A writer from The Natick Magazine contacted us recently asking if our family would like to be featured in one of their upcoming publications. I don’t know if this guy knew exactly what he was getting into with us, but I figured I would answer the 2 page questionnaire and let him decide for himself.
I have no idea if it will ever go to print, but I decided that if I was going to go for it I needed to do it right. I didn’t want to just “answer” their questions about what our family likes to do it together, what special talents we have, or what interesting stories we have. If we were going to have our family featured in a magazine where our neighbors and community will walk away feeling like they know us on any level, I wanted it to be a good representation of what we’re like. No filtering, no acting like we sit peacefully at the dinner table every night, and no pretending that we read books all weekend and don’t turn our TV on from sunrise to sunset every Sunday during football season.
There were 21 questions. I could’ve saved myself the 8 hours it took me to answer everything the way I wanted to by just writing things like “we like skiing in the winter and sailing in the summer” or “Maya is an athlete and Jonah enjoys making music”. But, that just didn’t feel like who we really are.
“Hobbies, crafts, church, volunteer work, sports teams you follow: Skiing at Ward Hill with the little kids, going to Nobles sports events, trampolining, summertime country music concerts, outdoor showering, chalkboarding, sandboxing, bonfiring, choreographed dancing in our kitchen, Plaid Sunday’s, No Separation Sunday’s, train trips to and from Wellesley Center, sailing, Monthly Goals Nights, watching football 4 days/nights a week during the season, powerwashing things, sushi nights, Christmas and Halloween decorating on our front lawn, back yard camping, FaceTime, posting on Instagram, hanging out in Natick Center (fire station, library, Park St., Common Cafe), family biking around Natick, hanging out at the Natick Community Organic Farm, hiking at Broadmoor, summertime in Megansett on the Cape.”
“Children. (Activities, community involvement, favorite subjects, special talents.)
Maya: *her response: “Activities/community involvement: Field hockey, basketball, lacrosse (captains), Achieve tutor, tour guide, middle school mentor, Prefect, Peer Help Program, summer Camp Jabberwocky counselor (Martha’s Vineyard)
Special Talents: legit none :/”
Jonah: *his response: “Special talents: creatively asking out girls, cooking, stretching my arm around the other side of my body then under my chin.
Community involvements: summer volunteer at Camp Jabberwocky (Martha’s Vineyard), and throwing stuff I see on the streets in the trash can.
Favorite subject: lunch”
“What interesting stories, fun facts, or special talents in your family can you share?: Ben was a competitive skier and sailor, went 12 years without eating a single sweet or dessert, and has 230k Followers on Instagram. Heather is a former competitive cheerleader, has posted on her blog every day for the last 5-1/2 years, and can pack 4 people for a week in a small carry on. Maya has the quads of an Olympic speed skater, and the thumbs of a hamster. Jonah regularly makes a killer eggs benedict while listening to jazz music, and his favorite movie is Casablanca. Bode was named after Bode Miller, can climb the stairs by wedging himself in a split between the wall and the outside of the stairs, and looks so much like Ben did as a little boy that you can’t tell who’s who in pictures. Harley Love eats bacon with every meal, wears pink cowboy boots every day, and has fuller lips than Angelina Jolie.”
“What do you enjoy about living in your neighborhood? How do you feel about your neighbors, your community?
We love living a 1/2 mile (all back roads) from the center of town. We love our yard. We love that we all help each other out with trash barrels when someone’s out of town on Monday mornings. We love that our neighbors don’t give us a hard time about all of our friends’ cars that clog up our street, they don’t call the cops on us when we play our country music too loud in the summertime, and they are patient with the regularity of our fire alarm going off every time Heather tries to cook something.”
“Do you have a special message or greeting you would like to share with your neighbors? Leave it here and we will be sure to include it: Get outside more, invest time in building relationships with your neighbors, drive slowly and carefully, smile and say Hello to strangers, shop at local businesses, pick up people walking to the train station in bad weather and give them a lift, spend time on the Natick Common when the weather is nice, regularly visit places like the library and fire station with your kids, ride bikes more and drive less, regularly check in with neighbors that might need help with kids, shoveling their driveway, or a ride somewhere, and leave yourself extra time to get places so that you don’t think twice about letting pedestrians cross the street, letting people go ahead of you, and racing through yellow lights.”
“Name of your business/ nonprofit and a brief description: CrossFit New England is a gym that focuses more on relationships and a strong community of people that want to learn how to genuinely live a life of all-encompassing health and positivity. Our members often find themselves becoming fitter than they have at any other point in their lives, but we also know that what matters more than fitness is true health and finding happiness.”
“What has been your biggest inspiration? This is such an easy question to answer: at CrossFit New England our inspiration is, without question, the people that walk in our doors every day. The stories and histories, the desire to become better people, the sweat, blood, and tears that are shed there together, the relationships that are created, the bonds that are made between people that have nothing more in common than to want more out of life than to just “get through the day”, and knowing that we have the ability to be those people’s best hour of their entire day, every day.
We can’t wait for Monday morning to come.
We can’t wait to go to the gym.
We can’t wait to see what the workout of the day (WOD) is.
We can’t wait to hear all of the talks about happiness and turning our “have-to’s” into “get-to’s”, our circle of control, and what it really means to “eat clean”.
And, we just really can’t wait to be at a place where you can comfortably train in the same class with teenagers, stay-at-home parents, high level executives, world-class elite level athletes, obese people, adaptive athletes and grandparents.
Our diversity in abilities is what makes the whole thing work so well and what changes lives by changing perspective.”
“What do you enjoy most about the business? I’m not sure if this answers this question or not, but it’s related, at the least.
From Day One, Ben always said that he would measure the success of the business by how many people were still hanging around the gym 15 minutes after class ended. He wanted to create an atmosphere for people where they didn’t want to leave. Whether that’s because they’re hanging out with friends, or asking the coach about how they could’ve done the workout differently, or if they’re trying to chip away at their monthly goal of increasing their mobility, Ben’s always just wanted to help create a place for people to want to feel better about the life they’re living.”
“Any additional information you would like to share:
Our family is a hot mess. We are untraditional in so many ways. But, we believe that’s exactly what makes our experience so unique, so special, and such a great opportunity to do things the way we feel is right and not just because it’s what we are told is the right way to be.
We love the structure of our family with 2 older kids, and 2 younger. We get to have these fun, more mature relationships with the older kids, while witnessing and learning how it really does all happen to fast. We feel like we have learned so much about how precious every little moment is, how important it is to do your best to get to every game, and how it’s more about the every day involvement in your kids’ lives than how fancy your vacations are in the pictures hanging on your walls.
Our older kids have gone through so many different school systems in so many different towns that we’re really excited to experience the younger kids’ growing up in the town that we live in and own a business in.
We love Natick so much and love the people we’ve crossed paths with so far here. There is something very real and authentic about the people that live and work here.
Maybe we’re optimistis, but people want to be there for each other here. People want to connect and keep an open mind with different ways of living your life. And, people are proud of their people here in Natick. And, we love that.”