kim, you can’t help but feel happy and good about yourself because she just radiates with her positive attitude. Even through struggles, whether it be life or achieving something in the gym, there is always a smile on her face and positive words remembering how far she has came. I’ve also never hear the words “I can’t” from Kim. I love that.

One little story I love about Kim is that, last year with her work, she got to travel to South America (I could be wrong on location) to work with kids in a third world country. At the time, she had really been practicing getting double unders and  did not want to have to take a month off. Not only did she bring her jump rope to practice, but she also gave jump ropes to the kids so they could learn with her! So awesome and just shows you the type of person Kim is!

Kim has also come SO far from when her and her husband, Chad, had first started. Even though I know she still has a lot of goals for herself, it doesn’t discredit what she has already achieved. She has gotten so much stronger!! One thing she does is always concentrate on form and not let the clock and thinking about finishing as absolutely fast as she can, get in her head. We all know, it’s so easy to get so competitive and sometimes sacrifice what we know is best for us, just so we can get the fastest time or the highest weight. Kim never lets that ego hook her in, and that’s a really important aspect for being able to keep yourself free from injury and be able to do more weight in the long run!

Kim, we are so thankful to have both you and Chad at Cascade and are so proud of you for what you have achieved. I look forward to the years to come to continue watching you grow and watching you reach all your goals!!

Here’s what Kim had to say:

Every month, I look forward to reading the member spotlights and learning more about the amazing individuals that make up our CCF community. The stories from previous months have always inspired me and at times, have moved me to tears, so I feel incredibly honored!

I still have a very far way to go in terms of the goals that I set for myself. However, I feel like I what I lack in strength and skill, I make up for with my enthusiasm and absolute love for Crossfit and the CCF community. It is hard to put into words how much this gym means to me … When we moved to WA from NYC in Sept 2010, I didn’t know a single soul and was incredibly homesick. However once we joined CCF, that all changed … If there is one thing WA has that NYC doesn’t, it is CCF. Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is check the blog to see what the day’s WOD is and I look forward to the 6:30 class ALL day. After a long day of social work, it is the best possible way for me to relieve stress. People like Courtney M and Krista who are always smiling and encouraging others make CCF such a welcoming and warm place. I am so grateful for their daily support and the encouragement that I have received from so many members (Meredyth, Pat, Ruth, Peter, Josh, Silke to name a few).

I constantly say that Crossfit has been the most humbling experience. Prior to joining I thought I was in great shape, but it was not Crossfit shape. It can be discouraging and as much as you want to compare yourself to others you really can’t. I look at the board and am amazed by the time and weight that people continually do, but I know that I am giving my all. I may not be where I thought I would be in a year, but I have to remind myself (or my husband, Chad has to remind me) that I have come so FAR!

To the coaches, you guys are phenomenal. I don’t how we have such an amazing group of people, but you each bring so much to this gym. It is obvious that you care about your members and that makes us feel special and you make us want to give our all in return. You are so encouraging and just all around wonderful people. It is fantastic to see you workout, but it is also just as fantastic to see you interact with the members and share your knowledge. I don’t know how you guys do it day in and day out, but you are so APPRECIATED.

Lastly, I want to say to my husband THANK YOU for your constant support and encouragement. I wanted to join Crossfit as a way to get Chad to work out with me because he refused to go to a regular gym, I promised him this would be different and it has been. Watching him makes me so proud. He has become stronger, fitter, faster, and I love being able to spend this time together.

 MAY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Kyle Montgomery | Cascade CrossFit

I love when the time comes for another Member of the Month because it’s another chance to show off another one of our amazing members!! I have to say, as awesome as it is for you guys to learn more about each other and to be able to spotlight someone, this is also an amazing thing for us as owners and trainers. There are no words to express what it feels like to read these stories and see how this gym is truly changing lives. This month is no exception to an incredible member and I’m so happy to be able to share with you guys May’s Member of the Month…Kyle Montgomery!

It’s quite possible that still several of you don’t know who Kyle is, as he is an avid 6am’er, although you may be familiar with his beautiful wife Courtney who comes at all different times. I have to say, Kyle is one of the most positive people I have ever met. He always comes in at 6am with a huge smile on his face and is so enthusiastic for each workout. I love watching him train because he makes no excuses for anything, absolutely gets after each workout, and is always finding a way to step it up a notch. His times often set the tone for the day and are a goal for some to try and beat! I also love how he almost gets giddy if it’s a chipper WOD day…he LOVES them.

Of course, as many members who’ve been spotlighted before, it’s not just their workout ethic that makes them stand out for member of the month…it’s their attitude, sense of humility, and drive. And, again, Kyle is absolutely no exception to that. We’ve seen the Montgomery’s go through a lot in the last year and a half, particularly with their son Tye who was born with heart complications having had many many surgeries before the age of two. To see them go through fighting for their son’s life and then come into the gym with huge, encouraging smiles on their faces, it’s just something else. Kyle, and Courtney, are both very special people. I know your outlook on life has inspired both Kyle and I. Kyle is also incredibly humble and always wants to make sure he doing something right and that he is doing it legit. And from that, he has grown that much more as an incredible athlete.

Kyle, we are so proud of you for all you have accomplished and feel so lucky to get to have both you and Courtney (and Tye) as a part of the family here!! You help make this gym the positive environment that it is! Here is what Kyle had to say:

My whole life I have been active.  I have explored almost every wilderness in the state, been to the top of every major mountain, and spend most of my winters planted to my skis.  I have always been fit.  When needed, I would train specifically for an adventure and be able to accomplish my goal.  Endurance has been my strongpoint not strength.

As I began to get older, family and financial obligations began to override my ability to constantly stay physically tuned in.  It all cumulated when our son was born with a bad heart.  I needed a way to stay fit and more importantly an outlet for my stress more than ever.  I have never been one for the gym, and this made my decision to join Crossfit hard.

I was scared and intimidated to go the first day.  I will never forget the Lumberjack 20 being my first workout.  This is Crossfit?  I was hooked.  I joined a year and half ago and committed to 3 days a week.  Slowly and surely I began to see change in my body.  I was getting muscles that only people who lift weights get, yet I was having fun every time.  I started eating healthier.  I was a fast food junkie and probably drank 2 liters of soda a day.  I have cut it all out, and feel great.  One year ago, I was on medication for high blood pressure… GONE.  Diet and exercise have eliminated this.

It is not just the physical and health changes that have made Crossfit so fantastic.  The community of Cascade was not even on my radar when I joined.  Seven months ago, our son Tye had a heart transplant.  The support of the staff and members, or maybe I should say, my new friends, overwhelmed me.  I never saw a new family coming into my life through a gym, amazing.  Every day I walk in, I smile for the rest of the day.  Besides marrying my wife and having the most precious son in the world, joining THIS gym has been the best decision for me I have made.

What I have learned and want people to know is this:  You are always doing something better for yourself by stepping into Cascade Crossfit.  No matter how frustrating it can be, it happens.  And when it does, the rush is amazing.  Like me, you start to change things in your life you never thought you would.  My results are this:  I am never sore at work, I eat better, my stress and health issues are gone, and I can get off the couch and do almost any adventure I desire.  As long as I can still walk up those stairs and into the gym, you will see me there.

3…2…1….go

 APRIL MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Glenn Shackatano | Cascade CrossFit

Well, we were a little late on the ball last month, and I apologize for that! BUT, we are super excited to bring things back together and introduce to you our April Member of the Month…Glenn Shackatano!!

