Blog

22 posts

Fiona Cahill

I’m training for…

I’m training for a range of things like hiking and dancing but mostly to be able to run around on a field and chase a frisbee. I started class-training when I needed to rehab from a number of hip injuries a couple of years ago and it’s been a long but rewarding process since then.

What I do with Strive & Uplift is…

At Strive & Uplift I have been focusing on kettlebell and core classes, but I am looking forward to incorporating conditioning classes as well. I enjoy classes versus purely gym access because getting feedback from the coaches and trainers is key and there is a level of camaraderie and healthy competition that happens as well.

My favorite thing about training at Strive & Uplift is…

I have a number of favorites but one of my favorite things is it’s a women-owned and led gym and the community they have fostered is really supportive and fun to be a part of!

I’d like to share with everyone that…

Currently my favorite stretch is the 90/90 hip stretch and if you haven’t done it before, I highly recommend it! That and a nice cold beer are a great way to end the day 🙂


Aiza Abelon

I’m training for…

Climbing, ultimate, mountaineering, prehab, eating good food, and sleeping well.

What I do with Strive & Uplift is…

I pick things (and sometimes myself) up and put things down, sometimes I swing them around. Whatever Coach Bertle tells me to do because she knows what I want to accomplish. You’ll also see me cuddling with the RenFitness pups, particularly Coach Kira’s pup, Pickle. If I don’t say hi to you immediately when Pickle is around, there are reasons. I’m mainly there for gym access and to volunteer services for Strive and Uplift.

My favorite thing about training at Strive & Uplift is…

It’s tough to pick a favorite. I love that it’s a woman-owned business and I have the coaching I need to have a great workout towards my long term goals. It’s a different ambience at Strive and Uplift where you can get your workout done but should you also want it, hang out with awesome individuals. Additionally, having the space to host events like Brain Talents and Dangerously Talented Fridays is another service I truly appreciate. TLDR; Pickle.

I’d like to share with everyone that…

I’m going to go with 2 things:

  1. Coach Ren is a mentor of mine since 2014. She changed the way I approach strength training in a way that I’ve reduced the number of overuse injuries, something that has plagued me since my competitive badminton days. I am much stronger overall because of the programming and coaching I’ve received at Strive and Uplift.
  2. I host Brain Talents at Strive and Uplift a couple times a way. Brain Talents is an event to hear about thoughts, passions, ideas your fellow ultimate friends have off the field. Think TEDx style. If you’re interested in sharing a topic with a captive audience, feel free to reach out to me.


Pat Holland


I’m training for… 
Ultimate! I use the strength and conditioning I get from RenFitness to become the best player I can be.

What I do with RenFitness is…I take courses in addition to gym access. I love the courses because I’ve always had difficulty keeping up my strength training when I’m designing my own workouts. I felt like I never knew what to do or how to do it, but with programming from knowledgeable coaches, I don’t have that problem. I use the gym access to do the “homework” workouts and some additional rehabbing/PT when I need to.

My favorite thing about training at RenFitness is…I like how knowledgeable the coaches are. Even if you’re not in a course at the moment, they’re always around to help in a very friendly way. You can’t beat the community, and it’s a great space to host an event or fundraiser.

I’d like to share with everyone that…I have won a professional football championship (ask me about it sometime)

Tim Everson

I’m training… and working on technique for the Olympic lifts: snatch and clean and jerk. My focus for the summer is to learn the movements and to build overall strength. I enjoy the challenge of learning something new and want to get better at CrossFit-style workouts. All of that carries over to being better at the outdoor activities I love in the PNW. Also, my wife is a super strong powerlifter so I want to be able to keep up with her!

What I do with RenFitness is… use the gym access. The space is great, lots of open space and the right equipment you need to get stronger without the extras that get in the way at other gyms. RenFitness is one of the few gyms that allow you to do Olympic lifting movements, including using chalk and dropping the weight to the ground, which is important for safety when the bar gets heavier.

