May Member of the Month: Jonathan Peters

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Tell us about yourself! ⠀
I work in the game industry as a visual FX artist. Mostly that means that I make fire, explosions, rain, magic spells, etc. Anything in a game that needs special fx comes my way. At this point in my life I spend all of my free time learning how to play guitar. One day I may actually be able to play something. ⠀

What inspired you to start CrossFit?⠀
I spent decades working out alone and over the years I started to lose drive and focus. I needed a gym that had community and more structure. That is when I discovered ECCF. After a couple weeks of classes I was hooked.⠀

What are your fitness goals?⠀
I just want to be healthy and to be able to do a ring muscle up.⠀

What do you enjoy most about Emerald City CrossFit?
I love the community that you have created here at ECCF. Along with the community at ECCF the coaches are amazing and the daily workouts are perfect. Well done! ⠀

What advice do you have for new members?⠀
Make sure you set mini goals and remember to keep your weights low when you are learning a new move. ⠀

What message do you have for your gym family? ⠀
I love working out with everyone... thank you for helping me put away my gear each day.... lets band together and see if we can get Joe to send those echo bikes back (just kidding)

Running Class: How to Prepare & What to Expect

By: Coach Meg

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So you're a CrossFitter interested in attending Running Class? Welcome!! I can't wait to work with you. Whether you're a former state champ in the 1500 or you don't know how many laps makes a mile, this class is for you. Below are a few tips on getting started.

What to Eat:

Let's start with a couple hours before the run. Since we'll be holding class at 10am, you may want to have a little something in your stomach before you head out the door. Try to time it so that it won't come back up when you're working hard. Think about eating at least an hour before class. A banana is a good bet for it's potassium which is said to help with cramping. You'll also want to be well hydrated. I often eat a small bowl of oatmeal or a healthy muffin before my morning speed workouts.

What to expect:

We will start promptly at 10am. We'll either meet at the gym or at Garfield High School, which is exactly a mile from the gym.  A typical running class workout starts with a warm-up of about a mile. This is meant to be slow and we'll stick together through it. After the mile, we'll do about 5 mins of form drills, this will help get your muscles primed for some quick movement. We'll move on to the workout from there. Hill days will be shorter in distance and time than track days, but still expect to be worked when we do hills. The most we're likely to run on any given track day is 6 miles total, in the beginning it will be closer to 3 (including the warm-up).

What to wear:

I'm more concerned about your shoes than your attire. Most lightweight shoes made for CrossFit are fine for the type of running we'll be doing at run club (thinking Reebok Nanos, Nike Metcon, NoBull, etc). However, if you are running more than at this one class, you'll want to get fitted for some proper running shoes (I'm a big fan of Fleet Feet in Capitol Hill). You will also want to be sure not to be running in shoes that are too old/broken down, those can cause injuries.

Track etiquette:

When we're on the track there is potential that others will be there too. Save the inside lane for speed. We will only be in lane 1 during the hard work, when you finish your sprint, quickly exit lane 1, do not stand in that lane. Recovery jogs are to be done in the outside lanes. When overtaking another runner, swing outside them and then swing back in, don't expect them to move for you. There is also potential that people will be crossing the track to get to the field. Make yourself known with a polite yell of "track!" and slow down if it looks like they're not paying attention. No pets are allowed on the Garfield track.

What to bring:

More than anything, all you need to bring is an open mind and a positive attitude. You may also bring a water bottle to drink during short recoveries.

I am so looking forward to starting another season of running class, it has been so rewarding to help our CrossFit community learn how to run faster and hit some great goals. We'll be doing a mile time trial on the 4th session (June 9th) and then again later in the season to mark your progression. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have, you can email me at meggayman@gmail.com


Combating Desk Job Posture

By: Ashley Henriques, Vida Integrated Health

The modern day desk job unfortunately gets a lot of flack from healthcare professionals and the media.  Misleading quotes like “sitting is the new cancer” grab headlines, and you cannot watch TV without being persuaded through commercials to buy different devices to help correct your posture.  The goal of this blog is to help change the narrative of posture, and how to actually stay healthy and moving if you are one of the many workers chained to a desk all day.

Posture is something that is engrained in us since we are little.  My first memory of a doctor’s appointment includes the doctor chuckling and making a comment that I looked like a giant “C”.  Lets first go over some myths about posture.

Myth #1: Perfect posture exists and you should strive for it.

