When did you join Raise the Bar?

I joined Raise the Bar in December 2015.

What made you decide to walk in the door the first time?

My friend, Diane, used to come to the bootcamp classes. She would go into detail about the “torture” she was enduring. At that moment I knew I needed that “torture” to improve myself overall and as a runner.

How has the gym impacted you personally and/or professionally?

I have made gains in strength and endurance since coming to Raise the Bar that I never dreamed possible. My running endurance had really plateaued prior to joining Raise the Bar. I had become very frustrated with running because even as I trained harder I was not seeing results; only injuries from the increased workload. The R3Flex bootcamp workouts jumpstarted my run training, put me back on the right track, and allowed me to enjoy running like never before. Here’s a fun fact: I have PR’d EVERY distance I’ve raced since joining RtB, and I will be putting it to the test again this November at the Richmond Marathon.

Describe RtB’s community.

From the second I walked through the door and met with Brian (The Warden), I knew RtB was the place for me. He took time to listen to what I had to say and what I was looking to get out of joining the gym. He encouraged me to join the bootcamp classes because he felt that was the best fit for what I wanted to accomplish.

All of the coaches are motivating and supportive. They will make you work as hard as you can each and every day so you can make gains all while keeping you safe from injury by teaching you the proper form for each move.

Your fellow athletes will encourage you, support you, and even commiserate with you (this last one is what gets us through prison weeks). This creates a positive and supportive environment for everyone. There is one side effect to all of this: Community! You will form bonds and friendships with the people you meet. You will look forward to showing up and seeing your gym family.

What piece of advice would you have for someone just beginning their fitness journey?

  1. Have fun. It’s ok to be a little goofy (actually it seems to be encouraged). A little levity makes the hard work not seem so bad.
  2. Work Hard. We all have good days, bad days, and everything in between. Give it all you can on any given day. Celebrate the good days and learn from the bad ones.
  3. Keep Showing up. Here is a quote from Des Linden that sums this up. “Some days it just flows and I feel like I’m born to do this, other days it feels like I’m trudging through hell. Every day I make the choice to show up and see what I’ve got, and to try and be better. My advice: keep showing up.”
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