TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?
Outside of the gym, I’m a professor at Northwestern University – I’m a psychologist, and I direct a research center dedicated to understanding health disparities that impact LGBTQ youth. My work takes up a lot of my headspace, and it’s difficult to keep a work/life balance. Hardware has helped me to focus my attention on my health and strength and is a great break from my job. I’m also prone to periodic depression, and the regularity of the gym has provided a really nice balance for my mental health and wellbeing. Beyond work and gym, my husband and I spend a lot of time trying new restaurants and bars, cooking, and spending time with friends.
WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO TRAINING AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
“Working out” had become really monotonous for me in my early 30s. I was going to the gym and basically doing the same things on a loop, by myself, and never really challenging myself. Coach Ryan is a friend of mine, and he suggested I try out Hardware. At first, I was a little skeptical of how friendly and supportive everyone was (I grew up in the Northeast – how could that be genuine??), but I quickly learned to love both the variability of the programming and the people. I keep coming back, because after 5 years, I’ve made a lot of progress but there are still so many ways I could improve my fitness and strength.
WHAT ARE YOUR FITNESS GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
I don’t really have a specific set of goals. I want to feel good, push myself to learn new things, and improve my strength.
WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED AT HARDWARE THAT MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?
The first time I did a rope climb was a cathartic moment for me. I was the chubby kid who always dreaded gym class. And the rope climb was such a symbol of everything I feared most. Oddly, I’ve learned that my upper body strength comes naturally to me, so rope climbs are right in my wheelhouse
I love all the pushing and pulling movements, and anything on the rig.
LEAST FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?
For whatever reason, my body doesn’t naturally do a good movement for cleans, so I hate heavy cleans. I’m the weird person that can jerk a lot more than I can clean. But I’m getting there.
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT HARDWARE?
Don’t rush it and stick it out. You’re going to feel a bit like an idiot for a while until you build the strength to do a lot of the movements (and remember what all the words actually mean), but when you do, it’s totally worth it. Also, 5 years in and there are a few things I still can’t do, which is frustrating but also exciting because it means I still have a lot of room to improve.