We live in a culture where most people limit their movement all day: desk jobs where we sit for hours, living rooms that ironically encourage sitting or laying still while watching TV, and cars where we are forced into limited positions for extended periods of time.
I was stuck in these patterns. Eleven years ago, I was working a desk job, sitting at a desk for hours, and my body was reaping the consequences. I was breathing with my shoulders, I couldn’t bend the way I should, and I simply did not feel good.
Ryan recommended that I try yoga. After my first class, I was hooked. I was taking classes daily to counteract sitting still all day. Soon, I took teacher training. I gained enough confidence to try something that I always wanted to do: pole dancing. It struck a chord in my soul, and I needed to do as much pole as possible. I was training consistently, but also kept up yoga.
After a year or so, I woke up and it felt like I couldn’t breathe. I had a stabbing pain in my back and anything pole exacerbated it. I went to the doctor, and she told me to stop poling. This was not an option.
That was when my perspective changed. I realized that I couldn’t sit all day and then jump into a high-level class and expect my body to hold up. I needed foundational training and time to recover. I also needed to incorporate more movement into my everyday life.
At the same time, Ryan was going through his own fitness journey. He started as a boot camper at GenFit (It was Genesis Fitness back then), and he quickly accelerated to trainer. He then moved into CrossFit. The competition and challenge moved him, and he was all in.
One day, during a basic movement he had done many times, Ryan injured his wrist. The wrist injury forced him to see his movement differently. He couldn’t keep up the intensity of his workouts at CrossFit without injuring himself more.
A few years and a lot of education later, we were offered the opportunity to purchase GenFit. We had no idea how we were going to make it happen. Ryan was a professional bartender, and I was just finishing my PhD. However, everything fell together.
We decided we wanted our facility to be the place we never had available to us: a location that offers amazing classes that also seek to teach. We wanted our people to feel connected to us, to learn and grow with us.
Today, GenFit offers conditioning, strength, and mobility classes. We offer ongoing education about everyday nutritional movement.
We look forward to continuing to develop a space where people can eat together (and think about how they access and cook food – how can we move differently in the kitchen?).
We are moving toward changing diet culture. Everyone feels the pressure to have a perfect body, and often that leads to pushing through injury and deprivation. I want to bring pleasure and pain relief back into the picture. I want to change the idea that as we age our bodies deteriorate, and it is to be expected.
We need more movement, all the time. We need varied movement, and challenges. We need to understand that the brain is a part of the body (and there isn’t a false binary of brain/body connection).
"What a huge impact this gym has had on my life and health over the past year. To say I’m going to miss this community of amazing people is an understatement. Thank you for always challenging me and pushing me to go out of my comfort zone and providing a fun and welcoming place to get my ass kicked!" -Emily S.