 It has been such a pleasure to have Glenn as a member of Cascade and was one of our very early members.  Glenn is a police officer for Kirkland PD, hence why maybe he is can be the “silent killer” sometimes J. Glenn has an awesome attitude and has been incredibly consistent. As he’ll mention, Glenn came in to the gym with a lot of back pain. One thing that is really great about him is that he swallowed his pride and really focused on form rather than getting the highest numbers in the gym. By doing that, he no longer experiences pain in his back and I’m sure is stronger than ever. Glenn is also never boastful and just a total humble guy, something we enormously respect. He works his butt off in WOD’s and his times prove it. You’re awesome, Glenn.

Glenn, we’re super proud of you for all your hard work and all you’ve accomplished. Couldn’t be more thankful to have you as a part of the CCF family!

Here’s Glenn’s story:

So does this means I have to be on time now… or do I get a “get out of burpees” pass?  Just kidding.  I began Crossfit when my Chiropractor recommended I give it a try.  It hurt, I couldn’t walk for days and it was the closest thing that I had done to a wrestling practice.  Crossfit eventually appealed to me for a number of reasons.  I wanted to be stronger for work and at other sports. I was tired of getting annoying injuries in the gym, and nothing was working on my back, which was tweaked out after an injury a number of years ago. I also wanted to better understand nutrition and I found great resources through Crossfit.

Before trying Crossfit, I spent a lot of time with Chiro, Massage, and PT, but my back continued to bother me.  I “worked out” regularly but the back pain was ongoing to the point that I even started considering surgery.  Not to be too graphic, but I remember waking up in the morning, going to the bathroom, and not being able to lean over to flush the toilet. I had to slowly squat straight down, stretch my arm straight out and try to reach the handle – Ha! This went on for years and I was only in my mid-twenties. That was Pre-Crossfit.

Post-Crossfit, I now enjoy full toilet flushing range of motion!  It is the simple joys sometimes.  I was a believer. Seriously though, who knew that all it would take would be some heavy dead lifts (which I never thought I could do), squats, presses, etc.  The difference in my back from a year ago till now is amazing.

I must confess that I have a cake eating disorder and this is my biggest goal to change.  The times when I have cleaned up my diet and cut out most sugars I’ve noticed a huge difference in my ability to recover and in getting stronger week to week – but I still haven’t kicked the cake quite yet.

Also, I love the variety of people who show up here. This is hard and it’s great to be around people who can suck it up. Between quality coaching and trying to keep up with the 4:30 girls, I never need to motivate myself to get a workout in. I can’t wait to workout and I get frustrated when my job gets in the way. I love that even when I check the site and the workout looks brutal, it never deters me. I just have to go.  I love that when a workout looks like it shouldn’t be “to hard”, it will undoubtedly be one the hardest. Anyway, it rocks and so does this gym!

See you down there and thanks for reading!

Marius Magda | Cascade CrossFit

 

Another month, another Member of the Month, and we are so pleased to introduce to you Marius Magda!

If any of you have been around Marius, I’m sure it’s clear to see why we have chosen him. One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and at the same time, an incredibly hard worker. He holds himself to high standards and works his butt off to achieve the results he has.

 As you’ll learn, Marius has only been coming to the gym for a few months, starting in this past November.  It’s been incredible to watch him grow in this short period of time. The man’s a machine! He may be a little bit smaller than most, but the guy can sure crush through a WOD.  It sure is going to be exciting to watch Marius grow and continue to get stronger and faster.

It’s also been a pleasure having his son, Tudor, come in and train with him. Tudor is just awesome. Has a great heart, very kind and respectful, and wants to just get after those WODs. With Marius’ goal of competing in The Games as a Master…maybe it will be a father and son trip when Tudor gets older!!

Marius, we are so pleased to have you as a part of this CrossFit family and are so proud of you for already achieving so much! You are going to have some amazing achievements in CF and you inspire those around you!

Here’s from Marius:

Hello everyone,

My name is Marius Magda and I came to Cascade CrossFit in November 2011. I work out in the afternoon, so a big “Hello” to the morning squad. Last year, as soon as I did some research about CrossFit I became hooked. I started to train on my own for a few months, getting more info over the internet and doing random WODs in a regular gym setting, where everybody stared at you like you are something else. Dropping weights is not an option either! It was just a matter of getting a full time job, having a steady paycheck and a CrossFit membership was the number one priority on my list.

I’m originally from Romania and I moved in the US in 2004 with my wife and my older son, Tudor (9 years old) – who comes to Cascade to train a couple of days per week as well. We have another son, Eduard who was born here in the US and who will be 3 year old in May. I was always active and “in shape”, but once I’ve experienced CrossFit it totally changed my perspective. I searched some CrossFit gyms around Issaquah and Cascade CrossFit was the perfect fit. The coaches and members here are my extended family. I’m inspired every day by them. The workouts are a blast and even if I feel like dying sometimes, I can’t get enough of it. The feeling after completing a workout is priceless. Laying there on the floor, vulnerable, exhausted and happy at the same time is worth more than anything. There are days when workouts are brutal, but a few hours after I’m done, I want to be back in the gym for more. I want to continue improving and get better on my technique and my form, knowing I’ll get stronger. I actually believe I’m stronger now than I’ve ever been in my life.

CrossFit is becoming huge everywhere and I believe this concept and type of training will take over the regular gym setting. My ultimate goal will be to participate at the Games, maybe in the over 40 category, in a couple of years. With your help I know I can get there. I feel privileged to be part of this wonderful team of people. Thank you Cascade CrossFit for choosing me Member of the Month and for being part of my life!

See you all at the gym!

3…2…1…GO !!!

JANUARY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Nachelle Corey | Cascade CrossFit

Member of the Month time again, and who is the lucky number to get spotlighted in January??? None other than miss Nachelle Corey!! Even though Nachelle is somewhat new to our gym (starting in mid-August), we’ve mentioned her name for a couple months now.  Why is that? Because she’s an animal! I was super surprised when I talked to her about being Member of the Month that she didn’t seem all that excited. Her reasoning? Because she hasn’t accomplished all her goals I don’t think she thought she was  that deserving. Well, she couldn’t be more off. What has Nachelle achieved? She’s changed her diet, RX’ing a ton of workouts, she’s crazy consistent, lost 30lbs in 4 months, and lost 20 total inches!!!  I’d say that’s some accomplishment!

Another thing you tend to see in the Member of the Month’s is that not only are they accomplishing awesome things, but their attitude is awesome and Nachelle is no exception. It’s very typical to see people come in, who have big goals, maybe some extra weight to lose, and haven’t worked out in a while, and most drop off possibly thinking CrossFit isn’t for them and that it’s just too much. I’d have to say Nachelle is one of the first that just blew that option out the window. She immediately got to work once she signed up. Sure, we had to modify stuff, especially since her knees really bugged her, but she had no excuse for not coming in. Even if we had to really change up the workout because it had too much knee stuff…she was there. And, that’s the key. And now that she has stuck with it, look at all she has accomplished! Beyond that, she is incredibly kind, supportive, giving, fun, and just an awesome person to be around!

She also addressed her diet, making no excuses that it didn’t need to be addressed. She got on board with the Advocare Challenge, a 24 day challenge that gives you a meal plan with supplements, and she found a ton of success with it. It helped to change eating habits and get rid of cravings, which is pretty dang huge!

