Swolemates

27 posts

Dana Riley Black

Image of Dana with her family, standing and smiling with a very tall person in a Chewbacca costume.

What are you training for?

I’m simply training to be fit and healthy.

When I was younger I was an athlete – I loved being fit and competing. However as I’ve grown older I’ve encountered a number of injuries due to genetics (degenerative) as well as overuse.  As a result I have engaged in a good deal of rehabilitation / physical therapy.  My most recent PT suggested I try S&U and I’m glad I did because the S&U staff and community have been incredibly welcoming and thoughtful about what I need for my body (there is no generic workout at S&U).

What do you do with Strive & Uplift?

I started with personal training sessions and then became a regular Sunday Move and Groover.  Just before Covid I started taking some weekday evening classes, and now with Covid and the Zoom options, I will take pretty much any class that is available when my schedule is free — Body Weight Flow, Light/Heavy, Pilates . . . I think with the Zoom options I’ve actually become stronger during Covid than I would trying to make it to the gym for classes. For the first time in a long while my body is starting to feel “even”.

What’s your favorite thing about training with Strive & Uplift?

Each coach is fabulous in her own way, and all are knowledgeable and welcoming.  Particularly during Covid I have appreciated the S&U community – the check-ins are wonderful, and its fun to see people in their “real lives”.

What’s one thing you want to share with the gym community?

Not sure that I have a fun fact, except I would like to have a Dr. Fauci action figure.

For my own inspiration, I continually seek insights to help me keep growing (in all aspects of life), insights like this Mister Roger’s quote “often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else”.

Kirsten Rogers

Image of Kirsten and her dog on a paddleboard in the water, both looking toward the camera. Kirsten is smiling and we can only assume the dog is, too!
Arya and I out for an adventure. It was her first time on the board and she loved it.

What are you training for? For my mental health. After two miscarriages about a year apart, I felt like my body wasn’t mine anymore. The mind/body connection of training gives me peace and power through my emotional and physical recovery. 

What do you do with Strive & Uplift? While I only became a member recently – for the online classes – I volunteered at a few puppy yoga sessions. I look forward to puppy yoga is the near-ish future. I love pilates and bodyweight sessions. 

What’s your favorite thing about training with Strive & Uplift? Bessie. Just joking. It’s the team members. They are kind, compassionate, and have built something unique and special.  I’ve never felt like I “fit in” with gym culture. At past facilities, I was self-conscious and insure. At Strive & Uplift, it’s nothing but genuine encouragement, affirmations, and celebration.   

What’s one thing you want to share with the gym community? Wear a mask and vote. For the people you love and the people you’ll meet one day. We’re in this together and we’ll strive and survive together.  

Sue Sheldon

What are you training for?
I started training in order to overcome a LOOOONG history of arthritis by gaining and retaining enough muscle to support my joints.  Then in mid February my back did something awful to me.  The Rehab folks told me it was because my hip muscles aren’t strong, and when that happens you force your back to do their work.  And then disaster.  So now I’m working on regaining lost muscle, and developing mobility and strength in my hips and legs. This work represents my self-care for the rest of my life!  Gotta maintain!

What do you do with Strive & Uplift?
Actually, S&U rescued Jon’s TRX classes when we lost our home, so I started just being a rescue, doing TRX.  But I was watching the coaches here.  When Covid struck, I started participating in Virtual Pilates and Virtual Core Mobility, just to give them a try.  I’d never done them before, but quarantine gives you the opportunity to try all kinds of new things.  These classes were so helpful in achieving what I need.  I appreciate that the coaches are paying attention to what you are doing (or not doing) which is not always the case in other places I’ve worked out.

