The Weekly Dose of Awesome: Farewell Addition

We interrupt our normal awesome delivery to share some news: one of our ambassadors of awesome has found herself an new opportunity in Chicago and is leaving us. 

Ester is the kind of teammate who shows up, both in and out of the gym.  Need a run buddy at a 12-hour run-a-thon?  She's there.  Need some tough love cheering mid-WOD?  There.   Want to go out for a bite and decompress?  Ester's on it.  Since joining UB, Ester quickly made herself at home and a part of the community while simultaneously putting in the work to become the best version of herself.  Even in the face of a ski accident leading to surgery, Ester found a way to maintain her momentum and did what she could to keep her spirits up. 

Ester is inspiring and a beloved member of the community.  Lady, you will be missed!  Visit us often and good luck on your next adventure! 

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Where you are headed?

So, a business opportunity has come up which will have me travel all through South America and the Caribbeans for potentially the next 2 years.

In order to not get too tan (yes that actually does happen) and getting used to the sun and fun, my company has me moving to Chicago to have an eye on me, while in the states (or maybe my client is just headquartered there - what ever I need to tell myself to make this worth leaving y'all).

Anyhow, I am sad to be leaving but excited about my new adventure.

What have been some favorite moments with UB?

I don't even know where to start... but I'll try to paint the picture right:

3. Four days after my surgery earlier this year, I came into UB to get some fitness in (yes, all the sit-down fitness!!!) and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for all the support from each one of you. No matter if it was helping me setup my little workout station in front of the Skierg or the rack (aka a box, a barbell, DBs or what ever I could workout with sitting down), ideas for new exercises or a comforting hug.

If people say, it is the little things that matter, I totally agree. All those little moments and gestures helped me to get up every day, not feeling sorry for myself, and take one day at the time and kick ass at it. Believe me, there were plenty of times I just wanted to stay home, do nothing, maybe cry a little and eat shitty food, but the thought of seeing you guys at the gym made me get up and out every.single.day. (my surgeon and PT may have seen this as a bad thing, but well... never been good at following the rules.)

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2. A few days, weeks, months later, a few pounds lighter (yes, there was some post-injury-feeling-sorry-for-myself-almond-croissants), I finally got back into taking some crossfit classes (I kept myself away from them as long as I could because I did see myself overdoing it because I just cant help myself once that clock is running...) and then...

All the happiness, the smiles, and excitement of all the coaches and you fellow athletes to have me back at it was overwhelming. I know I'm loud, I yell like a crazy person, and I'm sure the one or the other of you gets terrible annoyed at me for it - but just know, I don't do it on purpose, its just who I am I guess - at my age, one just gotta accept the person we are :) haha... and I guess all of you too :) (sorry!) (Also I am an Ambassador of Awesome so I can pretty much do what ever the hell I want at UB! :))

1. 17.5...! after 22:something minutes, and I was still alive. I remember signing up for a heat and was TERRIFIED because I picked the heat with all the top notch bad asses and I knew I have to hurry the hell up if I don't want to be the last one having to finish up these 1389 Snatches and 34027 double unders (I think those numbers felt pretty accurate). I just got my double unders a couple of weeks before and was determined to go RX, and I did. i faced the window, so I couldn't see anyone else (kicking my butt), arranged my teal-mamba-ubstrong-tutu and got after it.

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I remember hearing more and more of you guys cheering me on while the torture went on. I heard someone scream to pop my hips on those snatches, someone was complimenting my tutu, and many were willing to help my awesome judge counting my reps. I'm telling you, if it wasn't for each one of you I wouldn't have been able to leave it all out there on the floor and make it to the great moment of relieve to having finished the open, dropping to the floor and still being able to beg for someone to hand me my water bottle... It may have not looked like it but this was probably one of the proudest moments in my life! :)

What will you miss about your UB family?

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For who ever has made it as far as this question, I think its pretty clear what you guys mean to me.

I may have moved here for a job a couple of years ago, but I stayed because of you.

If there was one thing that could keep me from moving away it is my UB family - my home away from home.

What has been your greatest fitness achievement while at UB? 

I don't want to sound boring but I'll have to go with nutrition. I started with RP inspired by some fellow athletes and it was super successful for me. I became a total nutrition nerd in the past couple of years and I am loving it. I have always been an ambitious cook of healthy food but getting the science behind it was life changing. Yes, it also is a negative sometime to know too much, but I think I am finally finding the balance to make this successful and fun. And, I am eating more than I ever have before, I am stronger than I ever though I'd be and I feel simply amazing. (In case one of you is on the verge of trying out some nutrition experiments and needs some motivation).

What's next for you in fitness/sport?  Life?

What a stupid question... SKIING :)... after 10.25 months since my (skiing)injury, I only have 1.5 months left until I am officially cleared to get back to what I love the most. :) And as the above may let you guess, I will be likely breaking that rule by a day or two and will enjoy my beloved Swiss Alps at there best when I go there end of February for a quick vacation.

Anything would you like to say to your gym rivals/buddies?

I am trying to crunch the days and work travel back and forth to somehow make it to at least one open workout at UB because I still can't believe I can't help to defend our title this year and suffer along side you guys. (For now it looks like my open workouts will be performed in Switzerland, Chicago, Colombia, Costa Rica and... maybe/hopefully SF...)

What I'd like to say to all of you, from the bottom of my heart is: thank you!

Thank you for taking me in, helping me grow, being my home away from home, encouraging me to go beyond what I thought was possible, helping me heal after I felt broken, making me try new (fitness) things, letting me yell at you in workouts and just being amazing coaches, co-work-out-ers and friends.

And, you better hit me up when in Chicago, I have already started to benchmark all Crossfit gyms in town to be sure I'll be residing close to the very (very) best.

I’m sorry for not telling you guys in person but I just didn’t know how... also, I do not believe in “Goodbye’s” rather in, see you soon and stay awesome. ;)

I love you guys