January Athletes of the Month: Kira Hasbargen and Mike Grewe
This month we have something special to announce here at Solcana..... *drum roll*..........
THE 1000 CLASS CLUB!
We have two athletes, Kira and Mike, who have surpassed this incredible accomplishment during their years at Solcana. They are such dedicated athletes and we wanted to honor them this month!!
They both live in the neighborhood in sweet Seward houses. Mike has two kitties and Kira has two pups! Kira works for the city of Minneapolis and Mike for Augsburg University, both managing teams helping it make their communities better.
Staying motivated is not an easy feat, so here is what helped them. Kira says, "It was the community, an innate drive to stay active, and living four blocks from the gym that helped me stay motivated. When I joined Solcana in 2016, there was Womens/Trans/Femme class that had a die hard, amazing, funny crew that helped me ease into #gymlife. Shortly after that, I was luckily enough to be on an amazing Solcana Open team. It's funny because I actually wasn't going to participate because the prospect of a team fitness thing and someone watching me workout to count my reps brought up really weird feelings. The support of my Open team and other gym members was palpable and really shaped how I wanted to show up in the space that is Solcana." Mike adds, "The biggest thing for me has been how friendly the people are at Solcana. Prior to coming to Solcana, I don't think I had ever weightlifted. I had never even done a pull-up. The supportive community helped encourage me to do movements I had never done before."
The coaches had nothing short of incredible things to say about our two members of the 1000 class club.
Coach Amanda says, "Kira's tenacious attitude is what makes her such a treat to have in class. I know that whenever I have a question about a workout or need some brainstorming to trouble shoot a Solcana specific problem, Kira is my go to partner in crime. I love having her around because shes genuine + super tough + really strong. Mike is a perfect combination of competitive and supportive. We recently had a partner workout, where he was setting the pace but never once left his partner in the dust. I love having him in class because of that. He's a joy to coach and I know he will happily be my, “Vanna Mike” if I need to demo movements."
Coach Amelia has some great comments as well, "Mike is so fun to watch work out! He commits 100%, always pushing himself to go fast and heavy. He’s dedicated to tracking his progress and giving it his all. Even during lockdown times Mikes attendance was amazing, tuning in to zoom classes almost daily and hanging out to cheer on everyone who inevitably finished after him. Who chews gum while AMRAPing? A powerhouse of an athlete who follows her own rules, that’s who. Kira pushes herself so hard, but also never hesitates in modifying a workout to work with where her body is that day or week. She has a contagious enthusiasm that will get others to sign up for a competition or meet, or chase her during a regular daily work out. She is playful and blunt, organized, thoughtful and smart. Her question of the day answers are “pass” or an immediate strong opinion, either way I laugh. She’s a true friend I can call to do heavy lifting, physical or emotional, when I need it."
Kira and Mike have had some great accomplishments other than their number of classes. Mike says, "I think the biggest goal for me has been learning to be more accepting of my body and embrace what it is able to do. Having a more positive relationship with my body has been one of the major successes during my time at Solcana." Kira adds, "Fun fact, when I did the beginner baseline test, I couldn't do a sit-up--I am still very slow at them and blame my limb proportions. Legit goal setting isn't something that I do--for my personality type it breeds very dogmatic and inflexible behavior. Having said that, pre-pandemic I was working on gymnastics programming so that I could get my first unassisted ring muscle up. Over the five years that I've been coming to Solcana, I'm sure that I've had my share of successes, although my sntach 1RM has held pretty constant. Ragnar, Spartan, a half-marathon, a marathon, Crossfitty type competitions and Polar Plunge are memorable experiences that Solcana gave me the confidence to do outside of the gym. And, I've made great friends and found ways to laugh during my numerous failures."
Coach Garrett H adds, "I love both Kira and Mike! Kira and Mike are great athlete and in addition to everything everyone else said, are such a wonderful welcomers for new athletes. Kira sets her own pace and encourages others to make the workouts work for them as she does. Mike is so friendly and helpful! Once I had an emergency in the middle of class and I asked him to run a metcon for me while I sorted things out - he didn't miss a beat and had everyone outside, set up, and on to their amrap in no time. I love the leadership both Kira and Mike show in the gym - they are both invaluable assets to our community!"
Coach Hannah is a huge fan and had so many great things to add. "Kira is such a star. She takes care of everyone in the gym, organizes the best spreadsheets you'll ever see, always goes out of her way to help and is just always there when you need her. Anytime I need someone's advice or feedback, I go to Kira. I know she will give it to me straight, without judgment. She genuinely cares about her community and shows it through loyalty and commitment to the people around her. Also she is hilarious and always makes me laugh. She can work really fricking hard but also doesn't get too down on herself when things aren't perfect. I am not shocked that she has attended over 1000 classes - in fact she is almost at 2000! Kira loves to move and likes to challenge herself to new things. Right now she is working on biking, which is a new skill for her, but she is super committed to biking in her basement and learning the ropes from people way more experienced. Mike is the kind of person who puts his head down and does his work and does it well. I had the pleasure of working with him on his nutrition recently, and he really just does exactly what he says he is going to do. He puts in the time to get his goals and it should be no surprise that he keeps reaching and surpassing them. I have watched him become so incredibly strong over the years. When Mike first started he struggled with getting the movements down, but now he can clean and jerk over 200 lbs and he makes it look easy!! It takes a lot of consistency and hard-work, which Mike is not lacking at all. In addition to all of that he is thoughtful and kind and loves to adventure outdoors. I love having Mike in my classes because he is so easy to be friends with, and he is a super coachable athlete. What a special guy!"
Coach Jerik says, Kira and I have joked about how hard it was to get her to become a member, and now she is one of our most engaged athletes. It’s not at all surprising that she’s done more classes than everyone - she loves fitness. Kira will say she doesn’t like to set goals, but I see her do it all the time and I see her dedicating time to improving things she wants to get better at. Perhaps she doesn’t conceptualize those as goals, but I see her conquering goals all the time. Also, she is a wonderful person. Sometimes she will be in my class and she will remember a random thing I said or a tiny little tidbit of info I shared about myself YEARS ago, and it always feels nice."
And finally Coach Brooke chimed in, "I continue to be amazed at the dedication of these athletes. Kira has been consistently sticking around after classes to do extra programming and Mike did a Turkish get up with a barbell like a pro. They move through classes with determination and confidence - a testament to the work they've put in all these years."
We will be programming a workout in honor of Kira and Mike. Be sure to congratulate them if you see them in class! Be on the lookout for special announcements celebrating other class milestones such as 100 and 500 :)