Member(s) of the Month!
Team Brass Rings
In honor of the up and coming Paleo Challenge, September’s Member(s) of the Month is Team Brass Rings (BRian + kASSie = BRASS; RIchardson + INGalls = RINGs)! These wonderful teammates have cheered each other on through not just one but two paleo challenges in the last year! Individually, Kassie and Brian are extraordinary additions to the CWCF family. Ready to cheer on anyone, both Kassie and Brian are extremely hard workers, striving for that next PR or benchmark. Congratulations Team BR!
Kassie: Kassie (short for Kathryn, at least according to my family), Kass, KK, Sassy, Sass, Khaki (Yep another one! Leftover from when my niece couldn’t pronounce ‘S’–), Kassandra, K-Dawg, Kit Kat, Kass the Lass, and Kassafrass
Brian: Most commonly used, but not at the gym, would probably be “bojangles.” Given by a former coworker while playing ultimate frisbee.
Kassie: Airmont, VA
Brian: Grew up in Danbury, CT, but have considered “Camberville” my home ever since my parents sold my childhood home and moved into an RV.
What brought you to CWCF?
Kassie: I moved to the Boston area in January 2012 and had been ‘shopping around’ for an affiliate. (I started out going just for a couple of months to CrossFit Center City, in Philadelphia– a great place, if you’re in the area– before moving here.) Toward the end of January, my boyfriend found CWCF online. When I emailed Brian B. to see if I could drop by for a class, it turned out that he had gone to college with Erin, the owner at CFCC, and that she had inspired him to open his own gym, no less– seemed meant to be!
Brian: I did some casual Crossfit with some coworkers a while ago, but, after leaving that job, I didn’t really do anything for a while. About a year later, when my wife came across a poster on a light pole outside Porter Square, I was happy to join a real Crossfit gym within walking distance of my home.
How long have you been Crossfitting?
Kassie: Almost 2 years
Brian: Officially since January 2012 (about 18 months). As mentioned above, I dabbled unofficially for about a year before that.
What do you do out in the real world?
Kassie: I make a living as a development researcher at Boston University, which means in short that I help the school find money. I am also a musician. And in general I try to not be a jerk.
Brian: During the day, I sit at a desk doing web development for an online marketing company. In the evenings, I am preparing for my first child (due Sept 18th). With my free time, I play video games, ultimate frisbee, and enjoy running (when my ankles aren’t acting up like they are now).
Kassie: Overhead squat (loving this lift gives me hope that I will improve on its more complicated relative, the snatch)
Brian: Clean & Jerk
Kassie: Nancy (two of my favorite things– running and overhead squats!)
Brian: The easy answer here is Grace, but I think the WOD I have enjoyed the most is Opens WOD 12.4/13.3. The one with 150 Wallballs, 90 Double-Unders, and 30 Muscle-Ups. Between 2012 and 2013, I improved from barely finishing the wallballs, to getting through all the double-unders with about 20 seconds to spare. My goal before the next Opens is to do this workout and be able to get at least one muscle-up (hopefully more than one).
Who is your favorite superhero?
Kassie: My mom. And Diana Nyad– I mean, who doesn’t think she’s a superhero right now?!
Brian: Having grown up reading comic books, I will take this one literally. My favorite hero is probably the Flash. I’ve always wanted to be fast, but I like that his “secret identity” isn’t really secret. Everyone knows who he is, but he still lives like a normal guy doing good because he can. I also like that he has a community of “speedsters” that are always there to support him when he needs it.
What is your greatest achievement in the gym so far?
Kassie: Getting my first dead-hang pull-up was huge. Being able to literally pull up my body weight felt (and still feels) incredible. In a broader sense, just being more grateful for what my body can do is something I consider an accomplishment– CrossFit has really helped me to keep that in mind, and encourages me to have a more positive relationship with my body.
Brian: When my squat snatch got above my power snatch, I felt like I had finally figured out the lift. Taking the time to gain form and flexibility in the lift really paid off.
Kassie: People who stand up for what they believe in and make themselves vulnerable motivate and inspire me (there are, of course, exceptions– fascists, for example). Also, it may sound corny and possibly somewhat pretentious, but just being alive motivates me. It’s easy to forget, but the fact that I even exist is incredible. I have to remind myself of this on a regular basis, but yeah, just being alive with all my faculties in tact is motivation. The older I get, the more aware I become of that.
Brian: Seeing other people get better inspires me to get better. Whether it’s the veterans breaking their PRs with insane amounts of weight, or watching the newbies do their first WOD after on-ramp. Everyone at the gym that works as hard as they can pushes me and hopefully I can push them back. We are all there as a community helping each other.
What is 1 short term and 1 long term goal?
Kassie: In the short-term I would really like to get kipping pull-ups. In the long-term, I’d love to accomplish more body weight stuff, like a freestanding handstand, walking on my hands, etc. Outside of CrossFit, short-term I would like to be on the internet less, and long-term I would like to be able to do math on command more quickly. [Editor’s note: everyone start shouting math problems at Kassie while she’s overhead squatting!]
Brian: My short term goal is to find time to come to the gym at least a couple times a week after my baby is born (sorry I keep bringing that up, it’s kinda on my mind at the moment). Medium term, I want to get a muscle-up. Long term, I want my son to tell the truth when he says his dad can beat up all the other kid’s dads (not that I would, of course).
What’s your best tip for the new members?
Kassie: Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Brian: (several tips, sorry) Take your time and stick with it. I don’t know what your original goal was for joining the gym, but it will change as you do more and figure out your abilities. Take the time to work on form before loading a ton of weight on the bar. There is absolutely no shame in scaling weight for workouts, and sometimes it’s better to do a lower weight if it will help you finish more reps in a workout. Have fun!
Anything else to add?
Kassie: This is such a wonderful community. We come from all different kinds of backgrounds, but we have this one really specific (some would say wacko) thing that binds us. I love that. I think it’s opened up a lot of doors for me mentally, and helps me stay open-minded– thanks y’all.
Brian: Make friends at the gym. Even if it’s just a casual gym friendship, it’s nice to have people to bond with before, after and during workouts. If you know what people are working on or where they are, it makes it easier to encourage them when they need it. That also goes both ways. When you are struggling, it’s nice to have those people that know where you are and why you may be struggling with a lift or movement.