Please tell us about yourself. I’m Byron! I’m 34, and I work in the Quality Assurance department at a nonprofit aerospace shop in the Mt. Baker neighborhood. The majority of my coworkers are deaf, blind, deaf-blind, or blind with other disabilities. I grew up in a small town an hour southeast of Seattle, and have a younger sister who just last month joined a small Crossfit gym in her neighborhood. I live in West Seattle and have the great fortune to share my life with my beautiful wife Laura (who thinks Crossfit is kinda crazy) two cats, and a dog (the animals are Crossfit indifferent). I love to ski, pick up heavy things, cook, drink coffee, and smoke meats.

When did you start at Rocket? What was it like to start? I started gymming at Rocket in spring 2014. I had been interested in Crossfit for nearly ten years, a friend dabbled in the early days of Crossfit and his recounting of the workouts made a strong impression on me. When it finally fit into our budget I went on the hunt for a gym in my neighborhood. Our good friends the Tapperts had been gymming at Rocket for a few months, so I joined Blast Off on their glowing recommendation. I almost immediately knew that I had found a special place, filled with incredible people, where I could succeed spectacularly, and fail without fear. Often in the same workout.

Tell us about your Rocket/fitness journey Rocket is the latest and without question the greatest step in my lifelong journey toward body acceptance, fitness, and true satisfaction with myself. I have struggled with my weight since elementary school. Peaking at over 300 pounds in high school, I have been “overweight” for nearly my whole life.  I find myself comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life, and I believe that Rocket has been the catalyst and crucible that helped me find this happiness and satisfaction.
What keeps you coming back? What are you looking forward to?Anything you appreciate about Rocket in particular? I keep coming back to Rocket for the affirmations I get from my Rocket family, for the endorphin rush that comes from pushing my body’s limits, and for the laughing and dancing and singing! I’m looking forward to our next nutrition challenge, every time I do one my diet gets a little better, and a little easier to maintain.

Any other thoughts? I can’t thank you guys enough for providing a space for us to grow, learn, fail, and flail. Rocket has helped me find and become my best self.

* Editor’s note: BYRON CAN SING! Dude can seriously sing, belts it out during class, which, obviously makes the workout better for EVERYONE!