Earlier in the year as we prepared to celebrate our 10-Year Aevita-versary, we decided it might be fun to check in with our Aevitans who have been here from Day 1! We asked them a bunch of questions, and loved the answers we got back!
Keep reading to see what our Founding Members have to say about Aevitas, their memories, and their progress over the last 10 years. You might even be able to take away some sage advice from these tried-and-true Aevitas veterans!
Who Are Aevitas’ Founding Members?
These are members who have been part of Aevitas since the first year in our home at Charles Park in Guilderland. Some of these members pre-date our grand opening, as they started with us in the summer of 2013 at Tawasentha Park!
We hold a very special place in our hearts for these amazing people. They have helped us grow, and have grown along with us. These members have endured, and even helped with, multiple expansions of our Guilderland gym. They have informed our programming, our gym layout, our amenities and offerings, and our social outings. Our members play such a big role in how the gym changes and morphs, and these members have been through it all right by our sides!
Aevitas Fitness 10-Year Founding Members:
- Aaron Markham
- Amy Boyt
- Anne Marie McDaniel
- Dave Edelson
- Diana Edelson
- Jackie Lendrum
- Mary Vartigan
- Matt McDaniel
- Nancy Davis
- Sara Rosa
- *Honorable Round Lake Mention: Eileen Trainor! Eileen was one of the original Round Lake members!
So without further ado, let’s see what these people had to say about their time with Aevitas!
What was your experience level with athletics and exercise prior to joining Aevitas?
Aaron: “I had always been active in outdoor activities including hiking, mountain and road biking as well as skiing but had never been a member of a gym before.“
Anne Marie: “When I was in my 20s and 30s I worked out at “regular gyms”, very minor weight lifting on machines, aerobics, had a stair climber and treadmill at home. But about 1-1/2 years before I started cross fit I had my hip replaced and really had not worked out in any way for about 10-15 years.”
Jackie: “Athletics have always been a part of my life. I participated in a variety of sports in school then I jumped around to a number of different things as an adult, i.e. running, swimming, x-country skiing, classes at the Y, step aerobics (yeah, I did!), bootcamp classes and then crossfit. I still like to mix in other activities like running and skiing along with my wods.”
Mary: “I had always done some type of fitness. I played softball until I was over 50 and had been a jogger as well as aerobics but never any weight bearing exercises.:”
Eileen: “Before Aevitas bought the gym I had been doing Crossfit since the beginning of Crossfit Round Lake. My fitness level was pretty good at that time. Before doing Crossfit I was mainly a runner, sprint triathlete, and doing weight classes and yoga at the YMCA. I was overall in good shape but not very strong in my upper body. I was also getting overuse injuries from running too much. Hip pain and achilles were a constant problem. Also my knees weren’t very mobile“
What is your favorite thing about Aevitas?
Aaron: “The fact that every day is different.“
Anne Marie: “I love the community. People in their 20s that are doing every workout Rx+ can work out with older people like me with physical limitations and everyone is supportive of one another. I love cross fit because it is varied exercise. When I was younger I would get bored with the same old work outs.”
Jackie: “Aevitas makes me laugh – we get to be ridiculous AND get a super sweaty workout in. The wod is really my social hour.”
Mary: “My favorite thing about Aevitas are the people and coaches who are so supportive no matter what your age or capabilities are.”
Eileen: “Favorite thing about Aevitas is that there are a variety of different classes available including Crossfit, weightlifting, Spartan race and Vitafit. There is something for everyone!!“
Favorite movement we do at the gym and why?
Aaron: “I still really like rowing after all these years, maybe because I get to sit down.“
Anne Marie: “Weight lifting. Before cross fit I would have never dreamed I could lift weights. As I get older it is great for my strength and mobility.”
Jackie: “Burpees. Always burpees. Burpees make everything better – your body, your mind, the sun shines brighter.”
Mary: “Favorite movement is rowing because I can do it for a long time without getting tired of it.”
Eileen: “My favorite movement is probably rope climbing. I like it because it makes me feel like a kid again. It makes me feel good that at 62 I can still do something that not even many young people can do.“
Least favorite movement you do at the gym and why?
Aaron: “I don’t think I can pick just one so will go with running and/or burpees“
Anne Marie: “Running. I have never been a good runner. When I first started cross fit I really tried to like it but it just isn’t my thing.”
Jackie: “Oh the list. As I’m getting older some parts of my body are broken which makes some movements pretty hard. I’ll say snatches are my least favorite at the moment.”
Mary: “Box jumping because at this point in my life I am afraid of falling because I have balance Issues.”
Eileen: “My least favorite thing we do is the squat snatch. The snatch is hard enough but when you add in the squat it is extremely hard for me. I have gained a lot of mobility since starting Crossfit but this movement really challenges many areas – shoulders, knees, ankles. Pure torture! When I started I couldn’t even do it with a PVC pipe so at least I can now do it with some weight.“
What skill/ability are you hoping to improve on?
Aaron: “I would really like to be able to string more than 3 double unders together.“
Anne Marie: “Getting back to lifting heavier weights.”
Jackie: “Pull-ups. I’ve had them and lost them at different times. I’m working back to them now – fingers crossed.”
Mary: “At this point I’m just maintaining”
Eileen: “I hope to continue to work on making my lifts smoother. I still have a hitch in many of my lifts from the ground.“
What is one major hurdle you’ve had to overcome in your fitness journey?
