In 2005, Willie McBride met Tony Barbero in Berkeley, California and they began adventuring tirelessly in the Marin Headlands, pushing the limits of their mental and physical endurance. They felt like animals and they soon put a name to their rag-tag two man crew: Animal Athletics. With that, the journey began.
After moving to Portland in 2011, Willie connected with like-minded animal Yassine Diboun, who was already a highly-respected runner in the area (they literally crossed paths at the junction of Wildwood and Wild Cherry Trail in Forest Park and recognized each other from pictures!) Together the two began honing the vision of their dream business and soon realized the opportunity was there to be seized. A short time later the philosophy and spirit of Animal Athletics became a reality to be shared with all.
Fast forward to 2016... After an awesome 4 years of business a transition is upon us: a new name, a new look, though our heart and soul remain unchanged. In that time we've experienced the greatest parts of a venture like this--cultivating a wonderful community, finding truly meaningful work, being active and mostly outdoors while doing it--but have also had to deal with some of the disheartening aspects of the business world. Which, in turn, brings us to the renaming/rebranding of Animal Athletics and the creation of the Wy'east Wolfpack. Onwards and upwards we say! Focusing on the positive is a big part of what we believe in.
Wy'east Wolfpack is as much a philosophy and lifestyle as it is a way to simply get active, healthy, and fit. In our often bewildering modern times, we find it increasingly important to cultivate opportunities to connect with our bodies and disconnect from the stress and technology around us that can easily feel all-consuming.
How do you connect to your body? How do you successfully disconnect from the things that drain you?
No matter what you do, movement is key to wellness. Take a walk, bike to the store, play hopscotch with your kids, just do something!
-Outdoors are essential
Getting outside is an absolute must for optimal physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual health. Not everyone has the means or the time to drive to the mountains or wilderness further afield to adventure, but pretty much all folks--if they make the deliberate choice--can open the door and walk down the block and/or enjoy the trees and open space of a local park. It's about fresh air and being away from the "man-made" world for a moment, taking even a single minute to consider your connection with nature.
-Check your motivations & have fun!
Why are you doing it? What's really motivating you? These are questions worth asking yourself, especially in the social media age. Remember, run your own race, no matter what your chosen activity. Are you enjoying yourself, at least occasionally? If not, it may be time for a check-in...
Thankfully the old adage of "if you want to run, just run" or "if you want to do X, just do X" has been debunked and people are realizing that you need to do more to stay balanced and injury free. Incorporating cross training, strength training, and functional fitness into your routine will keep you feeling good and doing what you want to do. Simple.
-Push yourself beyond your comfort zone--in many ways
Reaching for your dreams and accomplishing big goals requires a lot of work, training, and just plain digging deep--that's a fact. We emphasize mental training as a way to become "comfortable with discomfort" and know from personal experience that the mind is just like any other muscle: the more we work it the stronger and tougher it gets. Try a kind of food you've never tasted, learn a new perspective, put yourself in someone else's shoes, engage in a difficult conversation...going beyond your comfort zone can mean many different things!
-Meet new people, learn from others & get inspired!
We always say that the best part of our job is all the awesome people we get to work with. The truth is our clients are not just fun, friendly people but deeply inspiring too! We get to see people of all ages, shapes, and sizes achieving things that many wouldn't think possible. Every person has things to teach and share and stories to tell, if we keep our ears and eyes and hearts open we can definitely learn a few things...
-Stay Humble, Stay Cool
Lastly, we believe it's important to remember our proper place in nature and respect the environment and the earth that sustains us. Tread lightly, both on the trails and in the cities, and be ever-thoughtful about your impact, both social and environmental. We aim to spread positivity and all-inclusive good vibes and seek interested folks to join the pack and do the same!
Many people have never heard of Wy'east before and naturally ask what it is. Of course, there's also the question of why we choose to use it for the name of our business.