Friday, October 17, 2014

October Client of the Month - Tracy Mackay

Our October Client of the Month Tracy Mackay has a positive attitude, a dedicated spirit and is always an asset to every rowing team she's on, both as an athlete and a cheerleader.  Here she shares her fitness journey, from leotards to lunges in Tsunami...



I had never been athletic growing up, the only thing I loved was the water, and being fortunate enough to live in Singapore during my high school years, I enrolled in a PADI Open Water Diver course just to kill some time in the summer before school started. I loved it and made it all the way up to Divemaster, with several specialty certifications, including Rescue Diver and Reef Fish ID. But then I came to Dallas to go to SMU, and just never left. No ocean in Big D, unfortunately. Sad face.

I remember when I was at SMU from 1983-1987 (before some of you were born!!), aerobics was still a THING in fitness, and yes, don’t laugh, I had one of those really high-cut-on-the-sides leotards and a couple of pairs of leg warmers.  I worked out two or three times a week at some place on Mockingbird and Skillman that is not there anymore and of which I can’t remember the name. I liked it though, and pushed myself, and felt pretty good. Fast forward about 10 years…I had two little ones and no time to myself at all, much less time to work out. When they were a little older, in about 2000 or so, I signed up at the Y because they had great child care when the moms and dads wanted to work out. I got into a step aerobics class, and loved it, it was intense and challenging. I stuck with that class for several years, and made and kept lifelong friends from that class.

Then I moved in 2004 and joined Gold’s Gym, formerly White Rock Athletic Club, and it was there that I would first call myself an athlete. Never, ever before would I have used that word to describe myself. I met a trainer that motivated me like no other, he pushed and yelled and sometimes screamed, but it was always with love and genuine care for my health and progress. We remain close friends to this day. Boot camp, PoP class, kickboxing, spin class…I was so pleased with myself I even ran a couple of 5Ks! And I was down to a size 2, which was pretty awesome. But I felt HEALTHY instead of just skinny; healthy and strong.

So fast forward again, it’s 2012. A few major life events happened, including my mom’s death, my daughter graduating from high school, a breast cancer scare (negative!)…and some other stuff…so I was not working out at all for a while. Super sad face. Did Title Boxing Club for a year and liked it, but never could make it to the gym more than once or twice a week, and that wasn’t cutting it. I do not remember how I first discovered Crowbar, maybe it was all of my ex-roomie’s Facebook posts (Debbie and I were roommates in 1991-92, if you can believe that!) but I did my Intro week at the end of January and have never looked back. I love it, I love Karen, Molly, and Alika, and  will very soon venture into Triple Threat and maybe Bikes, Bands, & Balls…I’ve been doing Indo row and Tsunami (4 X a week total) for about two months now and can really see and feel a huge difference from 3 X a week. Thank you to everyone at Crowbar Cardio for helping me re-unleash my awesome!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September Client of the Month - Gaela Renee Hall


Our always-smiling September client of the month has a knack for creative Indo-Row team names and is about to hit the 100 class milestone.  We love Gaela Renee Hall for her can-do attitude, the fact that she laughs at all of our jokes and because when she found out she had been selected as this month's featured client, she came to class in a sparkly tiara.  She's a testament to the theory that fitness can be fun.  

"Since my early twenties I have valued being physically active on some level (despite what my weight and the number on my clothing tags said).  I had worked out at gyms off and on for many years doing classes and rocking the elliptical, but I can't say I ever really saw any significant results.

For a couple of years I'd been interested in rowing and had researched options for taking lessons on the water.  One day while driving I saw Crowbar Cardio.  A new business that had seemed to pop up overnight on lower Greenville.  It piqued my interest enough to do a little internet searching and I liked what I saw.  I was already talking it up to friends before I even signed up for the one-week trial.

After that trial week, I bought a class package and began to get a feel for the Indo-Rowers and knew I was on to something good.  That summer they introduced a 6-week challenge.  Not really one to challenge myself too much, I took a chance and signed up.  It was then I began to see some changes.  Not just physically or on the scale.  Something clicked.  I was pushed more than I had ever been pushed physically during the various classes I took.  There was a personal investment by instructors and there was a camaraderie (along with some healthy competition) building between participants and Crowbar staff.  It was hard, it was frustrating, but I just kept showing up.  After 6-weeks were up, my final measurements were taken and I think they were down about 6 inches overall.

