The thought of a 5:30am workout doesn’t make everyone jump for joy, but really, it should. Deep within us all is a call to wake with the sun and go to sleep with it, too, but that primal rhythm has been buried under layers of modern patterns and choices that rob us of our “get up and go, go, go!”
After a month of sub-zero, pre-dawn, sixty minute cardio-excursions with Tricia McCormack, I’m thinking that her TK-Fit program is THE BEST wake-up call I've had in a long, long time. Whatever we might think about layering up like the Michelin Man and starting our cars in negative degrees below zero before the sun has even winked at us, there is something beautifully counter-intuitive about a pre-dawn workout.
It’s difficult to lift ourselves out of bed when it’s dark and cold and the dream-world is warm, but Tricia has shown me that there’s something truly uplifting when our hearts are revving up at the same time the sun rises. On these mornings, waking up is less a part of an Alarm clock and more a part of an Align clock, as our bodies wake with the sun and our hearts pound to the rhythm of “I am sooo ready to be part of this day.”
What a great feeling! and Tricia has everything to do with it. She is an amazing teacher, capable of conjuring the very best from us as we shift from REM’s to BPM’s, but there’s more to it. TK-Fit isn’t just about getting up and out the door for a workout. It isn’t “all about you.” Of course, it's about you, but it’s also about being part of a supportive, healthy community. The sessions pair you up so that for every class you take, you are almost always working alongside someone new, learning her name and cheering her on as she pushes through another cycle. Each new pairing brings about a subtle shift as it slips into our focus, turning our thoughts towards another, and shifting our mindset from “I am here, working out for me” to “We are here working out together.” It builds an awareness beyond our own bodies that complements our growing self-awareness. I'm convinced that this is the glue, the 'essence,' that keeps Tricia's classes pre-dawn and strong.
Tricia is nothing short of a masterful teacher in her ability to capture this ethos and incorporate it into every 60-minute, super-sweaty, cardio-boosting session she teaches. It’s no surprise then to learn that she comes from a family of teachers; was awarded the Coach’s Award for her spirit in high school; and has years of experience in human resources as a motivational trainer for Monster.com.
Tricia’s classes are attended mostly by women, of all ages and abilities, who are motivated to improve their core strength as well as their ability to look after themselves and others. Many of her students have been part of TK-Fit for over 6 years. While they've been getting great results and enjoying the training, Tricia is always shifting things up to make it more healthful and rewarding. Boredom never enters the equation.
Each year Tricia introduces new programs to complement her TK-Fit classes and to create a broader awareness of good health. Just take a look at the TK-Fit Facebook page and you will see a smiling face for every dreaded burpee. The setting in the photos always changes from studio, to mountain, to snow covered hills, to the school playgrounds and our village sidewalks as Tricia incorporates playful ways to make workouts both challenging and fun. It's a totally creative way to approach burning workouts, not unlike the way a teacher might approach a grueling lesson and dwindling attention spans. An hour with Tricia passes quickly, but the feel-good-buzz of fulfillment carries on through the day, and isn't that what every great teacher wishes to achieve?
For the first time last year Tricia was a sponsor for the local Steel Rail Half Marathon and helped her students train for it. It was a great way to put their TK-Fit training to work and for all of them to be part of a larger community of like-minded people interested in health and wellness. It was mind-blowing and heart-warming for so many runners to discover that they possessed the otherwise unknown strength to accomplish their goals. They did all the work, and Tricia showed them how.
