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February Athlete of the Month: Annie Walsh

We’re excited to announce Annie Walsh as our February Athlete of the Month! Annie is a cherished athlete at Solcana, and her diligence and intentionality doesn’t go unnoticed in class. She brings a calm and encouraging energy to every class, and we’re happy to see her continue to improve as an athlete. Read more about Annie below!

Coach Garrett F adds, “What has impressed me most about Annie is her calm demeanor while performing incredible amounts of work. She has a super solid presence and approach to what she does in the gym and is really diligent in her movement quality. On the few times when I have been able to offer her some sort of feedback or idea for improving her movement, she has always been super receptive and really did her best to try the suggestion. I really enjoy having Annie in my classes, she is super inspiring. Also, I recently learned that Annie used to lead dogsledding trips in the north woods where my sister now works. They go out and winter camp in ALL sorts of weather. Badass.”

Coach Amelia says, “Annie is the best! She is so welcoming to new folks in class and a great role model for pushing yourself, but also meeting yourself where you are! She is honest, funny, thoughtful, just an all around delight. She’s a skier, a canoer, an outdoorsy Minnesotan. When some Solcana members did a canoe relay last summer, she and Dan leant us life vests and even offered use of their canoe for a trip! Such a great community member.”

Annie talks about her start at Solcana and experiences as a former athlete. “I joined Solcana in 2018 after FOMO got the best of me and I wanted to be able to participate in family conversations about how sore I was. I’m so glad I did! I consider myself a former athlete. As a kid I tried all the sports and eventually settled on nordic skiing, soccer, track and rugby as my “main” sports in high school and college. I’m still trying to figure out which of these sports contributes to my love for thrusters.”

She has also found community at the gym, especially in her early morning workouts. “I appreciate the opportunity to channel my inner former athlete and push myself in ways I wouldn’t on my own – especially with the 6 am crew who are among the very few people I’d choose to hang out with before I’ve had coffee. My husband Dan is also a member at Solcana and we are lucky to get to work out together.”

Coach Max comments, “When I think about what makes the Solcana community so special – Annie is one of the first individuals I think of. She is such a joy to coach – as she approaches fitness through such intentionality and graciousness. She doesn’t take herself to serious, and gives back so much more than she takes. Annie is always ready with a hug, high 5, or pat on the back. Watching her and Dan parent is so beautiful… the whole Walsh clan really.  Annie is such a beautiful, wonderful soul.”

Coach Sonal adds, “It is always a pleasure to have Annie in the class. She is one of the sweetest athletes I know. Always smiling, encouraging and cheering for other athletes. She knows her lifts but always listens to the cues and makes the most of it. I love that she knows her body and space really well and works around it by pushing herself when she can and taking it slow when she needs to. She is such a warm person and very welcoming of every other athlete.”

Coach Garrett H says, “I had the pleasure of watching Annie string together multiple double unders recently, and the word that came to mind as I was watching her work was diligent. Annie works super hard on technique, strength, and speed and is always a pleasure to coach.”

Annie stays active inside and outside of the gym. “In my free time I love sailing, running, nordic skiing and being outside. Solcana has been key in helping me maintain the balanced strength I need to engage in all the active things I love to do.”

“In my day job I work in Risk Management with the University of Minnesota Physicians where I get to work on improving the care we deliver to our patients and help patients find resolution after they experience an adverse medical event. In my other full-time job I provide transportation, room and board to our three great kids ages 13, 11 and 8. I can’t remember the last time I was bored.”

Annie as our 2023 February Athlete of the Month is well-deserved, and we are excited to continue seeing her improve and reach her goals in the gym and keep her former athlete energy alive and well in her lifestyle outside of the gym!

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