TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?
Life outside of the gym is quite busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! For a career, I work for an environmental non-profit and have been working in that field for about 7 years. In line with that, I love being outdoors, camping, gardening, kayaking, and hiking. I also am the lead singer, guitarist, and main songwriter in a band – Bev Rage & the Drinks. We are, what I like to call, a “queer garage pop” band and have been playing together for about 6 years. Despite many people thinking I am shy or quiet, I am in fact a 7-foot tall drag queen playing a guitar in music venues on the weekends. Come see us sometime! Other than those things, I spend a lot of time with my chosen family here in Chicago, go on road trips, and watch far too many scary movies, even when it isn’t October.
WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO TRAINING AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
I first started at Hardware in April 2019 and haven’t turned back! When I began, it was really about trimming down, trying to improve my health, and to boost my self-esteem when I’m on the beach. However, what I really got was a very big change in my lifestyle for the better. Hardware has helped me to be disciplined with my workouts, be more mindful of what I am putting in my body, and build confidence to try to push myself as hard as I can both in and out of the gym. I keep coming back to continue making positive changes in my life, and of course to keep feeling more confident in my swimsuit.
WHAT ARE YOUR FITNESS GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
The only main goal is to just keep making it to class at least 5 days a week. As long as I am staying on schedule and keeping myself active, I don’t need to have a specific weight or time goal. Just spending that hour a day being active is now essential for both my physical and mental health. I would love to improve on my kipping pull-ups, though. Those have been tough to get the hang of… (see what I did there?)
WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED AT HARDWARE THAT MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?
A fear of mine prior to joining Hardware was working out in front of other people. Now, working out without a bunch of people around seems daunting! Overcoming that fear has probably been my greatest accomplishment. Before I began here I associated gym culture with toxic masculinity, however, the uplifting and diverse community at Hardware could not be more opposite of that.
I love long WODs with rest built in. I like to be able to push myself very hard with that nice reward of a minute or two of rest built into the workout. TABATA workouts with a variety of movements are a fave as well. I also love partner WODs and working with someone to get to the end of a tough workout.
LEAST FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?
For the life of me I can never imagine a time when I will enjoy overhead squats. I hope I get proven wrong on that at some point.
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT HARDWARE?
Just give it a shot! The coaches are all great at working with beginners. The other members are very friendly and supportive. The incredible positivity that radiates in the space truly cannot be matched. Just don’t start on overhead squat day. :)