Being Open and in the Open with Anna Rapes and Chase Suguitan

Anna Rapes, 35, is an IT consultant, and one of the pioneer members of CGCF. Despite her hectic and odd work schedule where she usually works night shifts, she uses her breaks wisely and makes it a point to workout and catch one of the last classes of the day.

 
 

“I’ve always had an active lifestyle. I got into a variety of sports in high school and played college basketball for the Ateneo Lady Eagles. After college, I wanted to continue being active so I signed up in regular gyms, joined cycling and other group classes until I found (and never left) CGCF in 2016.” 3 years into CrossFit, Anna joined her first competition last November - Affiliate Alliance’s Fittest Team Edition under the Masters RX Category with teammates Aaron Batten and Darwin Maramot. “This year, my goal is to qualify and perform well in competitions, which means working on both my strengths and weaknesses (mobility and cardio!).”

Chase Suguitan, 28, is a marketer who is constantly on-the-go from managing sales projects, to creating compelling communications, to formulating new products. Otherwise, he enjoys, as he says “immoral amounts of reading and coffee.”

 
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Chase was once a competitive lawn tennis player and swimmer, but slowly lost his athletic sensibility due to the rigorous demands of his corporate job. However, since starting CrossFit at CGCF 6 months ago, he feels that he is slowly but surely getting back in shape. “I try to be faithful to a single minded fitness goal: to pull myself up. This means being light enough (aka shedding off some belly weight) whilst having enough upper body strength (which 6 months ago was non-existent) to manage a strict pull up. Metaphorically, it means getting back up, amidst grueling situations.” Although Chase has started out with Sweathouse first, he hopes to one day be able to join some CrossFit competitions in the future. But for now, he chooses to focus on achieving his own personal fitness goals.

Is this your first time joining the Open? If it’s not your first time, what made you sign up again?

Chase: It’s my first time joining the Open and yielding to the peer pressure of #SuzetteHouse has been the Best! Decision! Ever! Because I have only done Sweathouse classes in the past, I was initially daunted by the tasks ahead. Two weeks in, I realize that the Open is more than the just the workouts – it’s a cinematic mix of emotions: Challenging yourself to do more; Rooting (and being invested) for someone you barely know; Going through the workouts altogether – there is quite honestly nothing like it!

Anna: It’s my second time to officially join the Open, but third time doing the Open workouts. I signed up again because it’s a LOT of fun! During the Open, I get to do the same workouts as the Games athletes. I can see whether my ranking has improved from the previous year (even if I was 92,937th in the world last year lol). And of course, there’s nothing like the community spirit when we do Open workouts - the community brings the ‘Magic of the Open’!

What workouts/movements do you hope to see in the Open?

Chase: I lean towards the belief that if you’re already out of your comfort zone… then go all the way out. With the mindset of challenging oneself, I would hope (but not asking for it) to see upper body exercises/movements – Presses, Pull Ups, Push Ups.

 
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Anna: I’m nursing a groin/adductor strain so currently not a fan of below parallel movements. Haha! 19.1 and 19.2 weren’t so nice to me but I’m hoping to see power movements and upper body work in the next 3 workouts.

Do you think CrossFit and the Open promote gender equality? If so, how?

Chase: CrossFit challenges the convention that strength is confined to the male gender. The WOD floor is a canvass of what it means to be strong, and the community paints a stunning image: a queer teen lifting as heavy as a 6-foot muscular man, a pregnant woman carries her child (and a 50lb dumbbell to boot), an experienced weightlifter challenging himself to lift just a little bit heavier. The mirror-less walls of the box make it clear that no matter who you are, what you look like, or who you love – you are welcome here.

Anna: Definitely. In CrossFit and in the Open, everybody does the same workout - if the men’s workout has ring muscle ups, so does the women’s.  If the men’s workout has an 800-meter run, the women do the same. Weights may differ but that’s about it. In fact, CrossFit is one of the few sports where the prize money is equal between male and female winners. We definitely don’t see that in other sports like basketball or football but I hope they follow suit. I personally think CrossFit is a strong promoter of gender equality.

What do you like most about the LGBT community in CGCF? What about the CGCF community in general?

Chase: I think that the CGCF community is a strong ally in the gender equality advocacies of the LGBT community. The community, especially the men, do not view minorities as novelties, but instead everyone is viewed as a peer. Each story is heard and the stories are as varied as the community: fun and entertaining, inspirational, learned, and so much more! There is also a sense of inclusivity in the shared success (or shared fear of failure) of completing the WODs, that surpasses all social constructs. The community cheers on everyone to pursue the best versions of themselves.

Anna: One of the things I love most about CGCF is it’s a gender inclusive community. It doesn’t matter where you are on the gender spectrum. Everybody is welcome.  We have CGCF shirts in pride colors and you see coaches and boxmates wearing them signifying they are LGBT allies and supporters. I love the CGCF culture and I think the inclusivity shows in how the LGBT community in CGCF is proud and can freely express themselves.

Do you consider CGCF a place you can call home? How/why?

Chase: Absolutely! It’s “Home, Sweaty Home”! It’s a tribe and a family. More than just a common place, it’s a feeling and a shared sense of purpose.

 
 

Anna: Yes, CGCF is my second home and as I always say, it’s my safe place to sweat.

Any message to CGCF’s LGBT community?

Chase: I hope everyone gets blessed with a getting stronger, a great love life and closed pores!!

Anna: The category is… staying loud, proud, and strong!