Posture is highly individualized; it is a spectrum of widely accepted positions.  There are some people with horrible posture with no pain. There are some people with perfect posture and pain. Context is important, but I think it is fairly impossible to sit 8 straight hours with textbook “perfect posture”.

Myth #2: Slouching is bad!

In my opinion, slouching is natural and a way to conserve energy.  You could have the best intentions and start out consciously thinking about perfect posture, but as time goes on and your mental efforts are directed towards work your posture becomes controlled unconsciously, thus, a slouch occurs.  More on this to come!

Myth #3: My posture needs fixed!

There are countless devices marketed towards improving posture.  People buy these with good intentions, but I think relying on these passive devices for a long term solution is a mistake.  Your anatomy and more importantly the way you move should dictate how you train, for example if your overhead reach is poor because of shoulder or thoracic mobility, then you should work on it actively, not passively.

Disclaimer: These myths are described as reference to a seated desk position – posture and form during weighted and strenuous activity absolutely matters

Changing the Narrative

Alright, you came here for postural advice only to be told to slouch, forget perfect posture, and not buy postural fixers – that is probably NOT what you were expecting!  The “old way” of thinking is to demonize sitting and bad postures. The “new way” of thinking should be more focused on TIME and TIME SPENT IN POSITIONS.

Old way:

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New Way:

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Lets talk about time.

Time is probably the most important variable in relation to the body and its processes.  Time is what creates habits. When time is paired with physical stress, this ultimately leads to adaptations of the body in relation to muscle tissue, joints, and the nervous system – the bad type of stress leads to bad adaptations / excessive wear, the good type of stress lets us build muscle strength and overall capacity!  If time is paired with mental stress, this can lead to changes in the brain processing, immune response, and other biological responses. Instead of arguing over the “best” posture, why not strive to have changing and varying postures throughout the day? Your next posture, is your best posture.

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Think of your body and mind like a bank.  

In a 24 hour period, ask yourself am I ending the day in the positive or the negative?

Things that can influence your balance are NOT just physical.  They are mental too.

It is important to take into account:

  • What are you reading/watching throughout the day?

  • Who are you surrounding yourself with?

  • What is your stress level?

Throughout the day you should be striving for not only movement investments, but also investments in terms of stress management and social interactions.  Movement is one of the most underrated anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-stress “medications” out there.

Alright, we debunked some myths, talked about time, talked about how the body is like a bank, now what do I do specifically?

1. Keep going to CrossFit

CrossFit is awesome because it checks the box on the physical, mental, and social investments that you need each day.  Physically, it is improving your neck, shoulder, and back muscular capacity via strength. Mentally, it is improving your ability to overcome stressful situations.  Socially, you get to hang out with really cool people. In physical therapy we have a hard time battling chronic sedentary lifestyles and chronic diseases, but by being strong and working out you are likely to remain very healthy!

2. Hourly movement investments

We talked about how it is a tall order to maintain “perfect posture” all day.  Instead of worrying about this, changing postures frequently (sitting, shifting from side to side, standing, kneeling, etc) will help.  There are movements that you can perform at work on an hourly basis that should help keep joints moving well. The following exercises I have selected are based on common trouble areas I see in the clinic, choosing just one or two an hour would work, but any “movement” is great too!

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Diaphragm Breathing

What: Sitting with hand on chest and stomach, inhale slowly through the nose trying to expand the stomach, exhale slowly through the mouth. Do for 1-3 minutes.  The hand on your chest should remain relatively still, and the hand on the belly should do the moving because of how deep you are breathing.

Why: There is a strong connection between the diaphragm muscle and parasympathetic nervous system response.  There are two major nervous systems that either amp us up to respond to stress (sympathetic), or tone us down (parasympathetic), and breathing deeply can help naturally decrease stress response.

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Shoulder Overhead / Thoracic Extension

What: While sitting place both elbows on the edge of a desk, scoot chair backwards until shoulders are placed on a stretch, focus on the chest driving to the floor.  Return back to start and repeat x10.

Why: Lack of overhead motion during presses, snatches, pull ups can place undue stress on the neck, shoulders, low back.

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Thoracic Rotation

What: In sitting with knees together, place right hand on the outside of the left knee, slowly twist chest to the left. Repeat on other side x10.

Why: I often see thoracic extension issues coupled with thoracic rotation issues.  The mid back needs to rotate well to have a happy neck and low back.

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Quadratus Lumborum

What: In sitting, raise your right hand and actively reach like you are trying to touch the ceiling as you concurrently reach overhead to the left as far as you can.  Repeat on other side. x 10 both sides.

