To say that our little gym has been through some changes over the last few years would be an understatement. Many of us have seen the ownership change hands, some of us more than once. We’ve said goodbye to longtime members and friends while lovingly welcoming some new, fresh faces. However, the one constant that will always remain the heart and soul of Gravitas Fitness is the members and the community. That is why we are pleased to announce he return of one of our long-standing traditions — Athlete of the Month!

That’s right folks, the title returns. Each month one of you beautiful humans will be crowned the end all, be all, champion of the gym, ruler of the weights, world-renowned title of AOTM. So, without further ado, please join me in a dramatic slow clap for our very first Athlete of the Month of 2019 … Chris “I can’t remember my last name so I put it on my license plate” Parrish.

Parrish has been a member of the gym for several years now and is a staple at noon and weekend classes. If you are not familiar with Parrish, just look for the guy loading ALL the plates on his bar. He is an absolute BEAST when it comes to heavy lifting, and he’s got an engine to go along with it. I’ll say it one more time for effect … Chris Parrish is a BEAST!

A Santa Barbara native, Parrish found his way to Gravitas via the one and only Augie Johnson. Although these two have known each other since their kids were in diapers, it wasn’t until Parrish attended one of the infamous “Augie Days” that Parrish finally drank the CrossFit Kool-aid. Intent on sharing the Kool-Aid, Parrish passed what Augie gave him right on to some other, now familiar, Gravitas faces. We have Parrish to thank for bringing Dan and Adrienne Brown on board! A natural athlete and competitor, Parrish loves the competitive nature of Crossfit — and it shows.

One of Parrish’s  many talents is being a father. He has been a father longer than he has not, with 5 kids ranging in age from 2 to 22. According to Augie, Parrish is “one of the most viral men in the lower 48” and “talking to him for more than 15 minutes at the Christmas party can cause morning sickness.” So, be sure to take precautions when Parrish is in the room!

While we are used to seeing him dominate at all things CrossFit, his athletic prowess extends beyond the confines of our gym. For several years Parrish was a special education teacher and boys varsity water polo coach and Dos Pueblos High School, earning himself quite a reputation on pool decks throughout Southern California. He also coached an under 18 boys team to a United States Club Water Polo Championship and an undefeated season! When he’s not in the gym or playing Mr. Mom to his gaggle of children, you can find Parrish at his kids’ water polo matches, going to the movies, or sipping a Manhattan while watching football.

Clearly Chris Parrish is a man of many talents and could be recognized for so many different things, but it is his work ethic and “smile while you suffer” attitude that have earned him the Gravitas crown for January. So tonight, as we pour our bourbon a little taller than usual and double up on our birth control, we salute you, Chris Parrish. Thank you for being a part of our community and for showing us what it looks like to live in perpetual beast mode.

— Sally D.