Jesse: Whenever I tell people for the first time about our 10 pm workout on Thanksgiving I always get the same look. Everyone assumes I meant 10 am. Then I’m asked, “Why 10 pm?” So here is how it came to be and how it’s grown over the past few years.
Erin: My absolute favorite day of the year to work out and watch others workout is Thanksgiving. People know they are about to do some damage at the dinner table and with that in mind the intensity they bring to their workout is like no other. But, when Jesse brought up the idea of a 10 pm I thought he was nuts! Would people really want to work out at 10 pm?
Jesse: Growing up a few of my family members and friends were big into black Friday shopping so for years, I’d be one of the crazy people out late Thanksgiving night and into the morning. I never bought anything (that’s what December 24 is for)- I just enjoyed the craziness and people watching. As Thanksgiving approached our first year open, I figured members would be up later without work the next day and thought trying a late workout could fit with people going out shopping or out for a beer. I didn’t think there would be a big turnout as we had not even been open a year yet, it was 30 degrees outside, and late. But I thought it would be fun even if just a few showed up. Well, I was wrong, 39 people came that first night. We were thrilled with the turnout and knew we would do it again!
Erin: For me, there are quite a few things that I love about the various Thanksgiving workouts we’ve had. In the first year, the most memorable moment of the 10 pm workout was when Chris McCune was doing box jumps and his face turned pea green colored. I thought to myself, he won’t make the mistake of eating big before he does this again next year! When the next Thanksgiving rolled around it was more like a given that we would do a 10 pm workout again.
Jesse: The following year we decided to add a 10:00 am option while keeping the 10:00 pm. Like the previous year, I didn’t expect a huge turnout. I thought 15-25 people would be there, expecting most people to be doing Thanksgiving stuff. Well, again, I was wrong. We had 65 people show up for the one morning class! With about half of the group getting to 865 just before we started I had quickly re-formatted the workout while Tony led the warm-up. Later that night we had another 38 people!
Erin: The cool part of the 10 am class that second year was that many members brought their family with them. It was fun overhearing moms remark how strong their daughters were and gasp on when they saw the re-formatted workout Jesse wrote on the board. I was shocked later that night when a few of those same members returned to work out again! I thought it couldn’t get much better than this, but on our third year was even more fun.
In year three, a few people even did the “Turkey Trifecta” as Barbara Davis tagged it to denote 3 total workouts between Thanksgiving and Black Friday. All fitness aside, though, my favorite thing about these Thanksgiving workouts is that it gives all our members an opportunity to see their loved ones on a holiday. (Having moved around a bit in my adult years, I haven’t gotten to spend that many Thanksgivings with my family and I think a lot of our members are the same.) We might not be their biological family, but we are their gym family and friends. It is great providing a place to celebrate together and of course to sweat.
Jesse: As we approach the our 4th year it’s fun to look back and see how our Thanksgiving Day schedule has not only been a success number wise but it’s become something that many members look forward to each year.