EverybodyFights {NYC}

Class Title? RoadxStrength
Location? Midtown Manhattan – 41st between Madison and Park
Instructor? Leo Wright
Length? 60 Minutes – 40 minutes of “timed work” with transitions, cool-down, etc.
Style? 4 intervals of ten minutes – 2 on the treadmill with hills and sprints + 2 of strength training work on the floor with weights and kettle bells
Likelihood of Going Back? 75%
Cardio: 50%
Weights: 30%
Abs:  20%
Music? 9/10
Apple Watch Calories Burned? 533
Average Heart Rate? 131
Most similar to?
Orange Theory
Torch – Studio Three (Chicago)
Shred 415 (Chicago)
First timers sign-in time? 5 minutes
Towels? Yes
Locker rooms? Yes
Self-locking lockers? Yes
Location +  layout? Enter off 41st between Park and Madison on the South side. Walk down a flight of stairs. Graphics on the stairwell serve to amp up visitors with a changing marquee board that guests see first. Down the stairs, you enter a basement type space with locker rooms straight ahead and front desk to the left.  Beyond desk further to the left there is a private boxing bags room, an open space with two boxing ring in the middle, and a half closed off room with treadmills and rowers (where my class was).

As a fitness junkie who follows fitness accounts across the country (and world – hello @Kayla_Itsines), I usually feel decently apprised of upcoming and coming studios, health events, and go-to sweat sessions. Everybody Fights was one of those places for me once I moved to NYC. When I first moved to the East Coast, I intentionally started following more NYC based Instagram accounts to catch up on just what I noted above and one of these accounts – @LeanFitChristine – did a picture and review arc featuring EverybodyFights a handful of times, and my curiosity was piqued.

Now, I am not shy about expressing my love and enjoyment of finding very bougie gyms – if Equinox wasn’t so expensive, you’d find me there on a regular basis – towel service, spa-like feeling, sauna, these things all win a lot of points in my book. And when I walked into EverybodyFights, I didn’t quiteeeee get that vibe. But that was is okay – it’s claim to fame is to be a full-service boxing gym, not a spa. And it’s facilities were neat – creatively designed and intentional, elevating the mood and environment. I was pleasantly surprised, too, by the locker rooms. Spacious, clean, plenty of lockers and basic hygiene products provided.
The Class
I’ll admit that the layout is kinda all on top of each other – there are various classes that go on at the same time, so when I walked in at 7:10pm for a 7:20pm class, there was a lot of commotion happening in the main space (where the boxing ring is) due to a cross-training class. To get to the RoadxStrength class, we had to skirt the edge of this main room to get to the back room where there were treadmills and weights. It definitely wasn’t quite spacious but adequate. I jumped on a treadmill (of which I was a huge fan – the kind with all the # buttons which makes sprints really easy – top shelf stuff) and within a few minutes, class started. Our instructor Leo Wright seemed to be setting up the tvs that were intended to show the workout and have a timer, but then it seemed to freeze up – that or the tvs are used for other classes and he was navigating out of that interface… it was unclear. Though I’d argue that it may have been helpful to have visual cues in addition to his vocal ones. There were confusing transitions at moments. They offer tons of other classes (including their signature with boxing incorporated)! Check them out here: EverybodyFights Website. I am definitely interested to try more.
The class itself – all that nonsense aside – was awesome. Broken into four sets of 10 minutes. I started with treadmill work that consistently of sprint intervals on a flat ground and then my third interval was running while the incline changed – gave the class a good variety and I clocked over 2 miles of running in class and it feels good to cover true distance than just jump on and off the treadmill. My second and fourth intervals were on the floor for full body weights (2nd) and then abs/arms (4th). I felt good and sore by the end of each period.
One note I had was regarding suitability of related exercises, given that we each had only one kettlebell. As we transitioned between body parts and exercises, I felt like I needed heavier or lighter weights which made having just one inconvenient. There are a handful of studios I’ve been to in Chicago (Studio Three, I love you) at which each floor set has a full set of variety of weights – or at least students are encouraged to set their station up like that. Given that the floor stations at EBF aren’t static, I could see where logistically this wouldn’t work for them but I was frustrated with having one 35 lb kettle bell for Goblet Squats that they I was supposed to use for Under the Leg Passthrough Single Leg Lunges (…for sure just made this name up…). It’s unrealistic and could be confusing to people new to weights. My advice? Encourage students to grabs a series of weights so they can switch between for certain moves and cue them as to which they should try and go heavier or lighter.
On this note, fitness education is a big priority and interest in mine. As such, another note of concern I have is that this may not be ideal for beginners who do not make their newness expressly know to the instructor. Due to the various levels of activity happening during this class, there wasn’t always one-on-one coaching given for form each move. Leo definitely did his best to walk around and make sure people weren’t injuring themselves, but I could see where a fitness newbie would have felt in over their heads with the variety and complexity of moves – or at least transitioning a bit slower between sets.
Any negativity aside, Leo was a fantastic instructor, memorable and inspiring. You can teach cue-ing and format – you cannot teach passion and he had that in spades. He took his role as encourage-r and motivator incredibly seriously and I would go out of my way to take more of his classes. As we left the class, he pulled everyone together for a team send-off that I’m assuming is a studio signature move and then – he shared with us that our devotion of the day should be “to love.” That may sound cheesy or out of place, but as we all were huffing and puffing, inspired by the physical heights we’d just reached personally, his devotion felt incredibly appropriate. He shared briefly that we all should keep in mind that in a world full of hate, we have to stand for love, that at the end of the day, our greatest enemies do not lie outside of us, our greatest enemy is the version of ourselves we think we are or have to be. If we can stop looking at our neighbors as enemies as instead look upon then with love, the world could have a bit less hate. I can always get behind a fitness experience that ends in more than just a pat on the back for burning a few calories and EverybodyFights was there to deliver. 


