“I was always picked last in gym class,” a friend told me recently. “I bet you never had that problem.”
I wanted to answer her, but I was lying face down on the pavement having tripped over one of those epic Chicago sidewalk cracks. Or maybe the memories were the culprit: oodles of hideous PhyEd recollections unspooling like paper towel from a never-ending roll. From the fourteen-minute mile I eked out in middle school to the scornful looks my classmates cast each time I folded my arms and sidestepped a volleyball, my adolescent gym class experience exploded with humiliating moments.
My friend doesn’t know that though. Like Don Draper, I shed my shabby past in favor of a sharp-suited present, only my suit is made of spandex and I don’t get half as many girls. But also like Draper, the dregs of my shameful origins have settled inside my current self, tainting my day-to-day. What I mean is, I really hate other group exercise instructors. Okay, hate is too strong. But when amongst them, I find myself casting an eighth grade side eye at their glossy ponytails and dazzling diamond solitaries. (They’re always engaged.) I never feel blond enough or thin enough or peppy enough. So maybe it's my junior high self whom I hate.
Here's what I love: being a Spinning instructor. It combines all of my interests: Mix tapes, an audience and silver Velcro-closure shoes. Of course I’m joking. There’s so much more to Spinning. For example, there’s bossing people around. But truly, my favorite part of being a Spinning instructor is motivating my students. Helping each achieve his or her goals.
Recently, I attended a training taught by NuFIT gym owner and Keiser National Trainer Angie Asmann. Despite Asmann’s million watt blond hair and seriously chiseled shoulders, I found Asmann approachable and warm. Not only was she was nice enough to speak with Our Town about fitness, entrepreneurship and indoor cycling, but she’s promised to help me dye my hair blond.
Our Town What led you and your business partner Jen Kamps to open NuFIT?
Angie Asmann NuFIT is Nutrition and Fitness. You need to have both pieces to live a happy and healthy lifestyle. I wanted to make a difference and change people’s lives.
OT What separates Nufit from other health clubs?
AA NuFIT is committed to customer service and personalization. We have created a family at NuFIT. I love watching people transform physically and emotionally.
OT You offer a group X rowing class. How does that work?
AA NuFIT is one of fifty clubs in the world that has put in the Indo-Row program. Indoor Rowing works nine major muscle groups and is the perfect total body workout. People row together in an Indo-Row class and the support and enthusiasm is unbelievable.
OT What’s your personal workout routine?
AA I teach an average of eighteen classes per week, run a business and am raising my eight-year-old daughter, so I do not have a routine for myself. I do, however, do a lot of exercise via my classes so that keeps me fit.
OT How do you stay motivated?
AA I am and have always been motivated by my daughter. It is really important for me to be a healthy role model for her. I am also continually inspired by my clients and students. Their dedication keeps me going!
OT What role does nutrition play?
AA Proper nutrition is key to overall health. You have to fuel your body for the life you lead. You eat an average of twenty-one meals a week and probably workout at most six times a week. Your biggest impact on your health comes from what you put into your body.
OT Are you strict when it comes to your diet? Any guilty pleasures?
AA I think about what I put into my body and ensure I am fueling it for what I am asking it to do, but I love candy and definitely indulge! Twizzlers, chocolate covered cherries, candy corn….I could continue – but you get the idea.
OT You also train other group X instructors for Keiser. What’s so great about Keiser bikes?
AA I am a National Trainer for Keiser’s M3 Indoor Cycling bikes and I own thirty Keiser M3’s at my studio, so I obviously think that Keiser bikes are the best! They are smooth to ride and easy to move. Most importantly they tell you how powerful you are when you ride. When you are measuring your power or watts you can ensure you are getting stronger each week.
OT What's your favorite thing about indoor cycling?
AA It can change your body and your life! It is a great non-impact activity that burns A LOT of calories.
OT What do you think of the increasingly popular Soul Cycle facilities?
AA I believe in safety first. If you wouldn’t do something on an outdoor bike then don’t do it on an indoor bike. Really good coaches can find a way to create an amazing ride and without adding unsafe movements. Everyone needs to understand the purpose of the exercise before they do it.
OT What advice do you have for someone just beginning to implement a fitness routine?
AA Just move. Anywhere, anytime! Don’t overcomplicate. Find someone who inspires you and ask for advice or assistance. I was one hundred pounds heavier than I am now – It took me four years to lose the weight and get fit and I just focused on small, incremental changes.
OT What about for people making the leap into starting their own business?
AA Do something you love, start small and be passionate! You will make mistakes, but if your heart is in the right place you will be successful. And remember – that ‘success’ isn’t always measured in dollar signs.
NuFIT is located in Quincy, Illinois. Check out their website.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for a number of web sites and print publications. Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," is forthcoming from Soft Skull, an imprint of Counterpoint Press. She is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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