The Weekly Dose of Awesome

I have to admit that when I first met Sachin and heard the magical words: "I'm an Orthopedic Surgery Resident" I fell in CrossFit-Love and was infatuated with the prospect of having an in house expert with whom I can geek out on musculoskeletal anatomy and physiology. While I've thoroughly enjoyed doing that, that is not the main thing that excites me about Sachin becoming a part of our community. Sachin definitely puts in the work in class but he can also regularly be found "paying the man" in the back working on skills & technique. For many of us, its easy to cherry pick workouts that play to our strengths and overly work on the things we need to work on the least. Sachin's focus on virtuosity and addressing his weaker areas in the back is the best antidote to this.

In addition to bringing the right approach and mentality to working out at UB, Sachin also brings the right mentality to our community. In spite of having a very stressful job, he can almost always be found with a positive attitude and a smile on his face. In just the short time he's been a member, he's become quite a visible member of our community and is always eager to meet new members of the gym.I've already seen significant improvement in Sachin and looking forward to seeing them continue and the Black Mambas are lucky to have him on their team.


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  • Name: Sachin Allahabadi

  • Nickname / Alter Ego: I also go by “Sach”

  • Hometown: Glendora, CA (suburb of Los Angeles near Pasadena, CA)

  • Occupation: UCSF Orthopaedic Surgery resident – I am in my first year of a 5-year residency right now (after 4 years of medical school), which will be followed by at least one year of fellowship subspecialty training (perhaps in sports medicine, but we will see!).

  • When did you first start CrossFitting/Strength Training?: I grew up playing basketball and played in high school and on the club team in college. As club season in college was ending in my senior year, I was looking for new ways to train and stay in shape that I could sustain in medical school. At that time, I was in an advanced exercise physiology course where we read literature on the benefits of multi sport training, which got me really into triathlon. From senior year of college through the 3rd year of medical school, I largely focused on triathlon training. To balance the long endurance work, I also did bodyweight bootcamp-style workouts. In fact, I also got certified as a personal trainer during medical school and led group fitness workouts in a local park and at the university gym. I noticed that in triathlon I was always a weak biker, so I joined CrossFit at the end of my 3rd year of medical school as a way to hope I would get more leg strength and endurance to race at a higher level. At CrossFit Central Houston, I absolutely loved the community, the coaches, and being on the other side of group fitness. My 4th year medical school schedule with lots of travel for rotations and interviews didn’t allow me to consistently get back into CrossFit until February 2017, but since then I’ve been pretty consistent over the last year.

  • When did you first start CrossFitting/Strength Training at UB?: I moved to San Francisco in June 2017 for my residency. In my housing search, I looked for places close to gyms and CrossFit boxes so I could have plenty of options, and loved the location of UB being so close to some of the hospitals and read great reviews online. I actually came to UB the same day I arrived in SF (literally within 5 hours) and dropped in for a workout. I waited 2-3 months to get in a rhythm of residency and did workouts on my own at the university gym, and then joined UB when I missed the community aspect of training too much.

  • Favorite WOD: I love longer WODs because I tend to be better at endurance workouts than sprints, and I also am better at workouts with non-barbell movements. I love rowing, double-unders, pull-ups, wallballs, burpees, muscle-ups of all sorts, box jumps, and rope climbs. I’ve recently gotten better at handstand push-ups which I am excited about. I really enjoy barbell movements too, but I am still working a lot on my barbell skills.

  • Least favorite WOD: I don’t really have a “least favorite” WOD and that’s why I love CrossFit, but I am significantly weaker at overhead and pressing movements than I am at others. So any workout with push jerks or push presses for example, even if amidst other movements I’m good at, will significantly slow me down and tank the rest of my workout. I’m actively trying to work on my overhead strength and overhead mobility daily, in addition to proficiency and efficiency in my Olympic lifts. Overhead mobility, core strength, and posture are so key to my work that I think of training these aspects as priority even if not for improving my workout times. I hate the Assault Bike, but I have this awful part of me that will always choose it if it’s an option :)

  • Favorite workout track: Anything REALLY LOUD with a heavy bass or drum with a quick beat.

