GET TO KNOW JULIANNA AND MATT’S SUCCESS STORY AT FIT2LIVE BELOW!
This month’s spotlight is on the newly wedded, intellectually friendly and active couple Julianna Wiggins and Matt Hiller.
Julianna has been kicking butt at Fit2Live since January of 2020 and Matt has been joining her since April of 2021!
They are both members of the red shirt 250 class club with Julianna fast approaching the 500 class club!
They are both great conversationalists and are often enjoying our social outings and events at Fit2Live.
Julianna and Matt have been quite consistent with their fitness over the last few years and the results are there to show for it.
They aren’t afraid to work hard and break a sweat in class while supporting their fellow F2L’ers.
For these reasons and many more, Julianna and Matt have been chosen as our members of the month for October!
Tell us about yourselves, where you’re from, what you do for work, hobbies, what do you do outside of work and Fit2Live? How did you two meet?
Julianna- I was born and raised in Paradise, California- a small rural mountain town in northern California. I grew up with my four siblings and parents on a lot of land where we raised chickens and would occasionally bring a new kitten, toad, puppy or even guppies home. I moved to New Mexico for college and cultivated a love for my heritage there. Now I am a PhD student in the Program of Latina/o Studies at Michigan studying Latina stand-up comedy. I do a bit of comedy myself around the southeast Michigan area as well!
Matt- I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Unlike Julianna, I only had one sibling and my parents limited us to two cats. I went to the local performing arts high school and spent a lot of my adolescent years playing music in my basement with my brother and my friends. I went to college at Middle Tennessee State University and originally had ambitions to be high school band director. But I didn’t follow that path, and long-story short, I’m finishing up a PhD in Social Work and Anthropology and studying psychedelic therapy. Though, I still do love to play music in the basement!
Tell us your love story but spare us some of the sappy details. How did you meet, first date, how did the proposal go, etc?
Julianna- We met in 2020 in a Spanish class called “Anxiety in Latin America.” I arrived late to class because I couldn’t find the classroom and there was only one seat left for someone to sit which was next to Matt. Matt introduced himself as someone who speaks “party Spanish” and I thought to myself, “Who is this guy?” During the class break he started an easy conversation with me which I really liked….
Matt– The name of the class was actually “Anxiety and Experience,” though it was taught through the Spanish department. I thought Julianna was pretty and that she had friendly and joyful energy, so I made up reason to talk to her during the break. I remember asking some obscure questions about the readings, but I guess she found it not too weird. We had a good talk, so I decided to wait for her after class so that we could continue our conversation. I almost didn’t do it because I was worried it would be creepy. But I made the right choice!
Julianna-It was! I sent him an email maybe a week later to let him know I was dropping the class because I didn’t want to read old white man philosophy. But I left a little breadcrumb for him to pick up…
Matt – If I remember correctly, the email was the next day after class. When I got the message, I thought that Julianna might be interested, so I asked whether she wanted to get coffee.
Julianna—Sooo, we got coffee at Comet Coffee right next to campus. I was, of course, late because I got lost… again. We had a really great time just getting to know each other. I learned a lot about young Matt and how he accidentally wore hiking boots to a basketball practice once! That gave a little insight into what I was getting myself into. Then, he made the next move and asked me out to drinks!
Matt – So Julianna said yes and we went out for drinks! I learned that she is a rugby fanatic, was middle school state champion on the saxophone, and spent her college years breaking up parties as a campus security guard. I also learned that she loves Latina philosophy and often thought of herself growing up as living in “Little House on the Prairie.” I had never met anyone like her and felt that this may be a first date of destiny!
Julianna—Fast forward to January 2021, Matt came to visit me at my parents over New Years and in the most romantic way proposed to me on my family land under the stars! It was perfect, and he had even designed the ring with my brother-in-law. It has two turquoise stones around the diamond to represent my Apache Mexican heritage.
When and why did you get started at Fit2Live?
Julianna- I was a multi-sport athlete while growing up (I ran the hurdles in high school, if you can believe it!) and went on to play DI women’s rugby at the University of New Mexico. During our off-season training we would go to a CrossFit gym and did crazy exciting things like box jumps, slam ball carries, and barbell walking lunges. When I graduated with my masters from UNM I took a year off from rugby when I moved to Michigan in 2019 and thought I would give my body a break to rest from a bad shoulder injury I got while playing rugby. The opposite happened: my shoulder pain was getting progressively worse and I could tell I needed to get back to some kind of movement. I remember loving the varied movements and knew I could get into something like CrossFit. The reviews for F2L (then Joust) were glowing and I took my first Foundations class with fellow rugger Rob!