My favorite thing about training with RenFitness is… There is so much to like about RenFitness! I like the open warehouse space and fresh air in the summertime, I like the people and the friendly vibes, with dogs and families at the gym, and I like seeing the variety of stuff other members are doing, from powerlifting, kettlebells, prehab/rehab, sports-specific work, and more. It gives me ideas of movements to improve on and its a great atmosphere to train in. Of course, being able to use chalk and Olympic lift is a big plus!

I’d like to share with everyone that… I am originally from the Philly area but have lived in Ballard for the past 9 years. I have totally bought into the outdoors culture in Seattle. I have climbed Rainier, St Helens, and Adams and hope to tackle Baker in the next year or two. I also plan to start backcountry skiing this winter. Training at RenFitness helps with all these goals!

Jennie Struijk

I’m training for… I’m training for the next half of my life! I want it to be full of fun, health, and action.

What I do with RenFitness is… I’ve been trying most things since I started! Having a few personal training sessions with Ren got me set up with a plan of action and the confidence to follow it. I’m also taking the lifting courses, which have been really helpful for learning how to structure my solo gym time.

And I keep signing up for classes, clinics and small-group training in addition to the above because I’m meeting the most fun people to work out with! My last gym didn’t ever click as far as developing a group of informal gym buddies, but that’s a big part of the RF experience.

My favorite thing about training at RenFitness is… I love the community feeling – it’s easy to get to the gym when you are looking forward to the people you’ll see there. I also adore the big, open space and all the equipment – it never feels claustrophobic or competitive in the gym.

I’d like to share with everyone that… When I’m not in the gym I LOVE to swim in the open-water around Seattle – there’s an informal group of all levels that swims every Saturday at 9:30am from the Alki Bathhouse if you’d ever like to join – and NO, you don’t need a wetsuit (though it’s of course fine if you prefer one).

Alyssa Kelly

I’m training for… My motivation to train is a combination of for ultimate and because feeling strong and capable in daily life is incredible. I love that the things I am doing at the gym are working both toward short-term goals (like this season’s athletic performance or recovering from an injury) and my long-term quality of life. There is a ton of reinforcement in society that girls and women should depend on male figures for various tasks, and it is the best feeling to know that my friends and I have the physical and mental strength to accomplish what we need without assigning gender to the pre-requisites.

What I do with RenFitness is… I use the gym access pass, sincerely because the classes and courses I’ve taken here have given me the education and foundation to do my own workouts! Women’s lifting night was a catalyst in helping me feel comfortable to focus on form rather than feeling like I had to prove something. After that, I tried a ton of different classes and courses. The most impactful for me was Core Strength & Stability. It made me realize that despite being extremely athletic, I had a lot to learn about my body and to re-train from decades of miseducation.

I also participate in the educational clinics (mental training, prehab, concussions) usually as a participant, but as a speaker too! The instructors have been excellent at providing really tangible methods of utilizing the information they are presenting.

My favorite thing about training at RenFitness is… That I feel invested in as an individual. The amount that Bert, Kira, and Ren invest in every single member’s improvement is unequivocal. They display it by checking in, cheering on, offering tips, and individual attention in the classes/courses. Even when I was coming in to stationary bike while concussed, I felt like they were in it with me throughout recovery. Feeling worth that extra high-five, form correction,  or personalized explanation of how something will be helpful is seriously what makes me so excited to come in to this gym.

I’d like to share with everyone …  Donate to AGE UP!

Alex Pecoraro

I’m training for…I like to work out primarily to maintain my athletic ability so that I can continue to participate in my favorite sports, which include Ultimate, skiing, golfing, football, basketball, child wrangling, which involves running after my four year old as he races away on his scooter, and gymnastics or at least trying to keep up with my daughter’s gymnastics skills. I also work out for stress relief and to counteract the negative effects of spending most of my day typing stuff into a computer.

What I do with RenFitness is… attend classes and work out on my own.

My favorite thing about training at RenFitness is… I like all the unique, interesting, and extremely effective movements Ren, Bert, and Kira come up with. I also like having the turf, I don’t know of any other local gym that has a mini playing field devoted to half the gym. There’s so many cool drills you can do on it! I really like pushing the sled and doing quickness drills with the quickness ladder. So in short I’d say my favorite thing about RenFitness is how unique it is.