  • Least favorite workout track: Even really soft, slower songs can be nice at the gym sometimes when doing technique work or recovery/mobility.

  • How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? As someone always reading about exercise online, it was hard to not hear about it. I think my initial exposure was related to “CrossFit fails” where it showed people overdoing movements they weren’t trained in or not listening to their body and getting injured. However, like any sport, if you have good coaching like we do at UB, you invest the time to understand what you are doing and practice good form, know your current level and limits, and listen to your body, you can easily do CrossFit (or any sport) safely. After enough exposure over a few years, seeing the results people were getting, and leading similar bodyweight bootcamp workouts myself, I thought it would be beneficial to try CrossFit to improve my strength and power, especially as a supplement to triathlon training. I haven’t looked back since. Despite my residency hours being demanding (working multiple 28-hr shifts in the hospital a week), I believe I am currently the most fit I have ever been.

  • What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? I’ve always been into fitness and exercise. Even when I was younger (elementary school) I have books on how to improve sports performance that I would have my parents get me at the bookstore. I majored in Bioengineering and Kinesiology/Sports Medicine in college so I could learn more about movement and performance. Pretty much my whole life my interests have been in sport/exercise and the musculoskeletal system. I hardly know anything about the real world outside of those things… Given that my work and residency is incredibly busy, getting really into CrossFit has probably made me even more unidimensional than I already was since all I do now is work, eat, sleep, and either do or read about CrossFit! But CrossFit and having a community of people around me who care similarly about their health has been fantastic. It’s a great outlet away from studying and hospital life. It gives me something to look forward to each day when I’m either leaving the hospital or waking up after recovering from a call shift. I get so stoked to see the next day’s workout and to see the friends I have made at the box. I have become much more aware of my body and my movement, breathing, posture, and nutrition. I am constantly thinking about how to prep myself for the next workout to get better. I have aspirations to join physician & surgeon communities who support CrossFit and want to try and incorporate some of these principles into my practice with my patients. In April, I am SO excited I have the unique opportunity to go to a Level I training seminar for physicians only with Greg Glassman at the CrossFit Ranch in Aromas, CA. I believe if you can teach people how to move well and understand their body, exercise, nutrition, and health, we can not only combat many chronic and largely-preventable diseases, but we can also significantly reduce injury rates in those pursuing exercise (whether via CrossFit or not), from elite athletes to those just starting to workout.

  • What would be your favorite cheat meal and favorite "good" meal? I have a lot of dietary restrictions based both on preference and my body that fortunately lean me towards eating healthy in general at baseline. I love bowls with foods like sweet potatoes, a variety of green veggies, avocados, carrots, and chicken. I am always also in the mood for fajitas and of course Indian curries. The most difficulty I have with eating is when I have long call shifts and binge in the middle of the night, or long surgeries when I might not eat or drink for hours.  My biggest weakness is dessert, and more specifically, my kryptonite is definitely chocolate. I actually can’t recall a single time I have ever turned down anything with chocolate in it… Also I am a huge fan of gummy bears and funfetti cake…

 

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The Weekly Dose of Awesome

Nearly 6 years have passed since this man's original awesome acknowledgement. Like a fine wine, some of us improve with age, and this is certainly the case for Andrew. You will recognize him by the giant smile on his face as he walks through the doors of UB. Andrew will be the first one to invite you to partner for a WOD, and the loudest cheerleader as you finish the last grueling reps of your workout. Don't be fooled by his silver hair, Andrew is a bright-eyed kid at heart, filled with fresh perspective and curiosity. Since the beginning, he has been an active participant in all things UB, from The House Cup, to local team competitions, and holiday parties. A better man, you could not have on your team. If you don't know Andrew, you should. Your day will be a little sunnier for it. 

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Name: Andrew W.

