We, the Solace coaching staff, are very excited to award our October 2016 Member of the Month to Kerry Alvarado! Kerry has been with us at Solace since November of 2015. She began her fitness journey taking Body classes and has recently made the transition into the CrossFit world. Kerry is a positive force to have in class and is always looking for ways to get better. She is dedicated, consistent, coachable and has improved greatly since starting at Solace
Assistant Coach Carla summed it up best: “I met Kerry a couple of months ago and her transition into the community is remarkable. She interacts with everyone and always has a smile on. She comes to class ready to WOD, works hard and always finishes the workout no matter how hard it is. She asks me for advice and tips to get better as an athlete. She’s seriously one of the sweetest members at the gym!”
Not only is Kerry an inspiration in the gym, but she is also a cancer survivor, not once but TWICE. Her story is remarkable and inspiring. She is a true example of strength, resilience and fight. Her emotional and physical toughness is something we could all use a little more of. In light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we want to thank Kerry for sharing her difficult journey with us and showing us all a thing or two about never giving up! So what are you waiting for?! Keep reading to learn more about our October Member of the Month, Kerry Alvarado!
Want to become part of the Solace family? Click HERE to sign up for a free introductory CrossFit class this week!
Member of the Month
Name: Kerry Maniscalco Alvarado
Hometown: Valley Stream, Long Island
Occupation: Talent Acquisition at Coach
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I grew up in Long Island and moved to NYC after college. I lived in LA for almost 5 years after 9/11 but ended up back in NYC in 2006. Around that time, I started doing long distance running (half marathons/full marathons). I met my husband in a running group back in 2009. We got a dog shortly after and were just married this past May!
How long have you been doing CrossFit and how did you get into it? I recently started CrossFit in May of this year. Back in December, my husband got me into Body classes and we figured it was a natural transition. I also take Yoga.
What were your thoughts after your first CF workout? That was really tough, but I want to do it again.
What were your goals when joining CrossFit? Initially, my goals were to learn to do the movements correctly but now I’m focused on getting stronger and leaner.
How did you find Solace and what has kept you with us for so long? My husband brought me to Solace. I love the environment and the supportive community. Solace has everything! They offer a variety of workouts, inclusive of Body and Yoga.
Since joining Solace, you’ve made a pretty big transformation. Tell us about that. I’ve always considered myself an athlete – soccer and dancing as a teen, running and some moderate weight lifting as an adult. But Solace has taught me so much about moving properly and truly tests my strength. I have learned to not say I can’t but rather I am unable to right now. CrossFit is very humbling and I like that. I feel that I have transformed not only physically but mentally, having taught my mind to believe in what I can do and focus. As a runner, you can zone out and just click off the miles but with CrossFit you have to focus and stay sharp.
What inspired you to make a change to get healthier? What or who was the biggest motivator? I have always led a pretty healthy lifestyle, stemming from my mother. She always made sure we had healthy options growing up and I never really deviated from that.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey? Biggest obstacles? Trusting my body. It has been through a lot and some of the movements force me to push and re-teach my muscles. Also learning to connect the movements has been a challenge.
What changes have you made to your daily life, diet & workout routine that have been the most successful for you? My husband and I worked with Danielle to count macros before the wedding and it has really helped me to do better with portion control. Fine tuning my diet combined with the intense workouts and yoga have helped me see a difference.
How has Solace positively affected you both inside and outside the gym? Solace has such a great environment that you always feel welcome and get excited to work out. Solace has also made me more confident.
What keeps you motivated? Being alive… being grateful for every day.
Greatest achievement in the gym so far: Hitting 160lb squat!!!
A new goal for the coming year: I have a few – kipping, handstands, double unders…
Something no one at the gym knows about you: I was on a dance team in high school.
When you’re not at Solace, where are we most likely to find you? Somewhere with my husband and dog.
If you won the lottery, how would you spend the money? I would go on a massive vacation with my friends!
3 people you could party with for a night dead or alive, who would they be and why? My Grandma and Grandpa. And…. Sarah Jessica Parker
Pre and post workout meal of choice? I don’t really follow anything regular for this..
Favorite WOD/ Least Favorite WOD: My favorite WOD is the Solace 100’s and my least favorite is Karen.
Favorite Lift/ Least Favorite Lift: Favorite is snatches and least favorite thrusters.
Advice for someone looking to start CrossFit? It’s not as intimidating as it looks!
If you could give your past self-advice, what would it be? Don’t be afraid to take risks and to trust your gut!
Rapid Fire Questions
If you had a theme song, what would it be? Eye of the tiger by Survivor
Last concert you went to: 30 Seconds to Mars/Linkin Park
Favorite pizza topping: Not a topping – grandma slice!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? To time travel
What is your spirit animal? Dolphin
Drink of choice: Non alcoholic – Seltzer water; Alcohol – Prosecco
Last picture you took on your phone: Picture of Cosmo (my dog)
One thing you couldn’t live without: Orbit Sweet Mint Gum
Last song stuck in your head: Eye of the Tiger simply because you asked my theme song
Most important item in your gym bag: Headband
First album/CD/cassette you ever bought: I think mine was a record but can’t remember which one.
Favorite hidden gem spot/restaurant in NYC: Isohama – Local sushi joint
Favorite healthy snack: Apple and almond butter
Anything else you’d like us to know:
In November of 2012, I was diagnosed with early stage Breast Cancer. No one in my family had it but was due to the radiation I had to my chest when I was 16 to help cure a different cancer. I had a difficult choice to make and ultimately underwent a bilateral mastectomy and 8 rounds of chemo, with a few additional surgeries tacked on to finish it all up. I had been an avid runner since 1999 and that honestly kept me going. I would just go to Central Park and when I could run, I would run. Many times it was only a walk or jog, but being out there and being active was important. My parents, Gerson and my friends helped me everyday. I am happy to say that I am in remission and plan to stay that way. Being able to do CrossFit has been a huge win for me, realizing my body has healed and is ready to move on.