Since that challenge I’ve continued to attend mostly the rowing classes on a weekly basis and participated in the 6-week challenge this summer.  I find that if I go too long without a class I start missing the sound of the water whooshing and the rhythm of the machines.  It’s cathartic.  For 45 minutes I have to be present and focused.  No racing thoughts about my to-do list or whatever is going on in life.  It’s just ‘Push! Recover, Recover’ along with the occasional mental gripe of how tired I am, or I can’t get my split time down because my legs feel like jelly, or wondering if I’m ever going to catch my breath again.

There are things that I’ve learned there that I find myself applying to other areas of my life.  Don’t hold back.  It’s just mental. I’m capable of more.  Reach longer. Push harder.  In the year and a half that I’ve been at Crowbar I’ve lost a little over 20 lbs and my measurements are down about 15.5 inches overall.  I think it’s pretty awesome that I can say that, it’s certainly more than I thought I was capable of.  But really I think it’s just physical evidence of overcoming some of my own mental and personal blocks while in that studio, and you can’t put a number on that."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August Client of the Month - Marcie Rodriguez

Marcie started coming to Crowbar in April and has been a regular face in our Barre and Cycling classes ever since.  We totally dig her positive energy and spirit, and in fact, she's the first Client of the Month to be nominated by one of her instructors at the studio, Susan Evans, who loves having her in cycling class.  The rest of us concur.  Hear from Marcie why Crowbar has been a good fit for her needs, which we think is awesome, because we love having her here. 

"As a Photoshop professional I work at a computer all day. I have carpal tunnel, tendonitis and other pains that go along with the hazards of working in cubicle land (and having bad posture.)  I needed to get a good stretch along with a good workout. When I started searching for something that would fit into my schedule and not cause additional pain, I focused on Pilates, barre, or yoga classes. I'd seen Crowbar Cardio in the neighborhood, and when I researched it online it seemed like a good fit for my needs.

I’m so glad I gave it a try! Barre class is awesome. It’s stretching, cardio and strength training all in one. Hopefully it will help me become a little more graceful, too.

Years ago I was a member of a large gym. People would race to get to the front desk to sign in for a spin class, and then with equal frenzy they would hurry to the room to save a bike (or two). It was stressful just trying to get to the class, and even if you made it there you weren't guaranteed a bike. At Crowbar, I can sign in on line and know a bike will be waiting for me. I'm SO happy to have found Crowbar."

Monday, July 14, 2014

July Client of the Month - Jon Aisner

Our Indo-Row classes wouldn't be the same without Jon and his signature beard and red headband.  He's been known to row so hard the rower is in a different spot when class is finished.  We love his attitude, his laid-back but still competitive spirit, his team name suggestions (the Unicorns?) and generally just seeing his smiling face at our studio.  We're glad his search for an Indo-Row studio led him to us and that we could provide a continued opportunity for fitness for a guy who's faced down some physical limitations but has never heard of the phrase, "I give up."  But let him tell you in his own words (and then go check out some of his live music shows!)...

"I moved to Dallas just over 3 years ago. I had been doing indo-row at a gym in Denver for about 6 months and was excited to find a local gym where I could continue training. I went to the indo-row website and checked for the nearest rowing gym. San Antonio. Sweet.
Once upon a time I could run. Exercise was easy. I could just put on some shoes and run somewhere. Ten years ago, I fell 15 feet onto my back and displaced some vertebrae. No more running for me.  My body is now reassembled by a doctor once a month.
As a musician, I need to keep my body in working condition. I am expected to get on stage multiple nights a week and perform for up to three hours and still be able to stand the next day. I turned to indo-row as a full body, low impact workout to stay healthy and improve my strength and endurance. Finding Crowbar has been very important to allow me to work on these things in a fun and stress free environment. I've expanded into Tsunami and Triple Threat. It has been great fun to get to know the trainers and the members and everyone is very supportive of what people are doing in the gym, as well as outside of it. I'm even thinking about bringing my beard and head band to a barre class soon."
   

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Clients of the Month June - Jan Steele & Wanda Wallendorf

As the summer heats up and it gets harder to get motivated to work out, sometimes it's easier if you make plans to work out with a friend.  So this month we are so excited to feature friends and workout buddies Jan Steele and Wanda Wallendorf as our Clients of the Month for June!  And, Jan is our oldest member too, proof positive that if you keep active you don't ever have to quit staying young, healthy and fit and clearly fabulous at any age!