Nachelle, we’re super excited to show you off this month and continue helping you reach all your goals! You inspire us and I know you inspire our members. Way to go lady! Here’s her story J:

Hi all, I am Nachelle Corey and started Cascade Crossfit mid-August. I decided to give crossfit a try because I wanted to get in shape and was looking for something different than the typical gym workout. My friend, Sarah Lenihan, could not say enough wonderful things about CCF, so I signed up for the fundamentals class.

Before my fundamentals class I did some research regarding crossfit and began to get very intimidated. Most of the information was about people who were in great shape and I wondered if CCF would be accepting of someone who would not be able to RX and needed to lose a good amount of weight. So I reached out to Sarah and told her about my concerns and she assured me that CCF was an awesome place and the trainers would be very willing to work with me.

The first few weeks at CCF were very eye-opening. When I use to go to the gym I was able to lie to myself that I was still “fit” because I could keep up with a zumba class or stay on the elliptical machine for 60 minutes. Crossfit does not let you lie to yourself. It exposes every weakness and where you need to improve. It was extremely humbling at first to ask for help, do mods, be the last to finish and have truly pitiful scores. However despite the blow to my ego, there was never a day where I couldn’t wait to go again, try harder and continue to challenge myself.

A little over four months later and I am still in love with CCF!  I got my husband to join and have fun competing with him. My times have improved, I am able to RX many things and, with the help of Advocare, am down over 30lbs and 20 total inches. I am not at my goal weight yet, but I am confident I will get there.

I am so thankful to have found an amazing gym. The trainers are so encouraging and knowledgeable – THEY MAKE THE GYM! My fellow members are dedicated, inspiring and make me push myself every day. I am blessed and honored to be the member spotlight and part of such a remarkable group of people.

 

Sarah Lenihan | Cascade CrossFit

Kerry Kintzley | Cascade CrossFit

 

NOVEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

It’s Member of the Month time again and this month, it’s all about Kerry Kintzley! Kerry came to us in May of this year, and it’s been amazing to see what he has accomplished in 6 short months (just this morning on the Halloween WOD he beat some of the coaches for the WOD). He is RX’ing most every WOD and kicking butt while doing it.

One thing we love about Kerry is his attitude. Kerry is one of the nicest guys you will meet and always has the most positive attitude. In fact, I don’t think I have ever heard him say one negative thing about anything. AND he’s always got a smile on his face (he’s state patrol…would you every know it??). J You just feel good about yourself when you are around Kerry as he doesn’t have one ounce of ego.

CrossFit-wise, Kerry is a total stud. He improves every day. He is consistent and pushes himself in every workout and it shows by how much he has grown. One of the coolest things to see as trainers is how EVERYONE has room to grow. It’s obvious that Kerry is an athletic guy, but it is exciting to see how he gets stronger, faster, and develops in all the components of CrossFit (agility, accuracy, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, power, flexibility, stamina, strength, balance, power, and coordination).

Thank you, Kerry, for being such a wonderful part of this gym. Thank you for being such an encouraging person to all. It’s people like you that continue to make this gym a better place. Stud!

Kerry’s turn:

Hello everyone, my name is Kerry Kintzley and I came to Cascade Crossfit in May of this year.  At the time, I really didn’t know much about crossfit.  I have always been involved in athletics and competitive sports.  Over the past 5-6 years my workouts have focused on running.  I ran 25-35 miles a week and I spent little to no time on strength training.  My only sporting competition was an occasional softball game.  Earlier this year I decided to fill my competitive need by running in my first race.  In April I registered for and ran in the Mt. Si Ultra 50k run.  The pride, happiness, and self worth that accompanied such an accomplishment was amazing as I completed the race in less than 5 hours.  The race reminded me of how much I missed the team and competitive atmosphere of athletics.    A friend suggested I give crossfit a try.  I found Cascade Crossfit online and enrolled in the fundamentals class – BEST DECISION I EVER MADE!  I really didn’t know what to expect as I walked in for my first class, but was quickly impressed with the amount of attention and patience the coaches showed each student.    My first fundamentals class ended with a short 5-10 minute WOD.   It was humbling to discover that I was not as fit as I thought.  I could not believe how gassed I was after such a short workout.   That night I knew I had found what I was looking for.

Crossfit feeds my competitive spirit.  I am competing more against the clock and myself than with the other members.  The drive to beat my previous time, or to complete more reps than last time, pushes me.  Every day is a new workout and challenge. The members of the gym are my teammates and we are working together to achieve our maximum effort.  Whenever I feel like quitting, I look to my teammates and coaches for inspiration.  Team Cascade Crossfit has never let me down.

I am inspired daily by members of our gym.  When I see someone achieve a goal, or RX a workout for the first time, I feel their pride.  I am as happy for them as I would be if I had done it myself.  A great example of this is when Krista recently mastered the 20” box jump.  She worked so hard on achieving that goal.  I know the whole gym shared in her pride.  Cascade Crossfit has become my extended family. There are so many amazing people doing amazing things.  It is a privilege to be a part of it.

Hello, my name is Kerry and I’m a crossfitaholic.   I look forward to the next WOD and hope to see you there.

 

OCTOBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT 

Chris Eisenberg | Cascade CrossFit

Chris Eisenberg | Cascade CrossFit

For this month’s Member of the Month, we are honored to spotlight Chris Eisenberg. Chris’ story is one of those stories that just make your jaw drop and say, “Wow”. It reminds me of how blessed I am just to be healthy and have the ability to be rather competitively active, as many do not. It truly is not something to take for granted and humbles me when I get frustrated at myself that I am not able to lift a certain amount of weight or do a certain exercise. It is definitely the nature of CrossFit. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others. And, although that is an awesome thing, it also may make us glaze over what truly amazing accomplishments we have already made.

From the beginning, I absolutely adored Chris. She has a spirit unlike anyone I have ever met and a determination like no other. I swear if there were a dictionary entry for the phrase “No egos, No excuses”, Chris’ picture would be there. From the beginning, we knew CrossFit, for her, was going to be a road of recovery and just gaining muscle memory back. She had told me in the beginning that her legs would sometimes just give out for no explained reason. It was a fear, but something I knew we could work on and improve. In workouts, we’d use the PVC pipe just to get her practicing the moves and hopefully ignite some confidence in her muscles. Slowly, things started happening. Sure the weights weren’t what other people were doing, but who cares. It was amazing to hear progress reports from Chris that she felt stronger and could do things she hadn’t done in a very long time. I was so happy for her and so inspired.

This doesn’t mean that there haven’t been hard times…there have. But, that is what I love so much about this community– that it is a community of love and support and sincere caring for one another. It’s unlike anything I’ve never seen in any other sport.

Sometimes I’ll get emails from Chris or have a nice little chat session that (I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it), make me eyes well up, because she is someone whose life is truly being changed by CrossFit. To hear that feedback and to hear how much this CrossFit community has impacted her life touches me so much. My whole life, I have wanted to be a part of or do something that, in whatever tiny way possible, makes a positive difference in the world. By talking and hearing from Chris, it makes me think that maybe that wish is coming true in some small way. However, all the accomplishments and progress she has made, would not have been without her determination and dedication to achieving her goals.

And, as much as CrossFit has helped Chris, I know Chris is helping to inspire us all.

