Member Spotlight: Qasim Burqawi

Qasim Barqawi is a few things:

  1. A Renewb
  2. A walking miracle (ask him about the plate in his head)
  3. Palestinian
  4. The light of our lives

Now that we have your attention, please enjoy this heartfelt, awesome, fun Q&A with one of the nicest, coolest, weirdest dudes you’ll ever meet.  

Q: Why did you decide to start CrossFit? 

A: Because if frightened the shit out of me. The idea of failing in a “classroom” full of people is not this A student’s idea of fun. So, following the words of my therapist, I chose to do more of what scared me and less of what kept me in my comfort zone.However, from a training point of view, I chose CrossFit for the interactive relationship between athlete and coach. I was attracted to the prospect of having someone walk me through every exercise in a healthy manner rather than me doing it the way I see fit since I’ve never stepped foot in a gym before.

Q: Why Renew?

A: Simply, it is a hop, a skip, and a little bit of gas away from my apartment. But why I chose to stay is more important to me; it’s because of the people. It’s easy to blow smoke up every hungry butt at Renew, because they all are such a cooperative community. I was welcomed with open/well-stretched arms into a group of strangers who have had such a phenomenal influence on both my physical, and more importantly, my mental health.

Q: What is your biggest accomplishment since being with us? 

A: I quit smoking. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the people at Renew telling me to quit. Ill quote one person in particular who flat out said to me in front of the whole class as we were warming up “Either quit smoking, or quit CrossFit”. I’d like to think I made the right choice. Jury’s still out though.

Q: What is one fun fact about you that we would all be shocked to know? 

I think most people would be very shocked to find out that I in fact love being quiet and can actually go a while without talking. I enjoy a peaceful night with a soft blues record playing, and a nice rich glass of wine.

And even though this is technically two things, you should know I’m a supreme f*cking baker. My dark chocolate cake with white-wine-poached-fruit stuffing is the ultimate desert. In the middle of the kitchen’s ruckus I am my most focused, and though I can’t do a snatch as smooth as the next person, I move in a kitchen like the conductor of the New York orchestra.

*He also has a Nutella cook book containing only recipes using Nutella. Safe to assume Nutella is life for Qasim.

Q: What are 2 CrossFit goals and 2 life goals you’ve made for yourself this year? 

A: CrossFit goals:

  • To RX a WOD
  • To smoothly execute a snatch.

 

Life goals:

  • To stay as healthy as I could be and strive to find newer ways in which I can bring light into my life.
  • To fight more for causes I care deeply about and to be more active in my community and its betterment.

 

There you have it. I’m not sure how you can read this and not want to be his best friend..  Qasim, we are so glad to have you as a member of our crew; you are such a joy to have in class. CONGRATULATIONS in kicking a nasty habit, and we’re all looking forward to the day you can snatch as well as you can bake. Keep at it!