A Year of MADness: gratitude, awards, community + <3

It would be impossible to put into words just how amazing the experience of opening MADabolic Cville, and mostly growing [with] this community, has been.  We opened with new programming and a logo, and that’s about it.  Over the last year we have built a (small, but mighty) machine that runs partially on our developed structure and mostly on the energy, humor, and incredible support of the clients (now friends) that walked through the doors and brought this concept to life.

The foundation, for me, definitely comes from my business partners.  If there’s one thing that I’ve learned it’s the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people; the educated challengers, the perpetual learners, and the people who push you to be unhappy with the status quo.  They’re the people that share not only your vision and goals, but also the drive, passion, and business acumen that actually makes those goals attainable — and they would be doing it even if you weren’t there.  The truth is, you really are only as strong as your weakest link, and that’s always the biggest risk to any effort, large or small, entrepreneurial or corporate.

I’m so grateful for the strengths of my business partners.  The different perspectives, experiences, and business maturity that I get to learn from and collaborate with every day are unparalleled.  There’s a contagious enthusiasm as we run our businesses and plan for whatever it is we decide to do next — because I know that it will be the enemy of our discontent, and the byproduct of our learned successes and failures.  I’m a complete believer in strengths based architecture and professional development in establishing high performance teams — all of which takes some level of intention and accuracy when constructing, but I’ll be the first to admit that I got really freaking lucky when I stumbled upon these amazing individuals.  This is not normal, and I know it.

But, really, this isn't normal.
No, but, seriously, this isn’t normal.

 That’s what fills me up every day, it drives me, and fuels higher performance levels from me in my ‘real’ job, these businesses, and my own training (well, that, and all of the amazing people that bring our concepts to life).  The fitness piece of what we do is just the hook.   It’s a passion for all of us, sure, and it’s what gets people in the doors, but at the end of the day this is a business, just like any other, and a passion for the product doesn’t make the machine function.  Without the insatiable energy and enthusiasm that our communities fill our spaces with every day, I don’t know if the rest of it would seem as worth it.  While it’s critical to build the right management team, part of surrounding yourself with the right people includes developing strong client relationships, and reciprocating on the value that is provided from both.   The shared experience and the dual benefit — that’s the power of community — and it’s not a one way street.

fuel sweat grow: MAD cville
Last Saturday’s 8:30am class / post lululemon product bomb

That’s what we’ve found to be the beautiful reality in Charlottesville over the last year (and let’s be real, Charleston, you’re right on our heels already).  Once again I feel like we already won life with our community alone, and I so appreciate it.  Each small business venture brings a new perspective (this is my 9th and counting) and I couldn’t be happier with what has been built here.  Charlottesville is my heart, it’s my own personal ‘Best of,’ and it’s every sweet niche pulls on my heartstrings.

fuel sweat grow: MAD cville

fuel sweat grow: MAD cville

fuel sweat grow: MAD Cville

fuel sweat grow: MAD cville

This week Cville Weekly announced the winners of it’s ‘Best of’ awards, an award that simultaneously means nothing and everything in this small town, and we were lucky enough to win Best Niche Gym.  The winners just so happened to be announced and featured the same week we are celebrating one year of business, which just made the celebration all the more meaningful.

fuel sweat grow: MAD Cville Best of

So, to make a long story longer, thank you Charlottesville and all of our MAD clients for giving us all the love you have, and a big thank you  to my business partners for not only buying into the idea of bringing an unknown concept to such a crazy small town, but also for hanging in through chaos, sharing your experiences, and allowing me to leverage all of your strengths to navigate what has certainly been a year of unknowns.

Intervals + Sweat Must Haves.

We’ve been pretty heavy on the fuel, and light on the sweats on here for a while, so here are a few workouts you can do at home or at the gym.

fuel sweat grow kettle bells

Dar Bootcamp

You’re working for 5 minutes, resting for 90 seconds, and then repeating the circuit another 4 times for 5 rounds total, adding up to 25 minutes of active work time.

Dar’s bootcamper’s did this first workout last week and all sent her messages following class about how much they loved it, followed by choice words of ‘appreciation’ from their bodies.  The key with this type of interval style circuit is to keep a competitive pace, but be consistent.  There’s no race against time, or rep competition, so find weights and speeds that are appropriate for you to challenge yourself but maintain your form.

If you’re doing the workout in a group, just split across the different stations, but maintain the order regardless of where you start – the program is set up and designed specifically to avoid the overuse and over fatigue of the same muscle groups.

I’m a junkie for this type of workout and love anything that keeps me moving with strength components, but a strong cardio base.  My three basic rules for a great sweat session are: 1) no barbells.  that’s a strength workout, and just another injury waiting to happen.  2) 20 minute working minimum of consistent work, but a full heart beating range of 20-55 minutes.  3) music.  LOUD music, absolutely no techno.

We’re running through another circuit today with a more functional focus with more intense cardio intervals.  Full sweat update to follow with the chosen playlist to keep us moving.



Meet Vanessa: Run Ambassador + Sweatworker

Vanessa Run Ambassador

Vanessa is a Charlottesville native, cardio sweat junkie, fitness and wellness leader.  Fun-loving mama to Everly (aka Munchkin), chocaholic vegetarian, and wahoo for life.

Vanessa has lived her whole life in the heart of Charlottesville. From back road short cuts and local bands, to the best restaurants and UVa traditions, she knows her Charlottesville stuff. Her best day is spent running and people watching around UVa, taking in the scenery on the back country of ridge road, or headed south to the trails at walnut creek.

 After graduating from UVA, and dabbling in magazine editing and marketing, she settled in at ACAC downtown, where she is currently the Personal Training and Fitness Director.  She is an ACE certified personal trainer, with specialty certifications from AFAA, AEA, and Kettlebell Concepts. On a daily basis you can find her training clients, teaching a multitude of classes, or rewarding her sweat sessions with the chocolate stash in her office.  She has an amazing 2 year old, Everly, who makes every day brighter and teaches her to laugh and love the simple things in life.

Vanessa & Everly : fuel sweat grow blog

 You’ll hear from her on creative running routes, trips on training for your charlottesville races, and ways to sneak a little more cardio into your life.