MARYSVILLE – Ryan Swobody is a successful businessman with Remedy Athletics and has a successful career as a Marysville firefighter-emergency medical technician.
In 2014, his Crossfit team placed third in the world.
So his current unsuccessful fund-raising effort to help Marysville-Pilchuck High School doesn’t sit well with him.
It wasn’t always that way.
After the shooting at M-P four years ago, Swobody put on a fund-raiser that brought in $50,000 and was able to give about $10,000 each to families of the victims.
The tragedy is personal for him. “I’ve known the Soriano family forever,” he said recently. And Michelle Galasso was one of his coaches at the time. Both Zoe Galasso and Gina Soriano were victims of the shooting.
Along with that, a current coach who graduated from M-P last year – Justin Trueax – was at the table in the cafeteria where the shooting took place, but was “spared,” Swobody said. And while Swobody was off-duty, his dad was battalion chief that day. “I have a lot of close ties to the event,” he said.
So, about a week after the shooting he put on “Muscles for Marysville.” Columbia Street was closed off for a workout, there was a band and a silent auction.
Each year after that on the anniversary of the tragedy Crossfits everywhere do the “Pilchuck” workout. It consists of:
•6 rounds for time for the number of victims
•10 front squats for the month of October
•24 kettlebell swings for the day
•14 burpee box jump overs for the year of the shooting
“We can’t let the memory of the kids die,” Swobody said.
This year he decided to have another fund-raiser, this one to raise money for weight equipment at M-P. He said has been done in local schools to deal with the mental part of the tragedy, but “physical is part of the healing process. Fitness is a way to cope.”
Trueax said recently that working out was essential to his recovery. “The gym – that was my escape,” he said. He added that for years he struggled with mental health. “This placed saved me,” he said.
Swobody had a goal of $5,000 for the recent fundraiser, but online it looks like only about $1,000 from 23 people has been raised. He’d like to make one more push this year before ending the drive. To help go to www.gofundme.com/remedy-athletics.
He said he has a good relationship with PR Lifting so “we can make the most of what we have.” But he’d also like to possibly do a fund-raiser every year, maybe even involving other clubs, and helping other schools, like Marysville Getchell High.
“And continue it forever,” he said.
Swobody said the effort goes hand and hand with his desire to “make a dramatic change in the landscape of fitness in Snohomish County.”
He said he changed the name of his business from Marysville Crossfit to Remedy Athletics because he’s all about community health, like “adult P.E.”
Trueax he supports the efforts Swobody is making.
“I love what they are doing here, bringing the community together,” he said, adding the fundraising would help buy outdated equipment at M-P.