Allison and I have known each other for about 6 years now. We are neighbors and live right across the street from each other. Our kids are close to the same age, and we had also found some other mutual friends/family that we also had in common the more we got to know each other.
I played several sports growing up, and was a college athlete as well. I sort of boycotted the gym after graduation as I needed a break from the intense 3 hr/day practices. I started running in my after college life as a way to keep my weight in check. I always ran outside, because, as I said, I wanted nothing to do with a gym. I ran on my own, or sometimes with friends from work. I signed up for a lot of races to keep my motivation in check and keep running. This worked out ok for me for a few years, but then one summer I had an injury, which made Dam to Dam no fun at all. I pretty much stopped running after that race as it just wasn’t fun anymore. I was struggling to find something to replace the workout running gave me. I tried some workout classes that were offered at work, started riding my bike more, and just random things like this. I was having an issue with staying on track and staying consistent because I was all over the place, and the classes at work were often not enough of a workout for me.
Allison started talking about her experience with running her first Tough Mudder. Since I had done other races like Warrior Dash before, I thought it sounded very interesting. I knew she was working out at the campus and not running a ton to train for this, so this peaked my interest. When she told me she was going to do another one, I talked about it with my husband, and we both decided we wanted to take the plunge and go for it! Allison was so kind to let us join in with her group (we really only knew her and 2 other people). I knew that I needed to change my way of training since I needed to improve my strength (remember, I had boycotted any strength training since college…). I started tagging along once or twice a week to workout with Allison at the campus. It was very clear to me I had a long way to go to where I could keep up with her! We continued, Tough Mudder arrived, and it was so much fun!
After Mudder, I realized that being back in the gym wasn’t such a bad thing, and that if I wanted to still call myself an athlete, I had a lot more work to do strength wise to get to where I wanted to be. Matt was offering a new style of kettlebell class that he hadn’t yet before at the campus that was just getting ready to start. I was talking about it with Allison, as I knew she was doing these classes as well and absolutely loved them. I decided to sign up and keep this strength training going. Since she signed up as well, we decided we should car pool since we live across the street from one another. Thus our workout buddy relationship began!
I absolutely loved the kettlebell class. The very first class I walked into not being able to do 5 pushups from my toes (and 1 was even a struggle). Within 2 weeks, I could do 10! I also doubled my weight in squats in about 4 weeks as well! I kept working to where I eventually was able to use the same weights as Allison. It was great motivation to see everyone in class, and have a straight forward visual of where I wanted to be. Our workouts in that class were a lot of partner work as well, which just helped push each of us more. Encouragement to keep getting better, plus help with spotting, etc so we could pick up and try a larger weight. It was such a great environment to learn and better yourself, I knew I was hooked!
When Brick House opened, it was a complete no brainer for me to continue here. Its great motivation still to have a great workout buddy as we continue to push ourselves each day whether it be by the weights we choose, or speed, or just getting up and getting there to get ‘er done! When you have someone waiting on you for a ride, or waiting on you to go, at 4:50 am, it TOTALLY helps get your butt out of bed and moving because you know someone else is depending on YOU to get in their workout in as well! I don’t want to be the reason she doesn’t go (or is late!). Plus its great to get the brain working and wake yourself up on the way to the gym too! And then we get girl chat time on the way back and in our driveway at 6:15am! We sometimes forget the rest of the ‘hood isn’t up yet!
It will be one year in Oct for attending Matt & Julie’s classes with Allison as my partner in crime, and I have no intentions of switching that up. It is probably safe to say that I am in the best shape I have been in a very long time. Definitely way stronger than maybe I ever had been (especially upper body and core). But what’s unique is the group of people here. There is so much encouragement and energy that we all truly are a team. Its FUN, and you get your butt kicked everyday! J
For anyone that is new to Brick House I would strongly suggest finding a workout buddy. It doesn’t have to be someone you ride there with (although that helps a ton!), but can be someone you are meeting there to help hold each other accountable and to share the experience with. You will always push yourself harder when you have others relying on you, which in turn makes you even better than you thought you could be.