RISER OF THE MONTH - ELISABETH WAGENER
Why Rise? The ‘boutique’ exercise culture. It lends itself to my lickety-split lifestyle. I wasn’t looking to exercise with hundreds of other people, feel like I was entering a mall, or participating in exercise on a cruise ship deck. I’m intensely private, so it strikes the right balance between offering anonymity and intimacy in terms of its size. I can ebb and flow between total engagement or complete disengagement depending on which split personality I’ve adopted for the day or which of my myriad of time constraints is on deck for the day. That being said, the sense of community is always there upon reentry and there is no shortage or lack of class offerings given its boutique feel. What motivates you? This could be life or workouts. I’m an intrinsically motivated individual. So, staying motivated to exercise or stay active has never been a hurdle for me. Sometimes too much redundancy gets boring for me, so to keep from stopping, I sometimes tweak the way I’m doing something to allow it to provide more of a stretch or I change the rate (slower is more difficult for me) to make the movement more difficult or more interesting. It just depends on what I need at any given moment. Good music with a strong downbeat or upbeat doesn’t hurt either. What are your short and long-term workout goals? I don’t really set concrete workout goals until I’m in an actual exercise class. I say a lot of affirmations in my head and have a CONSTANT running dialogue with myself. My goals are extremely dynamic and literally change by the second or minute. If I’m in a plank, I give myself alignment cues the entire time, for instance. If I’m spinning, I set “on demand” goals during every song that’s played or during every interval. I also set a lot of dynamic goals relating to form and core engagement. I use instructor cues as a baseline and I aim to never coast or be static. I suppose a long-term goal is to never allow myself to get off the train. What specifically, other than format or schedule, do you like about Rise (events, community, etc.)? The dedication of the instructors and their commitment to planning classes and being prepared for their clients. They are rarely, if ever, without a notecard, notebook, or torn out piece of paper with their plan for class meticulously documented. What’s your biggest challenge in getting to class? I’m a creature of habit, so my biggest challenge has never been getting to class. It’s part of my day like brushing my teeth. Really. I have a challenge staying away from class…a testament to Rise and its staff! What’s your athletic background? It’s a joke in my family that I began exercising in the womb. My mom is a cross-country skier and, unbeknownst to her, cross-country skied while pregnant with me until she made a visit to the doctor because she was a little more tired than usual. My paternal grandfather and father were college athletes, and they began indoctrinating me into organized sports at a very early age. I was raised on the east coast on the beach and also had direct access to the Intracoastal Waterway. My brother and I were always swimming, boarding, water skiing, or canoeing. I’ve always lived in warmer geographical climates, which allowed me to play organized sports year-round (tennis, soccer, softball, volleyball, swim team, and golf)… some competitively and others recreationally and to be outdoors moving CONSTANTLY, whether it be riding bikes or hiking. I was a competitive cross-country runner in middle school and high school and competed in the 800 in track while in high school. I was also a member of a high school choreographed dance group. I played intramural sports in college and it was also in college that I took my first on-campus spin class and was instantly hooked. I’ve been participating in group exercise classes ever since my first spin class in college. The only time I’ve taken a break from exercise was during my high-risk pregnancies, all of which resulted in healthy children. What’s your best healthy living tip? You’re the captain of your own ship. Just do you and make it easy…don’t over think it and set yourself up for failure! Once it gets too easy or comfortable, then start the tweaking. Once it gets too difficult, lower it a notch, but just don’t stop. I like to piecemeal different foods and supplement/dietary fads. Right now, I’m invested in collagen peptides, carb-cycling, intermittent fasting, and counting macros. I also cobble together a protein shake as an emergency go-to fake dessert consisting of almond milk with some Nutpod, frozen banana, ice, protein powder, NuttZo 7 seed butter, unsweetened cacao nibs, and some fat free/sugar free Jello powder pudding mix. I also draw a hard line and don’t exercise or worry about what I’m eating when I’m on vacations. Sometimes the brain needs a vacation too.