Love is not hard, 

loss is hard, 

and it only gets harder

when you refuse to accept that someone who is willing to lose you isn’t the one who really loves you.

A friend of mine sent this to me yesterday. She’s been going through a hard break-up that’s turned a bit into a yo-yo relationship. The kind where you still find yourself texting a butthead at 11pm on a Friday night. The worst kind of break-up where it doesn’t actually break but somehow leaves you broken. When you’re unable to detach yourself from a person who came to hold a piece of your brain space for a day, a month, a year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about love and loss recently. I moved to the east coast from Chicago in June and it’s been a whirlwind. I joke openly with everyone who asks about “HoW aRe YoU dOiNg” that it’s like being a part of a social experiment. Someone should probablyyy be filming and/or recording this madness cause half the time I feel like I’m living someone else’s life. There are days reality feels like it’s suspended, and you’re not sure if you’re being your authentic self or not, but you’re pretty sure you want to land on your own two feet at the end of the day, so flight or fight mode saves your a$$ more times than you thought capable. Like a cat with nine lives, moving to a new city by myself has been the greatest adventure I’ve lived to date, some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. It’s amazing what the human mind is capable of when you challenge it.

More, the move illuminated to me what it means to support people you love and those who become a loss. Those who were willing to let me pass from their lives, who relied so much on proximity and convenience (more than you even knew!) to build and foster a relationship, who waved farewell and said see you maybe… but better, the move showcased to me those who showed up even more regularly – the people who sent flowers, called when I texted emotional things, emailed me during the work day, sent memes and tagged me in Instagram posts just to say hello. These were the true heros of this story, the supporting roles in this adventure tale that actually fell into the spotlight.

It all actually made me think long and hard about my love languages. If you’ve never heard of the 5 Languages of Love, I highhhhhly recommend a study (http://lifehacker.com/how-the-five-love-languages-can-help-you-win-at-relat-1734348074). Take the quiz and learn yours – it makes understanding your feelings hella easier for both you and those you love. Communicate about it. It may change your life. In my experience, my languages of love are – for sure – quality time and words of affirmation.

BUT when you pick up your life and move thousands of miles from your best friends and the only roots you’ve had for the past three years, how do you get these things out of your relationships? There’s no meeting up for coffee, there’s no happy hours after a long day of work, there’s no long lunches to rant about the most recent office drama. This was my dilemma! This is the part of moving that you think about and reflect on and the thing that people who hear you’re moving ask about (“But do you even have any friends out there on the east coast?!?!), but you roll your eyes, and you tell them you can handle it and make it work… and you know it will be hard, but you’re a big girl and you know to to put on your big girl panties and make it WERK…. BUT you don’t know until you live it how bizarre it truly is!

I wrote a week ago about getting outside your comfort zone (What came first? The chicken or the egg?), about needing to throw yourself in the deep end to realize you can swim after all. It’s allowed to be hard. And in the case of  this move, it’s a transition. It’s a new normal. It’s finding new friends to go out with in a new city {and making the best of a bad situation when you get the the pizza place at midnight on a Thursday and its closed… commence tears}, it’s learning the working style of new coworkers and figuring out an office culture that isn’t your own, and it’s sometimes going to the gym on Friday night by yourself and being totally okay with it.

BUT HERE IS THE PUNCHLINE ABOUT LOVE AND LOSS: When you step outside your comfort zone, you learn infinite amounts about yourself, but also about YOUR RELATIONSHIPS! I have been wowed in finding who truly loves me enough to make me feel that I’m getting quality time and words of affirmation from afar. The creative, beautiful, optimistic friends who somehow are willing and able to make me feel affirmed and seen and heard from cities and states away. My parents for asking to fly me home for a long weekend to spend time with them. The friends that have made me feel like there’s no space between us at all. Friends who find a way to speak your language of love when you need it most. Now THAT is an amazing feat. THAT is the highlight of this social experiment thus far. That is what happens when you step outside your comfort zone. You get to see that LOVE IS LOVE no matter the miles, space or distance. How f!%king cool is that?

So where’s this leave you? I’m not sure. How does this make you feel? Where are you on your love and loss journey? Maybe reflect on that… more, reflect on how you speak and act love to those around you. My love language is surely not the exact same as all my family and friends’ but yet our relationships sustain (well the good ones do…), so there is a flexibility and willingness that must be threaded into this journey of love to make it work.

So find out where you are on this journey:

  1. Figure out your languages of love
  2. Reflect (and I would recommend journal!) about the people in your life who show up when you’re living outside your comfort zone
  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE – show love, exude love, expect love, settle for nothing less than love
  4. Find great quotes like the one at the top of this post (and then send them to me… I’m a SUCKER for an inspirational quote…)
  5. Go to the gym on a Friday alone instead of going out (lol… but for real, who needs Moscow Mules when you can have endorphins, #DBFTFitGuide looking at you)