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May’s Member of a Month is an athlete we can’t imagine SEO without (though we’re going to have to soon): Gretchen Polinski! You might think Gretchen was chosen for having her name on top of the whiteboard so often, but that steady success is only one indication of the hard work she puts in at the gym every single day, which is actually the reason why we’re delighted to honor her with this recognition.

Anyone who’s seen Gretchen at the gym can guess that she is very driven; she’s at the gym twice a day, while completing medical school. The intensity she brings to each of these sessions is the key to her constant improvement. Above all, she works her weaknesses. When she first arrived at SEO, she despised the rig and struggled with gymnastic movements. Her improvement in these domains is the result of her constant work at them: programming her own EMOMs with TTBs or pull-ups, or doing skill-work on hand-stand walks. And while Gretchen seems like a natural with the barbell (who among us hasn’t been amazed to witness another of her dramatic PR's?), this too comes as a result of constant hard work.

MAY 2015


She’s always in the middle of a squat program and she brings her analytic mind to breaking down all the barbell movements so that she can figure out how to lift better. Yes, she’s built like a Clydesdale, but there’s another reason why she’s always getting stronger: she works her ass off. If you don’t know Gretchen well, she might come off as a bit inapproachable—because she’s a competitor who clearly takes this very seriously—but anyone who’s had the pleasure of throwing down alongside her knows that Gretchen asks only one thing of those working out with her: not a massive back squat or a fast mile, but simply the will to give it your all, whatever that “all” is for you. If you are willing to work hard, Gretchen will cheer for you as loudly as anyone. And if you’re at open gym without a clear vision for what to do, just ask Gretchen—she will have no problem coming up with a wod for you to do with her! We’re so grateful for the energy she brings to SEO, from her PR dance to the way she urges others on to PR's they didn’t know they could hit. There’s no doubt we’re going to keep hearing that famous catch-phrase of hers, “D.B.A.B,” long after Gretchen has moved on from southeastern Ohio.

It’s hard to imagine saying farewell to someone who has brought so much impressive athleticism and such a big heart to our community. (Although, honestly, we won’t be sad to have back that entire shelf she takes up with all her gear!) Thank you, Gretchen, for how you’ve helped the SEO community to become better athletes many times over. You will truly be missed, and we can’t wait to see what you do next. Keep up the great work!

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