Before this last year ended, Tricia created a Holiday Challenge for her TK-Fitters. The program required accountability as participants reported their progress. It did not require a sledge hammer to maintain. The focus of the challenge was to encourage an awareness of daily choices – both good and bad – and to monitor them with a point system, adding points for good choices, and taking away points for those not-so good holiday choices. A daily food and exercise journal tracked sleep, water intake, healthy food and exercise. It was an effective way to build awareness and prevent a total “Health Deficit” by the time a new year arrived…
…and when 2015 arrived, Tricia and her TK-Fitters were more than ready to start the year with a healthy bang that combined Nutrition and Fitness. Teaming up with The Ultra Wellness Center, Tricia joined her students on a 10 day detox as outlined by Dr. Mark Hyman in The Blood Sugar Solution: 10 Day Detox Diet. Wow. Tricia really knows how to pull a team together and she sure knows a win:win when she sees one! But wait. It doesn't end there...Tricia is also a professional photographer and arranged a photo shoot to go along with the TK Fit 2015 new year detox. While she provided the Ultra Wellness Center with images to promote their upcoming nutrition lectures, a fabulous team of TK-Fitters acted as the models while receiving a thorough debriefing from the [incredibly] knowledgeable folks at The Ultra Wellness Center. Kinda' makes you wish you had done that detox with those fabulous TK-Fitters, doesn't it?
I mean, seriously, how lucky are we? Dr. Hyman’s Ultra Wellness Center is located right here in Lenox and it’s one of the many things that makes “us locals” grateful to live in a community that is thriving with health experts who share their knowledge, enhance our understanding of healthy choices and instill a greater awareness of health and wellness throughout our community. We're just oozing Wellness up here in the Berkshires!
Living in New England, we’re all very aware of how the seasons change around here: it’s not fall without a rake. It’s not winter without a snow shovel. It’s not spring without mud, lots of mud, and it’s not summer without Tanglewood and it sure wouldn't be winter or summer without TK-Fit Boot Camp! Tricia has created a motivating 6-week program to get fit OUTSIDE!!! This year, will mark the 9th outdoor training program that she offers twice a year. Pictured here, Tricia's ready for work, winter; and Tricia's ready for work, summer...
Anyone can experience the great outdoors every Sunday with Tricia as she gets your heart pumping. Each week features a different activity on two levels - advanced and beginner/intermediate – for snow-shoeing, sledding, lumber-jacking, spring training, and scavenger hunting. At the end of the program, everyone comes together to run a 5K-TK-Finale. Success is a big part of the celebration: just look at the expressions of confidence, pride, accomplishment, and joy in these photos. For more details on Winter Boot Camp, click here, and Go on, Good Girl, get your Lumberjack on!
Tricia’s classes are always packed and that’s because her training programs are diverse, challenging, effective and fun. She wouldn't have so many students returning year after year if it wasn't fun, but it’s about more than just having fun. Tricia wants to help people feel better. She wants to show them healthy ways to enjoy their journey to strength and wellness.
Just like a partner in one of her classes cheering you on, Tricia makes sure to get to know you and “your story.” She sticks with you on your journey and makes sure to celebrate the TK-Fit Rock Stars, those TK-Fitters who push themselves far beyond their comfort zone and well into the TK-Fit zone, a place where fun and fitness and friendship thrive alongside good health. Tricia goes the extra mile and shares the Rock Star stories on her website. Check them out! These TK-Fit Rock Stars are all beautiful women who have worked through challenges and are generous enough to share their stories so that others might find inspiration on their own journey to wellness. Like her TK-Fit Rock Stars, Tricia is an inspiration to many. Who cares if she makes our muscles ache for days!? Tricia is a Rock Star, and a mighty, mighty Good Girl, fer sure.
I am grateful for people like Tricia McCormack who shake me right out of my comfort zone and bring me to a place that is fun and fulfilling and totally rocking with good health! Thank you, Tricia McCormack.
Sometimes, you just gotta' stir it up to make things settle down. Go on, Good Girl, Rise with the sun and stir it up!
Tricia has been applying her love of fitness and moving and motivating clients to feel their best for over 11 years. She is a certified personal trainer & fitness instructor who teaches in Lenox, Massachusetts and regularly participates as a guest teacher at conferences throughout New England and the US. To learn more about Tricia and her classes please visit TK-Fit.com.