Image of Maya snowshoeing through snow-covered Pacific Northwest forests.

Maya Smorodinsky

I’m training for… myself. Yes, I still play ultimate, and yes I am training to run fast and cut well and jump (period) BUT there’s something incredibly compelling and potent about making your body powerful just for yourself. This is not a concept that has often been available to women, athletes or not — to own my body, to make it for myself, and to do that by lifting heavy things is, let’s face it, a radical act. I train to empower myself both mentally and physically. I train to keep myself healthy and fit for the long haul. I train because I like lifting things and throwing them, too.

What I do with RenFitness is…I take early morning classes at RenFitness and sometimes I drop-in for an evening class or gym access. Morning classes are my jam — they make me pumped and ready to face the day. I have more positive energy on gym days, and the more I come in, the longer that positive energy lasts. For someone who only started lifting a few years ago, classes are a perfect place for me to learn new things without fear or intimidation, so I’m learning a lot more and getting stronger at a faster pace than before. The combination of strength/agility/mobility works well for me, and I like the ability to move between kettlebells and the bar.

My favorite thing about training at RenFitness is…The coaching staff and personal attention for sure keeps me coming back. I take classes because Ren, Bert, and Kira approach training holistically — they don’t just focus on form, but also body mechanics in general and whatever body stuff you have going on personally. You can’t find that kind of attention (and memory!) at another gym. With their teaching methods I am also able to take my new knowledge home with me and confidently lift in other spaces. The attentiveness to power dynamics, gender and race equity, and social justice is a huge pull for me as well. Athletic spaces are not a-political and it’s great that the gym consciously and actively addresses this. And morning dance parties are awesome!

I’d like to share with everyone that…Something we should repeat over and over to ourselves: it’s never too late. This is not fake news y’all! Trying new stuff is hard but so rewarding. I baked a loaf of bread — arguably the easiest food — for the first time in December and granted it came out hard as a rock, but I did it! Sí se puede!