What’s your favorite thing about training with Strive & Uplift?
Favorite:  coaching
Second Favorite:  community

What’s one thing you want to share with the gym community?
I think people don’t realize that you are never too old to change directions, or try something different and discard it. It’s not a big deal.  I’m still looking longingly at Bungee aerobics classes, but…

Sarra Scherb

What are you training for?
To challenge myself and see what’s possible! I’ve never played sports or considered myself athletic or fit. Through S&U I’ve discovered that I enjoy competing with myself and seeing how much stronger and more able I can become. It’s also allowed me to rock climb, hike, backpack, and even carry around artwork (my day job) with more confidence and power.

What do you do with Strive & Uplift?
Weightlifting and Pilates are my jam. I have never done any of these activities elsewhere, but color me obsessed.

What’s your favorite thing about training with Strive & Uplift?
I’ve never taken gym classes before training with S&U, so it’s a total eye-opener to suddenly want to work hard and become a bad-ass. Fitness has always been synonymous with competition, punishment and aggressiveness in my mind, and what a revelation that it can be approached from a different angle. Every coach at S&U presents these activities with a playful, friendly, joyful, and caring demeanor, and that is a wonderful spirit in which to try new things.

What’s one thing you want to share with the gym community?
In 2019 I challenged myself to do 5,000 push-ups. In 2020 I’ve doubled the goal to 10,000. This week, I decided to push it to 15,000–because why the heck not?

Daniel “Peaches” Walton

What are you training for?
Right now, I’m training to get back in shape for ultimate after multiple injuries (Achilles tendonitis, turf toe). But I’m also working out just to stay sane during these challenging times.

What do you do with Strive & Uplift?
Right now I’m doing the Midday Movement class every weekday and the Training for Ultimate class Thursday/Saturday. I have the unlimited pass and I love being able to do as many of these virtual classes as I can. It’s so easy to just turn on my computer and get a quick 30 min weekday workout in.

What’s your favorite thing about training with Strive & Uplift?
I love the community. Since I can’t go out and visit with people in person, it’s great to be able to check in with friends virtually. Seeing everyone’s smiling face–even over Zoom–reminds me we are all in this together right now.
Also, I gotta give a shoutout to the programming. The workouts are thoughtfully structured to keep me balanced and injury-free, which is a big priority for me. Having ultimate-specific programming is a huge. I can feel the improvement in my ability to sprint, pivot, and change direction when I’m playing.

What’s one thing you want to share with the gym community?
My wife and I just welcomed twin girls Alice and Laura to our family a month ago! We are so excited to have them, and so is our eldest, Julia (3 years old). Having less free time reminds me to prioritize the things that matter in life. For me those are family, health, and happiness.

Kass Escalera

What are you training for… I’ve been living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for two years. After my diagnosis, I realized I can’t predict the future or the state my body might be in a week, a month or a year from now. With that mindset, I shifted my focus on getting as strong as I can, for as long as I can.

What do you do with Strive & Uplift is… Primarily lifting heavy things and then putting them down. But I’ve also attended some of Strive & Uplift’s special classes (e.g. Powerlifting Meets 101) and interested in learning more about how y’all move that kettlebell around like that.

What’s your favorite thing about training with Strive & Uplift is… It’s an incredibly positive space. The coaches will always greet + chat with you—which is especially awesome if you’re new to the gym. As a QPOC, having that inclusive community is super important for me.

What’s one thing you want to share with the gym community… You are strong + you got this! 

Image of Julie Smith smiling and holding a puppy in front of the memorial mural at Strive & Uplift.

Julie Smith

What are you training for… I am training for myself. I’ve never been athletic and I struggled to find workouts I felt good about and could commit to.

What do you do with Strive & Uplift is… I take as many classes as I can! Lifting, barbell, Move and Groove, Pilates. I needed to learn how to safely move my body and these classes have helped build my strength and my motivation! Now I find myself using the equipment with confidence.  Each of the classes let me explore a different way of incorporating weights and strength training into my workouts. Having the coaches there ensures I’m giving it my all and doing a workout that has been thoughtfully created for us to get the most out of our bodies.

