Monday, December 14, 2015

December Clients of the Month - Caitlin Volpe & Kristene Thieman

We always think it's better when friends work out together and we are in love with this particular dynamic duo.  Caitlin and Kristene always bring smiles, energy and dedication with them to the studio.  Read about how friendship and fitness can go together and make it your New Year's Resolution to turn your friend into your workout buddy.

I met Kristene about a week after moving to Dallas a few years ago through some of our mutual friends. We had always talked about working out together so we looked into gyms that offered a variety of classes that fit both of our schedules. We did the intro week at Crowbar and became hooked. I think my favorite part about working out at Crowbar is that I have Kristene to work out with. Not only do we hold each other accountable for classes, but you also don’t feel like you’re working out alone which makes it fun. Being in a class with a bunch of people you don’t know can be intimidating at first, but having a friend there with you makes all the difference!

Caitlin and I moved to Dallas around the same time, about 3 1/2 years ago. We met through mutual friends and instantly became great friends! We wanted to join a gym together that would be fun and give us a great workout! We both wanted to become healthier and take classes where we would be pushed to our max!
Caitlin and I try to plan our weekly workouts together if we can! It makes exercising more fun and we hold each other accountable. Sometimes we even make it a friendly competition! We ❤️ Crowbar!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November INSTRUCTOR of the Month - Elizabeth Hood

We love her smiley face, her every changing hairstyles and her awesome energy in each and every barre class she teaches.  Elizabeth Hood is our Instructor of the month because we think her infectious attitude will help keep you coming to classes during the hectic holidays.  

Something you may not know about me just by looking?  In addition to chronic back pain, I suffer from a very debilitating case of wanderlust. Travel is my number one passion in life and I even lived in France for two and a half years after college. Since practicing barre, my core has been strengthened to the point that I’m no longer hindered by heavy backpacks or long hours on my feet. In fact, I make it a personal mission to seek out fitness studios and take classes whilst abroad. So far, my favorite class experience was at an aerial-barre studio in Sydney, Australia called Sky-Lab. Check it out if you get the chance!

Studio classes have become my favorite environment in which I get my sweat on. I like having an instructor there to guide me through my workout and hold me accountable. I like being surrounded by other women whose energy and determination help push me along, (when I’d otherwise want to give up). And what I enjoy most about taking studio classes is that it’s a time to unplug. It’s the one time of day where you can disconnect from your phone for an hour and not feel guilty.

As an instructor, I try to stress the importance of self-care. Regular exercise is vital to our self-care routine and I believe that, out of all the other studios in Dallas, Crowbar possesses a certain realness in their approach that you won’t find many other places. Crowbar will always challenge you, but we don’t set unrealistic body goals because we understand that “perfection” looks different to everyone. At Crowbar, whether teaching or taking, I always walk away happy that I came and I hope that my clients do too!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October Client of the Month - Paula Billingsley

Paula first joined the Crowbar Crew in the summer of 2014 but a battle with breast cancer would put her new fitness routine on hold while she fought like a warrior to win back her health and a chance to spend her mornings with us again.  We couldn't be prouder of her hard work and determination and are so honored to feature this strong lady as our October Client in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In June 2014 my fledgling exercise routine at Crowbar got sidetracked by the phone call no one ever expects after a routine, annual mammogram.  What followed were biopsies, lymph node surgery, a double mastectomy, reconstruction surgeries, genomic and genetic testing, and the nasty side effects of medication they say needs to be taken for ten years.  In between and throughout these assorted treatments, the positive and upbeat Crowbar family has been welcoming, accommodating, and encouraging, and has generally helped save my sanity.
It’s been about a year since the first big surgery, and I’m here and healthy.  Things are back to a new normal, including a 6:00 a.m. Crowbar class most days.  But without that routine mammogram, my invasive breast cancer would not have been detected – no lumps, no bumps, just bad stuff that was caught on film before it spread too far.  There’s nothing pretty or pink about breast cancer; it’s a demoralizing, deforming sucker punch that slams into one out of every eight women in the U.S. every single year.  The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and having birthdays – nothing preventative to be done about either of those.  It can be treated, but it can’t be treated unless it’s found.  So please, please, please, keep exercising, do monthly self-exams, and get screened annually.
Sometimes we think that taking care of ourselves is a luxury we don’t have enough time or money for. But when we take care of ourselves, we catch things early on, and we’re more mentally and physically prepared to face our challenges. Taking care of ourselves is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Oh, and we should consider donating our time, effort, and money to groups that spend more than eighteen cents out of every donated dollar on cancer research.  Our lives depend on it!