Matt- A few years back I had done a Cross Fit group on at place called “Cross Notorious” in Chicago, but it left me with mixed feelings. It was kind of intense and the coaching didn’t seem that interested in teaching! But Julianna said that the gym formerly known as Joust was much better. I wanted to get in shape and thought it would be a good thing for us to do together, so I signed up!
What do you love most about Fit2Live, what keeps you coming back consistently, and together?
Julianna—All of you reading this keep me coming back! I also don’t want to disappoint my CrossFit Dad Coach Brandon and the other coaches who keep me accountable and always push me to be a better athlete! Matt and I don’t always see each other during the day so we try to go to a WOD together as much as we can. I also love to be a social butterfly after workouts—blame the endorphins!
Matt – I always like to learn, so I appreciate that there is quality instruction. I also like that there is no pressure to push super hard if you are feeling tired on a given day, thought I often do try to do the workout at the highest capacity I can.
Give us a fun, maybe unknown fact about yourselves.
Julianna- I have a lot of nicknames; in rugby I am called “Jules,” my family calls me “Nana,” and I have been adopted by Rob and Brandon as my personal favorite: “Hooligan”
Matt- Matt was once in a slam-dunk contest with a Tibetan Buddhist monk… The basketball net was lowered and I don’t remember who won because he was not competitive.
Matt, describe Julianna in 1 sentence to someone who hasn’t met her. Julianna, describe Matt in 1 sentence to someone who has never met him.
Julianna- Matt is the sweetest human who is an extremely talented musician and a lover of all things related to the mind and adventure— and he will be your friend and closest confidant whenever you may need one… He is truly special!
Matt- Julianna has an inner kindness that is immediately apparent to plants and domestic animals.
How are you two alike and how are you two not alike?
Matt – We are alike in the we find the same things funny and both try to enjoy life and be nice to people. We have also discovered recently that we are good songwriting duo!
I think I am a little more into very abstract philosophical questions and Julianna is more into making spaces beautiful and comfortable. We both like to travel and go on adventures, but I am perhaps more quick to embrace a sudden change in plan. Also, I really like hot humid weather, and Julianna likes dry humid weather.
Julianna—That’s all about right except I love a dry heat. Also Matt sweats buckets when he eats spicy food while I maintain my lovely complexion!
What is your favorite trip that you have taken together? What future trip would you like to make together?
Matt – We’ve had a lot of great trips together, so it’s hard to say. But I think one of my favorites was when we went to Joshua Tree and climbed on all the big piles of rocks.
Julianna—Our most fun trip was bringing our dog, Migo, home to adopt from a random town in northern Michigan! It felt weird to have an animal suddenly come into our lives! We haven’t honeymooned yet but would consider Greece. I feel very lucky that anytime I’m with Matt it’s like we’re taking a trip or vacation together!
Give yourselves a power couple nickname. Now make a power couple workout with that name. What movements, repetitions, format, etc?
“Marshmallows and Stars” (Matt’s the Marshmallow, Julianna’s the Star… also an Aldi cereal knock-off of Lucky Charms)
“Marshmallow and Stars”
2 Rounds For Time
Buy-in: 20 Burpees
3 Tire Flips
6 Hand-Stand Push-Ups
12 Box Jumps
6 Hand-Stand Push-Ups
Cash-out: 20 Burpees
Favorites! What is your favorite song, book, movie, tv show, quote?
Song- “Simple Song” – The Shins
Book- “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak
Movie- “Remember the Titans” and “Napoleon Dynamite”
TV Show- Gilmore Girls
Quote- “These are my stretchy pants” – Nacho Libre
Song- Ravel, Adagio in G
Book- “Introductory Lectures in Psychoanalysis” by Sigmund Freud
Movie- “Total Recall”
TV Show– Seinfeld
Quote- “Beware the Trouble Master, he is Pop-O-Matic” – Anonymous
What is your biggest fitness accomplishment to-date and what fitness goal are you most pursuing/working towards currently?
Julianna- Running the Murph with a 14-lb weight vest (the first time I did it I ran with a 20-lb vest on accident!) was one of my biggest accomplishments. I am always working through getting my first bar muscle up!
Matt- I lost 30 pounds over the last year in preparation for the wedding! Moving forward, I just want to work on strength and mobility to help prevent future injuries.