What’s your favorite thing about training with Strive & Uplift is… The coaches and community have kept me coming back. It was amazing to walk into a gym and feel seen and respected.  The puppies aren’t a bad touch either.

Lindsey Dvorak

What are you training for… I am training to help keep my body strong and healthy so that I can keep up with my hobbies and job. I enjoy training martial arts with Seattle Mixed Martial Arts Collective and have a somewhat physical job doing longshore work. I had a lower back injury before training at Strive & Uplift, and believe the holistically focused classes have helped to strengthen my core and body to prevent this injury from cropping back up.

What do you do with Strive & Uplift is… Lift for Life and Move & Groove are my most frequented classes, and I have also enjoyed each of the other classes I have tried so far. I appreciate the mobility component of the L4L class because it has never been a frequent aspect of my trainings at other places. When training on my own, I have never added these types of exercises due to my own lack of knowledge, but I am so thankful for Liz’s knowledge of it all!

What’s your favorite thing about training with Strive & Uplift is… I love the coaching at Strive & Uplift. The care each coach puts into the members, space, and all aspects of the gym is so noticeable. I have also enjoyed getting to know other members of the community. It’s awesome how everyone celebrates successes and hard work.

What’s one thing you want to share with the gym community… Thanks to everyone I’ve been able to train with in classes for the high fives and sharing fun facts about yourself during the daily questions. A fun fact about me that sometimes surprises people is that I am a longshore worker down at the ports. Grateful for those of you have encouraged me to be stronger and healthier for my job and life in general. 

Image of Susan hiking through the Pacific Northwest above the trees and the clouds. Susan has on a backpack and is looking at the camera and smiling.

Susan Goldman

What I’m training for… I wandered in one day looking for a group to workout with and found a community.  In general, I’m training to remain safely engaged in the activities I love to do and to find more strength and confidence. Gardening (tree trimming, weed whacking, weeding, planting, building garden beds), my job as a school nurse, fulfilling my dreams of hiking more challenging, remote areas, traveling and dancing Hula all motivate me in my training. Each movement in each class is an opportunity to hone my focus and my mental, physical and emotional strength.

What I do with Strive & Uplift is… So far I’ve focused on attending all the classes I can.  There have been huge benefits to attending the classes versus solely working out at home.  All the coaches do an amazing job of monitoring each person for form. The benefits from each class have been maximized by the feedback and the modifications that allow us to get the benefit of the movement while reducing risk of injury.  The personal attention to each of us creates a welcome and nurturing environment that I love to enter every day that I can. Each coach seems truly happy to see me and I feel cared for as an individual. This is a big draw for someone as shy as me. The consistency and purposeful intention of the workouts across the classes is helpful.  I feel comfortable being myself and doing what I need to do to accomplish my goals. I’ve never felt intimidated by the gym itself or the people even though I had never touched a barbell previously. 

My favorite thing about training with Strive & Uplift is… Here are a just few of my favorite things about Strive and Uplift.  The coaches: positive, knowledgable, kind, engaged! The wide range of equipment from Pilates to weight lifting to kettlebells and much more-even rings and a rope to dangle from.   The variety of classes and times. The COMMUNITY!

What’s one thing you want to share with the gym community? Never Thank you to everyone I’ve met and worked with since I showed up here about 6 weeks ago.  You have all become an important participant in the dance of my life. I see more clearly every day how I can only do my dance and we can all do our own dance and grow within communities of supportive loving people like I found here.     

Image of Rory using the rower in the gym.

Rory Coyne

What are you training for… When I began training at S&U, I was training to row a marathon. I completed that on May 4th (~3 hours 17 mins). Now I strength train for general health and fitness.

What do you do with Strive & Uplift is… I do open gym usage in combination with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

What’s your favorite thing about training with Strive & Uplift is… My favorite thing about training here is easy access to equipment and availability to work and home. 

What’s one thing you want to share with the gym community? Never set limits for yourself. Instead, focus on fulfilling short and long-term goals on your journey to better fitness or performance.