Nickname / Alter Ego: oh… so many. For the purposes of UB, Silverback. 

Hometown:  Montreal Canada, calice! 

Occupation: Propagandist

When did you first start CrossFitting? Considering the skill level i have, way too long ago. It's got to be over 6 years now...

Favorite Movements: Anything in moderation (but nothing in CrossFit is moderate). 

Least favorite Movements: Anything in excess (but nothing in CrossFit is excessive).

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit?  About 8 years ago I crashed a motorcycle and suffered a spinal injury. Before the accident I was in terrible shape: i wasn’t exercising, i was out partying most nights and i was overweight. 9 weeks of bed rest acted as a sort of detox (no alcohol with pain killers and lots of fresh food) and i lost 15 pounds. At the same time, the spinal surgeon wasn’t sure about how the injury would effect motor functions. Rather than leave things to chance I decided to start exercising with the dual goals of skiing that winter and giving myself the best chance i could of recovery long term. 

In researching exercise programs I saw some crossfit videos which immediately elicited the response of “that’s-insane-I-could-never-do-that!"

About 6 months of hard work later I thought “that looks like fun. i CAN do that!"

What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? When I started crossfit I noticed that my performance in any workout was significantly worse if i smoked within 2 hours before the workout. So I started planning cigarettes around my workout. Which meant i was ending meetings early, coming to them late or doing all sorts of other compensatory behaviors to make that cigarette happen. 

It was disruptive and something needed to change. So, after 20+ years with never any desire to quit, I willingly quit smoking. 

So - CrossFit changed my priorities which led to forming new habits (exercise) that replaced old ones (smoking)

What is your next goal? In fitness? In Life? As I get older and creakier, my workouts need to change. I’m starting focus much more on mobility and metabolic conditioning and less on moving maximum weight. 

What inspires you? Everybody. People are freaking amazing. 

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What question do you wish you were asked more often and what is the answer? I prefer to ask the questions. But I never get to show this photo, so…

What’s your secret talent? I can pick out a Canadian out of a crowd. 

What is your biggest phobia? Snakes. So being a Mamba in the house cup last year is ironic, no? 

Pick a superpower? Mind reading. But en masse…like whole populations. The collective conscious (I’m a propagandist, remember). 

What is the first song in your favorite playlist right now? Ain’t talking ‘bout love - Van Halen

What is your favorite meal?
Steak. A really well cooked steak. 

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

The Weekly Dose of Awesome

If you've been consistently coming to UB over the year, you've likely seen more and more of this week's long overdue awesome, Sally Chou! Sally is a long time UB member who recently started getting deeper into the CrossFit and olympic lifting world. If you've attended any of our Thursday night Oly classes, you've likely seen Sally there, working on her clean technique and laughing a ton. She is one of those rare athletes who is able to keep things light and fun while really focusing on her technique, and she's constantly coming back for more - it's great to see such awesome!

