Humans of Hanuman: Rebecca Mir
We love to feature our students in this Humans of Hanuman series. This month, we're featuring Rebecca Mir. Rebecca is one of our most dedicated students (and certainly a contender for the most active on social media in terms of posting workouts from Hanuman)! Learn more about her journey with us below…
Hi there! Tell us a little bit about yourself. :)
My name’s Rebecca! I’m an avid reader and consumer of media - games and movies especially. I think I just love stories and learning how other people think and move through the world. For work I lead digital projects on about 10 public service advertising campaigns at the Ad Council (e.g. SaveTheFood.com, DoIHavePrediabetes.org and FinishYourDiploma.org). Before that, I was a museum educator at the Guggenheim and New-York Historical Society, working with artists, historians, adults, kids, families, and people with disabilities. I’m challenged everyday and really enjoy research, strategy, analytics, and educating folks.
How did you hear about Hanuman Health Club?
I learned about Hanuman Health Club through the Inwood Community Group Facebook page. I had been going to the Harlem YMCA and just wanted to be active closer to home.Then I looked at some of the posts for the actual HHC page and realized I could workout without shoes on, AND that it’s preferred to do so, because science (I forget exactly why). So yeah, I tried one of the free Saturday classes and was hooked.
Haha, nice. No shoes is definitely a perk. How do you find Hanuman Health Club’s approach to be different from other gyms or fitness methods?
The approach is humane, thoughtful, inclusive, and playful. At other gyms I’ve been to, I’ve mostly been bored or feel disconnected from the other people. I have a couple herniated discs in my neck and struggle with chronic pain because of it. At Hanuman Health Club, the instructors know how to challenge me in a way where I don’t have to worry about injuring myself. That balance has been very tricky to find.
What do you get out of your work at Hanuman?
So much! The functional strength classes challenge me to strengthen my core and lats (to help with aforementioned shoulder/neck pain issue) and restorative mobility classes make me more aware of how I move and how I think. It’s also a good time to practice what I’ve learned taking Alexander Technique lessons.
Which classes do you take?
All of them! When I started out, my favorite class was the Saturday Movement and Mobility class - which has a body and club flow. It is really rewarding to build out the flow throughout class. I’m not sure if I have a favorite now. They’re all great for different reasons! Fridays are great for learning more about restorative movement and unlearning unhelpful postural and movement habits, Wednesdays are great for playing and intentional movement, Mondays for core strength and stability, and Tuesdays or Thursdays for getting wholloped (in a good way).
Wholloped. I like that! :D What changes have you noticed in working with the Hanuman Health Club over time?
It has changed how I approach my physical and mental health and how I structure my days. I never successfully worked out in the mornings before, but after realizing I could do that and get to work a little early on Metro North, I found that I loved the early bird life. At first it was really tough and I kept telling myself “You’re just trying out something new. You can always try something else if this doesn’t work.”
How has this affected your daily life, mind and energy?
Happy to share that I am stronger, happier, and calmer since I joined. Being embodied during class early in the mornings helps reduce my anxiety levels and feel more connected to daily life for sure.
Beautiful. You are doing 30 days of working out. Why did you decide to do that?
I wanted to get the most out of my monthly membership fee (haha!). I figured it would be a good way to shake off some stagnancy once I realized I was thinking “Oh, I’ve been three days this week, that’s plenty.” I had a feeling I would enjoy it because I liked the #movemoreeveryday challenge (and how open-ended and inclusive that challenge was). My supervisor does a 30 day yoga challenge each year so I figured why not challenge myself in that way, too!
How did it go and what did you learn about yourself mentally and physically?
It went well! My streak is 31 classes in a row because I wanted to also join in during the class Eoghan held in the woods the day after my 30th day - we ran around, deadlifted rocks, balanced on logs, climbed boulders barefoot. That is lots of fun for me, despite the mosquitos. And I just was notified that I’ve taken 100 classes at Hanuman Health Club, too! What I learned is that class always made me feel better if I was feeling sore or stiff or tired or icky, and that there’s a real value in consistently moving and being active. I also learned that it’s OK to wear gym clothes a couple times in a row (sorry friends, you can thank Ruby for giving me that pro-tip, haha!). What surprised me is how excited and supportive everyone else was to help me reach my goal. People went out of their way to talk to me about it, Eoghan helped me find other classes when the usual schedule shifted for July 4th, and other members clapped for me on my 30th day!
What do you recommend for someone just starting out in the fitness world?
Start moving in a way that’s comfortable for you and be kind to yourself. Then as you progress, seek out a new way to move and continue to grow.