I love GROUP FITNESS! First off, Edgewater Fitness is the best. A long time ago, I said to myself, “I will never set foot in a gym again – I’m so not a ‘gym person’.” I had no intention of ever going back, but in the beginning of my fitness journey in late spring of 2019, when I had just completed an 8 week nutrition/exercise program, I was looking for something sustainable going forward. I was just looking for another HIIT class to add to my week and I had just walked in on a whim to check out the class schedule. I laughed at myself, remembering my promise to never walk through gym doors again, but was so excited about my personal success from my “Mommy Fitness Program” that I thought to myself, “I want to keep this going!”
From the first greeting, I felt so incredibly warm and welcomed and such a part of this wonderful community right away. Of course, it was Gina who helped me, and of course I said “yes!” to the free first week. But it wasn’t until I went to yoga that I fell in love. When we lived in our first apartment years ago, we had a resident in the building who taught yoga and it was my first ever experience on the mat. I absolutely loved it. I’ve considered myself a “yogi” ever since. She moved, and we moved, and I hadn’t practiced in years, but then, there was Mary Jane. From that first class, I was in – for life. She is the most incredible yoga instructor that I have ever experienced, and I say experience because her practice is so much more than just stretching and breathing. It is spiritual and centering and takes your whole body, mind, and soul away from everything and everyone outside of you. It is a perfect hour that is just for me. No one needs me for those 60 precious minutes, and it is completely heavenly to give myself that gift twice a week. It was easy to become a member after going to that class. I would pay for my membership just to go to yoga alone, but I am lucky enough to have found Body Pump too.
As I shared, I had come to EF to keep up with HIIT, but my son’s school schedule and the desire to try something new and more sustainable than HIIT (I kept hurting myself) led me to try a Pump class. I love this class. I love it because it isn’t a ton of jumping and hopping around like HIIT, but it’s a total body workout that targets and isolates all of my muscle groups individually. I can literally feel every single part of my body get worked out in that hour. And it’s hard, but it’s the good kind of hard. My elbows sweat. I feel like it’s a class that I can do until I’m a little old lady with all my happy wrinkles and my gray hair in a braid. So, this is the gift I give to myself on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I get Keri as my instructor, who is Queen of Body Pump, literally. She’s Les Mills’ National Trainer and she’s so good at kicking my butt! She’s also such a lovely role model for me as a Super Fit Mama.
I would be remiss to not mention Robin here too. I have taken yoga and Pump with her and she is such a kind and soulful spirit. She, too, is also an incredible fitness role model for anyone. Needless to say, I love all of my gym people… especially Chuck and Katie at the front desk. “Mr. Bill,” as my son says, and Erik have been super responsive and helpful whenever we have had any questions or concerns. I have already expressed my love for Gina – gracious and glorious Gina. So, here I am, a member since Summer 2019, someone who said she would never walk into the gym again, going to the gym 4 days a week and loving it. For me, becoming a member completely validated our decision to move our family to Edgewater, since we live in the neighborhood right next door. I can literally walk to the gym. And seeing so many of our lovely neighbors here together, people who live and work in these Edgewater neighborhoods, working on themselves, getting stronger together, being in all of this mess together, being kind to one another, being human together, is evidence of just how lovely our little patch of earth truly is.
Losing the gym to COVID during Quarantine was my biggest pandemic loss. I acknowledge that I am profoundly privileged and blessed beyond belief that I can say that the worst part of 2020 for me was not getting to go to my group fitness classes, but it really was heartbreaking. I missed my community connections, and my body missed my group sweats and stretches. I am not good at at-home workouts. To be perfectly frank, I hate them. But I love people and I love having a place to go in the morning. Sometimes you just “wanna go where everybody knows your name…and they’re always glad you came.” As such, I am just so grateful that we are back at it and that I get to fill my Tuesday through Friday with my morning hour of self-love.
I love being part of this community. I could not maintain my balanced Happy-Mom-Happy-Wife-Happy-Life without my gym classes. Mask or no mask, I am in it to win it. I am so proud of myself for getting as far as I have in my fitness journey and I am excited to see where I go from here. I am so blessed that I found this place that feels like home and all of the beautiful people who make up this charming community. And, as always, I am so grateful to our amazing staff and cleaning crew for doing everything in their power to keep us open and safe and working it during these trying times. We are a lucky bunch of humans to get to share this space together. Thank you, EF! Here’s to seeing everyone’s “Smeyes” (Smiling Eyes)!
– Cathrina Gaba, Edgewater Fitness member