Why: Although it sounds like it is something from Harry Potter, this muscle attaches the rib cage to the pelvis and can feel tight with lots of sitting, causing hips to feel off/rotated or an achy back.


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Hip Flexors

What: Stagger feet on the floor or put one foot on your chair.  The leg that is behind you should feel a stretch as you lunge forward and reach overhead.

Why: Lack of hip extension, or the leg traveling behind you can cause stress on the low back and hips, altered mechanics with walking and running.


5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Nutrition

No matter how many times we try to convince ourselves of the opposite, you simply can’t out work bad nutrition. Nutrition is the foundation of health and wellness, and ignoring what you eat simply won’t help you get where you want to go with your fitness! At the start of our CrossFit journey, many of us saw a lot of progress in skill, strength, and body composition. CrossFit is a brand new, highly effective program and a novel stimulus to our bodies! After a while, though, our bodies catch up to this new stimulus and our results can often plateau.

Dialing in our nutrition is often the next step to help us achieve that next level: our first pull-up, a new PR, or a faster mile time. Paying close attention to what you eat will help you reap benefits that include increased muscle mass, more energy, decreased body fat, a better night’s sleep, feeling more confident, clear and glowing skin, and more!

When it comes to dialing in your nutrition, there are a ton of opinions out there. Whole30? Paleo? Vegan? Keto? Should I use the microwave? What vegetables should I buy organic? What’s the difference between grass-fed and grass-finished beef? The waters are muddied even further by the sneaky weight loss products that promise you will lose 10 pounds in 10 days if you eat this bar and drink that shake while jumping up and down 20 times and singing “twinkle, twinkle, little star”.

The only way to fully experience the life-long health and wellness that our program at Emerald City CrossFit offers is to eat a balanced diet composed of real food. We not only want you to feel and look great now, but also when you’re 90! We are in this for the long-haul.

Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit sums up good nutrition as follows, “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.”

Is it really that simple? Yes….and no. Below are 5 ways you can simply get started on cleaning up your nutrition and achieving the Glassman standard of nutrition.

1. Start slow and easy.

When beginning on a health and wellness journey, many people dive right in without thinking about the kind of commitment they are getting into. This is exactly where the term yo-yo dieting comes from—after too much beer and pizza on a Friday night you decide that on Sunday you are starting a Whole30. So on Saturday you throw everything in our pantry and fridge away except for that week old chicken breast, wilting spinach, and some eggs from… well you don’t really know! You wake up on Sunday starving, because you were trying to “work-off” Friday night’s party so you didn’t eat much on Saturday while also going on a 5 mile run. There’s nothing in the fridge, so you decide that you’ll start your Whole30 after breakfast and jump in the car to grab a donut and coffee. Now your body is even more deprived of nutrition, and the cycle just goes on and on, until it’s Friday night again and you give up because doing a Whole30 is just too hard.

Instead of jumping in face first, work on developing good habits over time with careful planning and preparation. Even better, start with the easiest thing to let go of. Instead of having a bowl of ice cream every night, you’re just going to have some on the weekends. That goes well, so the next week you aren’t going to take any of your favorite foods away, but instead challenge yourself to eat a vegetable with every meal. But HOLD ON, you hate chopping veggies. So grab the already chopped bag. More expensive? A little. But easy and therefore easier for you to adhere to. After all, slow and steady always wins the race!

2. Add before you subtract.

Before you throw out all the wine, cheese, and chocolate, think about what you can add into your diet first. Before having your soda on pizza night, add in a glass of water first. Before going back for seconds, add in a small salad and play with the dog, then assess whether you are actually still hungry. Add in a few snacks of lean protein and healthy fat throughout the day (think sliced turkey and some almonds) so you aren’t starving when you get home. Add in more sleep so that you aren’t reaching for coffee and sugar all day long.

When focusing on adding healthy habits you will start to see and feel the benefits. Then it is a lot easier to take away some of the negative habits because you are already seeing and, even better, feeling results.

3. Mary Kondo your entire kitchen, fridge, pantry, and junk food drawer.

Trying to food prep in a cluttered kitchen where it takes you five tries to find the right Tupperware lid, or where you have to dig through the back of your cabinet to find the cutting board is just plain annoying. Making your kitchen organized, clean and easy to access is a great way to start enjoy cooking more and make meal prep quick and easy. Throw out the old Tupperware and buy a new set that is all the same size and has matching lids. Keep a cutting board and knife out all the time so that cutting up fresh veggies is just a little bit easier. Throw out that chocolate your Aunt Mildred gave you for Christmas, and stop buying the Rice Krispie treats for your kids (because you know you just eat most of them). Leave a small (cute) pan out on the stove so it’s easy to sauté some veggies. No, you don’t need five different ice cream scoops.

