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Leave your ego at the door

Meet Gloria! Coach Chesty had a few great words to share:

Glo is awesome. She’s just as aloof as I am while being waaay more self aware.

She’s unforgettable in her presence. You know, one of those friends for life you meet on a connecting flight.

She’s invests in her strength while reminding me of my own.

Gloria's first year at MadLab

It was just about this week last year when I walked into MadLab for the first time. 
Leave your ego at the door.
I remember feeling a sense of relief after reading that -- like if a place had that kind of motto on its door, it was going to be the right place for me.
I joined MadLab at a period of time when I was truly fed up with feeling like I couldn't commit to exercise consistently enough to feel or see development. For better or worse, I'm a dabbler by nature: I'll try out a few many kinds of activities, and then move on once I satisfy my curiosity. The trouble with that is I don't give myself a chance to witness or experience the certain results that come from staying committed to a thing. When it came to exercise, I blamed it on inconvenience -- if it takes me more than 15 minutes to walk or pedal somewhere to work out, I'm turned off. I'll find a million other things to get done during that time and rationalize my way out. So, while living on Commercial Drive, I googled the neighbourhood's workout scene and MadLab popped up. Chesty kept me on the phone for a bit and then invited me in to "shoot the shit" later that week. 
Leave your ego at the door.
While I've always been an active person, I hadn't grown up with sports or special hobbies, so any competitiveness I have is mainly with myself. That means that with my training, I may get a bit fixated on technique and making sure I do the movements correctly, but also eager to get to new personal bests. Admittedly, this slows me down in class and sometimes blocks me mentally from pushing to the next limit. But I like having an experience like strength training where I get to challenge those mental blocks. Chesty is the most patient and encouraging for that, yet knows how to be serious with me when and where I need to focus. Overall, I just love to move, I love the feeling of getting stronger in my body, and I love discovering what new things it's capable of doing. Next up: ONE pull-up!? Maybe?!? Ahh... 
Leave your ego at the door.
If ever I tell people I'm training, they say, "For what?" At times I thought it should be for something. A marathon, a competition, etc. But I don't feel compelled to do those things. The answer is, "For me." I train for me. So that I can build strength, feel confident in and out of the gym, move a bit smoother, eat well, and work through my many mental blocks that surface when I do this kind of activity. When Chesty asked me that question the first time, I said, "'Cause I wanna learn to break dance and I need strong arms for that." I train consistently so that I can do, inconsistently, all the other things I dabble with in life, hehe. 
I stay because: MadLab's location is perfect and it's one of the only physical routines I've ever wanted to keep up. I love knowing I am finally being consistent with a thing. I'm of course not where I want to be yet -- oh my, I'm just getting started -- and I still make excuses, but at least I'm conscious of my shortcomings there, and that's the first step to making more changes!
I stay because: Chesty accepts my little dance breaks in between sets. (Gotta celebrate the small wins, y'know!?) I belt out in laughter at least once during our PTs - he's made them fun for me, educational, and always grounded in the foundations and basics. No matter how slowly that means the "transformations" will take, I'm happy to know I am set up for training effectively and uniquely. 
I stay because: I work from home, so the MadLab community is a crew I see more often than my work colleagues! It's nice to show up to some lovely faces on the regular. In a rather intimidating environment, I can't believe how kind, supportive, and friendly the folks I've met have been. Seriously, it makes a world of difference.
I stay because: I feel intimidated by almost every workout and I feel out of my element every day. But, I get through it every time. So, that feels good. Staying proves to me that I can do hard things. It's relieving that whenever I ask a question or need a reminder during class, every coach stands in ready position, like it's the most important moment in the world, and gives their time and attention generously.
It was a rainy 7 a.m. October morning when I first walked into MadLab. Leave your ego at the door. I felt reassured and also curious to what I'd learn on the other side. Unsurprisingly, I was overwhelmed by all the heavy barbells, lots of grunting, loud bangs, and very strong, fit individuals. My ego was saying, "Nah, you're not like those people. You'd be better at doing something else. Stick to what you know. Not for you." And then I thought, "Well, I'd like to eventually be like those people, and maybe I can give a shot at being bad at this until I can be better, and no, actually, this could be for me if I want it to be."
One year later and I still want it to be.