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Name: Sally Chou
Nickname / Alter Ego: Sal, Sals
Hometown: Milpitas, CA
Occupation: Mobile User Acquisition Manager at NexonM
When did you first start CrossFitting?: I went to my first 1x1 onramp sometime in 2013 at CrossFit Burlingame and the head coach made me do the WOD “Grace” aka 30 clean and jerks on the same day I actually learned how to do clean and jerks... AND a 2k row after that. I was definitely not hooked.
When did you first start CrossFitting at UB?: I finally took a second chance at CrossFit again in April 2014 when work moved up to SF with the UB sign in plain view of my building. I’ve also been on limited membership (10 classes per month!) until only 2 months ago. It was about time...
Favorite WOD: Anything with rowing, pull ups, snatches, box jumps or a nice combo or all of the above.
Least favorite WOD: Anything with running and burpees. I’m inefficient at both and usually scale my weights if either is involved cause I’ll be overly out of breath after doing either movement. Working on it though!
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit?: I’ve been a competitive paddler for 10 years now. I was training on the national team for a couple years (2013-2015) and really needed to bring my fitness to the next level off the water. My paddling coach had a CrossFit background and before we got on the water, we would do stuff like learn OH squats, toes to bar, or do a simple WOD like Cindy where I would get absolutely destroyed. I thought I was pretty fit so naturally I was curious to learn more. Most of my teammates did powerlifting in the gym but explosive strength training (snatch/cleans) seemed more relevant to me as a sprint paddler than raw strength training (bench/press/deadlift).
What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? (1) I became more of an athlete rather than just being a “crossFitter” or a “paddler”. I’ve learned a lot about sleep, nutrition timing and intake, and being mentally strong. (2) My perception of beauty in women also changed a lot through the year. Although it’s sometimes frustrating that strong-bodied women are still looked down upon even in my group of friends, I enjoy redefining beauty standards and the stereotypes of lifting for them.
What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?  ... Some insight into my mind:
“When was Chuck E Cheese founded”
“Is the adams apple a bone or cartilage”
“How many calories are in a cronut hole”
“Bay area flesh eating bacteria oysters"
What’s your secret talent?
I’m really good at selfies, to the point where I’ve been dubbed the name “Sallfie”
Me @ world champs with US, CA, AU!

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The Weekly Dose of Awesome

Warren is a guy whom, if you are not familiar with him, you should add getting to know him to your list of New Year resolutions. Whether in class, or grinding it out during open gym in between classes and finals, he is always giving his best, always looking to improve and get better. Where as some people may shy away from feedback or being watched and critiqued on their movements, Warren seeks it out and strives to get better. No matter what the workout is, even if its his least favorite movement of running, he always has a can do attitude and attacks it head on. While may seem shy at first, once you crack that shell you'll realize what a great addition to our community he is! He has a head down and hard work mentality that motivates me and I hope will come to motivate you as well!

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Name: Warren S.

Nickname: Sheffy

Hometown: Tokyo, Japan

Occupation: FireFighter for Fresno Air National guard and Part-time  Sales associate for Macy's Union Square

When did you first start Crossfitting: I started crossfit in March of 2017

When did you first start Crossfitting at UB: September of 2017

Favorite WOD: I don't think i have any favorite WOD, I guess anything that would put me to work i would say

Least favorite WOD: My least favorite WOD is anything that has running in it.

How did you first get exposed to crossfit: I didn't care much about my health and did not workout out for 1 year. When it was time to take my PT test i was in the worst shape i have ever been in years and i actually failed it miserable. So i told myself that i did not want to feel this way again, I started to go back to the gym but this time it was to a crossfit it help me get back into shape and pass my PT test. After that I was hook because of all the support you get after the workout

What is an unexpected way Crossfit has affected your life: Growing up i was such an introvert just wanting to be left alone, With crossfit it help me with my confidence and pushed me to come out of my shell. Im really grateful for that and met a lot of amazing people because of it.

What is the first song in your favorite playlist right now: Born Free by Kid Rock is the first song of my playlist and it is actually the first song that i listen to, to start off my day.

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The Weekly Dose of Awesome

What makes this week's dose so awesome?  Is it her can-do attitude?  Perhaps it's that you can find her cheering someone on mid-WOD despite the being rounds deep in her own workout?  Maybe it is her willingness to throw down and participate in a competition?  Or is it the fact that she knows your name, even thought she has only been a member for 4 months and only met you once? Maybe it's just that she has the coolest pups ever? ... All of this is just the tip of the iceberg for this lady. Whittney is just that awesome.

Whittney joined UB last fall after a month of trying out the UB community.  While she seemed shy in our initial conversations, it didn't take long to see that we were gaining a friendly and fierce beastess.  She quickly made herself a staple of the Level 2 class as well as the greater community, striking the balance between practicing virtuosity and striving for new athletic prowess.  I am both grateful to see her face in the gym and excited to watch her grow as an athlete.   

Thanks for choosing us, Whitney... we shine a little brighter with you on team UB!