When your kitchen is clean, clutter free, and easy to access, and your only choice is a healthy choice, you are much more likely to achieve your nutrition goals.

4. Find a replacement.

Love a glass of wine with some chips & guacamole after a long day at work? Same. But instead of those chips, swap it out for some carrots. Crave a bowl of ice cream while you’re watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones? Try a piece (or two) of Sea Salt Dark Chocolate instead. Always reach for a second beer after dinner? Brush your teeth and enjoy a good book in bed instead. When we replace something with a slightly better option, we can help alleviate the growing pains.

5.  80/20

Unless you are a CrossFit Games athlete or gunning for a six-pack this summer, there is room to enjoy life. We often get stuck in the “all or nothing” mentality, that leads us to yo-yoing and never achieving our goals. If you are going out with friends on Saturday night and planning to have a drink and dessert, lead up to that like you would any other day and then enjoy the treat! Food is not a transaction—you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) starve yourself all day so you can eat whatever you want that night. Have good nutrition throughout the day, enjoy the night, and then get back to it on Sunday. Sticking with your nutrition goals 80% of the time and enjoying life the other 20% helps keep us on track for the long haul.

I’ll say it now and I will say it again, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to nutrition! Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake (or mistakes!).  Healthy eating is a long-term investment. Nourish your body with fuel to help you live a long, energized, and vibrant life. Eat well to fuel your workouts and enjoy the things in life that you love the most!

If you have questions, be sure to ask a Coach or join us for our next Thrive Challenge coming this fall!


-Coach Kendra

April Member of the Month

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Tell us about yourself! 

Je m’appelle Bethany Henriques.  ..je parle français, si tu ne savais pas.  I am very happily married to the love of my life, Ashley (she’s the bomb ass PT affiliated with ECCF) and we just are each other’s soulmates.  Gross, I know. ️

My first and foremost occupation, with skills to pay the bills, is as a Nurse Manager of PACU at Virginia Mason. My second occupation, for the pure love of it, is as a Cycling Instructor at CycleBar South Lake Union here in Seattle. I’ve been teaching indoor cycling for almost 10 yrs, and I have such a passion for motivating others to find their spark on a bike.

A little about me: I’m originally from Ohio. O-H!! But I have lived alllll over including LA for almost 8 hrs and even in St Croix in the Caribbean for my job. With all that traveling, it’s brought a huge variety into my life so I really have an adventurous spirit and am down for challenges and some would say I am very extroverted, though I do like my quiet time. 

I love ALL music, except for country (I mean, I can still dig a little Shania...’let’s go girls ’), food-down to try anything. Annnnd I am a wine LOVER. Have tried a lot of it, have tasted everywhere, alllllll over California and Oregon and would love to go to the south of France and taste the best of them!! It would be my dream!!

What inspired you to start CrossFit? 

Well, with all my years of cycling, I’ve always loved lifting and have done ‘okay’ lifting on my own. The past couple of years though, with increased cycling, it became way too difficult to keep myself as motivated in my lifting regimen and I really needed a challenging reset. I had heard so many good things about CrossFit and I keep shirking it off for years so I decided to buckle down, throw caution to the wind and ‘get after it’ almost a year ago at Emerald City!

What are your fitness goals?

Gosh, I have so many, but, right now, I truly wanna get better at anything gymnastic on the bars: pull ups, toes 2 bar, chest 2 bar, handstand push ups, etc. I’m getting there slowly and have made some strides buuuut man, what I would give for those to be easy movements for me, but they aren’t. So pumped for Gymnastics Club coming up at ECCF for that sole reason!

What do you enjoy most about Emerald City CrossFit?

The PEOPLE, the coaches, the community of it all. Of course the workout are kick ass, but truly it’s the people. I feel like we really celebrate each other’s ‘wins’ at ECCF and we build each other up. I love that type of stuff. 

What advice do you have for new members?

DON’T EVER GIVE UP!! Chip away and work hard at those movements that challenge you and always remember that change is supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it oh so good. ️

What message do you have for your gym family?

