Congratulations to Matt and Kate Walas, our March Members of the Month! During this time of “Stay at Home”, they are regular members of our 6am Virtual WODs! Check out their interviews below, and enjoy our bonus content at the end!
What are your hobbies/interest/talents outside of CrossFit?
KW: I love vacation, escaping in a good book, being with our family and my friends.
MW: I love music and art. Music has always been a big part of my life. I’m sure the 6am crew can attest to this based on my musical selections when I’m lucky enough to win Trivia. I played trumpet all growing up and I am self-taught (i.e. not good) at guitar. Luckily my musical taste skews heavily towards punk-rock so I only have to know 3-4 chords to string a song together. My interest in art and photography lead me to a career as a graphic designer which I have been doing now for the last 20+ years.
Share with us one thing that most people do NOT know about you?
KW: I lost my little brother 11 years ago and felt like my “happy” bubble burst. I had to start there rebuilding who I was without my sibling and who I wanted to be for my parents and my own family. I have worked on that everyday since.
MW: I design all of the apparel for CFR (so hit me up if you have any creative ideas you think we should offer) and I have a pretty terrible “tribal” tattoo on my back that is a time capsule from the mid-90’s…I’m thankful it’s on my back and I don’t have to see it often.
How long have you been with us at CFR?
KW: One year in March.
MW: 7 years. I joined in 2013 and it was old-school back then. No Wodify, just a real white board that we would write our scores down on and I would track all my workouts and lifts in journals (which I still have).
Take us back to your first week here. How did you feel? Remember the workout?
KW: I felt super nervous, like I was in everyone’s way and like I never understood the coach’s explanation of the workouts; everything just felt so new. I don’t remember the workout.
MW: There was no on-ramp when I started and my very first workout was Karen. It was terrible. I scaled it down to a 14# WB and 125 wallballs…I couldn’t walk for days.
What moment/achievement are you most proud of at CFR?
KW: Recently figured out toes to bar and also just started feeling much more confident pushing myself toward increasing my weight in all exercises.
MW: I recently surprised myself and got my first bar muscle-up (and have gotten a few more since)! I’ve been attempting (although not specifically training) these for about 3-4 years, so that was pretty huge for me. I’ve also started kipping my TTB in workouts which have always been a struggle for me and would slow me down during workouts.
Design your perfect workout?
KW: Any cardio – running sprints, box jumps, burpees, squats. Although really trying to break out and like other movements.
MW: Some type of triplet with heavy cleans, box jumps and rowing.
What is your least favorite movement?
KW: Hated the yoke carry. But otherwise, I’m game for all movements.
MW: I have grown to appreciate all the movements we train. But I struggle the most with snatches, overhead squats and HSPU’s (which I don’t even do, lol).
Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
KW: health oriented, see things thru, get stuff done.
MW: busy – healthy – active – family-orientated
Have you experienced any changes in your lifestyle now that you have been a CrossFit athlete?
KW: I have loved to have CrossFit in common with Matt. It’s been fun for our family (and dog) to join workouts too. Henry really has grown in strength and assertiveness in his CFR kids class too. The nutrition challenge has been rewarding and has really helped me understand food for energy in a much different way. Last, love feeling part of this supportive community and making new friends with similar goals for being fit and healthy.
MW: CrossFit has shaped and changed my life in so many positive ways. It has brought our family closer together and become an activity that we can all share. Obviously the physical benefits are great but it’s really the tools I’ve developed to improve my self-confidence and overall mental-health that is so rewarding to me.
What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking about joining or who has recently joined?
KW: Coming from other (non-CrossFit) gyms, you will find this community to be very supportive and uniquely different. Plus, you will get in the best shape of your life – physically and mentally.
MW: I walked into this gym 7 years ago having zero experience with anything fitness related and it was the best thing I ever did. Our community is second-to-none and that is truy what sets us apart. I don’t think I would’ve kept showing up if it wasn’t for all the support and encouragement from our coaches and members and I am forever grateful for that. Consistency is key, just keep showing up even when everything feels foreign and awkward. Ask questions, work hard, encourage your fellow classmates and let the magic happen!
Bonus – The Newlywed Game!