Ashleigh is without a doubt one of our most committed rowers. Week after week she shows up, rows her ass off, offers no complaints, and always seeks to improve. It's been a thrill to watch her progress and grow stronger both mentally and physically. Ashleigh is a perfect example of the fact that training is really just about showing up. It's about making the time and committing to just getting through the door. Everything else follows. Below is our interview with Ashleigh.
How long have you been a Rebel?
I started at Rebel Rowing in August 2016, and I try to go to four or five classes a week.
What is your favorite class?
I've taken all of the classes offered at least once, but my favorite is Iron & Ergs. I hadn't had any prior strength training before, and I've really enjoyed learning about kettle bell workouts, there has been a definite improvement in my rowing and overall fitness since starting Iron & Ergs.
What was your workout prior to joining?
My workout routine was fairly haphazard. I had been going to a twice-weekly spin class for a few years, but that just became pretty boring and tedious over time. Plus, I didn't feel I was progressing in any real way. I started running a few months prior to starting Rebel, but I didn't have a firm routine, and I got pretty awful shin splints a few weeks after starting. I was initially interested in Rebel as a way to cross-train for running and prevent further injury, but now Rebel is my primary source of exercise.
What are the biggest changes you have noticed mentally and physically?
I'm definitely a lot physically stronger, especially in my back. I don't really keep track of my weight, but I imagine I've lost a few inches, and I can tell that I've certainly toned up. The longer rows have also instilled a mental stamina, for sure.
What would be your advice to anyone that has never rowed before and is intimidated about starting?
No matter your fitness level, there's always a learning curve when it comes to rowing, so no one starts out perfectly. But since the classes are small, you get the personalized attention and instruction. The atmosphere is comfortable and not claustrophobic, and I've seen every age group and fitness level in the classes.