Our Members of the Month for February are Katie Forde and Sean Swetz! 

Katie

katie

*Where are you originally from and where do you live now?
I am a product of many places. Born in Boston; raised in Waterbury and Simsbury, CT; spent every summer of my childhood in Popponesset, Cape Cod; went to Stonehill College and lived in Galway, Ireland for a semester; traveled west after graduation and settled into the beaches of San Diego for four glorious years (where I fell in love with Mike Forde!); and now we are firmly rooted back in Dedham.

*Where/when do you workout?  And what’s your favorite part of being a member of CRAIC?
I am a die-hard fan of the 9:00 a.m. at the D. There is something very special about that class. It is a workout, therapy session, and support group all rolled into one.  And, it is full of some bad-ass women! They inspire me to show up and try hard.

However, sometimes I will sneak into the 4:30…talk about a bunch of bad-asses! Wow.

*Anything interesting you’d like to share about yourself (job/hobbies/fun facts/family, etc.)?
I once snuck back-stage at a Wu-Tang concert at the L.A. House of Blues and “hung out” with Chris Rock and Method Man.

My uncle is the guy from Dumb and Dumber that says, “Kick his ass, Seabass!”

I am currently living a commuting dream. My office is in Dedham Square, across the street from Craic and (cooler than any other fact) is that I get to work with Anthony!

*Your proudest accomplishment(s) in training so far are…
Hands down, the ½ marathon row.

Also, pretty sure I heard Jarrod call me a beast on the rower the other day…that’s a good thing, right?

*Some current training goals are…
All of them! I just want to keep getting stronger, increase my cardio stamina and be more flexible.

A magical pull-up one day would be cool too.

*What’s the best advice you have in six words (or less)?  You may submit multiple answers.  For example, “You can always take another step.”  Or, “Bring your weather to the picnic.”  Or, “Remember, french fries are gluten free.”
“It’s better to be positive.” Words I try to live by.

*Do you have any questions you’d like to ask the coaches or the members?
Eh, I ask questions in class. I’d rather take this opportunity to thank all of the coaches for creating such a positive environment and for taking the time to help each one of us in such a personal way. You have a great thing going and I feel very lucky to be a part of it.

*Based on your experience at Craic, what advice do you have for new members or people who are looking to join the gym?
It’s not a cult!

When people ask if I like Crossfit I tell them that after two years of listening to Mike talk about how awesome “his gym” was, once I started doing it, I had to apologize to him for all the times I rolled my eyes behind his back. It really is awesome! And, it’s the coaches and members that make it so.

*This month’s question is:  What’s a life experience that taught you an unexpected lesson (that you can share)?
Well, this is an easy one…almost a year ago I was told I needed to have open-heart surgery to replace a defective heart valve. Talk about unexpected!

The whole experience taught me so many lessons, it is hard to choose just one. Here are some that left a lasting impression:
1.            Listen to your body and trust your intuition.
2.           Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor if you feel something is wrong. It is better to know what you are dealing with than to let your imagination run wild.
3.           Meditation is great for anxiety (see #2 above).
4.           Recovery was challenging, but I exceeded my doctor’s expectations, thanks in large part to Craic. All those squats helped me get out of bed only hours after surgery and the nurses had to tell me to slow down as I practiced walking down the halls.
5.           Most importantly, when faced with my own mortality, the only thing that mattered to me leading up to the surgery was spending time with my loved ones. Don’t wait until it is too late to tell someone you love them!

*What do the coaches say about Katie?
Katie’s dedication to her recovery and getting back to the gym after surgery was amazing.  She took it slowly at the beginning and has ramped things up progressively over the past few months; she took each step one at a time and let the process or healing happen.  It’s been pretty incredible to watch, and be a part of, her journey.  The half marathon row really pointed out how far she’s come!  Katie is also one of the kindest humans around; she has nice things to say about everything and is always smiling.  Whether she knows it or not, we see Katie as a role model for all of us.  When life gives you a hardship, you deal with it in the best ways you can, and we’ve seen Katie flourish in this process.  Keep it up!


Swetz

sean

*Where are you originally from and where do you live now?
I was born in Pittsburgh, grew up in Rhode Island and now I live in East Walpole, within a mile of a couple other Craic members!

*Where/when do you workout?  And what’s your favorite part of being a member of CRAIC?
I attend the Morningwood class at 6AM in Norwood, which is the best! I know everyone says their class is the best, but switching to the 6AM was a game changer for me. The people at 6AM are top notch.
There is nothing better than getting the hardest part of your day out of the way first thing in the morning, and the people that attend that class are so motivational to be around. Everyone always has a smile on their face and laughing. It’s my favorite part of the day.

*Anything interesting you’d like to share about yourself (job/hobbies/fun facts/family, etc.)?
I’m pretty basic, so nothing too exciting. I am getting married in September in Las Vegas, and I’m in the midst of planning a wedding. I also adopted a puppy this year, so if anyone ever wants a doggy play date, I’m always up for it!

*Your proudest accomplishment(s) in training so far are…
Honestly, not hurting myself. I came to Craic after a pretty nasty neck surgery and there are things I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do again. The scaling options, great coaching, and all the great mobility tools at the gym have been really great for me. One of my favorite PRs was Fran under 5 minutes. Before coming to Craic I was doing Fran over 10 minutes with banded pullups.

*Some current training goals are…
I’m currently on the tail end of a strength program. My 2018 goal is to reach a 300lb Back Squat and doing this program on the side has been really great! I’m also looking forward to completing another Open this year. Also working on my mobility has become a part-time job, so I’m going to continue with that in hopes of one day PRing my Snatch.

*What’s the best advice you have in six words (or less)?  You may submit multiple answers.  For example, “You can always take another step.”  Or, “Bring your weather to the picnic.”  Or, “Remember, french fries are gluten free.”
“There’s always something new to learn.”
“Yes, you should join the Open!”

*Do you have any questions you’d like to ask the coaches or the members?
Could we get some more playlists with some Taylor Swift? (kidding…kind of)
Also are we going to get a Season 2 of the podcasts? They always made my Monday mornings better!

*Based on your experience at Craic, what advice do you have for new members or people who are looking to join the gym?
Since it’s Open season…if you’ve never done the Open here, absolutely do them (and try to do RX)! I’ve been a member at other gyms, but no one does the Open like Craic. It’s basically a big party every Saturday. They are so much fun, and you’d be surprised with what you can do. And say Hi to people! I spent a long time as a new member being afraid to talk to people or go to other classes than my norm. It can be intimating at first, but I’ve learned that basically every single person at the gym is awesome.

*This month’s question is:  What’s a life experience that taught you an unexpected lesson (that you can share)?
I started a new job a little over 6 months ago which was completely outside of my industry and in the beginning every day seemed terrifying.
After a few months, I started to learn that people are capable of much more than they think they are and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is really the best thing you can do for yourself.

*What do the coaches say about Sean?
Sean came to us as a transfer from another local gym.  We’re so glad that after shopping around that he decided Craic would be his new fitness home.  He’s become a integral part of the Morning Wood 6am crew.    Sean is always spending the time after class to work on his mobility and his weaknesses; he’s also really good at recognizing when he should be working on his personal goals as opposed to joining class.  Sean loves when we play T. Swift and hates when we make him run during the Olympics 😉  Sean, we love having you here and watching you crush it!  Your progress has been exceptional!

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