I’m so flattered to be ‘member of the month’, honestly it touched my heart. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but when my wife and I first moved to Seattle, we were very lonely for our friend gang from Columbus, and joining the gym, gaining the community and the friendships at the gym changed our whole world here. We just love you all so much!!

Thanks Joe, Kendra, and all of the Coaches who push me every day. You guys all have a little piece of my heart and motivation. ️️

Bethany H-Out 

Weightlifting Shoes: Should I buy a pair?

By: Ashley Henriques, Vida Integrated Health

Ah, shoes.  Throughout time shoe function has evolved from basic foot protection to highly researched wearable technology.  Companies promise improved performance via thermoplastic polyurethane foam, air cushion pockets, and microengineered flyknit. However, since the time of bellbottom jeans weightlifting shoes have not changed much in design.  When participating in CrossFit, it is common to see a variety of shoes, but what makes one shoe more superior than another? The goal of this blog is to give you some basic history and science concepts of how weightlifting shoes can possibly be of benefit.

We’re going back to the start…

Back in the early to mid 1900’s sneakers and boxing shoes were the rage for weightlifting competitions.  When the clean, jerk, and snatch technique first started to be tested in competitions lifters used the “splitter” technique to better receive the bar.  Thank goodness we do not lift like this besides a split jerk or else I would be really tempted to yell out SUPERSTAR when catching the bar!

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It was not until Pete and Jim George popularized the squatting technique that changed weightlifting as we know it.  The squat proved to be more efficient for moving and catching heavy weight, however the demands of this position were much different than the “splitter” technique.  To meet the new demands of the squat position, participants started experimenting with different types of footwear, which lead to the eventual birth of the weightlifting shoe.

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Differences of the weightlifting shoe – claims vs. research

The weightlifting shoe has several characteristics that make it stand out from the crowd, including a very firm and rigid sole, a raised heel, and extra support straps.  They are typically used for cleans, snatches, squats, and jerks. The major theories behind weightlifting shoes include:

1. Firm sole helps to improve force transfer between feet and the floor, thus less energy lost if you were to wear soft-soled running shoes.

2. Straps to help improve mid foot stability and control, meaning less foot sliding.

3. Heel lift helps improve squat depth and helps the athlete achieve upright posture.

What is not to love , right!?!?

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Research says hold on one second, Oprah.  

Research has been completed on a number of topics including force production, kinematics, muscle recruitment, weight distribution, back injury prevention, and like most topics the results are pretty mixed.  Research on this topic usually compares weight lifting shoes to barefoot or running shoes, and only slight improvements in upright torso, squat depth, and quad recruitment have been demonstrated.  Now, there are always limitations in research, especially with design constraints, we cannot hang our hat on research alone but I think it is safe to say buying weightlifting shoes will not automatically make you a better lifter.


If you really want to nerd out I would suggest watching this video which demonstrates the relationship between the torso, femur length, tibia length and how these lengths can influence how hard the hip vs. knee has to work against gravity.  At minute 4:40 the video explains very clearly how wearing a heel lift can set off a chain reaction to increase the demand at the knee vs. the hip.

Since weightlifting shoes will hypothetically increase the demand at the knee, if you have a history of meniscus issues, it is likely not the shoe for you.

So… how do I know it is right for me?

There are several factors to consider before taking the plunge to buy weightlifting shoes.  The reality is the decision to use weightlifting shoes is highly individualized due to mobility, stability, bony anatomy and personal preference.

1. Poor ankle mobility

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In the deepest part of the squat, the ankle needs to have a large amount of dorsiflexion (top of foot coming towards the front of the shin).  A quick and easy test to check yourself is to kneel facing a wall, place your fist against the wall, your toe against the other side of your fist, and see if you can easily touch your knee to the wall without your heel lifting up.  If you do have poor ankle mobility issues, lifters can help, but you better be working on improving that ankle motion anyway!!

2. You have difficulty keeping the torso upright and the barbell over the middle of the foot throughout the lift.

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If the ankles and hips have been ruled out for mobility concerns, excessive bending forward is usually caused by lack of control of the core / hip complex.  Depending on your bony anatomy, long femurs (the thigh bones) can also cause excessive bending forward. If you have a history of back issues, do not feel comfortable in a deep squat, have pinching in the front of the hips, it could be a good idea to wear lifters to keep a more upright trunk.

3. If you feel stronger, more confident in weightlifting shoes.  

Maybe your ankles, core, femurs are all just fine, but you are still curious.  Ask to try on a pair of shoes at the gym, or throw some 5# plates under your heels.   Do you feel more efficient with a squat? Do you feel more upright? Are you willing to spent $100-200 on an extra pair of shoes? Depending on your goals and how heavy you are aiming to lift, a pair of lifters can help you feel more confident with strength days.

