I cannot claim to have been heavily involved in sports growing up or to have liked going to the gym. I did have dreams of becoming a gymnast, but they were quickly shot down by the training costs in my native country, Colombia. I did two months of gymnastics training until I switched to a more affordable activity and started ballet instead. Dance is one my passions, and I was lucky to do it for 2 years. Other than that, I was keen to be active and I even hiked a few 14ers when I moved to Colorado from New York. I had no discipline or consistency for sports or gym life.
It was on a very early morning in April of 2014 that I tried a HIIT class at Endorphin with, none other than, Chris Lindley. He was very friendly in the lobby and my friend Marlise, who invited me (I can never thank her enough), was all smiles as well. Once we entered the studio, he changed gears. I quickly learned what it was like to be pushed in real life versus by someone motivating you through a TV screen while doing workouts at home (which is what I was doing at the time). I managed to keep my food in my stomach but I cannot say I haven’t had close calls during his and many other instructors’ classes, even to this day. As extreme as that may sound, if you cannot relate then you have yet to push your limits.
I have been very fortunate to meet a diverse community of instructors whose sole purpose is to challenge you and bring the best out of you through a lot of sweat and hard work (until failure!) but always with a smile. Moreover the sense of community you encounter is unlike any I have seen. Before joining Endorphin, I had experienced the power of endorphin’s being released, but when you pair it with the sense of community every time you step into the gym, this power intensifies. Don’t just take my word for it. Go and try it for yourself.
Even though I am a creature of habit, I can get bored if I stick to a routine for too long. I found my routine at Endorphin thanks to the astounding variety of classes in all the fitness components you may seek. This variety paired with my motto of “I don’t have to BE the best at everything, but I will DO my best at everything” has taken me to places in my fitness journey I was nowhere near a couple of years ago (i.e. crow pose, handstands, obstacle races – see pictures). The best part is Endorphin’s ever-evolving outlook on fitness which creates an environment where I can constantly challenge myself to maintain my variant routine and achieve my long list of goals.
I can tell you a lot of things about many of the instructors I have encountered, but the list would be too long. I will share that if you step into Endorphin you will find yourself doing burpees with a smile in Sara Kemis’ classes. You will get a hybrid of the American Ninja Warrior and World’s Toughest Mudder treatment in Chris Barringer’s classes where your physical and mental grit will be tested (probably at the beat of an AC/DC song or some other long song that fits the bill). You will find yourself on an imaginary bike course in Sharon Madison’s class, where she will push you through climbs or sprints until she feels you made it to the finish line. You will be working out in what feels like a party zone with all the great jams at Bri’s and Paige’s classes. You will find your strength safely coached with the magnifying glass of Neil Allman’s style or learning to go like hell in Mike Pachan’s program. For the days when you need an aggressive relief, Nick Spinosa and Scott Noble will make you at ease in their playful boxing classes. Because Endorphin is not just a sweatshop you will find balance in any of the yoga classes you bring your mat to, like I have, when I attended Bree Murphy’s and Anna Volak’s restorative classes. And if you want all of the above delivered via yoga, there are plenty of other classes that will take you where you want to go. But if you step into Tigress with Julieta Claire, leave your ego at home because you will be humbled. You will come back because Julieta’s invitations to play while combining strength and flexibility are too hard not to accept.
I love Endorphin because it’s an evolving community. There is no ceiling to the kind of things the management and instructors are willing and eager to try with all the members at all fitness levels. Regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, you will find your niche like I did. It’s a community where you will find like-minded individuals that will become your friends outside the gym, or in the “battlefield” if you ever decide to embark on any obstacle race. It was very far from my imagination to participate or even enjoy signing up for Spartan Races (5, 10, 14 miles obstacle races) or Tough Mudder (12 mile) or even running more than a mile on a trail. Endorphin and my fellow Endorphinites turned a switch on that has ignited a lot of things inside me that has brought more color to my life. I encourage you to give yourself the amazing gift of health through movement and get fit. The biggest tip I can give you, whether you join Endorphin’s movement or join any other club is: Leave your ego at home. Focus on you and your performance only. You will always find better and worse performances than yours which, if focused on too much, will leave you feeling discouraged or feeling too good about yourself. You will lose sight of your personal goals, and, in my opinion, if you have time to see how others are doing in a class you’re not working hard enough.
Now go. Start moving.