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By Adrienne Harvey, SrPCC, RKC-II, CK-FMS
I think my first passion was martial arts—which at first was mostly because of Saturday morning cartoons. I finally got involved with Filipino martial arts at the age of 12.
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It’s all about trial and error. At first I was looking for myself. For years I did the pushups by myself every morning. It just felt good, I would oxygenize myself with about thirty breaths, then it was amazing what I could do afterwards. I was just doing it on my own.
Fitness as a career probably started when I was teaching taekwondo. I was very heavily involved with taekwondo for about twenty years, and when I moved to California I ended up teaching at a studio for about seven years and then I broke my back.
An Interview with Scott Carney, author of What Doesn't Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength
I've gone through a lot of phases in my training, and I’ve probably trained with almost every implement imaginable in all my years of training. But, I definitely lean towards bodyweight training, and I particularly enjoy using kettlebells and the Bulgarian bag.
But training with SEAL was completely unorthodox, he turned all of the conventional things that I was taught upside down. The hardest thing was getting out of my routine, which I had pretty much been doing for twenty years. The second hardest challenge was the consistency of the new training—even though I had consistently run for years, the constant newness of the training was very challenging.
I was a chef and making my living as a musician by teaching lessons, doing studio work, playing with bands, and touring with bands. I was also working in a bar to supplement my income. Since I needed to have other jobs anyway, it helped me realize I could take my fitness to a more professional level.
I started in the martial arts in the late 70s with Chinese martial arts, specifically the Fu-Jow Pai system (Tiger Claw System). I studied that for a couple of years then transitioned to a kenpo style of Okinawa karate style where I achieved my black belt. From there I started mingling with other styles including Japanese swordsmanship—which I still study in New York City.
Fitness has helped me break down physical, mental, and communication barriers. I’ve now completed four Spartan Races and will be competing in the CrossFit Open for the first time this year. I live what I teach and I've found my calling—I want to help people to challenge themselves to build the fit mind and body so they can do everything they want to do.
We’re teaching the students things that they can keep doing outside of a gym membership, even though we still have our weight racks and stuff like that. But, I’m into functional training along with many of the coaches and teachers, so we wanted to give people options other than just the standard bench press and squat. There’s obviously a place for that in strength training. But as training has evolved, we wanted to bring in functional training, kettlebells, and other things we can do.