Members of the Month: August

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Leslie Wittenbraker is our female Member of the Month for August. She initially came into the LAB with a group of running friends. She loves the amazing community, and always leaves with a smile on her face. Her breakthrough moment was conquering the box jump. As for her advice to anyone thinking about joining, it’s simple: Don’t let your mental fears talk you out of conquering your physical goals.  

What brought you to enduraLAB in the first place? I originally came in with a group of running friends to complete an early morning introductory workout. Lee had us doing (band assisted) pull ups something I had always considered previously un-doable.

What was your first impression? How has that changed? I loved all the black and white aesthetic! The LAB was a clean, organized space to get work done. Moreover, every coach and member I interacted with was warm and I immediately felt welcome into the LAB community. That hasn't changed a bit. After a taking a sabbatical from my membership, I’m back at the LAB and have been finishing my workouts with a huge smile. A smile that has a lot to do with a community that is all about inclusion and progress and not intimidation.  

What was your first breakthrough moment? BOX JUMPs! They were so intimidating for me, but such a win for when I was able to knock them out during a workout. Such a demonstration of both the physical (AND mental) strength I’d gained working out at the LAB.

What are your current goals at the LAB? I’m currently gearing up to feel healthy and fit for our late October wedding. Nothing like standing up in front of all your family and loved ones in a fancy dress to get you motivated.

What’s your favorite enduraLAB memory? The informal moments of victory. The pep talks and DJ requests pre-row time trials, high fives during an endurance AMRAP, and extra sweaty water bottle toasts after a workout well done.

What advice do you have for anyone thinking about starting at enduraLAB? Don’t let your mental fears talk you out of conquering your physical goals. Just show up and you’ll find the supportive community you need to bust through those roadblocks.

What is your favorite movement/lift? Least favorite? I’m the weirdo that actually likes to row. I might get some boos from the peanut gallery for that one. Additionally, I love to get after some slam balls and kettlebell swings. As for my least favorite, as previously mentioned, me and box jumps have a love hate relationship but these days it’s more love than hate. Moreover, count me grumpy if the workout includes too many push-ups.

Where did you go to college? Bowdoin College (undergrad) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (grad). That’s right, I’m not from Texas.

Favorite restaurant/bar in Fort Worth? Oh my gosh, that’s like Sophie’s choice. I love so many. If we’re feeling fancy for a major celebration our go to is definitely Clay Pigeon. I dream about the smoked bone marrow in my sleep and they make a mean cocktail. If we’re talking average weekly date night our favorite is probably Flying Fish. Amazingly fresh seafood, no reservation required. Everything is good, but don’t forget to “make in snappy!”

Favorite midnight snack? I’m not a night owl, so you’ll rarely find me out and about at midnight. But on the rare occasion, I’d vote for a breakfast taco from Melis on Vickery. They close at 10:00 p.m. so that gives you a great idea of my night owl ways.
 

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Jason Estes came into the LAB for a Buds-n-Suds workout, and was so impressed with the programming he grabbed a group membership and hit the ground running. His current fitness goal is to remain consistent and focused on each workout. Jason advises newbies to not worry about being the best/fastest/strongest when you start out. Instead, he suggests athletes focus on consistency and you will see results. 

What brought you to enduraLAB in the first place? I came to a Saturday Buds-n-Suds workout with an enduraLAB member, Scot Buchanan, and was immediately intrigued by the combination of strength training and endurance training. Having been a long-time runner and cyclist I had good cardio endurance but it had been over a decade since I had done any type of strength training and the opportunity to maximize both cardio and strength in a single workout was super exciting. I had also just completed a kitchen remodel project at our home that took over 2 months to complete, which meant 2 months of eating every meal out which equated to an extra 15 pounds that I was eager to get rid of.

What was your first impression? How has that changed? I was immediately impressed with the other athletes at enduraLAB, and truthfully, very intimidated as well. My first couple of classes, I worried about even completing the 10 push-ups in the warm up while other members were knocking them out without breaking a sweat. What has impressed me has been the support of the community of athletes and trainers. I have continuously felt challenged but not overwhelmed and what I realized is that everyone started where I started and like them, I have been excited by how quickly my strength has progressed.

What was your first breakthrough moment? We had a 20 minute AMRAP session several weeks ago that was rounds of pull ups, push ups and air squats; I think they call that a "Cindy" workout. At the end of that session I had completed 65 pull-ups, 130 push-ups and 195 air squats, none of which I thought would have ever been possible when I started at the LAB.

What are your current goals at the LAB? My main goal is consistency, just staying focused on putting everything I have in to every workout.

What’s your favorite enduraLAB memory? I regularly workout at the 5:00 a.m. eL FIT workout and what I love is seeing the same set of friendly faces every morning. You really get to know everyone well and it's encouraging to see everyone working so hard even at that ungodly hour of the day.

What advice do you have for anyone thinking about starting at enduraLAB? Don't worry about being the best/fastest/strongest when you start out. Everyone feels weak and tired and it feels overwhelming somedays. Just stick with it and you WILL see results.

What is your favorite movement/lift? Least favorite? Weirdly I think burpees are both my favorite and least favorite.  I like them because they are such a great full body workout along with cardio. They also just suck some days.

Where did you go to college? University of Texas at Austin

Favorite restaurant/bar in Fort Worth? Joe T. Garcia's, for the margaritas

Favorite midnight snack? A slice of cold pizza, for those rare instances when I'm still up at midnight.