by: Glenmar + Darrah Solitario
photo by: Alexa Kay Photo
Pursue Your Legend, Push Your Limits
If you’re anything like us, your favorite time of the day is 8 o’clock at night. Why? Because that’s usually when the Alchemy nightcap is posted on Instagram. It’s basically like “social media Christmas” for masochists who get excited over the possibility of burpees and pull-ups for 20 minutes straight. For the “normal” folks like us, it’s an opportunity to get mentally focused for the challenge ahead.
Despite the fact that there are only a handful of exercises that get repeated at Alchemy, we can assure you that those exercises are enough to make you sore and want to run to Dr. Andy (shameless plug) the following morning. You may start using muscles you never knew existed!
You see, not long ago, my wife and I were “weekend exercisers” – basically we put off yoga or lifting weights for Saturday and/or Sundays. This was great for our busy schedule, but it didn’t really push us to that next level we were both seeking. For her, it was to get stronger and leaner. For me, it was to increase my endurance and learn to execute CrossFit-like moves. Both of us were pretty clueless in this department and for many months, we just accepted what we had with little to no initiative.
I think Paulo Coelho said it best, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” Little did we know that the universe pushed us to buy our first home next to Alchemy North Loop, and as the saying goes, the rest is history. It was during our move that we discovered Alchemy. Mowgli, our awesome little black yorkie-poo, kept pulling and pulling us on his walk. He wouldn’t budge unless we headed towards the studio. That evening, Alchemy was just wrapping up the last class so we peaked in the window, walked in and were greeted by the great Peter Spitsnogle. The first thing I noticed, besides Peter’s tree trunks that he calls legs, was how friendly and inviting he was. He took the time to welcome us to the neighborhood, explain Alchemy, show us around the studio and invite us to come back. It took us about a week to muster up the courage to go to our very first A10. An A10 full of hang power cleans, muscle snatches and other challenging moves. We were very (very) sore the following day but both smiled at each other as if to say “we found our place.” We finally found that next level.
If you’re reading this, you already know Alchemy is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, for those who are willing to give it their all for those 10 or 20 minutes. The exercises vary daily with different repetitions, different sets and even different resting times. On a particular week, it could be a focus on the upper body, and in that week, your arms, shoulders and chest will be fired up – in a good way. You’ll see the nightcap the next night and say, “Dammit, more pull-ups…why?” Yes, it will suck, you will curse at Tyler Quinn (the creator of all things good and evil), and you will probably want to choose to rest and avoid the workouts with movements you’re not good at. BUT let me be the first to endorse going anyway. Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Even if it takes you a few days, a few weeks, or a few months, go in and give it all you’ve got. There is nothing more satisfying than the feeling of accomplishing something that you once thought was impossible. So if you see a workout that makes you say “Hell no!” that’s the one you should try the hardest to attend – you might surprise yourself.
So, what’s my take on Alchemy’s approach? I think first and foremost, you should trust and listen to your coaches. They are handpicked, elite individuals who want to see you succeed. I really believe that. Secondly, I think you should come into Alchemy with a burning passion to crush your doubts and give it your all and little bit more. Lastly, embrace and enjoy the community. Yes, we’ve all heard this one before but for good reason. If by some chance you don’t know that reason, come find my wife Darrah or me, and we’ll tell you.
See you awesome people around!
Glenmar + Darrah are Alchemy rockstars. They live every day to be the best versions of themselves. From day one they have brought the fire and embraced the community – we guarantee that when you see them in class, they’ll give you a smile and make your day!