Thursday, January 8, 2015

Detroit Tough - Why I Love My Gym

It's about time I get down to writing a post about my favorite gym - Detroit Tough.  Although these days, Detroit Tough isn't just my favorite gym.  It's pretty much my favorite place.  It's where I go to find inspiration, healing, and peace.  Yes, peace among the smashing weights, loud yelling, and Slayer music blaring in the background.  Somehow I feel calm there.  It's my happy place.  My home away from home.

I started going in November and working with Coach Terra Castro, a former professional Triathlete.  She is an all-around amazing person and came into my life at just the right time.  She launched the Detroit Tough Endurance Program in November, which includes Run, Bike, and Swim classes.  I haven't attended any of these classes yet but am looking forward to doing so in the coming months, once I'm healed up. 

Also part of the program is my favorite class - Detroit Tough Mechanics.  It's an injury prevention/rehab class that targets mobility, body mechanics, strength, and balance.  As Coach Terra says, "we need to focus on the little details to keep our engine running properly."  

For me, this class has been key with my hamstring injury - both mentally and physically.  It has been better than any PT I've received.  We do band work (clams, monster walks, squats).  We use balance balls (hamstring curls, leg extensions, Supermans).  We use medicine balls (wall ball, Russian twists.)  She has us using the TRX system, lifting kettle bells, and using boxes for mobility drills.  One day we even got to beat the crap out of a punching bag with a baseball bat.  It's never the same class twice and it's always awesome.  

Coach Terra is kind, gentle, and understanding of what it's like to be injured.  She's been a lifesaver!  She will, however, push you to your limit.  We've done 5-minute planks.  100 calf raises per leg.  100 sit ups.  No whining, no excuses.  And I love her for it.  Nothing ever hurts my hamstring when I'm there.  She makes sure of it.  

Here are a few of the exercises we do in Mechanics.  (Photos courtesy of Coaches Terra and Roger.)

 Strength - Wall ball.  Squat and throw against the wall. It's harder than it looks!

Mobility - Under and over.  Knock one down and it's a 5-minute plank penalty.

Balance - Bird dogs with PVC.  Keep the hips stable or the pipe falls (5 push-up penalty).

Movement prep - Great rehab for my hamstring; also great for non-injured runners too!

Therapy - I wrote "hammy" on the bag and beat the crap out of it.  It felt amazing.

I'm looking forward to my hamstring being healed so I can take advantage of the rest of the Detroit Endurance Program, along with more of the classes that the gym has to offer. I'm especially excited to do Coach Roger's Detroit Tough class.  I actually did it once when Coach Terra and Coach Roger teamed up and combined their classes.  It was the most challenging boot camp-style class I've ever taken - and it didn't even involve pushing football sleds, tractor tires, or climbing walls like it usually does.  We did, however, army-crawl through a human plank tunnel in the dark while getting ice cold water poured over our backs as we listened to the same Slayer song for an hour straight.  So there was that.

The gym offers tons of classes.  Besides Detroit Tough, I'm excited to try TRX, Bricktown Bodies, and Bodyweight Warrior.  Right now I've been doing drop-in for Mechanics but once I know what's going on with my hamstring I'm going to start a 1-month membership that my parents gave me for Christmas.  (They're the coolest parents!)  Hopefully next month I can check out some of these other classes.  It's time to shake things up!

Detroit Tough is located in Corktown, behind Brooklyn Street Local and PJ's Lager House. Read more about Detroit Tough and what Coach Roger is doing with the gym and for the community in the January Hour Detroit issue.  Good stuff is happening in Detroit, ladies and gentlemen.  I'm happy to be a part of it.   Amazing gym, incredible people - coaches and clients alike.  

Plus they have super sweet hoodies. 

Photo courtesy of Brian Wolski

What gym do you belong to and why do you love it?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Finding Peace in 2015

As we begin another year, I'm reading many Facebook posts about running goals - new distances, PRs to be set, favorite races to be run again.  Registration opened at midnight for the Detroit Free Press marathon and it seems everyone I know signed up for it already! I love the enthusiasm and look forward to seeing it continue throughout the year with training plans and race day excitement.  This is the first year that I'm not signing up for the Detroit relay, half, or full in 8 years.  I love running in Detroit but am planning to run Chicago instead, which is the week before.  I have a qualifying time, Brian has family there, we love the city, and it's time for something different.  The good thing is I'll be in Detroit on race day to cheer on all my friends along the course!

It isn't realistic for me to set specific running goals right now, considering I'm not able to run.  I'm trying to be brave while I work on my recovery but I don't know what the future holds.  Not knowing when I'll be able to run again is scary.  I feel this quote is very fitting for me as I look to the year ahead. 

Coach Terra at Detroit Tough asked me to think of a word to focus on for the new year. After much thought, I chose PEACE - finding peace in what I do, making peace with my decisions, with myself, with the things I cannot change.  Being at peace with not knowing what might come next.  

If you chose a word to focus on, what would your word be?