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Name: Whittney T.
Nickname / Alter Ego: “Whitt” or “Pokey” – short for Pocahontas (long-story)
Hometown: Foster City, California (The Bay!)
Occupation: Program Manager, Corporate Partnerships at TechSoup (I work with tech companies to make technology more accessible to nonprofits around the world.)
When did you first start CrossFitting?: I tried it for the first time in Spring 2015 at CrossFit Ballston in Arlington, Virginia and then became a full member in September 2015 at CrossFit Balance in Washington, DC
When did you first start CrossFitting at UB? September 2017!
Favorite WOD: I like most of the “Girls” and “New Girls” WODs, but 12 Days of Christmas is probably my favorite as this past holiday season at UB. I love all the variations that the rep scheme can take and I had the most fun doing it for the first time this year – first with the morning crew and then with the weekend crew!
Least favorite WOD: I didn’t like the Open 17.3 workout with increasing snatches because I was stuck at #135! So frustrating!
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? I was bored with my normal gym workout/group training and one of my best friends in grad school convinced me to tag along with him after we graduated in the summer of 2015!
What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? Working out has always been a
constructive way for me to decompress, but after the November 2016 election I felt the most anxious and stressed than ever before. CrossFit was really the only place that I really could let go of those daily concerns, be present, and just work hard and have fun with my fit friends.
What’s your secret talent? My best friend says I can make conversation and befriend a doorknob...I love meeting and getting to know new people all the time!
What is your biggest phobia? Getting injured…just kidding (sort of)…I’m not sure I have a phobia, but I am pretty dedicated to keeping in touch with friends and family around the world just in case something happens unexpectedly.

What inspires you?

  • For fitness inspiration - I am constantly inspired by how people of all shapes, ages, and fitness levels can come in, do the same workout, cheer each other on, and create a community no matter where we are from or what type of day we are having.
  • For life inspiration – I lived in East Africa for a year and then lived abroad for another year in the Middle East and Asia so those experiences constantly remind me to make the most out of every day and appreciate our relationships and resources. As an example, the fact that we have free clean water throughout (most of) the United States is incredibly fortunate and that level of development here inspires me on a daily basis to work hard and continue to find ways to make our communities and world more equitable.
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What’s your next goal in fitness? In life?

  • Fitness goal – To invest in our UB community by getting involved in the House Cup and really compete in the Open. Last year I was just getting serious about CrossFit, but also was traveling to China in the middle of it so I did it just for completion. This year, I really want to give it my all and see how I do.... I also want to be in good enough shape to have fun with our UB team at Tough Mudder in March and to complete an 11-mile race in April with my girlfriends.
  • Life goal – I want to to slow life down a bit, invest in quality time with friends/family, and prioritize sleep more.
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The Last Awesome of 2017

Today is the last awesome of the year - so please excuse my sentimentality.   We were open for WODding 365 days, hosted an fantastic House Cup and Ultimate Lift off, welcomed 3 fabulous new faces to our stellar coaching staff, celebrated the nuptials of Coach Steve, and helped 11 new parents train and prepare for a new baby! After all of that, we want you to know that we think you, every one of you, are our awesome.

Nothing makes us more proud than to see the progress you are all making from day to day.   Whether it is pounds lost, strength gained, better stamina, improved flexibility, etc., you all continue to show up, give it your everything, and leave it all on the floor.   It is an absolute pleasure helping you reach your goals, and I know I can speak for all the UB team when I say we think we have the best community of people around.   We couldn't be more excited to be a part of it... and it's only going to get stronger - in every sense of the word - in 2018!   Happy early new year everyone - cheers to all the awesome to come!

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The Weekly Dose of Awesome

Whether he is shaking hands and offering high fives in greeting, or getting after a WOD, our man of the week is all smiles. But don't let that fool you, while Julio has a great attitude, he's also dogged about his goals. In fact, since finding his CrossFit groove, he is down 27 pounds and is steadily checking off a solid list of fitness goals.  Julio is the kind of man who knows the fitness fight is never over.