Now her story:

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” –  Prefontaine

Besides my family and my faith, music and sports have been the greatest passion, challenge and source of satisfaction in my life.  As a musician I have performed throughout the US and Asia, recorded with Burbank Studios and played with Doc Severnson and the Johnny Carson orchestra.  I have degrees in music education and brass and just recently finished my doctorate in classical piano performance.  As an athlete, I have competed in and successfully finished Olympic distance triathlons, half marathons and a marathon.  I am a second degree black belt and instructor in Taekwondo and hold a national record, two National titles and one World title.  In 2002, I qualified for the US Olympic trials in that sport.  I know how it feels to be strong, confident and successful . . . but all that changed four years ago.

While scuba diving in Cozumel, I sustained a traumatic, usually fatal injury that was caused by a heart defect that I didn’t know I had.  Two open heart surgeries eventually repaired my heart, but the residual damage left me unable to walk well, think or speak cohesively or play even the simplest of piano pieces.  Being alive was a tremendous gift but I had still lost so much and the only “therapy” options presented to me were to give up or start all over   . . . and so I began again.  It has been a difficult, lonely, scary and mostly frustrating journey until this past January when I found Cascade CrossFit and all of you.   Along with the awesome trainers and the amazing support system, I also found new hope and renewed optimism.

Because my damaged system no longer conducts energy or absorbs oxygen effectively, I usually feel uncoordinated and weak . . . like I am out of fuel and just stuck.  The unconventional and ever surprising CrossFit workouts however seem to be slowly shocking it back into some sense of order and I have enjoyed some unexpected and encouraging successes during this year.  In February I passed a brutal winter wilderness survival and EMT recertification course . . . in March I played my first professional concert in four years . . . and this summer (despite the fact that I was told I would never dive again) I passed a rigorous Rescue and Dive Master certification program and was offered an Instructor internship for next year.  There is not a doubt in my mind that none of this would have been possible before my training at CCF . . . I am amazed and so very thankful for this incredible gift.

I have been told that there are no records of anyone surviving a dive accident of this type and magnitude… except for me.  I have been told that the only credible reason that I lived (beyond divine intervention I guess) was due to my high level of fitness at the time.  All my life I thought I was training to be a better, stronger, faster athlete.  Now I understand that I was really training to save my life . . . that the biggest competition of my life was and is for my life!  CCF is my life insurance!

Sometimes when I am in the middle of one of those “you’ve GOT to be kidding” WOD’s, when quitting seems to be a really great option, I remind myself of the critical, agonizing weeks following my accident when choosing to quit would have had much greater consequences . . . and I keep going.  I no longer need to be the most brilliant musician or a world class athlete . . . all I really need is just to be the best that I can be.  I really miss feeling strong but I do think that there is power in me somewhere . . . I just need to find it and let it out.  This is CrossFit’s challenge and gift to all of us . . . helping us be the best we can possibly be . . . and for this opportunity I am humbled and grateful beyond words.

 

SEPTEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Mikey before gettin after it | Cascade CrossFit

Mikey before gettin after it | Cascade CrossFit

L-sittin'. I think he needs to work on his arms... :-) | Cascade CrossFit

L-sittin’. I think he needs to work on his arms… :-) | Cascade CrossFit

It’s Member of the Month time again, and this month we have picked Mikey Miller to spotlight. It’s easy to see how Mikey would be the perfect choice as I’m sure most of you see his smoking times on the blog day in and day out. However, it’s interesting to know that Mikey wasn’t always in as amazing shape as he has now. Kyle and I both grew up with Mikey and he was kind of always that lovable teddy-bear (sorry Mikey). I remember seeing him a few years ago and completely didn’t recognize the transformation. It was clear he got in control of his life and worked his freaking butt off to accomplish some pretty amazing results. He went from being a teddy-bear to machine.

Enter CrossFit. Of course, it took the first few weeks of getting used to the drill, but right away he got after every WOD like he was in it to kill it. And, he did. Right away Mikey took off and just crushed the WOD’s. Then high reps of pull ups and double unders came…something Mikey wasn’t necessarily “proficient” in. I remember the one workout we had where made people do double unders for 10 minutes. If that meant they got none, then they practiced for 10 minutes, or if that meant they got 400. I remember watching Mikey and at seven minutes, he was clearly not happy. He decided to hang up the rope and stop because he wasn’t getting it. However, Mean Tenny made him pick it back up. Well, shoot. After about two more minutes he got like five. He went from being so upset to so happy. Correct me if I’m wrong Mikey, but I think that was a huge thing for him because he saw how putting his mind to something (and practicing), he can achieve whatever he wants.

Beyond Mikey’s drive, he is such an awesome dude. So respectful, so kind, willing to help, willing to ask questions, and fun to be around. Because of his job, he is typically a morning guy (which is mostly when our hot momma’s come in), and I love watching him interact and become friends with all these ladies. It doesn’t matter what environment he’s in, he is just happy to be there and get his WOD on! It’s awesome.

Congrats Mikey. We are lucky to have you as a part of this family and so excited to continue to see you grow, improve, and get stronger. If this is where you can be in six months…we can only imagine what you can achieve!

Here’s a little bit from Mikey:

Hey everybody! You may know me as Mike or Mikey. Either will do. Crossfit. When people ask me what that is, I seem to tell them something different every time. Usually because I end up telling them what our WOD was for the day. Which I guess is why we all love Crossfit. There’s no plateau-ing. No going through the motions. No ending workouts early. Never have I finished a workout and wished I hadn’t gone.

The passion for physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle really began for me about 5 years ago. After high school, I began weightlifting with a focus–primarily focusing on strength and powerlifting movements. A cardio workout was like asking me if I wanted to eat a raw onion, no thanks! After 3 or 4 years of gaining strength along with weight I had finally had enough. I didn’t feel healthy, nor was I pleased with weighing 240lbs. I decided I was going to lose weight. From what I knew, I figured running would be the most efficient way to shed the unwanted LB’s. And so I began my weight loss journey. Through running and diet changes from 2005-2007 I lost 90 lbs! So, from then until about February of this year, I did the routine of running and lifting weights. Very boring and was simply burnt out on it.

My first Crossfit experience was in February. Wall balls and dumbbell clean and jerks. Only other time I had been that tired was after 26.2 [miles]! My life was changed that day. Cascade CrossFit became an aspect of my life that only we all understand. Brothers and sisters of the CrossFit community. Pretty awesome! Thank you to all of you for your motivation and desire to better your selves and the ones around you. Kyle and Tenny you’ve got a great thing going on. Thank you for everything you do. All the trainers that are there every day. You do an excellent job and I greatly appreciate the guidance and motivation you give me. It’s an honor to be your September member of the month! I look forward to what my CrossFit future has in store for me. 3,2,1 GO!

AUGUST MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Caroline Furness | Cascade CrossFit

Caroline Furness | Cascade CrossFit

Congrats to our August Member of the Month…Caroline Furness!!! Woop woop! Where do I even begin with Caroline! I have to admit, when I first had met Caroline, I didn’t quite know how to read her. She wasn’t like most members that get all inquisitive and super super pumped about some of the things we do. It was kind of like she just wanted to get in there, not mess around, and get that workout over with. I can remember when I first started coaching and I felt like I got the death eyes from her if I said, “Lower Caroline!” or “Push it Caroline!”. It kind of cracked me up and made me nervous all at the same time.

