came to the class with five other women in June. “I got older and had a kid, [and] it gets harder to stay in shape,” Priscilla says. “I like that it’s all women because at the gym I’m usually intimidated to go lift any weights, like the free weights, because you know, when there’s always really big guys in there, I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, so it’s nice to get the guidance.” And when Priscilla had to bring her son, Liam Layne-Kopf, 5, because she wasn’t able to secure childcare for that evening, the other women in the group were supportive. She says she was grateful to Joy and her classmates. Even Liam seemed to enjoy the class. After a series of kettlebell deadlifts, pushups and single arm rows, Joy announced it was time for another lap around the building. Liam raced to the door in his crocs with a big grin across his face: “Yay!” As the women approached the end of the one-hour session, they finished with 10 minutes of kettlebell swings and planks. Everyone laughed together through the final push – 100 kettlebell swings is no easy feat. Then Joy rounded up everyone into a circle: “Let’s go around and say one positive thing that happened in our day today,” she said. Joy went first and shared something very personal about her son. And six more encouraging sentiments followed.
ABOVE Erin and Joy demonstrate a strict pushup. BELOW Priscilla learns how to do an alternative to strict pushups. BOTTOM Joy grabs Nikita Dalal to show how to do a correct overhead press with dumbbells.
“It just does a lot for other people when you can congratulate them and support them in whatever positive thing that happened in their day,” Joy says. “Or when we hear someone else say, ‘Oh, I saw Lily do 15 pushups, and I thought that was really awesome. It inspired me.’ It keeps inclusivity and positivity going for everybody in the session.” On the surface, a total body workout is what brings these women together each week. But the intentions run deeper – it’s about lifting up one another, building confidence and connecting to fellow women through sweat, sore muscles and determination. The classes take place Wednesdays at 7 p.m., and are $12. For more info, call or email Joy at 919-493-1204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. august 2019