Fuck yeah, Fit Mob!
Fierce fitness community forms in Calgary
What combines the fun and spontaneity of flash mobs with the buckets of sweat from a good, hard, workout?
The answer is Calgary’s Fit Mob, a group of fitness enthusiasts who meet every Wednesday morning at 6:15 a.m. in different locations in Calgary’s downtown core to have fun and work hard. The new workout location is posted each Tuesday to the group’s various social media accounts.
The Fit Mob is organized by fitness instructor Tamara Francis, who after seeing a video of the November Project became committed creating the same experience in Calgary.
“Two guys in Boston started this grassroots fitness movement,” said Francis. “Basically they started working out together. They realized they were on to something because they were having more fun and they came up with really creative, different ways to work out.”
Francis explained that when November Project founders Brogan Graham and Brojan Mandaric posted their workouts to social media to try and get others involved, the project took off.
“It started with one guy showing up,” said Francis, “and then a dozen people showed up. I think in four months, they had three or four hundred people.”
But we understand that committing to a new workout program — especially one that gets you out of bed before that 8 a.m. class — is a lot to ask. That’s why The Reflector’s staff writer Beck Paterson took on the experience first-hand to try it out, so you don’t have to.
I already regretted my decision when my alarm went off at 5 a.m., but nevertheless I rolled myself out of bed, put on some sweats, grabbed a bottle of water and headed out the door. This morning’s workout was at James Short Park, a small grassy area circled by benches and nestled at the corner of Centre Street and 4th Ave SW. It’s a small little patch of grass, perfect for getting in a workout before whatever the day has in store. It was still dark when I arrived. In total, there were six participants, including myself and organizer Francis.
After Francis asked if we were ready to begin — to which the group responded with a loud “Fuck yeah!” in unison — we started the workout with a “short” jog from our current location to the Peace Bridge and back. For me, as out of shape and unprepared as I was, this was certainly one way to wake myself up. I began to run alongside the other participants, worried that my obvious lack of conditioning would make me an outcast to this new group of people, or worse, that I would barf before the warm-up was even over.
However, as I ran and fell behind the much-more-in-shape-than-me pack, I was still encouraged by the other participants as they passed me on their loop back. Another runner even slowed her pace to match mine for a section of the run so I wasn’t alone. When I finally did make it back to James Short Park, I was greeted to cheers and even more encouragement. I was beginning to think that maybe I could get through this after all.
The rest of the workout consisted of swapping phone numbers with someone else in the group and completing an exercise that corresponded to each of the digits. With my luck, the phone number that I got had four threes. That meant 80 jumping lunges, not to mention the burpees and push-ups also included in my phone number workout.
I made it through two and a half phone numbers before the session ended. By the end of it, I was already sore, tired and I had definitely broken much more than a little sweat. The session ended with a bit of core work, and most importantly, “hugging it out.”
“It’s all about the hugging it out,” said Francis.
Calgary’s Fit Mob definitely succeeded in their goal to kick my ass. As much as it was a struggle to get myself out of bed that early and to go work out with a bunch of strangers — particularly on Reading Break when I should be sleeping in — I am very glad I did. Gone are the days when having no one to work out with or no time to fit in a workout count as valid excuses.
Calgary Fit Mob not only runs early enough for even those with the busiest schedule to get out and get fit, but it provides a fun, community atmosphere to get active and work hard.
Getting involved is simple: just show up and work hard. Follow @calgaryfitmob on Instagram, and Calgary Fit Mob on Facebook for updates on Tuesdays and more info.