Imagine walking into 24 Hour Fitness and the first thing you see is Gabby Reece getting interviewed by local media stations!! Jaw on the floor .. I kind of stopped in my tracks (and tried not to stare – too hard!). She was statuesque . beautiful .. crazy fit and super friendly! Everything I imagined!
Gabby came to town to introduce her new fitness experience HIGHX. I was one of the lucky few there to try out the new class. Me, there with a few other bloggers and fitness instructors, who were getting trained to teach HIGHX that day by Gabby herself. Seriously, me, in the same room with her and being lead by the creator of this new, what I’m sure to be, fitness club favorite (pinch me) ..
She has been teaching this class in her hometown of Hawaii for seven years. Gabby explained the class as a high intensity team “sport”. Where everyone works together in teams of 2-6 and motivates each other, at any level or age, as you progress through 15 different stations .. non-stop! Each station incorporates two different exercises. Each exercise is either done for 1 minute or 30 seconds at a time, depending on station, for a total of 3 minutes per station. Once “30” is called you switch exercises – or stay on same exercise, again, depending on your station. For example my first station was 30 seconds of squat jumps across a bench then alternating with 30 seconds of squats – repeat for two more minutes. This first station had me dripping in sweat and I felt like I had never worked out before in my life and certainly not like a gal who did two ultras in a month just over eight weeks ago! Phew! When it was time for the next station I was happy to see the floor for planks and single arm balancing .. relieved for about a minute! My legs were shaky and on fire from the first round and we had 13 different rotations to go! I was so impressed with Gabby and how she worked the entire class of about 40 people. She walked the room and gave everyone a “good job” .. “looking good” and even a correction of form or two (that’d be me!). Oh yeah .. and a “nice work” from a pro is a definite ego boost. It was truly a kick booty, dripping sweat .. make you want to catch your breath kind of class! Once the class was over she gave a big congratulations to us all for completing it successfully and jokingly said she had 1,200 more exercises where that came from! Can you imagine?!? Wait .. What? 1,200 exercises?!? In my crazy mind I. WANT. TO. DO. THEM. ALL. Is there some way to Skype in on those Hawaiian sessions on the daily?!?
Before we hit the floor we had a brief meet and greet. Gabby talked about being a busy mom, wife and an athlete and how she designed this class for busy people just like herself (or me and every hard working SAHM, WAHM, busy gal -or guy- on the go-go-go!). I was introduced to her as an ultra runner and she seemed fairly impressed (me more so of her .. for real!) and told me that she liked to run but in short bursts to get it done! Oh how I wish I did too. I told her that I’m always on a mission to find a way to get in cross training for my running .. and make me a better more functional runner. She explained that this class would be the perfect compliment to my running (winning!).
What spoke to me most was when I told her my story of my younger years and my journey to where I am today .. how not being picked for any team or sport motivated me to find my “athlete”. She looked at me and said “Who’s laughing now!” Those words coming from a professional athlete .. made my heart sing and all at once made me feel a little more confident in my new found ultra skin! Isn’t it funny how short term memory of an accomplishment (even if it was as painful as the last eighteen miles of a 50 miler!) is brought new again when given a new way to look at it when someone else sees it for you!
Thank you Gabby .. you’ve inspired me even more now to become stronger, eager and more secure in where I stand as an athlete, wife and mother of two rapidly growing teens! It’s never too late to find yourself .. or your inner athlete!