My journey to Formula actually began with beer. I began going to the Brewery Bootcamp at Random Row as a way to transition out of the post-college fitness slump and back into a healthy lifestyle. I bartended with Jason at the brewery and was immediately intrigued when I heard him discussing plans for the studio, so the Bootcamp was a great way to test the waters! After sweating a lot (and cursing under my breath a bit), I discovered that I loved the combination of running and calisthenics. On top of that, I loved that Jason and Ann coached us as we were running, something I hadn’t experienced in years.
Being active has always been a part of my life since I was little, but running was never my sole focus. I always viewed it as a means to progress as an athlete and a building block to becoming a better soccer player, later using it as cross-training during my swim seasons in college. I was speedy but lacked good form because running was always secondary to whatever sport season I was in. All of that changed when I started coming to classes at Formula.
The classes challenged my running capabilities and for the first time ever I felt like I was running efficiently. I felt pushed beyond what I thought I was capable of in every single class by either the instructors or the other members (I’m quite competitive). On top of that, I was noticing muscles I hadn’t had before and they weren’t just from picking up heavy things (dumbbells, pints of beer, etc.) and setting them down again. I learned that each exercise and each movement had a reason behind it and my speeds improved as I went to more classes. I moved out of the post-college fitness slump and can now say I’m probably in the best shape of my life.
My turning point this year was the Charlottesville 10-Miler. In my head I heard Ann telling me to relax my shoulders and Jason telling me to not over stride. During the North Downtown portion, I grudgingly thanked Adam for doing hill repeats and blessed Emily for utilizing exercises that strengthened my legs. Through taking the classes, I was able to drop my pace by almost a minute per mile. And not only did I PR, but I felt GREAT throughout the run.
The best thing about Formula, however, is that I feel like I’ve never gotten lost in the background. There’s never a question of if the instructors care about my fitness or about me as a person (hint: they care a lot). Having that support to be physically healthy and strong in combination with an interest in my life outside of the studio creates a positive atmosphere that encourages every person to give their best effort.