Where does his diligence come from?  Julio's motivation is his zest for life. He knows his fitness will lay the foundation for a spontaneous, eventful one filled with possibility... so he goes after it full force. In my book, that makes this guy pure awesome.

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Name: Julio

Nickname / Alter Ego: Juicy J

Hometown: Salem, MA (15 miles from Boston)

Occupation: Process Improvement Manager at Facebook

When did you first start CrossFitting?: Fall 2015 for about 1 month

When did you first start CrossFitting at UB?: August 2016 – handful of drop-ins at UB...August 2017 – full on UB member

Favorite WOD: Cindy. Also anything with HSPU, rowing or push presses.

 Least favorite WOD: Anything involving pistols or heavy snatches. Mobility isn’t exactly my forte.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? A former Manager was/is a part-time CrossFit coach in LA.  He dragged me to a few class in 2015 in Houston while we were working on a project. I enjoyed it, but once that project ended, so did CrossFit.  Months later, I picked it back up at NorCal CrossFit in San Jose, but it wasn’t until this summer at UB that things got real.

What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? In general, CrossFit has brought more order and focus to several aspects of my life. Putting in about 5 WODs/week has not only led to real results, but also encouraged me to sleep more and eat right. I’ve tried to be more efficient at work, as well as enjoy my time away from work with more intention. Thank you, CrossFit (**infomercial voice**)!

What’s your secret talent? Literally talent-less. No seriously.

What is your biggest phobia? Heights. It’s pretty bad. I even have trouble being around others standing in precarious positions during hikes, at rooftop bars, or watching those crazy videos on Facebook where people jump from rooftop to rooftop…I feel sick just writing this.

What are you currently working on/what are your goals?

  •  Pistols. I hate you. I will conquer you.
  • Ring Muscle-ups. Really haven’t put the time in to practice my kip. Going for it in 2018.
  • Back Squat. 1RM is far behind others in my peer group. Going to start a 5x5 program over the Holiday break.
  • The Open. I’ve never done it. This it’s the year.

What inspires you? Watching others persevere through their own adversity. Reminds me to complain less, work harder and be grateful for what I have.

What’s your next goal in life? Travel more. Some of the most memorable moments in my life are a result of my travels. 21 countries down and next up – Peru and Mexico. Hawaii is also my 2nd home (not literally…yet ). If you are planning on going and want tips, let me know!

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The Weekly Dose of Awesome

The stuff we do in the gym can be intimidating. Think back to your first days of CrossFit and the wide eyes you had at what people were doing. This week's Awesome had that look... for a minute :-) But at some point that look changed to "I'm gonna do that." Kristina isn't afraid of her weaknesses; she sees them as an opportunity. That's the kind of Awesome that gives me goosebumps. A busy job doesn't keep her from getting in her Barbell WOD, even if it's on her own before class. Friday night mobility, personal training sessions... whatever it takes. Then workouts come up that ARE in her wheelhouse, like 17.1, and the wide eyes are pointed at her. Get to know a bit about this bold, fierce, determined athlete:

Name: Kristina Dahlberg
Nickname / Alter Ego: Dahlbeezy or Xtina
Hometown: Vashon Island, Washington
Occupation: Accounting at Atlassian
When did you first start CrossFitting? 2016
When did you first start CrossFitting at UB? 2016
Favorite WOD: I like those long terrible ones that you think there is no way you'll get through. Like filthy fifty. You feel so accomplished afterwards.
Least favorite WOD: probably HSPUs and running. 
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? I always thought of myself as unathletic and purposely avoided any group fitness activities... I had a friend who loved CrossFit though and I decided it'd be good for me to face my fears, get over it and just go.
What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? There are points in a WOD when you don't think you can get through but you're able to draw on something deep and keep going. This has taught me that my biggest limitation is my mind and my mentality rather than my true physical ability.
What’s your favorite sport, if any?  Are there any sports with dogs? Dog sledding?
What’s one goal you have for this year, physical or non-physical? Looks like I'm going to have to roll over the pull-up goal to next year but I did succeed in getting my scuba diving license!
If you could be any super hero, who would you be? Mystique - the ability to impersonate anyone would be extremely handy. Though unlikely to be used for good.
If you could spend an evening with any person, living or dead, who would it be and why? Alan Turing comes to mind... he seems super interesting and had a really rough ending. I'd love to tell the guy hey you'll be exonerated someday.

