Member Spotlight – The Eckroths

December 11, 2017


In the fifteenth installment of our “Member Spotlight”, we’re featuring a couple who share a child-like love of life! In fact, every year for the past seven years, they have thrown a “Life is Great” party in which the point is to get together with friends and just have a great time. That should tell you just about everything you need to know about these two!

Lee and the Wonderwife Michelle Eckroth

First, give us a little background on yourself.

We are blessed to be living the life we have!  Lee was born in Mandan, North Dakota, and moved to Stockton, California.  Michelle was born in Washington DC, grew up in Southern California then escaped to beautiful New Hampshire for her pediatric residency at Dartmouth.  Returning to Stockton to be closer to family, Michelle walked into a bike shop and the rest is history with us getting married within 10 months of our first date!  Knowing that we didn’t want to stay in Stockton after conquering medical school debt , we settled in our favorite town, Corvallis.

Lee spent his first career in bicycles.  In 2004 he entered the real estate world and has been with Town & Country Realty. In his spare time, Lee’s desire to make a difference for the better in the world has lead him to create a new start up business.

Michelle grew up wanting to be a doctor and teacher.  She chose the route of medicine, practiced primary care pediatrics for 20 years then took a Sabbatical from medicine to finish raising our two children, Morgan and Jacob.  They were homeschooled through 8th grade.  Morgan is currently a sophomore at Oregon State University with a business major wanting to specialize in marketing/social media.  Jacob is a junior at Crescent Valley High School with a passion for tennis and cello.

Our family hit a crisis in November 2015 with Michelle’s diagnosis of breast cancer.  The silver lining of that experience was the discovery of Integrative Medicine and Functional Medicine with Michelle going “back to school”  as a fellow at University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Fellowship and on track to be certified by the Institute of Functional Medicine.  Now she is using new knowledge and skill as an Integrative Pediatric Consultant at SHS’s Heartsprings Wellness Center in North Albany.

What got you started and how long have you been at the SHOP?

In 2009 We decided a major life change was needed.  We sold our dream house, gave away 80% of our stuff, Michelle went on sabbatical and we refocused.  In 2011 Lee found Tony Horton and P90X, dropped 75 pounds, refound his love of mountain biking and become a fitness nut.  

On Lee’s fitness goal list starting in 2013 was the ability to do 10 pullups. After 3 years of little progress, a change was needed.  Two of our friends, the Cole’s and the Veltri’s, had been raving about the SHOP. On December 5th Lee signed up and committed to 120-days – every day.  On March 5th the pull-up goal was reached – as was a new addiction:  CROSSFIT!

Michelle was told by her integrative oncologist that she “needed to get super fit”.  2016 was a year filled with surgeries, recovery, and the rebuilding through nutrition, simpler exercise, and rest.   Michelle was never athletic, lacked balance or coordination, and was always picked last as a kid for any team sports. After seeing Lee’s addiction to Crossfit, Michelle took the plunge and joined the SHOP in March 2017.  It has been tremendous, challenging, but the SHOP is creating the fittest body Michelle has ever had and she also is a SHOP addict!

With what movement(s) have you seen the most progress?

Lee:  Handstands; pull-ups; bar work; learning what drives Drew nutty

Michelle:  TGU, squats, and farmer’s carry

What do you like to do outside the gym?

Lee:  Hanging out with the family; Mountain biking fanatic; Tough mudders; traveling; having new life experiences

Michelle:  Tandem mountain bike with Lee, Willamette Valley Symphony playing viola, and  travel

What movement(s) would you like to improve on in the next few months?  

Lee:  Within Crossfit:  Conquering the muscle up.  Mountain biking:  More jumping skills  Other:  Play more!

Michelle:  pullups and double unders

Favorite place to eat in/near Corvallis?

Lee:  Corvallis/Philomath, Gathering Together Farms; Other, The Bread Board in Falls City is my go to!  Beppi and Gianni in Eugene – Italian cuisine worth the drive.

Michelle:  Laughing Planet and Gathering Together Farms

What advice would you give members just starting out at the SHOP?

Lee:  First and foremost – find your “Why”.  Dig deep and figure out what “it” is that will make you wake up at 5am or come in after work wanting “it”.  There is nothing easy in committing to workout every day. It’s hard and it is WORK.  Let crossfit be one of your weapons to help you accomplish your goals.  In addition – connect!  I look forward to seeing my Crossfit family on every visit.  Finally, remember, let the coaches coach!  Let them help you accomplish your goals (as long as you share the goals with them).  They are there to push you and to help you become better.

Michelle:  If I can do it. ANYONE can do it! Take it slow – only do what you can do and always listen to Drew. Don’t get too discouraged because with time you will be doing things you weren’t able to do at ALL when you started.

Final Comments

Time is your most valuable asset.  What you trade it for determines the worth.  Be sure to constantly be measuring your time ROI.  Exercise improves our health in so many ways, improves quality of life, and longevity.  The SHOP has become part of our lives.  As a couple we spend extra time together every week having fun and getting fit together.  Does not get much better.  Awesome!  For us, the ROI is super high and continues to increase.  Thanks Drew, Cody, Ray, Melissa and our Crossfit family.


Favorite Book

Lee:  The Go Giver

Michelle: The Bible

Favorite Movie

Lee:  The Blues Brothers;  Favorite TV show is The Office

Michelle: Amadeus

Favorite Food

Lee:  Anything healthy, and yummy.

Michelle: Whole plant food and partial to Mexican

Favorite Cheat Meal

Lee:  Pizza.

Michelle: chips and salsa

Favorite Exercise/Movement

Lee:  The stupid sled

Michelle: Slam ball

Least Favorite Exercise/Movement

Lee:  That stupid sled

Michelle: The sled – did it the very first day and afterwards for the first time in my life, I wanted to simultaneously vomit and faint.

Something Others Might be Surprised to Learn About You

Lee:  One day I will be playing music in a lounge – think hotel lounge singer.  Also – I never played in the NBA.  

Michelle:  Love history/museums – it’s my way of time traveling and I like playing historical war games