Here's a little background from Wanda on how the two met and a little bit about their fitness philosophy:

"Jan and I met at Tom Landry Fitness at Baylor years ago. We are members of a group called Baylor Babes that a dear friend of ours organized. It consists of female members of Tom Landry. Most of the members are over 50. We meet for dinner occasionally and have a Christmas party every year. We have been members of Crowbar Cardio since it opened. Jan and I both believe that being sedentary is bad for your health. My family and Jan's family are proud of us."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May Client of the Month - Meredith Woodchek (and baby!)

Not only did Meredith show up on our very first day to purchase her first class package, but she lives right across the street from us, has brought us chocolates at holidays, sent us love notes and pretty much been a staple at the studio since we've been a studio.  Not only that, she's kept rocking out great low-impact workouts (at 6am, no less) throughout her pregnancy.  But she can tell you more about that herself (see below) Congrats Meredith, we love you, we are inspired by you and we can't wait to meet the newest member of the Crowbar Crew!

"Since becoming a member on Crowbar’s opening day, I like to call myself a CBOG- Crowbar Original Gangster.  Crowbar challenges me physically by blasting calories in non-monotonous ways- something I crave in a workout.  Albeit tough, the classes also give me a sort of mental upsurge.   I never leave a class without having laughed and made small talk with a couple friends.  This makes all the difference in the world and this is why I love Crowbar.

So here I am, 8 months pregnant with my first child and you will still find me on a Real-Ryder bike or Indo-Row at Crowbar.   I wear a heart rate monitor to make sure I stay within a safe zone, but otherwise, I’m able to keep up with the classes with the same spunk as before.  The low impact motions during the classes are such that I’ve felt safe and comfortable throughout my pregnancy and Crowbar’s instructors have been incredibly considerate and supported me every step of the way.   My doctor praises my fitness, my weight gain, and says I could have an easier labor due to staying active during my pregnancy.  Post-baby, I can’t wait to get back to working up a sweat (and showing off a cute baby pic or two) with my Crowbar comrades."

Monday, April 14, 2014

April Client of the Month - Gray Powers

Most guys think Barre is girly, easy and just not for them.  This month, we wanted to let you get to know one of our regular "Barre Men."  Gray Powers always comes to class with a smile and a positive attitude and we love how he, like so many other of our male members, has discovered that Barre class isn't just for the ladies.  We'll just let him tell you how it's made a difference in his outside sports and maybe you'll decide to give it a try too.
 
I have been a regular exerciser for a number of years, strength training twice a week and using a recumbent bike at home. I play tennis at least twice a week and am an avid golfer, hunter, camper and back packer. I used to run quite a bit but, long term, that is hard on the knees. Despite being active I still found myself slowly losing flexibility and balance. In January I was looking for something to do to to remedy the situation. I live in Lakewood and had driven by Crowbar on a number of occasions and always was a little intrigued by the idea of Barre classes but was worried that it would be beyond my abilities at my age or that it would be only women. I was curious enough to check out the website and was pleased to see that there were a variety of classes including cycling and rowing  and that there were men as well as women in all of the classes. So I thought maybe I could check the place out and take an Indo Row or CROW class and then maybe "ease into" barre and or perhaps even yoga.

I took my first Indo Row class on January 8, 2014 and really enjoyed the class and the instructor Debbie Boone. The class is a great cardio workout with stretching and ab work as well. I loved the emphasis on proper technique and my legs, arms  and back felt great. I took two more rowing classes that week, one taught by Karen, and I began to see that everyone who worked there was top-notch. Technically competent, friendly and helpful, and they really seemed to enjoy working with people. I was emboldened to try the Barre class with Vlada the next week and I have to admit I felt like a total klutz. However, by the end of that first class I noticed that I was balancing a little better and stretching a little further. It was very hard but I made it through and I made a commitment to do the Barre class at least 20 times.  I soon joined as a monthly member. In three months I have taken 41 classes at Crowbar, including CROW, Tsunami and Techno Row in addition to Indo Row and Barre. I have taken 13 Barre classes out of my committed 20 and I realize now that I won't stop at 20.

The cardio conditioning has certainly helped my tennis game. In addition I find that my footwork and quickness have improved considerably and it is easier to reach that nice high toss on my serve. My golf game has benefited as well. I am able to make a bigger shoulder turn and my balance is better so I am better able to transfer my weight through he golf swing. Greater flexibility and balance improve every aspect of an active life.

All this benefit and it is really fun too. I love the small classes which allow for individual instruction. I am still a bit of a klutz, but less so than when I started. I get better with every class. All of the staff at Crowbar are friendly and knowledgeable and they truly take an interest in their clientele. Online scheduling makes it so easy to plan my week and I always look forward to every class.

All I can say is keep up the great work.