Fast forward to over a year later and here we are…and I couldn’t stop expressing good things about her. She works so hard in the gym and always makes us laugh. I love how she is so welcoming to newer folks and has no ounce of ego about her. One of my most exciting moments with Caroline (which she’ll mention later) is the day she told me she decided to work on finally getting those kipping pull ups (as basically the whole last year she just stuck to the band and strict pull ups). She showed exactly what I knew she could do with a little practice, and 6 weeks later, she’s kipping! Darn woman just did running Cindy and beat my score (someone who’s been doing kipping for like a year) on her first RX WOD with pull ups! That’s so awesome!! To put the cherry on top…a couple weeks ago she asked if she could take a jump rope home. I kind of looked at her confused because—surely she wouldn’t be trying to practice double unders too??— but she was! She also has decided to do 24” box jumps instead of the RX 20”, with her goal to use the 30″ box. It was like a whole new person who was sick of doing things less than RX. I don’t have kids…but when you guys accomplish those little achievements, I’d imagine it’s like small achievements they make that are so exciting, because you know they are accomplishing something pretty dang cool.

Beyond all her hard work Caroline is just an awesome lady. We have to personally thank her, as she has been instrumental in helping us get our CrossFit Kids Program off the ground. Without her help and her bugging certain people, I am certain we wouldn’t be lined up with the schools that we are now. And, the other day, after the workout was over, she came to me and asked if she could help and wash our used towels!! Caroline- we are so proud of you and are so excited for all the success you have achieved. This gym would not be the same without you and your spunky personality that spices up every class you are in. I know you are an inspiration to others as you inspire me. And, we love your family: Alan, Ella, Hudson, and Beckham…the Furness clan…you are so much fun and so kind, again, it wouldn’t be the same without you here!

Here’s Caroline’s story:

Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Caroline Furness. If we haven’t already met, don’t worry – I will find you and introduce myself. I have been coming to Cascade Crossfit for about a year and a half now. I have been into physical fitness of some sort for most of my life. Since having kids, my most recent fitness passion had been long distance running; marathons and half marathons. Rewind about 18 months and I walked in to Cascade Crossfit thinking I was in pretty great shape – I was about to be proved wrong.

Let me just say at this point, I was probably the most sceptical person when it came to Crossfit. I didn’t have much of a desire to do it – even though most of my running friends were quickly becoming addicted. I could not wrap my head around 15 minute workouts that actually got you in to better shape. Especially when I had been doing training runs that took me away from my family for hours at a time. Then someone handed me a kettlebell – and life as I know it changed – for the better.

Pretty much every workout in the beginning had me thinking one of two things: either “I feel like I am gonna die” or “I would RATHER run 26.2 miles than this”….but at the same time there was ALWAYS someone working out alongside me that would encourage me – or inspire me to continue. And I did. And guess what? the workouts got slightly easier – and more manageable – but more importantly – I got STRONGER and was able to do more.

About 3 months ago (yes that was after crossfitting for over a year) I decided I wanted to be done with the pull up bands – I felt like it was time – and I felt like I was strong enough but not working hard enough to master a simple pull up. I mean – how hard can it be right? well – turns out for me it was REALLY hard – but I committed to practicing a bit every time I was in the gym. Here’s what helped the most: every time I was practicing – someone would come over and help me or encourage me. Whether is was a trainer or another member (Meredyth) – I never felt like I was alone – or lame for not being able to get it done. FINALLY – I am up to about 5 in a row without a band – and I could not be prouder! I told Tenny that I worked harder on those pull ups than I ever did training for a race! Plus this was more fun…and rewarding.

Another icing on the Crossfit Cake? My kids LOVE coming in to Cascade Crossfit – all the trainers are always so nice and patient with them – and they get to see people of ALL ages getting fit and enjoying doing it. Which for a kid, is pretty awesome…and for a parent – a pretty cool lesson to teach.

So there you have it, what could be better than a place with a fun positive atmosphere where everyone is friendly, working towards the same goal? Somewhere you can inspire people at that same time you are being inspired. Cascade Crossfit has definitely become a big part of my life and I am so proud to be part of this family.

JULY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT


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Well, we took a little hiatus from our member of the month since days leading up to June for us were a bit hectic (certainly not for a lack of someone to spotlight). But, we’re back on track and and are excited to spotlight Ryan Lenihan as our July Member of the Month!! Ryan has been a consistent member with us for a long time now. At nearly 120lbs, he may not be one of our biggest guys, but he certainly has the heart, and is one of the most hard working. He is always trying to go for that RX weight, even though his body weight to bar weight ratio is quite a bit different than the other guys. He’s diligent about form and that’s definitely one of the reasons he’s been able to make such huge progress. Ryan never complains and is such a fun guy to be around. Ryan– we think you are a total stud and you are so inspiring with all the things you accomplish. Couldn’t be more grateful to have you as a part of the Cascade family!! Keep up the awesome work!!

Some words from Ryan:

Hi I am Ryan Lenihan, I stand at 5’5” and weigh 120 on a heavy day, but many of you know me as Ryan L off the white board. I am mainly an afternooner so “hello” to all who I may not see or know from the morning classes. I have been a member at Cascade Crossfit for over a year now and love every day of it. I am a very quiet person and am not into a whole lot of chit-chat so when I am in the gym I pretty much keep to myself, unless you’re the one approaching me for conversation.

After about 6 months or so at the gym things were going well and I thought I was in pretty good shape, especially when compared to before I started. Since I am a super picky eater I don’t do the Paleo thing or have ever done the Whole 30. But I decided one day a few months ago to see a nutritionist about what I do eat. I just wanted to make sure my body was getting what it needed. I learned then that I knew nothing about nutrition. I didn’t make any big changes, but just getting rid of the processed foods and eating real foods and making better choices when at the store. This started me down a path I never knew could exist for me. I started actually seeing muscles on my body and getting them in places I didn’t even know you could get muscles. It’s amazing; I never thought I would spend so much time looking at myself in the mirror. I am still getting better results and stronger every time I change my diet a little more. I learned that no matter how much I worked out, if I was eating frozen pizza and mac+cheese all the time I wasn’t going to get real results.
My Crossfit goal is to go to the gym as many days a week as I can and try my hardest at achieving the RX weight while maintaining good form. I am as competitive as the next guy but I would rather have good form and do full reps than have a faster time. I am there to get the best workout possible not the best time on the white board.
One of the best parts of my day is during the WOD. During the WOD nothing else in the world matters (my job, personal issues, world peace…), I am working as hard as I can and there is no time or energy to think about anything other than what I am doing at that moment. It’s like a daily therapy session. Just me and the WOD…

MAY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Dave Wheeler | Cascade CrossFit

Dave Wheeler | Cascade CrossFit

 

It’s Member of the Month time again and this time it’s all about Dave Wheeler (better known as Wheely Bob’s)! Dave came to the gym back in December to give us a try after some friends had recommended it to him. I have to say, we honestly didn’t think he was going to join. Even though we gear our fundamentals program towards beginners, the program was pretty tough for him (I think there were a couple of visits from Mr. Pukie and a couple DNF’s). BUT, he totally stuck through and we were thrilled.

Over the past 5 months, Dave has come in nearly 5 days a week, each week, and has devoted himself to giving each and every workout, all he’s got. We are so impressed with his positive attitude, determination, and hard work and it has been so wonderful to have him bring those traits into the gym. The accomplishments and progress he is making is just awesome. I don’t even know if he could ever imagine that he could do a pull up, but now, you better believe it! One thing that I think is awesome is that he is determined to do each workout RX, if he can, no matter how long it takes. It’s easy for people to want to scale the weight/movement in a workout (aside from actually needing to), just so time does not get affected as much However, the only way to get better, faster, stronger, is to push yourself to be better each and every time and not stay “comfortable” in your modifications. We love that about him.