Thanks for reading!  If you have mobility concerns or issues with technique, talk to your coaches or myself for drills that can help you improve.  If you have pain during or after lifts, consider making an appointment for a physical therapy evaluation to dive into why this may be occurring, and to learn how to modify lifts to keep you participating safely!

-Ashley Henriques

ashleyh@thinkvida.com

February Member of the Month

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Tell us about yourself! (family, occupation, hobbies, favorite foods, etc.)

I'm Sarah, I'm 27, and I'm a User Experience Researcher. I'm originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, but I've also lived in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and San Francisco. I'll hit my two-year mark in Seattle in May. I live with my 4-year-old greyhound, Ruby, in Capitol Hill. Outside of work and working out, my interests include fashion, podcasts, music, and reading. My favorite food of all time is a food from my childhood: Skyline chili.

What inspired you to start CrossFit?

I've always considered myself an athlete – I played soccer growing up and did some long-distance running in college and afterwards – but when I moved to Seattle in 2017, I didn't really make fitness or my health a priority. A friend of mine had been doing CrossFit in San Francisco for several years, and it had really transformed him, so last year I thought I would finally give it a try! And now I'm in love.

What are your fitness goals?

My goals are really just to get in the gym 4 times a week and don't get injured. I know if I show up and do the work, PRs and improvements will happen. Last year I had to take a few months off to heal some injuries, so improving my mobility and recovery has been really my biggest priority lately.

What do you enjoy most about Emerald City CrossFit?

The people! I'm sure everyone says that... but it's true. Everyone I've met since the day I joined has been kind, welcoming, and helpful.

What advice do you have for new members?

Don't be afraid to ask questions or get help if something is unclear.

What message do you have for your gym family?

Thanks for being so friendly and supportive! If y'all weren't so great, I might not have stuck with it.

March Member of the Month

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Tell us about yourself!

Hi! I was born and raised in the Seattle area, and wandered around the country and world until returning home for good in 2012.  My husband, Patric was born in Redmond and grew up on Maui before returning to Washington for college. Our son, Will, will turn 5 on July 4 and starts kindergarten this fall! Our family is completed by our goofy golden retriever, Monkey. My favorite foods are local summer berries, salmon, avocado, and I can't function without my morning coffee. I was basketball player until my early 20s, until a shoulder injury ended that abruptly. I turned to running, and in my 20s and 30s ran the Portland marathon four times. I love hiking or walking in the woods, live music, and camping all over our beautiful region.

What inspired you to start with the Women's Strength Program?

Like so many new mothers, my body changed dramatically during pregnancy and I wasn't prepared for any of it!  After a tough birth and C-Section, I was inactive for the first few years of my son's life. Weight gain made my knees angry we had done so much running in our previous life, and I had two meniscus repairs in three years, the last one in 2016. I was so afraid of pain and getting hurt again I stopped exercising altogether, but I knew I had to start gaining strength. And then I saw an ad for the first Women's Strength class at ECCF and I just knew I had to do it, as hard as it was to make those first few classes.  That was 13 months ago and it's one of the best decisions I have ever made.

What are your fitness goals?

I just want to be healthy and to feel my best, and of course to live a long life for me and my kiddo, etc.  I want to hike the Cascades again and go backpacking with my son. And I want to continue to develop my strength training practice so it's something I do for the rest of my life.

What do you enjoy most about Emerald City CrossFit?

First, of course, Coach Stephanie, who greeted me with open arms when I first started (my caterpillar phase).  Then the women with whom I have the pleasure to share that space three hours a week, and the true friendships that have blossomed have been a lovely surprise. The other coaches I have met seem great, and it's just a really positive and supportive atmosphere, while still kicking my butt!

What advice do you have for new members?

Go. Show up. Especially when you don't want to. The one truth that I believe we all agree on is that we always feel better after class than before. And we laugh. We have fun. We are doing something for ourselves, three hours a week just to better ourselves. I can't believe I've been coming regularly for over a year, and I would have never thought it possible.  So, just come with an open and judgment-free mind and let the magic happen.  There is NOBODY who can't do this!  

What message do you have for your gym family?

I know it's trite, but I just feel so much gratitude. So, thank you. Thank you for helping me feel like an athlete again. Thank you for the laughter, encouragement, and friendship. I feel so lucky