Published January 1, 2018

NAME: Special K (aka Kris Aronson)

JOB: IT Security Program Manager

FAVORITE MUSIC TYPE / GROUP: I'm a huge 80s fan. There is alway music on in our house and when I categorize my credit card expenses, concert tickets seem to be one of the biggest expenses. This summer I listened to a lot of Yacht Rock on Sirius in my car... much to my kids frustration.

CHILDREN / PETS ? Jackson 13 and Hannah 12. They like to come to special events at the gym and show me how "easy" pullups are. Oh, and there is Vu (Koivu), Hannah's cat. I'm not a fan.

FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: I lived overseas and traveled a lot when I was in my early 20s so I have many favorites. Now it is more about the vacation moments... In October I showed Jackson and Hannah what fog rolling in looks like and how incredibly magnificant the Golden Gate bridge looks when you come around the bend in the road and it first comes into sight.

HOBBIES: Have I mentioned parenting Jackson and Hannah? I like cooking delicious food for others, doing projects around the house, learning new things (at present I am taking swimming lessons to learn how to do the Butterfly), and it seems like more and more, I am spending my time keeping my body such that I can do CrossFit (PT, massages, chiropractor, more PT).

HOW LONG HAVE YOU DONE CROSSFIT I started in April of 2010

AND WHAT MADE YOU TRY IT    ? I met Couger at a party and saw her beautiful arms. So I asked her where she got them and she told me that she was doing CrossFit at TopGun. I joined and haven't looked back.

WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT CROSSFIT AT FIRST? I used to go into the gym, look at the workout on the board and think, "I can't do that...that's impossible." But an hour would pass and I would have done it. So I used to tell people that 3 times/week, by 7am, I accomplish the impossible. I also remember that it took me about a month to figure out how hard to push myself. Too hard and I could barely finish/recover and not hard enough and I felt like I didn't get a work out.

DESCRIBE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT CROSSFIT AND HOW IT HAS IMPACTED YOUR LIFE: I was the kid that was picked last in gym class, and didn't really try that hard when it came to sports because I assumed I wasn't very good. I have always been active and am up for giving most anything a go, but prior to CrossFit I didn't do anything physical where I had to push past my brain telling me I couldn't do it. It is still a fairly regular occurence where I consider cheating on my reps cause I think I just can't do it. But now I remind myself that I have lots of examples over the last several years of surviving really tough workouts and learning how to do things that I never thought I would (rope climbs, handstand holds and T2B). That and when things get really bad I start coming up with things to be grateful for for each of the letters in T-O-P-G-U-N or C-R-O-S-S-F-I-T. Multiplication tables are another go to for me.

FAVORITE WORKOUT: Favorite? Ha! I don't have one.

NAME: Alan Carlson

JOB: Retail services contractor.

FAVORITE MUSIC TYPE / GROUP: Frank Zappa, I've always loved how he brings together social commentary, musical genius and a juvenile sense of humor.

CHILDREN / PETS: I have an off brand roomba named Rick Perry, he's kind of a creep.

FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: Jemez Caldera in New Mexico. It's got hot springs, great camping and hiking, mountains and desert in most every direction but the Caldera itself is this beautiful oasis of field, forest and cattle that makes you feel like you just passed through a portal into Wyoming in the 1800s. It's actually one of the spots where the tv show Longmire is filmed.

HOBBIES: Making things, Bitcoin (apparently this is cool now), poker, power tools and fixing trucks. Whenever I have a chance to take something apart with a sledge hammer, I take it.

2.5 years, 6 months in NM, and a little over 2 years here.

AND WHAT MADE YOU TRY IT OUT ? My girlfriend at the time wanted to join, we weren't church going people, so where else do you find a community in a strange land?

WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT CROSSFIT AT FIRST? It made me a little uncomfortable. I was pretty resistant to the coolaid and the Paelo diet at first, largely because my actual knowledge about nutrition and physical fitness was like, maybe a 2/10, but my estimation of myself was more like 7/10. But it was hard to argue with a bunch of 30 somethings in better shape physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually that I ever was in my 20s. When I started taking to it, I really appreciated the constant improvement and leveling up that you can do in Crossfit, still do.

DESCRIBE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT CROSSFIT AND HOW IT HAS IMPACTED YOUR LIFE: In addition to the above, the increased mobility and strength I have has been very helpful in my job, I know whatever problems I run into, the failure point won't be my body or my mind. It's also pushed me to up my mental game, to identify the voice in my head telling me to give up, how to quiet it and when to listen to it.

FAVORITE WORKOUT: I really like the EMOMs that are all out exertions with 1 minute rest breaks in between. They offer the most pain and the most reward.

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