Wheely has come so far and it’s going to be awesome to watch him continue to grow and achieve his goals. He really is an inspiration. So, the next time you see the guy in the grey sweatpants, tearing it up, give him a high five and say, “Way to go!”.

Here’s his story:

In my mind I always thought I was reasonably fit. I windsurfed, got out in the countryside a bit, mountain biked a few times a year, snowboarded until age overtook ambition and the injuries accumulated. Yeah … right.

I didn’t realize how bad driving a desk for 15 years and living in hotels whilst doing it was for me. Something needed to change or I wasn’t going to last long. I was ill-unfit and didn’t know it. Everyone else did though.

A few of my good friends joined Crossfit a while back and started laying on the pressure, so I signed up for the 2nd Dec 2010 fundamentals. Oh boy, how unfit? Mr. Pukie had something to say. But it was fun and I felt good and I knew this was the exercise program for me. Crossfit provides the planning and a little bit of friendly competition to make it all fun and keep me at it. There’s enough variety that the workouts never get mundane.

I have to scale all the workouts, and the team and fellow members are all supportive of this and make me feel that just doing my best is awesome, even if they are leaving you their dust. I get the impression everyone is saying ‘yup, worked through that, and look at me now, keep at it, you’re improving every day’.

And it’s working. It’s all fun. And there’s enough benchmark workouts that I look forward to them to be able to measure the improvements.

One ‘smile’ moment for me was the 2nd ‘filthy-50′ benchmark I just did. The first 50 was just after I started, I only did 25 reps per exercise, and couldn’t complete the workout. 3 months later and I completed the full workout with all reps and in a shorter time than when I failed the first time. Sure, I’m still much slower than everyone else, but I feel on top of the world.

Oh, and I’ve lost weight, a lot of waist, got stronger and I feel better than I have in years :-)

Dave.


APRIL MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Sue Rovito | Cascade CrossFit

Sue Rovito | Cascade CrossFit

This month we are excited to spotlight Sue Rovito as Member of The Month. If I remember correctly, Sue was part of one of our very first fundamentals class offered back in September 2010. [I deleted the part about the Skechers Shape-Ups, because my memory, yet again, failed me]. From the beginning, she was all about form and learning everything correctly. I loved that after each workout at the end of the fundamentals, she’d acknowledge that it was tough, but good!! The thing about Sue that really impressed me, was that after just joining our gym, and for not really being involved in anything prior to joining, she was one of our most consistent members. I think I saw her 4-5 days a week. It is very common for people to approach CrossFit a little hesitantly, and want to just try to come a couple of times each week, so for Sue to take charge and really “go for it” was impressive to us all. And the proof is in the pudding! Not only was (and is) she consistent at coming, but the girl works dang hard. She wants to do what’s required as to not cheat herself from a great workout. In doing that, she has improved so incredibly much. Her body composition in just this short time, has really shifted, but the exercises and weights she is now doing is such a huge improvement from where she started. It’s just awesome to see and awesome to see the new muscles she’s getting! Again, just so impressed.

Beyond her awesome accomplishments in the gym, we love her attitude. She pushes herself and holds herself to the standards, never complains, and is determined. We are so proud of you Sue and it’s exciting for us to continue to watch you accomplish your goals! We’ll be here every step of the way for you!

Here’s Sue’s story from her words:

Although I am, and always have been, an avid sports fan, I was never an athlete. I never competed for any high school or college athletic team. I never lifted weights of any kind and never considered myself “in shape”.

So, imagine how daunting it was to envision myself in a gym without machines, in a gym with Olympic style weight lifting moves, in a gym where people might be “cut”, or thin, or strong, or lean, or…. I could go on and on. I was embarking on a journey where I could no longer hide behind the gal in front of me in class when I didn’t know the dance moves, or hide in the far recesses of the gym slowly trudging along on the treadmill barely breaking a sweat. No, I was jumping into uncharted territory; where I thought I’d never survive.

But, with a mix of trepidation and excitement, I did come to Cascade Crossfit. I looked at a few local Crossfit websites and decided that the Fundamentals Class was exactly what I needed – no pressure to join, no payment in advance, the instruction required for learning the moves correctly, and, most important at the time, the opportunity to back out (un)gracefully if I found it wasn’t for me. The other reason for choosing Cascade Crossfit was that I spent some time reading the on-line testimonials. I was struck by one that Colette wrote and it was the inspiration for my joining. I thought that, well, just maybe, there were other women like me giving it a try.

Why Crossfit? Well, for about the previous year I used the elliptical, I ran two turtle-paced 5K races and did a brief 3 month stint at a local gym. But, I knew that I needed more than any of those could provide. I had very little upper and lower body strength and had zilch-zero-nada core abdominal strength. I needed to fix that! I don’t want to be that 70 year old with a walker; I want to be that 70 year old hiking Si and Mailbox. Yes, I have lofty goals, literally and figuratively!

After 3 months of Crossfit, I decided to add another dimension to my new-found fitness regime. In addition to working out about 4 days a week, with the encouragement and support of the gym, I gave the Whole 30 Lifestyle a try. I’m now over 85 days into it and, except for 4 well-deserved and tasty glasses of wine, I have been following it to the letter!

Cascade Crossfit has been what I’ve needed all along, a supportive community with people at all fitness levels working on personal goals while also encouraging others to meet theirs. The progress you will see in your workouts comes quickly and continuously, which makes you strive to reach further, work harder, and dig deeper than you ever have. Since October I have had 2 personal best times in 5K races, made great strides in all areas of the WODs and I am now training for a Half Marathon.

Although I have lost weight, the comments from friends that bring a smile to my face are not those about being thinner, or smaller or lighter. It’s the statements like, “Wow, you have muscles.” or “Look at your arms!” That is what I wanted from Crossfit. I got that, and much more!

A special thanks to all the great Coaches and my morning work-out partners, who are always pushing me to do my best!

To a healthy mind & body with Cascade Crossfit: Cheers.

Sue

MARCH MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Peter Hong | Cascade CrossFit

Peter Hong | Cascade CrossFit

Congratulations to Peter Hong who we are featuring as our member spotlight of the month for March. It has been such a pleasure having Peter at the gym since he joined last fall. He has always been incredibly consistent in coming which has proved to help him achieve some pretty awesome goals. Just recently he busted out his first muscle up and keeps improving on times and weights. It’s awesome!

One thing that stands out about Peter is his positive attitude and enthusiasm for CrossFit. He is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet and always has encouraging and kind things to say. We love and appreciate his encouragement for the fellow members, which we have not only heard, but see consistently on the blog. It’s amazing how a far a few encouraging words go, and I know his do not go unnoticed. He’s also always questioning things and posting links about CrossFit related stuff. It’s obvious that he is passionate about this sport and that he wants to grow and continue to improve. He is an awesome part of our CrossFit family and we are so excited to continue to watch him improve and crush any goal that he sets to achieve, because we know he will!

