You may have seen the signs around ZŪM about the women’s self-defense class offered by 3rd degree Jiu Jitsu black belt Kevin Lollis and Seattle Police Captain Deanna Nollette a couple of weekends ago. I’d been wanting to take a course like that for several years, but I’d never gotten around to it, instead just hoping not to be one of the 1 in 5 women who are raped in their lifetimes. Since this course was on site, I had no more excuses and signed right up to see if I could pick up a few moves to protect myself out in the wild.
When I came to ZŪM last January, my very first client was Michael Sharps, who had a goal to get to 12% body fat and, preferably, be completely shredded before going on vacation to Ibiza just over 3 months later. It was a big ask in a short period of time, but we both worked hard and came within 2% of his goal. Nearly a year later, we’re still working together and Mike has made an impressive physical transformation, and is such a disciplined and motivational person as far as fitness goes, I decided to interview him for our Succeeding and Thriving series.
It’s always hard saying goodbye. It’s been especially hard for me to find the right words (I think I’ve started, deleted and re-started this letter over a dozen times). Honestly, a letter just doesn’t seem to do justice to each of you, as individuals and a group, in the profound impact you have all had on me during my time as ZUM. Alas, the currents of life often times rush us along through the rapids without time for reflection or proper goodbyes. So I will make my best effort.
Thank you for your laughter, humor, motivation, experiences, perspectives, patience, trust and friendship. If ZUM is a community, you all are the beating heart. No matter where I go or where I have been I see a common thread. I see that beating heart. Connection, purpose, belonging…these are the basic things I think we all seek as people. And as I am leaving I can see clearly how you have provided me those three things in abundance. We all come from different backgrounds, different parts of the world, different fundamental life experiences. Yet circumstance has brought us all together. And it’s that common humanity that I see more then anything else. It fills me with gratitude and hope. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am continually humbled by how much I have to learn and it sounds cliche but you have all taught me so much. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
The New Year is almost upon us. That time of year, where we like to say goodbye to the past and welcome in the new. But let’s be real. The second the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, we don’t magically turn into new people, lose those 10 lbs we have always said we are going to or make that career shift we have always been dreaming of. Instead, the new year marks a time to pause, reflect and connect to ourselves and our life. It is an opportunity to get really clear on our goals, our values and why they matter. It is an opportunity to make ourselves a priority in our own lives.
In a current world of information overload and immediate gratification, we’re constantly looking to what works the best to feel optimal and look our best. Like in any other industry, new methods are always being developed in fitness. New products are coming out all the time, to help you lose weight, get stronger, improve balance, sleep better, feel better, etc. What I’ve seen over the years are three main ingredients in the big equation of life that will always play a major role in helping to achieve your personal goals: sleep, stress, and water.
ZŪM Fitness is recruiting members and staff to join our team for the Big Climb, in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) on Sunday, March 24th, 2019. As a team, we will be climbing 69 flights of stairs to the top of Seattle’s Columbia Tower in an effort to raise awareness and donations to find a cure for blood cancer. That’s 1,311 steps and 788 feet of vertical elevation! Although it will be challenging, it pales in comparison to what blood cancer patients go through. Approximately every three minutes, someone in the US is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
Skiing is part of my identity. Wherever I am, mountains bring me a sense of familiarity and are a source of inspiration. I was placed in ski boots around the time I started walking. For a while, I participated in competitive freestyle skiing, and briefly competed and trained at the international level. Eventually, I decided I’d had enough of the competitive routine – the focus was always on the next competition and accumulating points. The rules of those competitions were rigid and seemed, to me, designed to stymie progression and fun. I started skiing more with my friends, improved further as a skier, and had infinitely more fun just skiing for skiing’s sake. While attending Western Washington University, motivated by access to the unique terrain and mountain culture local the to Mt. Baker region, I progressed into backcountry skiing. There was no going back.
A few years ago I was walking through my old fitness club in Philadelphia, and saw a group of people in the classroom sitting on chairs and lifting 3 lb. weights. They looked relaxed, comfortable, and BORED. As the instructor, a good friend of mine and a killer fitness pro, led the group through seated bicep curls and tricep kickbacks she did her best to bring excitement and enthusiasm to the job at hand–to teach a widely available fitness class to senior citizens. After class, the instructor and I discussed the inherent assumption built into the class design– that older people are incapable or afraid of movement of any kind. Ever since then, I’ve been distracted by a voice in my head (the good kind) telling me to “Do something about this!” So I did.
Years ago, when I joined my first gym, I was very curious about the cycling classes. At that facility, they were in a special room, from which muffled, thumping music could be heard when class was in session. People emerged after class sweaty and smiling, which made me want to try it out, but I was intimidated. I was afraid it would be too intense, that I wouldn’t be able to figure out the bike, or that I would be wearing the wrong gear. I didn’t have any idea what to expect, and it was years before I actually tried out an indoor cycling class for the first time. Now here I am, instructing Monday night’s 5:30 pm cycling class at ZŪM, which is one of my very favorite things to do! I consider it part of my job to make sure that anyone who is cycling-curious feels comfortable joining in, so I’ve written answers to some commonly asked questions about indoor cycling. I invite you to try it out!