Monday, September 14, 2015

September Client of the Month - Brian Hall

A relative newcomer to the Crowbar Crew, we love Brian's infectious positivity and competitiveness.  He's always up for the races in Indo-Row, pushing his hardest and cheering on his teammates to success.  He's tall too (so he's good to have on your team, when you're looking for a win).  If you couldn't tell by his shirt, his favorite color is orange.  If you couldn't tell by the walls in the studio, it's one of our favorites too!  Just a sign he was meant to be in our crew.

I grew up in good ole Oklahoma and moved to Dallas after graduating from OSU in 1998. Go Pokes! (That’s a little Oklahoma State lingo for you.) For most of my life I have been tall and lean with a swimmer’s build. I could bake a cake, then turn around and eat the entire thing without gaining a single pound. (Boy, those were the days!) Then I hit the magical 30s and, suddenly, my awesome metabolism changed.  I started gaining unwanted weight; weight that I needed to drop AND keep off. In my search for the perfect workout to assist me in shedding the pounds, I began researching cardio options that would be high intensity, but low impact on my body.  Rowing is what kept appearing at the top of the lists. 

Before I realized it was a unique fitness facility, I kept passing by Crowbar Cardio for about a year.  Finally, I decided to give them a shot.  From day one, my experience at Crowbar Cardio has been nothing but amazing. I look forward to going to class early in the morning or directly after work. The instructors are constantly challenging me and, because of their motivation, I’ve realized that I can push my body to limits I didn’t know existed. I really feel like I’ve found a place where I can achieve realistic fitness goals while literally enjoying every minute of it.

Additionally, I’m an extremely competitive person and this particular fitness studio is a great outlet. If anyone reading this bio has been in class with me, you know this last statement is so true!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August Client of the Month - Karen Babb

She's been with us since the beginning, almost never misses a class and we love her dedication to always finding time for fitness and always doing it with a smile.  Karen's great to have on your rowing team, next to you to follow in barre or as a cycling neighbor, because she's willing to do it all.  And did we mention how much we love her unicorn workout pants?

Call me a junky, well a workout junky!  In my high school years, I wasn’t so much into fitness or sports. I played the clarinet and marched in the band. Yep, I was a band geek! Gym class was my worst nightmare.  But, as I got older, I started going to the gym and have now been a gym rat for over 25 years.  I first heard about Crowbar Cardio at the law firm where I work.  I work with Molly Setnick’s husband, Ben and he sent an email telling us about a new gym that his wife had started and that it was high intensity, low impact.  I thought, what a great concept, a high intensity, low impact workout. I had been having trouble with my knees and couldn’t run anymore, and the classes I was taking at the big box gym were making it worse.  So, about a year ago I decided I would sign up for the trial membership and see if I liked it.  I was hooked!  I never felt awkward in any of the classes and the place felt familiar from day one. I feel like the classes focus on strengthening the whole body in a more gentle way, but still have the intensity to build up my endurance.  I love the friendly atmosphere, the camaraderie of the members in the classes and the teachers.  We know each other’s stories, and I think that is important because it makes people feel like they belong.  I hate to miss a class and it really has to be something important for me to cancel.  As you can tell, I am one of Crowbar’s biggest fans.  I even got my husband to start coming with me! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July Client of the Month - Sean Vick

We don't just love Sean for his great accent, though we do enjoy hearing it in class.  What we really love is his determination to be stronger, work harder, reach goals and then exceed them. We also love that he has a friendly smile for everyone...
"Born and raised in South Africa, where the beautiful year round climate encouraged an active lifestyle, has fostered my love for both short and long distance running. After relocating to the United States in 1994, my rigorous college career and later jaunt into the finance industry forced me to take up residence in numerous cities up and down the eastern seaboard with varying climates from the blistering heat to the frigid snow.  The Northeast tends to be a bit on the icy side, often times forcing me indoors for exercise. The boredom and monotony of running on a treadmill was not working for me.  I decided to join a gym in New York City, seeking alternative sources for cardio activities, which lead me to discover both water rowers and the Real Ryder bikes.

After relocating to Dallas one of my top priorities was finding something comparable to my fitness experience in New York.  As fate would have it, I was delighted to find Crowbar Cardio right in my own back yard.  Considering my busy schedule, I love the no fuss atmosphere and encouraging environment that Crowbar provides me. I love that I am able to choose from a varied list of classes and that they have both my rowing and cycling needs covered. The instructors are knowledgeable, supportive, and professional; providing not only a great low impact workouts, but most importantly a fun and warm environment that keeps familiar faces coming back on a day to day basis. I am so happy to have found a studio that is helping me achieve my fitness goals."

