You guys know how much I’ve written about the Fit Pit, right? The gym that taught me that I was stronger than I thought? And that I could overcome this and this. The gym that helped me to get my fitness groove back after babies? I’d even go so far as to call it the community that inspired my soul.
Yeah, it’s meant a lot to me — and my family. Gwen’s been there almost weekly since she was just a few months old — and so have the twins. Although some days it wasn’t easy to get everybody there and then keep everybody entertained long enough for me to get a full workout in, I’ve also felt really proud to show my kids that side of my husband and me. For them to see us do hard things, and be around other people pushing their limits. It’s a special place; a special energy.
But, late last year we got word that the gym was closing.
It literally brought me to tears, a number of times. So many memories. So many workouts. So many good friends. So much self-discovery. So much … LIFE.
I knew it would leave a big ol’ hole — not just in our fitness, but in our day-to-day lives. Like, what in the world would we do?
After a lot of thought and discussion, we decided that joining a new gym just wasn’t right for us — at least not right now. But you know what was? This.
Say hello to our garage gym, which we’ve named “The Barn Box.” (Our house is a 1919 Colonial and looks a lot like a barn and I love alliteration, hence the title.)
We were lucky enough to buy some of the Fit Pit’s equipment (you can see most of it above but it consists of: a rower, dumbbells, barbells with plates, a slam ball, a box, kettlebells, and some mats), so we cleared out the mess that was our garage, and made it our very own slice of Fit Pit.
Commute time: 15 seconds.
In the coming weeks, I’ll share some of the workouts I’ve been doing in the Barn Box — both here on the site and on @FitBottomedGirl and @FitBottomedMama (because the kiddos are still very much a part of my workout routine, even when I try to work WODs in during naps!) — but creating a garage gym has been really … fun. In a surprising kind of way.
My husband has taken the reins on laying the space out, and we’ll continue to work on it (removing shelving and other clutter) as time allows and the weather warms. We also have plans to invest in a squat rack and pull-up bar, along with maybe a few other toys (I’d really like a shorter box and a battle rope). Not to mention that we got a WOD timer/clock for Christmas (thanks, Mom and Dad!) that we need to set up and hang, and I’m looking into some fun ways to really make the space our own (thinking, like, an inspiring neon or custom flag with a phrase). We’re also creating the most epic workout playlist ever (yep, I’ll share that, too, once it’s more complete).
When we decided to buy the equipment, I wasn’t 100 percent sure how much we’d use it. Would we still workout as much — or as hard? Or would it be kinda, sad, little, and lonely? While it’s definitely different and not the same, it’s — pardon the pun — working out really well. (Even if we do have multiple strollers to move around.)
I’ve fallen in love with creating workouts (based on many of the ones I did at the Fit Pit over the years). Since they’re just for us, it’s been a fun and intuitive process for me to design workouts that target my imbalances or weak spots or avoid areas I’m sore in — and then do the same for my husband, too.
I can also limit how long they are, or switch things up according to the weather. Because our garage isn’t climate controlled, I’ve done a few bodyweight workouts in my basement. Dude, when barbells get cold, they are COLD.)
Basically, I’ve never been more consistent in making it to the gym.
I may not always have as much fun or go as hard as I would before, but the ability for us to keep a little bit of the Fit Pit alive, in our garage — especially while we’re busy raising our three little girls? Well, I’m hella happy — and proud — about that.
Anyone else out there have a garage gym? What’s your favorite workout or piece of equipment? The rower was definitely the priciest of what we bought, but it’s been SO worth it! —Jenn