Here’s a little from Peter…

Hi all, My name is Peter Hong,

I joined Cascade Crossfit around September/October of 2010 as I was trying to find something new as I wasn’t really getting any more progress on my current workout regime. I have known of Crossfit for a little while and actually incorporated some of their movements into my workouts but after sometime I just wasn’t hitting my goals so I decided to find myself a Crossfit gym. I found out that my manager at work does Crossfit and I ended up talking to her about it and she convinced me to find a gym. Then, I remembered that one of my friends from high school and former trainer at Cascade Crossfit, Dean Kruse, was making posts on Facebook about a new and amazing gym called Cascade Crossfit. So I checked out the website and fired an email for the fundamentals class and the rest is history! I never thought I’d be in a love hate relationship with being so sore after a short work out during the fundamentals classes and I knew that Crossfit was the exact thing I needed.

Well, it’s been about five or so months since I started Crossfit and it’s the best decision I’ve made. I’ve lost about 10 lbs from the 30-day Paleo Challenge we started in January, beat some of my PRs, put on some muscle and, best of all, I feel incredible. I have learned so much about myself, fitness and nutrition in these few months that they have become a life change. I love that I am being challenged everyday by our coaches to push harder, keeping good form on whatever lift we’re all doing, and even throwing the 30 day Paleo Challenge to help us all get to our goals and to live a healthier lifestyle.

I never thought I could get in this good of shape in so little time! I hope that I can keep making progress so I can become better every day and be able to beat my PR’s and get myself into some local competitions so I can represent Cascade Crossfit and crew! It’s a real blessing to have such an awesome community pushing each other every day. It really motivates me to see all the members trying their hardest, being the best they can be and sharing knowledge with each other so we can all hit our goals! Thanks to all the Members and Coaches for being so kickass! See you all at the gym! 3..2..1.. GO!


FEBRUARY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Jessica Thornton | Cascade CrossFit

We are really excited to announce Jessica Thornton as our February Member Spotlight of the month. Jessica has been coming to Cascade for quite some time now and has been such a pleasure to have as a part of our family!! From the very beginning, Jessica showed herself as quite the competitor. She was very impressive, putting up some big numbers for weights and fast times on the WODs. It was basically a given that she was a stud and that it was going to be really fun watching her grow as a CrossFitter.

Fast forward several months, Jessica is doing freaking awesome. She’s gotten stronger and faster and is a force to be reckoned with! J Kyle and I always recap at the end of the day how each day went at the gym. Several times he has mentioned, “Man, Jessica is a stud!” The other day, he came home and said, “Dog gon’ it, I could barely stay ahead of Jessica in the AMRAP today. That’s bullcrap.” She’s gotten stronger, faster, and leaner and we are just so impressed. It’s not only her results are we impressed with, but her attitude is contagious. She is so friendly and kind but also is an awesome person to workout with because she knows just what to say to push you to keep going. I love working out with her because she always yells at me to “Go Girl!! Keep it up!” She is an inspiration to many, including myself. She is such a pleasure to be around and we couldn’t be happier she is a part of this awesome Cascade CrossFit community.

To get you to know her a little better…here is her story!

It was 23 years ago that my mom, who is now also a Cascade CrossFit member, started my sister and me competing in track and cross country. For those of you who don’t know me, I am only 27 so that would put me at 4 years old! Back then I didn’t know that it was going to start a lifestyle of exercise and running, I just thought it was fun to beat all the other kids.

Until last June, my daily exercise routine consisted of running, more running….and running some more. I totally thought I was in amazing shape, however, I was bummed that when we would hit the slopes for skiing or the rock for climbing, I still struggled and would get exhausted. It was frustrating because I thought I was in super good shape. Little did I know how far off I really was!

I was introduced to Cascade CrossFit by my kick ass friend Rachael Austin. We work together @ Boeing and she would always talk about how much the workouts and the gym rocked. After a few weeks of deliberation, I decided to bite the bullet and go try it out for two weeks. I think it only took me two days to get hooked!

Never in my life have I been this fit, fast, strong, lean, healthy and motivated. It is an incredible feeling to be able to hold my own in the WODs and do recommended (Rx) on most all of the workouts. Everyday I can’t wait to get out of work and head over to the gym on my way home. Each day it is a different challenge for my mind and body and each day I leave feeling so proud of myself and my co-CrossFitters for what we had accomplished. The people, trainers, and facilities are incredible and have become very close to my heart! I try not to miss any WODs, even when I am on business travel, because it has become one of my happy places!

Thanks to the Jacobson’s, Kyle O, Nick, Cody, the Austin’s, my family and all my fellow CrossFitters for creating such an incredible place that I am proud to be a member of. You all ROCK! If you are just starting CrossFit or trying to decide if it is for you, just come in and any of the trainers or members will do everything they can to help make it an incredible place for you from day one. And, if you get butterflies before the workout, that is a good sign! You are not alone…we all do!

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JANUARY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Meredyth Malocsay | Cascade CrossFit


We are really excited to kick off this New Year spotlighting Meredyth Malocsay! Meredyth started in the gym in September and I have never seen someone improve in as fast as she has. Sure Meredyth came in being in pretty dang good shape, but it wasn’t just that why she has accomplished leaps and bounds. Meredyth is in the gym basically every day that we are open. In fact, I almost get worried about her if I see that she has missed a day. We have joked with her that we are going to start charging her rent, because she really is in there all the time! Which is awesome!

Meredyth is constantly working to improve something and reach some sort of goal. For a while, it was double unders…so she bought a speed rope and practiced in her house day after day. One week later, or even faster, she comes in and whips out like 50 in a row. Dude! She wanted to then learn kipping pull ups where her goal was 5 in a row. So, day after day, she would stay after class, when she was exhausted, and she’d practice. She killed it before we knew it! She has an insane mental toughness that helps “get it done” and it is truly inspiring to train with someone like that. It really is awesome to see her reach her goals because it shows that if you set your mind to something, you can achieve it! Meredyth is now finishing at the top of the board on every single workout. I absolutely love working out with Meredyth because she pushes me and I know she pushes others. I hear so many members come in and then immediately look at Meredyth’s time or weight and they make it their goal to either try and beat that time or beat that weight. That shows a real inspiration.

Beyond Meredyth’s passion for CrossFit and amazing things she accomplishes, but she also is a sincerely genuine and beautiful person inside and out. She never complains, always has a smile on her face, and has some sort of joke (sometimes about herself J ) to share. I love how she comes in knowing all about the workout because she has researched what the movements were prior to coming in. I thought it was so freaking awesome that she came in one day thinking the workout was 5 rounds of something nasty and then a 1000m row at the end of each round. That would definitely turn most people away, but she still showed up. She wants to be corrected and she’ll call herself out if a rep didn’t feel like it should count. And, that is how she maximizes her workouts because she doesn’t let herself cheat. She’ll take longer if she needs to, but most all the time, “taking longer” is still finishing at the top.

Meredyth we are so thankful to have you as part of Cascade CrossFit. Keep up the amazing work, you are an inspiration to all!

Here’s what she had to say:

Hi guys – My name is Meredyth (you may hear Kyle J call me Woosy occasionally, but my name is actually Meredyth).

I’ve always had some form of competition sport in my life, but for the last few years it’s been paragliding, so the only exercise I was really getting on a regular basis was hiking up to launches with a 40lb backpack. I knew eventually I was going to have to bite the bullet and find something else if I wanted to stay in decent shape, so I had been looking around for something that I could fit in. I had heard about crossfit, but as soon as I heard you had to go to a gym I had kind of dismissed the idea. I’d never been into the gym scene and never really seemed to accomplish a lot when I did go.

