Interview with Milad

How many years have you been a part of the Grassroots family? What made you want to start?

I started CrossFit here at Grassroots last August. I started because I was never really a bench-and-curls kind of gym person and knew I’d benefit from some guidance (and gentle pressure) in developing the strength for certain movements. I also enjoy interval training, which is best (easier) with others and a coach. I was committed to a CrossFit-type of routine before I started, and only became more reassured and determined once I got to meet the coaches and the people that make our particular gym great.

·How has working out at Grassroots impacted your life outside of the gym?

Not to get too philosophical, but in my life and work I think about embodiment and the relation between body, psyche and subjectivity often. A lot of who we are, and how we feel, is tied up with the kind of bodily habits and capacities that we have acquired over time. Something like CrossFit, especially if you are new to the kind of training that it offers, has the potential to quickly push you to the edge of your embodied self. With patience, it can help you develop new bodily capacities and mobility, and their corresponding forms of awareness. I very concretely see and feel the effect of exercising in the capacities and senses of my body/self.

I should also note that CrossFit increases your basic math skills – addition/subtraction (of weights to the barbell)!

·Do you check the workout before coming in or do you just show up?

Yes! But the schedule usually doesn’t dissuade me from showing up.

·Do you have a favorite exercise or movement?

Yes: deadlifts of all varieties!

·What is your regular workout time?

I usually do the 3pm class – along with dinner, it makes for a good break in my schedule devoted to writing.

·What’s your most recent PR?

Sumo deadlift (335 pounds).

·Do you have a power song? What gets you pumped up?

I appreciate that Tupac and Dr. Dre’s “California Love” is featured on our regular – too regular? – playlist.

·Where are you from?

I grew up in Tehran, and Berkeley has been home for a long time now.

·What do you do for work?

I write and teach as a PhD student.

·What do you like to do for fun?

CrossFit? Activities with large caloric intake or expenditure.

If you could describe Grassroots in five words, what would they be?

(Very)East-Bay: (eclectically)diverse,dorky(with a purpose), (dog)friendly, and (super)awesome!

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