Monday, June 15, 2015

June INSTRUCTOR of the Month - Brittany Harrington

We want to introduce you to one of our newest instructors, Brittany Harrington.  Don't let her petite frame fool you - she's one tough instructor and always has a big smile, a great laugh or an encouraging word for you, while she's kicking your butt.  If you haven't tried her classes, you're missing out.  And by the way, she has a musical hidden talent...

Do you know what a bassoon is?  I have been playing one since I was 11 years old in a town just around the corner from Dallas.  It’s something that has shaped my life in a profound way!  It has allowed me to travel around the world performing and learning about music, afforded me the opportunity to meet people across the globe, brought me through three degrees (a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and graduate Diploma), created lasting bonds with people, introduced me to my wonderful future husband, and even brought me to my love of fitness!

I have always tried to hit the ground running in anything I do.  When I first attended the Eastman School of Music, things were no different- I began practicing and performing anywhere from 2-7 hours a day!  The repetitive motion my body endured in conjunction with bad posture and practice habits, and hours of sitting in rehearsals, caused me to develop severe tendonitis.  I actually had to stop playing bassoon for a few months and go into physical therapy- no small feat when my degree program depended on my ability to perform! My forced hiatus from performing allowed me to re-evaluate my body, and I began taking better care of myself.  I eventually found that I wanted to help others, especially my peers, get into better shape.  As musicians, we spend a lot of our time being sedentary and I love when I can get people moving and feeling healthier and more energetic. Since breaking into the fitness industry I have helped many friends, family, and fellow musicians find a fun way to exercise.  I even convinced a bunch of colleagues to cycle with me after orchestra rehearsals one semester!

Fitness has allowed me to come back from severe injury and enriched my life in so many ways.  I love Crowbar Cardio not only because of its healthy low-impact classes, but because of the culture and the community.  Everyone comes from different places and various backgrounds, yet everyone supports each other.  Every time I walk through the door, I’m struck by the overwhelming sense of kinship amongst the instructors, staff, and members.  Every time I sit on a rower or a bike, I’m inspired by the members of my classes.  And every time I teach, I strive to bring that same sense of positivity, encouragement, and support those around me.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May Client of the Month - Tiffany Bollinger

Tiffany Bollinger has been a member of the Crowbar Crew since just about the beginning and we are so glad she's stuck with us because we love her energy, her sense of humor and her great hair.  

Crowbar is more than just a fitness studio to me, it's my happy place. When my twin girls started going to school full time, I finally had some time to dedicate to my fitness. Crowbar was a no brainer. It was in the neighborhood, intimate, not intimidating, offered great classes and I always left feeling like I got a great workout. Growing up I was a swimmer, then after graduating college I moved to San Francisco and the mild weather with the endless scenic views inspired me to take up running. When I wasn't running you could find me at a barre or spin class. Crowbar fit perfectly into my exercise routine with the added bonus of InoRow class. Slowly but surely, there wasn't a class I didn't love at Crowbar. So when I'm not taking a class at Crowbar, you'll still find me there personal training with Darius Yancy. He always pushes me to next level and I love it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April INSTRUCTOR of the Month - Matthew Hickey

Matthew Hickey is a true gem - dedicated to the sport of cycling and dedicated to helping others find success in fitness.  We've known him since before Crowbar was Crowbar and we are so happy and lucky to have him as part of our fitness family.  
I am a native Dallasite who remembers when LBJ was built and Lover’s Lane near Greenville Ave had Lover’s Lane Horse Stables!  I’m happy to remember anything now! While a lot has changed since I grew up here, one thing has remained constant, I have always enjoyed working out as much as I have enjoyed eating! 

I have always had a challenge with maintaining a healthy weight.  My nickname growing up was “Fat Matt” and then “Fat Matt with a radial plied tire”! I have always been upbeat and I have had a good sense of humor so I was able to roll with the punches without taking it too personally.  After being overweight for years I was finally able to slim down by watching what I was eating and by starting a dedicated workout with goals in mind! It worked! I started cycling (back when no one wore helmets but long after LBJ was completed!) to complement my running and swimming.  I started riding with one of my best friends and we pushed and challenged each other!  I have run six marathons and annually ride the Hotter N Hell 100 mile bike ride as well as numerous other bike rides in the State.  Having a realistic stated goal and a friend or a group of friends to train with is very important since it helps you take ownership of the goal and to strive to succeed!    

Crowbar has great classes to choose from with a group of dedicated instructors who want to see the client succeed in obtaining their goal(s).  I understand the challenges of maintaining and controlling weight and physical condition.  As a teacher and leader of a spin class, I have two objectives: (1) first is to get each individual to challenge themselves and work as hard as they can to help them achieve their goals (2) lead by example and spin as hard and fast as anyone in class.  There is a sense of accomplishment when the class tells you they had a great workout and enjoyed class!  SPIN ON!

