I came to Solcana as a photographer. I responded to a request to shoot a throwdown. I knew that Crossfit was an exercise program with a reputation for getting people into exceptional shape, and what I saw at the competition put that athleticism on display. I was sold. I wanted to be in exceptional shape.
I came to Solcana as an ultra runner. I run for a long time, for a long way, very, very slowly. I wanted to fix that last part so that I could finish some races that were out of my reach. I wanted to finish the Superior 100. I still want to finish the Superior 100. When I started, I was coming off of a season where I only completed two out of five races, having failed to finish my first two 100 mile attempts. I was pretty defeated, and I was looking for a way to train without just putting on excessive miles. I wanted to shore up my overall strength, to get stronger, to reduce my injuries, and to be more complete.
I came to Solcana undernourished. I did not expect to start eating more. I had been eating mostly the right things for years, but not nearly enough. I have been eating vegetarian since September of 2000, but I really wasn’t getting enough carbs, protein, or calories. Working with weights helped me to confront some of the demons that running allowed me to ignore. Honestly, lifting weights didn’t leave me any choice but to eat more food and more protein. I am bigger, stronger, more coordinated, healthier, and more complete now than I was when I started.
I came to Solcana with a limited set of movements. My hips and hamstrings were in knots. My hips and hamstrings are still in knots. My arms were not strong. My arms are stronger now. I enjoy the things that I can do, like handstand pushups and the occasional chest-to-bar. I can snatch more that I thought I would, and my legs have so much more to give. I love the challenge of that ridiculous movement. I am getting the hang of some other things, like double-unders and toes-to-bar. I would still love to learn proper deadlift form, but that will come with work, dedication, and time. I believe in my ability to make progress.
I am so grateful to have this space and this community now, as we live in resistance. I love having a place to get physically stronger while being surrounded by people who stand together against the dark side. I love seeing gym friends at political actions and in photos when I get home from a protest. I love that there is this welcoming community that engages people on their individual strengths, but is fundamentally attached to a vision of social justice.
I am beyond excited to begin working with athletes at Solcana as a coach, and to work with people on endurance fitness and goals. I have found such peace for myself in trail running. I hope to help people who are new to the discipline to identify what works for them, just as I hope to work through fine-tuning and adjustments with endurance veterans. I cannot wait to share what I’ve learned, and to learn from athletes in return.
Thank you so much to everyone who contributes to Solcana. It means the world to me.