The Weekly Dose of Awesome

It’s not every day that I see a transfer from another box with a way of being that tugs on my soul.  This yogi has an incredible contagious smile that is genuine all of the time.  When I first had her in my class, I knew UB was lucky to have welcomed her to San Francisco as I saw her cheering for other members whom she had just met for the first time without needing any reminders or encouragement to do so.  She’s also attended a number of local competitions to cheer our athletes on with her incredible spirit and positivity.  In this interview you’ll learn about what commitment means to her and how she hammers away at something until she gets the result she wants.  I’m sure this mentality shows up in many other areas of her life.  I am filled with gratitude to have the honor and privilege of highlighting… the one… the only… Kim!

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Name: Kim

Hometown: Boston, MA

Occupation: Relationship Manager for State State Street Global Advisors

When did you first start CrossFitting? April 2016

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit?  I had been curious about CrossFit for a while but, as a yogi, didn’t think the two could coexist (turns out they are the perfect compliment).  My roommate in Boston convinced me to sign up for a month long onramp at CrossFit Southie and I was hooked after the first movement and enamored by the energy and athleticism of the community in Southie.

Favorite WOD:  12 days of Christmas and the hero WOD “Wood,” which was my first real WOD after my onramp. We strolled into the box and this kid Jason looked at us and was like “umm did you even look at the WOD before you came?! It’s a hero WOD” (insert genuinely concerned emoji). I’ve done it now three times (it was “coincidentally” my going away WOD from Southie) and from there on out it’s been a personal benchmark.

Least Favorite WOD:  Anything that is a sub 8 minute sprint (a la Diane or Fran). I’d much rather a 30 minute chipper.

What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life?  I can’t imagine my life without the friends I have made at CrossFit and the community that pushes me past my expectations every time (unless I’m sandbagging it)  

What made you realize UB was the right CrossFit home for you? I dropped in to a Wednesday night class with Nikki and happened to catch Jenny there. Her energy, excitement, and knowledge had me hooked.  When she said that a pillar of UB is family, I knew it was the place for me. The structure of the classes, the community, the coaches, and the toaster out back (Gill knows what I’m talking about) reminded me so much of my old box and knew it was the fit fam I wanted to be a part of.

What kind of activity or work do you do that really lights you up and makes you feel alive on the inside?  Surfing and skiing

What’s your definition of greatness?  An unwavering commitment to your craft/passions, continuous curiosity for improvement, and the selflessness to share with others. I realize that’s a super deep definition haha... I should have given a warning that I’m currently in Nosara, Costa Rica for my 4th yoga and surfing retreat with Rolf Gates and Richard Schmidt, who are both two of the greatest in their crafts and I had a chance to reflect on this question after an epic day in the surf.  Rolf (my yoga teacher, mentor, and acclaimed author) and Richard Schmidt (who is one of the greatest big wave surfers and one of the first to surf Mavericks) both exude the qualities of that definition. I have found that the UB community, coaches and athletes alike, also fall into that definition and continue to inspire me.

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What’s something incredible that became possible for you?  My first pull-up!! Turns out lat strength is critical for them... 🤦🏻‍♀️. Shout out to Christopher C, who spent countless extra hours at UB with me out back after WODs coaching me to my goal through targeted ancillary work, Instagram videos, and straight up just making me jump on the bar and give it some (failed) pulls.  Also shout out to Coach Max and Sam who witnessed all those failed pull-ups but continuously cheered me on and finally called “it’s good!” for my first pull-up (pictured here).