I have been a member at The Queer Gym since June of 2016. I suffer from chronic pain due to an autoimmune disorder. I have tried many forms of bodywork, acupuncture, yoga, dietary adjustment—you name it… I found myself at a crossroads—continue dealing with the pain by lying down or build some strength and learn to trust my body again.

One day my fiancé and I were brainstorming about what I could do to change the ongoing cycle of suffering. Harlow had recently started training at a Krav Maga gym and was finding a lot of satisfaction in strength training. They encouraged me to get off my butt and try out the Queer Gym.

I have been going to classes at this badass gym about 3-5 times per week ever since. I am finding community and developing a whole new connection and trust dialogue with my body. However, I had been feeling that my limits were very clearly defined by my mind. Like I was never actually going to get stronger, and that it was ok to only work a little hard in classes.

On October 1, I went to my first assessment day. I was a little nervous going into it, but when I walked in and saw familiar faces I settled in and decided to just enjoy it.  The 10-minute AMRAP showed be that I COULD actually do legit burpees—and more than one at that—which was far from the truth when I first joined. Then it was on to the one rep max discoveries. I was able to deadlift 145 lbs! WHAT??? And 130 lbs for my back squat; you gotta be kidding me!

On Monday morning after assessment day, I went to the 7 am Oakland Booty class and man, I kicked butt. I was sore as all hell, but something had clicked for me. Seeing what I was capable of at the assessment boosted my confidence and gave me a new sense of willingness to really do my work out. I was not afraid to add more and more weight for my front squats. I did a TON of box jumps—like actual jumps. Amazing! Up to that point I had only been able to do the step-ups, which is totally legit, but it felt great to push myself to the next level.

The next day at Kick Ass Cardio, nothing could get in my way. Hell, I even felt good about jogging up to the pole and back. I worked hard and sweat hard and knew that I could push myself.

The assessment day really created a shift in my workouts. I feel like I found a new willingness to work hard and push myself. I felt really supported at the assessment and like I belong at the gym and in this community.

I highly recommend participating in the next one. It is fun, social, and inspiring. Who could ask for anything more?

See y’all at the gym!


Read more in:

Let us hook up you up with gym news, deals + knowledge