I’d like to share with everyone that… I feel so grateful to have found a gym that fits me and my goals so well and will help me to continue doing the things I love, like playing Ultimate! Fun fact: I used to have some amazing blond locks that flowed liked fountains of gold… Ok perhaps that’s a bit of exaggeration, but I did used to have a full head of blond hair. Oh the good old days 🙂

Sabreen Lakhani

I’m training to… be more badass and more strong. I initially started training because I wanted to lose weight. That mindset has drastically changed. I’m now trying to gain weight and take up more space and just in general be more strong. The current numbers I’m chasing: 315lb deadlift, 225lb squat, 145lb bench press. One day I’d like to compete in a powerlifting competition, but I first want to get the goal numbers. Oh, the non-serious goal: get the biceps to cosplay as Gaston next year.

What I do with RenFitness is… gym access. I love bumper plates. My previous gym did not have bumper plates so I couldn’t lift from the floor. Being able to drop weights and not feel bad about it is lovely.

My favorite thing about training with RenFitness is… the people are real great and it’s real friendly. And I have always been able to get a rack when I want one.

I’d like to share with everyone that… I have 2 cats, Batman and Ra’s Al Floof. My favorite thing about lifting that has bleeded into my everyday life is that you learn a lot when you fail and it is okay to fail. You take the plates off, strengthen the weak point, and then try again another day.

Carl Richmond

I’m training for…club season Ultimate. This is my first time having access to a more competitive scene! I want to challenge myself to be the best player I can, and see what I can do!

What I do with RenFitness is…I have a gym access membership and I participate in Goaltimate league as well. While at the gym, I lift according to an offseason training program. The accessibility of the weights and other tools I need is better at RenFitness. Normally, I feel like an outsider in the weight rooms I have used, but at RenFitness I feel welcomed by those around me (patrons and staff)!

My favorite thing about training at RenFitness is…I appreciate that the gym has community events within the Ultimate scene, and that there is a culture embedded into the space.

I love having access to the turf, even beyond Goaltimate! If my routine involves sprints, or even if I just want to throw with another member, it is wonderful having access to the space! Sometime I just use it to roll around with the local pups!

I’d like to share with everyone that…I scrub toilets left handed to improve my lefty throws!

Maya Smorodinsky

I’m training for… myself. Yes, I still play ultimate, and yes I am training to run fast and cut well and jump (period) BUT there’s something incredibly compelling and potent about making your body powerful just for yourself. This is not a concept that has often been available to women, athletes or not — to own my body, to make it for myself, and to do that by lifting heavy things is, let’s face it, a radical act. I train to empower myself both mentally and physically. I train to keep myself healthy and fit for the long haul. I train because I like lifting things and throwing them, too.

What I do with RenFitness is…I take early morning classes at RenFitness and sometimes I drop-in for an evening class or gym access. Morning classes are my jam — they make me pumped and ready to face the day. I have more positive energy on gym days, and the more I come in, the longer that positive energy lasts. For someone who only started lifting a few years ago, classes are a perfect place for me to learn new things without fear or intimidation, so I’m learning a lot more and getting stronger at a faster pace than before. The combination of strength/agility/mobility works well for me, and I like the ability to move between kettlebells and the bar.

My favorite thing about training at RenFitness is…The coaching staff and personal attention for sure keeps me coming back. I take classes because Ren, Bert, and Kira approach training holistically — they don’t just focus on form, but also body mechanics in general and whatever body stuff you have going on personally. You can’t find that kind of attention (and memory!) at another gym. With their teaching methods I am also able to take my new knowledge home with me and confidently lift in other spaces. The attentiveness to power dynamics, gender and race equity, and social justice is a huge pull for me as well. Athletic spaces are not a-political and it’s great that the gym consciously and actively addresses this. And morning dance parties are awesome!

I’d like to share with everyone that…Something we should repeat over and over to ourselves: it’s never too late. This is not fake news y’all! Trying new stuff is hard but so rewarding. I baked a loaf of bread — arguably the easiest food — for the first time in December and granted it came out hard as a rock, but I did it! Sí se puede!