By Thao Bui Nguyen
Hi Alchemists! My name is Thao and I’m the proprietor of Parc – a clothing and lifestyle boutique with locations in Northeast Minneapolis, Edina and online. I was first introduced to Alchemy last spring by Christy Wright when the NE location had just opened its doors. I’m an active member of the neighborhood association so, when Alchemy Northeast was celebrating their Grand Opening, I was happy to get new neighbors and totally supportive of sponsoring and attending my very first A20 class and I have been an Alchemist ever since! I just have to say, I absolutely love being a part of the Alchemy community; I have felt so welcomed since day one and have made so many new friends.
A little bit about myself: I’m a wife, entrepreneur, mom to 4-year-old Josephine and currently expecting baby number 2 this summer. When I first started Alchemy, I considered myself healthy and somewhat fit and quickly realized I wasn’t as strong as I thought. I remember being intimidated by the 20″ box jumps and only used the 12″ box for a good few months and stuck to only 10-15 lb weights. As I attended classes regularly and with the encouragement and push from my coaches, I slowly upped my weights and finally felt comfortable jumping on the 20″ box – that truly felt so invigorating!
With this second pregnancy, my goal was to continue to eat healthy, stay active for the next 9 months and workout the way I have always been doing pre-pregnancy. But as weeks progressed, I felt really really discouraged when I tried to continue to lift the same weights and hit the same number of reps as weeks prior. I was having such a hard time keeping up and so out of breath, I felt like I just couldn’t keep up anymore and started to feel unmotivated. I then had the realization that, although I can’t keep up with my old self I can still take it slow and scale the workout to my own current fitness level. I might not be able to jump and lift as hard and I may have to start back like it was day one but that’s OKAY.
I love APulse classes on tougher days and opt for A10/A20 class on days when I’m feeling good. Truth be told, getting to the gym can be hard when I’m juggling running a small business, after school activities, and keeping up with my social life. When life happens and I’m unable to make it to the gym, I like to check out the workout schedule for workout ideas at home or when I’m on the road and still feel in the loop of all things Alchemy. Although it’s not the same as attending class by any means, I can at least do the workouts from home and not feel too guilty about missing class.
Working out at Alchemy has come full circle for me. I started out with intentions of getting fit and gained much more than that, I became part of a community that is positive and encouraging but most importantly I feel stronger mentally and physically. Now 14 weeks pregnant, I have to take it a little easier and scale back but already loving the thought of being able to stay healthy, setting new goals and keeping up with all the changes my body will go through in the next year and embracing it all. I know it won’t happen overnight but instead through hard work, dedication and patience.
Thao Bui Nguyen is the founder of Parc Boutique in NE Mpls and Edina. In her spare time you can find her renovating her 1950’s Golden Valley home, forever furniture shopping, and always brunching around town on the weekends.