Kong Fit Contributor:

Bernadette Machard de Gramont

I'd taken a cycling class at Flywheel Sports before, but I had zero idea about what to expect from FlyFit. An admitted over-preparer, I checked it out online and saw that it was going to be a challenging mix of strength and conditioning. I have a dance background, and like many dancers, I avoided weights (scared of bulking up) and stuck to taking technique classes, Pilates (I'm also a certified instructor), and doing a ton of various forms of cardio (ask me about my short lived Zumba career sometime), but as I've gotten older, my needs have definitely changed. Strength training is something I love now, and FlyFit sounded right up my alley.

Heading into the studio, we set up our assigned workout spot with various weights and then after a short warm up, our instructor Elan took us through a 45-minute circuit of moves targeting the entire body. Since the class is on the small side, the instructor can check everyone's form. You also do a lot of exercises facing the center of the room, which gives you a chance to connect with the people working out around you. I definitely exchanged a couple "this is hard and I'm dying" glances with my fellow KFC-ers, but seeing we were literally sweating through this together helped me push though. Part of the way through class, I realized that I'd picked weights that were too light (what!). I could choose to lift heavier, so I did, and I felt pretty proud about that decision. Because this class keeps moving, you lose track of time and don't even realize that the class is almost over - during the final cardio set, I used every last ounce of energy I could muster to do my best high knees and fast feet, and the feeling of accomplishment when you've given something your best effort is priceless.  

I've had a very tumultuous relationship with my body since a very young age and have only recently - within the past 5 years - begun to appreciate it for what it can do. I'm a recent transplant here, and the encouraging, non-judgemental KFC community has been an integral part of my mental health and well being as I settle into being an Angeleno. Big shout out to the new friends I've made thanks to this group, it's awesome to see other people who have a love of movement and fitness like I do.

It's cliche, but my takeaway from this experience is this: if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. Pick up the heavier weights. Push through beyond the buzzer. Make bold choices. Do work that you can be proud of. I posted this on my Instagram the other day, but it bears repeating: be relentless in the pursuit of things that enrich your life, make you happy, and give you strength. I'm so fortunate that KFC is one of those things. Now get out there and do the damn thing! 

Bernadette Machard de Gramont / @darlingberna

Kong Fit Contributor