Hello Refinery Family!
Ahhh, the final month of summer is upon us. Savor the sun! Make time for that last long weekend and seize the opportunities to go to the ocean, to the river, to the lake, because once the clouds come back they overstay their welcome (in my opinion).
By mid-August many of us start to mourn the end of the longer, warmer days and also have some level of anticipation as we prepare for what’s next. Even if we don’t have children in school or work in education, the change from Summer to Fall is still palatable and significant. We tend to re-group…with plans to decrease the margaritas and increase the spinach salad. Maybe it’s time to bring back an earlier bedtime routine and get back to the early morning workouts. Having a few months with less structure and perhaps more travel is therapeutic. This dynamic gives us an opportunity to re-adjust our lens as we look ahead. What is important to us? Are we structuring our life to match that? On both personal and professional levels, what do we want to continue to develop and what do we want to divert from? What have we learned in the last two years that has given us wisdom, motivation, and even a level of pause? How are we going to use those lessons to create a life of passion and purpose for ourselves, our families, and our community?
How does The Refinery have anything to do with this? I’ll tell you my perspective. We all walk through the doors to our daily workouts with various things on our mind. Once the warm-up begins, our bodies start to take over and our minds quiet a bit. Our eyes adjust and we look around at the folks we see regularly, with an occasional new face. That view is another cue that you are here in this space to feel yourself work your muscles and get your daily sweat. And within 10 mins, your day is on its way to being more joyful, more productive, and more clear-headed. By the time the hour is complete, you are an OPTIMIZED you and your day is just beginning. Your mental function (neurogenesis, neuroplasticity) is sharper because you’ve had to work on your coordination, and your physical structure (immune system, internal organs, digestive system, musculature) is sharper and strengthened because you had to be fully present while getting the good reps in. Your central nervous system (the nerves that branch off your brain and spinal cord and extend throughout the body) is both regulating cortisol and releasing dopamine which increases your capacity to manage daily and chronic stressors. And THIS is why The Refinery exists – to increase the quality of YOUR daily life – by way of movement, community, education, consistency, accountability, inspiration, connection, and camaraderie. I want you to move better, feel better and look better with every passing day/ week/ month/ year you spend with us.
I take a lot of pride in being a gym that offers WAY more than just a solid workout. Our coaches are one of a kind and yet we are a team. Each of us has a different passion beyond general strength and conditioning. Frederik keeps us informed and progressing on our nutrition, Britany has your workouts covered when you are traveling or stuck at home for the workout, Mitch can turn you into a capable boxer and can help you reset your body with a stretch and massage, Ace reminds us to make time for mobility (and can keep you honest in cycling if you were thinking about phoning it in – that’s a no!) Trevor continues to be a steady and patient trainer, and I aim to ensure that all of us have above average footwork and the ability to jump and land as we age. Together, we are all here to be agents of real talk and real companionship for you on your journey.
As a member of The Refinery, you are well equipped for continual progress, because you start EACH DAY you walk through our doors getting stronger and more stable. The longer you stay with us, you realize that you start EACH SEASON grounded in a progressively healthier lifestyle and buttressed by a team of people ready to support you in being the best version of yourself. Enjoy these last few weeks of Summer, and I’m looking forward to hearing about your goals for Fall!
In fun and fitness,
Our Wednesday 6 am and 7 am Burn + classes will return back to the Burn. If you would like to explore boxing sign up for the Lunch Box or join Wheelhouse instead.
Our evening classes are smaller in the Summer. For the remainder of August, our Tuesday evening Flow-Rida/Yoga at 5 pm and our Thursday evening 305 Cardio Dance Fitness at 6 pm will be on hiatus.
If you have an idea of when might be a more optimal time for these classes (particularly if you plan on attending them) please share your thoughts with Sarah and me at Sarah@refineryfitnesspdx.com or Ashkayser@gmail.com. We plan on bringing the evening classes back by mid September when school/sports/carpool schedules have been figured out.
Many of us spend some solo time walking, cleaning, or driving. I personally use this time for either quiet listening to the world or what I call “getting smarter” and listening to a podcast. For years I’ve been listening to Tim Ferris and Jay Ferrugia. I recently decided to take a break from my usual podcasts, and I got to hear some new voices and different perspectives on the same themes: being a person of passion and purpose and enhancing and extending my health span and facilitating that in others.
I asked our trainers and a few clients what they were listening to. Here’s what we recommend this month.
For Science and Smarts and Emotional Intelligence:
Huberman Lab is a favorite of Val Gazzo. Very scientific and detail-oriented in the realm of mental and physical health with emphasis in nutrition, stress management and even performance. This is a heady one – definitely building neuroplasticity or at least neural activity!
Gravity with Lucy Kalanithi is a podcast created by a good friend of Emily Merrill. Lucy’s husband Paul Kalanithi wrote a book called When Breath Becomes Air, and her podcast centers around growing from and thriving through difficult situations.
Deep Questions with Cal Newport is a favorite of Melissa Robertson. This podcast discusses the impact of an increasingly technology-driven existence and ways to cultivate focus amidst the digital distractions.
The Doctors Farmacy with Mark Hyman is a regular listen for Carolyn Woofter and our own trainer and nutrition coach, Frederik. The podcast discusses the impact of the policies and politics around food production in our country as well as the role food plays in chronic disease, climate change, and quality of life for our citizens.
Mind Pump: Raw Fitness Truth is one of my (Ashleigh) go-to’s during the week. This podcast is a conversational format between four male trainers with diverse backgrounds and experiences in the fitness industry. They bounce back and forth about all things health and fitness, such as lifting protocol and program variances based on age, pre-habilitation and re-habilitation, supplementation, recovery, etc., all infused with random fun facts and humor. (Recently I learned that the highest number of children that one woman has birthed is 69 – recorded in the 1700s.)
In the realm of History and Culture and Fun:
A Fashion Moment is a favorite of Carolyn Woofter, a behind the glamour look into the fashion industry – including the personal stories of designers and visionaries- some known and some that are unknown and yet still significant players.
Anything Goes With Emma Chamberlin is the only non-health and wellness/ lifespan improvement podcast I listen to. She randomly discusses things like fashion, trendy foods, female friendships, and hobbies – with the catch being that she is a 21 year old living in LA and was propelled into celebrity by way of her YouTube channel way before it was “a thing.” She’s youthful and frivolous and authentic.
If you are down to share what you listen to and spread the word, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! We all have a lot to learn from each other and as we transition into the next season, it might be a good time to mix up the voices that influence our thoughts.
Follow us on Instagram @refineryfitnesspdx to stay up on the weekly quote, the weekly nutrition tip, and the going on in the gym! We often include videos to inspire and motivate – and we follow you back to see what you are up to also! Staying connected is the key.