By Jesse Kepka
NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist
Happy New Year, my sweet friends! Anyone else already desperate for spring? I consider myself a victim of seasonal depression as I’m addicted to sunshine and being outside. I’m currently working in the corner of the studio that has the sun shining through the window. It helps. Proximity to my ever-loyal dumbbells helps, too.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to drone on about resolutions. At least not specifically. I want to have some real talk about intensity.
The creation of Elevate was never about the shaping of bodies, though muscles are certainly satisfying byproducts. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the positive changes happening after my sessions with my trainer never really ended when I walked out the door. It was like a pixie fairy sprinkled strength, joy and patience all over me (aka, sweat) and I suddenly became a stronger mom, a better friend, one who has drive and perseverance, and before I knew it, I was a (somewhat obnoxious) goal-setter! Oh yes, my patience bucket doubled in size. I know that to be true because I had two toddlers at the time. Age 3 specifically was horrific. The only reason there are survivors is because of dumbbells. No joke. We work your body, but the strongest part ends up being your spirit. And that is both critical and beautiful.
Your sessions are yours alone. I’m there to lead and coach and encourage (and make sure you don’t jack up your form), but you are the one moving and lifting and focusing and growing. You have 100% of the power when it comes to the intensity of each workout. When you open the door, I want you to bring whatever it is on your shoulders and in your heart and use it to drive the intensity. Make each rep count. Each one. Because they add up fast. Feel the muscle you’re working, connect it with your brain, and move it with whatever you brought through the door. Be prepared with hydration and whole foods. Dress like you’re going into battle for your life. Tighten that ponytail (if applicable, ha), roll up your sleeves and put up your dukes. I know what you’re capable of – it’s all I see. You must get yourself there. Take 2022 by your very own unique and captivating storm.
I’m ever grateful for your friendships and I leave you with my most favorite thing about each of you (in completely random order):
- AB – your determination is unmatched, and you radiate an insane amount of joy
- SB – you never, ever waste a rep, you focus so hard that I swear you’re in an alternate universe, and you walk out the door with zero left in the tank
- SC – your endurance is superhuman and it’s a blast to watch
- CA– hulk. gorilla. will die before you give up.
- CB – focused, patient, brave and an incredible sense of knowing exactly who you are
- KB – I have never seen you without a smile-like, ever. teach us.
- AP – loyal, supportive, observant, optimistic, protective, honest and funny as hell
- MC – I have yet to meet a more easily loveable and quirky soul (you and Juvey will keep me alive years longer from laughter alone)
- LV – sweet as sugar but you bite when it’s right, in life and in the gym
- SS – another that knows exactly who you are and will not be shifted – a survivor
- JB/DB – you understand the peace of the dumbbells and it’s grounding and safe, also insane – the lifts you perform week after week
- KG – stubborn out the ace, always adding extra reps and doing it under so much harder circumstances than the rest of us…you have high expectations for yourself, and you meet them, kind beyond measure
- AO – you’re always going to be there, lifetime lifter, lifetime everything
- MB – you whine, but you know you’re strong and compassionate and quietly but intensely determined…thick mike is so very real
- JO – wise, tough, phenomenal listener and a work ethic for which we should all strive
- BT – you really hate abs, but I know you see what you can be, like I can… stay resilient
- KO – your posture is exquisite and your heart golden, also a survivor
- MC – you’re fierce and brave and you always get your shit done
- WC – eternally optimistic and genuinely compassionate, always willing, no matter the difficulty
- GH – your biomechanics and mind/body awareness are awe-inspiring
- KR – intelligent, curious, self-less and considerate…crazy contagious smile
- JJ– I can’t wait to see how strong you become, and your drive and will-power are palpable
- MD– you walk the walk, genuinely, better than anyone I know #shoetwinsarereal
Thank you for both inspiring me and each other! I will always have your back. Promise.