In our first Crew Qs, we caught up with Laurie. The 44-year-old television executive shares how pounding the pavement led her to a love for indoor water rowing and a mind and body transformation.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I grew up always being a big girl. At one point a number of years ago I was around 350 pounds. So, I started walking and I walked a lot – literally 18 km a day to and from work. It's how I got myself down under 300 pounds. Then I started going to the gym – mostly doing the step machine – but I found I wasn't making the kind of progress I wanted, even if I was putting in the hours at the gym. I decided I wanted to try something different that wouldn't be so hard on my body.
Q: What brought you to Núcleo?
A: I saw something on Breakfast Television about indoor water rowing about a year before that stuck with me. After a google search, I emailed a few spots and decided to try one of the places. When Marlene responded, her kind and encouraging words drew me in – she understood my hesitation and assured me I could do it.
After my first class, I knew rowing was going to be a challenge. But if I could make it through one class I thought I could probably do it again. And I did, and I do, again and again and again. After a class, you definitely know you've put in the work. I usually leave a sweaty drippy mess and I love it.
But what keeps me coming back is the instructors and others in the class who are like me, who are bound and determined to keep getting better and reaching our goals whatever they may be – weight loss, building muscle or improving their stamina.
Q: What are three things you love about indoor water rowing?
A: First, I love the ways it continues to be a challenge, even after a year of doing it. I find new ways to push myself to do more – by going further or working to get my split time down or getting my race times faster.
I also love that you can't cheat. Some exercises you can find a workaround, like holding the handles or leaning. But in indoor water rowing, you have to put in the work on every push and on every stroke. There is no place to hide…you gotta do the work.
Lastly, I love the way it's reshaping me. Not only am I losing weight (about 30 pounds since I started, along with walking and watching what I eat), but I've found the "shape" of me is changing. My upper arms are thinning out, my waist is tightening and this past summer a friend commented on my "awesome shoulders." But it's also reshaping the framework with which I see and think about myself.
Q: Why do you think Núcleo is different?
A: For me, it's all about the instructors. They actually know you and your goals and they care about your progress. They also care about you as a person in the real world and not just the person in their class. Because of the small class size, it’s a real community of people who you get to know and who challenge you along the way.
Q: What is the one thing you wish you could tell the “old you” now?
A: Oh, the old me? I would tell her – don’t be scared of trying something new.
Favourite workout song?
Right now, I love rowing to Promises by Calvin Harris and Sam Smith.
What’s one thing you would tell someone who’s never been to Nucleo?
We’re all on our own machines, but we still work as a crew. We’re a team that supports each other and our individual goals.