Member Spotlight – Tracy and David Wikander

February 21, 2018


In the eighteenth installment of our “Member Spotlight”, we’re featuring two individuals who light up the SHOP with their smiles whenever they walk through the door. She’s usually warming up with her winter coat and gloves, while he’s still half asleep, but without fail they always have big smiles on their faces! In addition to just being very warm and nice people, they also work really hard in the SHOP and are always open and receptive to our coaching…sure makes our job easy!

Tracy and David Wikander

Dubai: Where we led one of our Couples Vitality Relationship Trainings

First, give us a little background on yourself.

David and I met 26 years ago in a personal growth workshop on the Big Island of Hawaii. I’ll never forget walking into the kitchen and seeing this man dressed in colorful tights sitting cross-legged on the counter. I thought, “Who IS that guy?”…and the rest is history. We started our journey together in Mt. Shasta, CA where I joined David in his whitewater rafting company that he had been running for 15 years. We specialized in pack-in wilderness workshop trips, leading and co-leading meaningful trips riding on the back of the river for 5 years together. David is and will always be my hero, as he became a loving and devoted stepfather to my children ages 4 and 7 when we met. The kids grew up on the river and today, when we hear them reminisce about their childhood, the rafting trips take front and center in their stories. They rafted in the blazing hot sun, winds that were so strong our rafts were blown back upriver, rains that flooded the entire camp, and downpours of stinging hail. They were amazing river rats. After 20 years running a river company, David was burnt out and ready for a change. We relocated to Santa Cruz, CA letting go of the rafting company and looking for our next step in careers. After several starts and stops with different possible career paths and 8 years in high-tech corporate sales for me, I ended up going back to school and obtaining my Masters in Psychology and license in Marriage and Family Therapy. David finally landed with a company called Center For Right Relationship Global (CRR Global), an international school teaching Advanced and Organizational Coaching. I started my private practice specializing in teens, couples, anxiety and trauma-release. David started traveling around the globe teaching coaching and building a private coaching practice that consists almost entirely of clients around the world via Skype. We also started our own company, Couples Vitality, and gave couples relationship training locally in Santa Cruz and internationally.

With Phoenix, at 3 years old, passing the rafting legacy on

As beautiful as Santa Cruz, CA is, and as much as we loved it, after almost 20 years, we chose to move to Corvallis in June of 2016 to escape the traffic, tourists, and population impact. We bought our dreamland of 6 acres with our dream log home and feel as if we have found a piece of paradise here in Corvallis. It’s the perfect place for us to celebrate our “later” years in life together.

Our children are now 30 and 33 (how did THAT happen?) and we have 3 grandchildren with a fourth on the way. They all bring us a huge amount joy. We not only love them a great deal, we truly like them and love to spend time with them.

With Sterling, our youngest Grandson

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

Our daughter’s husband, Brendon, was the owner of San Mateo Crossfit when she met him. He’s insanely fit and Kari, our daughter, followed suit. They inspired Kevin, our son and his fiancé, Jaime, to start CrossFit in Santa Cruz who also followed suit. We had 4 insanely fit kids that all kept encouraging us to do this. I committed to starting after we moved to Corvallis and was determined to drag David along with me. The first summer we were here, Brendon and Kari came to visit and scoped out the gyms. The SHOP was Brendon’s choice and after going to a few classes and meeting Drew, he pointed us to the SHOP for when we were ready. If Brendon approved, we were in. We started in March 2017 and have been faithfully attending the 6:30am class 4 to 5 times a week unless out of town.

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

Tracy: Pushups! I started with a bar up quite high and slowly worked my way down focusing on form. This December I finally made it to the floor! I am stoked (my favorite 80’s word) to say the least. Also, have recently had several PR’s in using heavier weights with KB swings, Farmer’s Carry, and Deadlifts.

David: Any kind of squats with weight. Pull ups and chin ups.

What do you like to do outside the gym?

We are both still working and in our spare time we love working on our farm, growing our own food, hiking, backpacking, rafting, playing the ukuleles, having dinner with friends and most of all, spending time together. After 26 years, we are still deeply in-love, if not more in-love than in our earlier days.

Goat Yoga

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

Tracy: Chin ups! 2018 is the year of the unassisted chin up for me. Or, I should just call it a chin up, it’s not called an unassisted chin up, as Drew would say. I also want to get more depth in handstand pushups.

David: David would like to squash at least 10 chin ups and at least 8 pull ups while avoiding any pulled muscles or injuries.

Favorite place to eat in/near Corvallis?

We would have to say, it’s at The Wikander Farm, with as much fresh food from our land. No restaurant does our cooking or food justice.

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

Tracy: Be consistent, be patient and add weight slowly to avoid injury. And a shout out to anyone who is older. Crossfit is NOT just for the young and fit. That is a result of the marketing. It is probably the BEST thing you can give your aging body.

David: Get to know your body. Discover what movements will support where you want to go and what movements might hinder you due to injuries or other factors. You need to find your own way. Don’t be afraid to lean into the coaches and look for options as needed.


Favorite Book

Tracy: The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle and historical biographies

David: As a kid, it was The Wind In The Willows, David doesn’t necessarily do favorites but he really likes books that he learns and grows from.

Favorite Movie

Tracy: The Big Chill

David: Right now, David is really enjoying the series “This Is Us” but he also likes historical documentaries.

Favorite Food

Tracy: Avocados

David: Veggies and fruit from our garden, olives and potatoes. David loves olives more than any person I have ever known.

Favorite Cheat Meal

Tracy: Warm homemade apple pie with fresh whipped whip cream

David: Homemade Pies

Favorite Exercise/Movement

Tracy: Turkish Get Up and Sleds

David: Pushups, Chin ups, Pull ups, short sprints, rowing

Least Favorite Exercise/Movement

Tracy: Wall Balls, Thrusters, jump rope

David: Wall Balls, jump rope

Something Others Might be Surprised to Learn About You

Tracy: In 1980, at age 18, I traveled to Lebanon in the Middle East with a contemporary jazz dance troupe. Beirut was severely bombed out at that time with bullet holes everywhere. When we left the country after our tour ended, we did so in the middle of the night and went through 7 checkpoints, all with men holding machine guns standing around metal garbage cans lit with a fire for warmth. Probably one of the scariest things I have done in my life. I also spent a summer jumping out of airplanes when I was 26. I did a total of 10 jumps until I had a scary experience on my last jump and cured myself of ever wanting to jump out of a perfectly good airplane again.

David: David is a jack-of-all-trades and can practically do anything. Besides running rivers he was also a street mechanic, a potter that did gorgeous pottery work, a wood carver, a Clinical Hypnotherapist, a personal financial analyst, and a teacher at The College of The Siskiyou’s in Mount Shasta, CA teaching River Ecology & Water Resource Development as well as Ceramics. He led multi-day cross country ski trips up to a cabin in his off-river season, remodeled our Santa Cruz home from top to bottom, including electrical and plumbing, used to play the guitar, harmonica, juice harp, washboard and Taiko drums, graduated from Berkeley High in 1967 (yup, he was RIGHT there when it was all happening), and he grew up in a very rustic log cabin in the Oakland hills.