Then at a competition this fall, one of my friends had a crash on a paraglider and a bunch of us decided he would’ve probably been hurt a lot worse if he wasn’t in such unbelievable shape. I remember being completely amazed when the friend in question raised his shirt to show me his chest tube (he’d hit hard enough to collapse a lung and crack some ribs) and all I could think was “when the hell did you get that six pack”? When I realized how much this guy had changed his body through crossfit and saw this real life example of how it could not only make someone look/feel/be stronger, it actually could also serve as a kind of injury prevention too, I knew it was time to give it a try.

My original idea was to join the gym for a few months, learn what it meant to do a crossfit workout, then get some basic equipment and do it in my garage, so I wouldn’t have to go to a gym. Ha! Now I love the gym so much, I’m like Jim Belushi in that Saturday night live skit “The thing that wouldn’t leave”. Competing with and cheering for your friends at the same time is pretty awesome and totally motivates me. I also realize now that there’s no way I would ever come close to working this hard (or use correct form) if Tenny, the Kyles, Cody and Nick weren’t there to remind me – get lower!, lumbar curve! chest to the ground! I’ve got so many heroes at the gym now, I’m having to keep them in categories – deadlift hero, muscle up hero, double under hero, butterfly hero … you know who you are because I keep asking you to demonstrate for me! Yay crossfit and yay Tenny and Kyle for creating this awesome gym and filling it with special people, and making me not want to miss a single WOD!

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DECEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

oe Sullivan December Member Spotlight | Cascade CrossFit

Joe Sullivan | Cascade CrossFit

Joe started in our fundamentals program a couple of months ago and from the beginning we could tell he was going to be a stud. However, we didn’t know how quickly he would start overtaking us on certain WODs! Joe’s dedication to fitness is incredible. One day, at the 6am class, he told us how he was going to do the class, then drive home, only to then ride his bike over 20 miles to work and back. On other days, he was doing two-a-days. Only just over a month at the gym, Mr. Sullivan did a 5k row and absolutely CRUSHED everyone in the stinkin’ gym (not to mention he did the row all by himself with no one to compete against)!! He also recently competed in the local CrossFit competition and did every WOD as RX, which, after only starting a couple months ago, is incredibly impressive. It can take people years to be able to do RX weights and movements. He has a great personality and is really a pleasure to have in the gym. Keep up your good work and we are looking forward to seeing you at the top of the leader boards! :-)

What Joe has to say:

Hi, my name’s Joe Sullivan.

I joined up at Cascade a couple months ago, and its been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. I’ve been aware of Crossfit for a bit and had been messing around doing the WODs on the main site off and on over the last few years on my own. Earlier this year, I was on a ski trip with some guys and one of them was pretty into Crossfit. I mentioned that I had been doing some workouts here and there and he said: “that’s cool…but if you wanted to learn to play soccer would you buy a ball and kick it around a field by yourself or join a team…?” that analogy stuck with me and I decided to check out some gyms when I got home. A couple days later I blew out my knee and had to cut the trip short.

Fast forward six months, one ACL surgery and a ton of physical therapy and here I am a member of Cascade. The Crossfit format has been awesome for rehabbing my knee and getting me back into shape, and the team and facility at Cascade are really top notch. I love driving out to the warehouse in the woods and chasing the Kyles, Nick and Cody through some brutal workout. I’ve seen amazing gains in the first couple months, and the motivation that comes from the group is the complete opposite of anything I’ve felt at a gym before. The approach feels very holistic, and things like the nutrition challenge we just finished really rounds that out. In the short time I’ve been coming to the gym, it’s easy to see that Kyle and Tenny have created something really great in the community at Cascade Crossfit. Though I’ve only been a member for a couple months, it already feels like home and I’m looking forward to getting my ass kicked daily for the foreseeable future!

Thanks Joe, and keep up the awesome work!

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NOVEMBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Rachael Austin | Cascade CrossFit

We are thrilled to spotlight Rachael Austin as our November Member of the Month! Rachael and her husband Tyler have been super involved with CrossFit since near the beginning of opening back in January, however, Rachael was always the vocal support because she was pregnant. In May, Rachael gave birth to one of the most beautiful baby boys, Landon, and ever since has been busting her butt to get her body in the shape that she wanted. In fact, I believe she weighs 10lbs less now then when she did before she was even pregnant! The first few workouts were definitely tough (I think there was a visit from Mr. Pukey once???), but through her strong determination to lose that dreaded “baby weight”, she has shown how absolutely amazing you can look just 5 months after giving birth. She is a true testament to what hard work will do for you. Not only is she is a hard worker, but she always has a huge smile on her face. We are so proud of you Rachael and you are a true gem for our gym.

Now here is her story:

Hi everyone! My name is Rachael Austin. My husband and I moved here from Alaska a little over a year ago, then we found out we were going to be having a baby! Landon was born May 18th 2010. While I was pregnant I would go for walks and try to lift a few pounds here and there.

My husband and I were introduced to Cascade CrossFit in February by Kyle. I would come and do the work outs as best I could while having what felt like a basketball in the way. Six weeks after having Landon, and seeing the great results that Tyler was getting from CrossFit, I was very excited and determined to lose my baby weight and to get back into shape.

To my surprise I not only lost my baby weight but I feel like I am in the best shape I have ever been in. I feel stronger and quicker than before, and I can’t wait to see the difference on the volleyball court come January. I couldn’t be happier with the results that CrossFit has given my family and I. Both the trainers and members give this gym such a great atmosphere, I love being able to bring Landon there, while I push myself every day.

Thank you Cascade CrossFit for helping me reach, not only my fitness goals, but also helping me achieve a much healthier lifestyle!
Rachael Austin

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OCTOBER MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Shelli Sanctis | Cascade CrossFit

Shelli Sanctis | Cascade CrossFit

We are thrilled to launch our first member profile, spotlighting Shelli Sanctis! It is our new goal to highlight a member each month who is someone that shows wonderful determination, heart, and courage to get it done, but ultimately can inspire us all to be even better. This will also help share a little more about all of our incredible members!

We have seen a lot of people come in and out these doors, and a lot of people in other CrossFit gyms, and have to say that Shelli is one of the most inspirational people we have seen. From workout to workout, she gives it her all and more. Her honesty in the workouts is amazing and she always makes sure she is starting where she’s supposed to start, ending where she needs to end, and never cheating in between. It is something that is hard to always uphold, but she does it, even if it takes that extra bit of time. Her determination and heart to succeed and improve with each workout is amazing and we couldn’t be prouder. She inspires us to be better and she makes this gym a better place. We are so happy you are here Shelli and thank you for all you bring to this gym!!

Here is a little of what Shelli wrote:

Hi! My name is Shelli Sanctis and I have been working out at Cascade Crossfit since June. I was previously working with a personal trainer but I realized I needed something more affordable and most importantly more challenging.

A quick note on my background…. my husband and my family moved to the area from California almost 6 years ago to start a business. You may have heard of it, Sahale Snacks! After years of hard work and perseverance the company is doing well. I have three boys and I live in Fall City.

Getting started…. I was afraid to start crossfit, it looked so intimidating but after a few email exchanges with Kyle and with the support of my middle son Dean, I decided to give it a shot. Dean and I started coming in June, he wanted to get in shape for football and well, I just wanted to get in shape.

Deciding to become a member at Cascade Crossfit was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. The support is incredible, the members are fantastic and the workout is always a challenge. Thank you to Kyle, Tenny and Dean K for your support and encouragement. Cascade Crossfit is awesome!

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