Aaron: “Getting back to in-person classes after a long stretch of at-home workouts during COVID“
Anne Marie: “Multiple surgeries – hip replacement, surgery on both wrists, surgery on foot, now frozen shoulder and arthritis but my thought has always been it’s a good thing I’m doing cross fit or I wouldn’t have recovered so well from the surgeries.”
Jackie: “Age. It sucks to get old. I’ve had my share of injuries which brings a bit of caution to my workouts. But, I’m also proud of the way I’ve rehabbed from those injuries and continued on. I was back at Aevitas days after my shoulder surgery last year – it wasn’t the best workout I’ve ever done, but I was moving and that’s important.”
Mary: “Realizing that as the years go by more scaling enters into my workouts but the frequency of coming to the gym remains the same. No pressure. Just keep moving.”
Eileen: “The biggest hurdle is probably joint pain and mobility from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I have it under control by eating gluten free and taking a few supplements. I have found that Crossfit has helped me strengthen the muscles, tendons, ligaments etc. near my joints so the RA doesn’t seem to affect me as much.“
What is your secret to getting into the gym consistently, day after day, and year after year?
Aaron: ” Sign up for classes I can attend and do not look at the workouts ahead of time.“
Anne Marie: “I feel so much better mentally when I work out and as I get older it’s going to help me stay mobile.”
Jackie: “Two things: 1) I never check the workouts ahead of time. It psyches me out before I even get there AND, 2) when I’m struggling to come I’ll text one of my Aevitas friends and make a wod date – an accountability buddy can really help me get through a slump.Getting to the gym consistently is hard – life happens for all of us. I often tell the coach when I walk in, “welp, I did my part, I’m here – the rest is on you” and that’s really how I think. For me, coming to Aevitas isn’t about winning or even seeing something get better – it’s about living to be 100. Consistent functional fitness will help get me there.“
Mary: “My frequency of getting to the gym is not an issue as long as I’m town and have no prior commitments.”
Eileen: “I love exercise so I don’t need much to motivate me to workout. I do look forward to seeing friends at the gym. It is probably the place I socialize the most! I also like muscles – much nicer looking than flab! I also find that if I exercise every day my eating is much better as well as my sleeping. I just feel happier and healthier coming to the gym.“
Name a particularly memorable workout you’ve had over the years with us, and why was it so memorable
Aaron: “Fight gone bad was the first workout I did in the gym at Aevitas and it just came around again and was just as challenging as the first time. “
Anne Marie: “I started seriously back at the gym in February and in May I did Murph – yes it was scaled but I was still really proud of myself that I could do it.”
Jackie: “Murph with Karen a few years ago. It was raining and we were getting the workout in ahead of Memorial Day. I did all of it (no weight vest). To get through that many Rx pushups and pullups meant a lot to me.”
Mary: “My memorable workout would be the 100 burpee workout because everyone in the class was doing them with me after they finished and cheering me on until I finally finished.”
Eileen: “The first Skinner WOD was very emotional for me. Brian had been such a big personality at the gym. He was full of energy and loved interacting with everyone. There was a big void after he died by suicide. The love and support in the gym at the first Skinner WOD was amazing. A close second was when I did my first Murph. That is a challenging workout but very satisfying when you are done.“
What movement did you struggle with at the gym that you now are pretty good at? How’d you get there?
Aaron: “I really struggled with the flow of cleans at first and think I improved just through lots of repetitions.”
Anne Marie: “This is hard because there are things I used to be able to do before my shoulder issues. I would have to say jump roping. I could never really jump rope and I got my own rope and practiced at home so I could do it at the gym.”
Jackie: “I’m not sure that I’m “pretty good” at anything but I’ll say that I think my lifts are all pretty sound. It irks me when people lift heavy but their technique is terrible – nothing functional about that – just an injury coming at you. I love throwing barbells and feeling like I’m doing it properly. I think I got there by being coachable. I leave my ego at the door and really try to listen to what the coaches are telling me. Sometimes I know what I’m supposed to be doing and can’t quite get my body to do it but then sometimes my body surprises me.”
Mary: “The movement that I struggled with was rope climbing and I never did master it. I guess I should have started working on that at a much younger age.”
Eileen: “When I started Crossfit I couldn’t do a single pull up. I set a goal of being able to do a pull up in one year. I stayed everyday and worked on pull ups. I did lots of Australian pull ups and tons of negatives. I was able to do a pull up in only a few months of this training. Now I actually enjoy doing pull ups and can do more than I was ever able to do while I was in the military. It is very rewarding to see that even as you age you can train hard and continue to get stronger and achieve new things.“
What accomplishment at the gym are you most proud of?
Aaron: “Sticking with it for the last 10 years!”
Anne Marie: “Right now I am most proud of coming back to the gym. My dad had cancer and passed away and my mom has stage 4 cancer and I took time to help take care of them which I wouldn’t change. But after being gone for so long I am just proud of showing up 3 days a week and doing the best I can with my limitations. If Chad and Karen hadn’t created the community they have created I don’t think I would be back. It’s a place I feel comfortable and enjoy! Thanks!!!!”
Jackie: “10 years of Aevitas for sure. 10 years of anything is something to be proud of. Lifts and movements come and go but consistent, functional fitness is always the goal.”
Mary: “I’m most proud of my 200-pound deadlift. I’ll never forget that day and the adrenaline rush after”
Eileen: “Wow, that is a hard question. I have so many little accomplishments. Perhaps the one that surprised me the most was winning the first triathlon.“