Recently my great uncle Ted died.  On my dad's side, we have Hawaiian ancestry and uncle Ted was a big part of the oral tradition of our family culture; our connection to all that was universal and our connection to the Waipio Valley and our Hawaiian culture.  He loved to talk story.  Storytelling is healing, entertaining, expressive and most importantly, uniting.  Stories help us understand and build value, and in this modern world, and are wonderful to help all people understand each other.  His were mostly funny, but insightful and folktale-ish. They belonged in our family and in many ways, could be interpreted as universally transformative and inspirational.  

Everyone has a story and everyone's story has  meaning so this helped me think of a relevant way to have our clients testimonials take form in more than a soundbite. Our students are AMAZING!!! In our Iron & Grace family, there are lots of good stories and those who are willing to share theirs on our blog will hopefully provide you with inspiration and help you weave your story of consciously creating better health. I open with a tale of Shannon….. IMG_1095

"My strength journey began a few years ago when Iron and Grace moved to Lynchburg. Their timing was perfect, since I was going through a busy phase in life and had let myself go, so to speak – little exercise, poor diet, put on 10 pounds, etc. – I was always an exerciser, so I just felt yucky and not very healthy. I started with CORE DYNAMIX and proceeded to have my butt handed to me on Monday mornings by women 10+ years my senior – facts are facts, and they know who they are! Alaya suggested that I try kettlebells. WOW @ the learning curve - but they are FUN and I am so glad I stuck with it.

I spent a couple years learning to move well and building a base of strength in core classes, TRX, kettlebells, and power barre. Later, I began private sessions in order to focus more on strength goals specific to me. This is when my progress, strength AND physique wise, really took off. Chad has helped me with GOAL setting and to see strength as a skill – he pushes me when I need it, and pulls in the reigns when necessary. Before, I was really just going through the motions – but Chad insisted that I set specific strength based goals. My initial goal was met, and subsequent goals have been falling like dominos – feats of strength that I never dreamed I would be able to achieve. Now, I can’t imagine training without specific goals – they are what drive every session.

I now own a TRX and FIVE kettlebells (WTF!). I expect to use these tools for the rest of my life. The workouts are fast, effective, and FUN. The equipment does not take up room in my house, and I can take it with me anywhere I want. By the way, those 10 pounds of fat are long gone and I have visible abs, deltoids, etc. It is weird to think that I have actually SHRUNK while at the same time, I feel like such a muscle-y beast. ALL of this, and I do not feel drained or as though I even worked particularly hard to achieve it. Don’t get me wrong – when I am working out, I work hard - BUT the methods I have learned at Iron and Grace are SUSTAINABLE over a lifetime - such a far cry from my past of long cardio sessions, runs, and the nagging pains / discomfort which came with that. I never spend hours on end working out and I take at least 2 days of rest weekly. I have suffered no injury or pain and I feel great.

I can lift almost anything I want, safely – and usually by myself (this is a very useful skill). It’s really nothing crazy but CONSISTENCY is key. For me, that meant not being in a big rush for any of it, but maintaining a consistent effort over time. I don’t show up because I want to look like “X”. I will never look like someone else no matter what I do. Whatever I wind up looking like when I can do a pull up with a 24kg kettlebell hanging from my waist will look pretty damn good in my mind.

Iron and Grace will introduce you to the tools and show you the way. YOU have to do the work, and that does not mean being perfect BUT it does mean showing up and eating like a reasonable adult 80+% of the time. Just get started. Give it some time and it will become second nature ☺ "


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