Friday, March 13, 2015

March Client of the Month - Flannery Nardone

Well, yes, she has a very Irish name, but it took more than that to choose Flannery Nardone as our March client of the month.  She's been a regular at Crowbar for a long time now and she always brings a positive attitude in the door with her.  We love seeing her in our classes and love the growth she's had in her personal fitness over her time as part of the crew.  And yes, we do think she brings a little luck o' the Irish along with her.  

A little over two years ago my best friend talked me into coming to Crowbar with her.  We made a deal that I’d suffer through a spin class with her if she’d come to a Barre class with me, and after that first class I was hooked.  Right after our class in the parking lot my friend told me her husband had gotten a job in Austin and they were moving, but I’m so thankful she introduced me to Crowbar before she left!

Over the years I’ve joined several different gyms, but I never found one that motivated me the way Crowbar does.  Now rather than forcing myself to go into a huge gym where I’d mindlessly get on an elliptical for thirty minutes, I actually look forward to going to Crowbar where I know I’ll be engaged and challenged.  The instructors know you by name, the classes are full of friendly and familiar faces, and there’s something about the whoosh of the water barrels on the rowers that’s oddly calming (even when your heart is pounding).  I actually hate when things come up now that keep me from getting to my workout—a feeling that’s new to me when it comes to exercise.  Having done ballet growing up, Barre was where I started, but after a while I got the courage to start exploring other classes.  Although I was initially intimidated, they work to suit all different levels and the only real competition is against yourself—each month I try to shave another couple seconds off my split time in IndoRow or I’ll see if I can balance a little longer in Barre than I did the week before.  I remember my legs shaking so hard after just ten minutes of that first Barre class in January 2013 that I thought they’d give out and everyone would politely stare at the poor new girl on the floor, but I made it through on my feet!  And now, two years and hundreds of classes later my legs (and the rest of me) are stronger than they’ve ever been, and even though my legs still shake after all those pliés, I know they’ll keep holding me up and that I’ll be back a few days later for more.

Friday, February 13, 2015

February Clients of the Month - Michelle & Richard Perrin

Love is in the air this time of year, so we're featuring not just one great client but an awesome couple.  You can often find Michelle in Indo-Row while Richard is in cycling and sometimes they come at different times or even different days, but we love that they've made fitness a priority in their life and that they do it as a team.  We also love having them as part of the Crowbar Crew, with their smiles and great energy.  Michelle gave us the lowdown on what brought them to the studio.

I was a runner.  Injuries from a serious car wreck years ago, prevent me from running any longer.  That started years of searching for a form of exercise that I loved as much as running.  My other main priority is to avoid injury.  As I’ve gotten a little older, it’s harder to bounce back from injuries and easier to lose fitness.  For me, consistency seems to be the key to staying healthy and fit.  I really never found anything exactly the same as running, but over the years I found that I really enjoy spin class.  I joined a gym that had good spin classes, but nothing else I enjoyed, and I became worried about what would happen if I got bored with spin.  Fortunately, I found Crowbar last year and discovered a gym that focuses on low impact, high result activities that include spinning.  And I also discovered Indo-Row—which I love and I think will be challenging for years to come.  The instructors are fantastic and Crowbar has a great group of members.  It’s a very supportive, encouraging environment.  I still have a long way to go to reach my weight and fitness goals, but I finally feel like I’m on the right track.  I enjoyed the workouts so much, that I invited to husband to join.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January INSTRUCTOR of the Month - Darius Yancy

Happy 2015 everyone!  While we LOVE featuring our amazing clients, we thought we'd kick off the new year by letting you get to know one of our amazing instructors, the one and only Darius Yancy.  If you've been around the studio you know he has an infectious smile, more energy than the rest of us put together and knows how to rock some spandex.  He also has a deep passion for bringing fitness to others and we are so lucky to have him as part of our team.  

"Hi! Being a professional mixed martial artist and constantly training state to state I originally came to Dallas, TX just to visit my dad and train, but the attraction that all of Dallas had to offer kept me. Simply using my bike to get to my training sessions sparked my enthusiasm to become a cyclist and in turn leading me to be the cycling instructor I am today.

From instructing at Crowbar Cardio and being around such an awesome crew with individuals that come in & trust me with their goals and their workout, I grew to love helping others in fitness just as much as I helped myself.  Now I run several classes a week on top of of my own training program. My passion for martial arts has grown my passion for fitness itself and& anyone physically progressing through me brings my life all the more joy.

I’m also passionate about helping clients achieve goals through  personal training and I put together a program with cardio, strength conditioning, toning, speed,  circuit, boot camp, kickboxing, Cirkick training, and more depending on your physical goals  Just ask me for more info!"