Saturday 2.22.20

Saturday 2.22.20

Congrats Paul!!!


“Team Barbara”
Teams of 2
20 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
40 AbMat Sit-ups
50 Air Squats

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Box Brief
Congratulations to our February Member of the Month Paul Chae! Learn more about him by reading his responses below. He’s got some great stuff to say!

Tell us a little about yourself Paul:

1) How long have you been at CFNE and what got you started?

I have to first say, I need to think about my responses as Barbara is a tough MoM act to follow with her incredible responses last month. Also, I apologize in advance. Got a bit long winded in the responses.

I started to attend the 5:30 Mayhem class back in 2012 after we moved east from Seattle. Back then working out 3X/week felt pretty reasonable. Honestly, I never really enjoyed the WODs. I was always anxious about the workouts. The mayhem athletes were incredibly competitive and I felt like I was never making progress. Needless to say I didn’t enjoy it too much and eventually stopped coming.

Fast forward to April 2018 (Here is where my story really begins) after a 4 year hiatus. I was in the middle of my cancer treatment. I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma August 2017. Initially it was diagnosed as non curable but highly treatable. However, after multiple rounds of immunotherapy and chemo-therapy which all proved to be ineffective at combating the cancer, I decided to control what I could control. I emailed Ben and he hooked me up with Morgan. I took a refresher class with Morgan and started to attend the 11:30 class. Unfortunately, my lymphoma spread from my spleen to the liver and by July 2018, the situation became dire. I was running out of options as my liver enzymes started to rise at an uncontrollable rate. Spoiler Alert: I qualified for a multi-million dollar gene therapy that proved to be highly effective. I am now in month 15 of remission.

So what got me restarted with CFNE is cancer and what keeps me coming 6x/week is the CFNE community that reminds me everyday that I GET TO do WODS.

2) What’s your favorite Crossfit movement?

I love all barbell movements. I particularly enjoy C&Js but I have to say after recovering from tendonitis and working on my goat movement, TTB, it has moved up on my fav list. There is nothing better than overcoming a GOAT, and actually looking forward to seeing it in a WOD.

3) What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?

“Coronavirus”. “How can asians avoid coronavirus profiling on airplane trips”. “what to say to someone who looks scared to death because you’re asian and coughing at the airport”

4) If you could go to any concert of any artist, dead or alive, which would you go to?

2 artists come to mind. I’m a late comer to enjoying the Dead. So attending a Jerry led Grateful Dead concert would be epic. Bob Marley is tied for first or extreme close second. Having watched Ziggy a few times, I could only imagine what it would have been like to have experienced such a legend live.

5) Give us a brief summary of a day in the life of Paul Chae.

After having taken 1.5 year hiatus from work, recovering and “re-tooling” from cancer, I went back to work 4 weeks ago. I lead marketing strategy for Virgin Pulse. VP is in the corporate wellness space. We sell to large organizations that want to offer health and wellness benefits to their employees. I get to position and message our cloud based wellness platform that encourages good daily habits centered on diet, fitness, and behavior health activities. Outside of work, I get to spend time on my personal wellbeing activities like meditation, daily prayer, and gratitude practice. My faith and family are tops on my list of priorities. So I’m constantly challenging myself to ensure balance across these 2 dimensions and the rest of my life.

6) What was the last book you read?

I tend to read multiple books at a time. The last 2 books I just finished are “The 5 AM Club” by Robin Sharma and “Can’t Hurt Me”, but David Goggins. 5AM Club is all about owning your morning and elevating your life. The book was very instrumental as I shifted from the 11:30 class to the 5:30 class. My morning routine consists of waking up at 5AM (7 hrs of sleep ever night) and truly owning my morning and taking control that which I hadn’t controlled before.

David Goggins is a retired Navy Seal and the only member of the US Armed Forces ever to complete Seal training, US Army Controller training, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. The book is about his life story overcoming child abuse, poverty, and obesity through self-discipline, mental toughness and just hard work. I just started to read “The Winter Army”, the epic story of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division, whose elite soldiers broker the last line of German defense in the Italian Alps.

7) If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

Actually, I am currently writing a book inspired by my cancer experience. I wish I was further along but the title of the book is called “2 minute Offense”. The premise of the book is loosely tied to the concept of the 2 minute warning in football. The last 2 minutes of a football game is all about a singular objective: to score enough points to win the game. “2 minute Offense” is about the ideal of living your life as if you have 2 minutes left to live. How would you want to live your last 2 minutes? The challenge behind this question is rooted in your personal value system. That which is most important to you should be the central motivation behind your 2 minutes. Through my death and life experience I believe I have a much clearer sense of what is important to me and how I would like to live my remaining 2 minutes, 2 months, 2 years, 2 decades etc of life. It is not intended to fall in the “How to” genre but rather a memoir of my experience and how I learned to deal with the life altering health experience. Stay tuned for the publication

8) What superpower would you want to possess?

In Korean culture there is a word called NUNCHI. Nunchi is the subtle art and ability to listen and gauge other’s moods. My interpretation of the concept is like having a 6sense. Its being mindful, self aware, empathetic, and subtly tactful all in one. Without saying or doing anything, one can display NUNCHI. My wife has this power in spades. I aspire to have this super-power. Unfortunately, as my mother and grandmother would tell me, you can’t learn or earn NUNCHI. You are either born with it or not. I have never been told I have or don’t have NUNCHI but my self doubt voice often leads me to believe I may not be blessed as a “chosen one”.

9) What was the most important lesson you’ve had to learn?

We are all mortal. Once I accepted my mortality (not the actual lesson) I actually began my living. Cancer sucks. No 2 ways about it. Learning to live a gratitude filled life full of hope and purpose is all I believe I can do. It required a shift in my mindset to focus on the “how” I choose to live my life rather than focus on the “what” I should be doing with my life. I cherish my family, my faith centered church community and my friends. So my most important lesson I had to learn was accepting that I can’t always be in control of everything. But by focusing on those controllable things like my attitude, gratitude towards others, appreciation, I feel incredibly blessed to share my story with others.

10) What’s your favorite memory at CFNE?

2 things that will always be part of my memories. First, my clinicians helped cure and ultimately enable me to survive cancer while CFNE enables me to thrive post cancer treatment. Second CFNE is the Cheers sitcom for fitness and wellness. I came for the fitness and great coaching but I stay for the community and feeling good about myself and for those around me each and every day.


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