Congratulations to Brenda Glidden – our August 2021 Member of the Month! Brenda first started at Viking Athletics back in 2009, when we operated as CrossFit Relentless (we’re still the home of CFR, by the way). She’s a former D1 athlete, and has recently been crushing our powerlifting class while still supplementing with Assault Bike work. Keep reading about her below!
- What are your hobbies/interest/talents outside of the gym?
Art and being creative: Over the last few years I’ve returned to a former passion of mine which is making art. I’ve been taking art classes through the West Hartford Art League—water color, abstract painting, mixed media.
Learning about wine—I am taking my 2nd wine certification course and I started a wine club. We meet each month to do a tastings and to learn about specific topics.
I volunteer with the dog rescue we adopted our pit bull Potbelly from.
- Share with us one thing that most people do NOT know about you?
I was a D1 swimmer in my youth. Then, in 2017, I started swimming again, and I qualified and competed in Master’s Swimming Nationals in Riverside California. I placed 3rd in my 200 backstroke!
- How long have you been with us at Viking Athletics?
This is my 2nd year, although it’s a homecoming for me. I originally started at CrossFit Relentless way back in 2009. I trained at 2 other CrossFit gyms and I have been doing this type of training for about 12 years.
- Take us back to your first week here. How did you feel? Remember the workout?
My first week back at Viking Athletics was really fun. It felt awesome to be back and it felt like home again. There were many people I knew from the past and many new faces. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. I think I remember enjoying the fact that there was rowing programmed in the workout which I love! I was also so happy that strength training was programmed into the daily workout!
- What moment/achievement are you most proud of at Viking Athletics?
As a more “mature” athlete, I’ve found that it’s all about overcoming hurdles, being consistent, and making smart training decisions. Some days I can push myself hard, other days I need to change a movement or back off, and still other days I need to change my whole workout to make sure I don’t overdo it with too much volume or weight. So I guess what I’m most proud of is learning to listen to my body and train smarter.
As much as I love lifting heavy, grinding through workouts, pushing my capacity and “sending it,” as the kids say (lol), I want to continue to do this type of training. Therefore, it has become a priority for me to be more mindful and view my fitness holistically and not attack every workout like a competitive event, as I did in the past.
Recently, I have been so grateful for the new powerlifting program Erik added. It feels great to be lifting heavy again and building my strength back up. Even though my PRs are lighter than they once were, I’m still strong and capable! Coach Alex has given me many helpful cues and has helped me refine my technique. The programming and coaching has been awesome and it shows me that there is always more to learn.
- Design your perfect workout?
My perfect workout would start with snatching or benching for strength. I would follow it with a metcon that is longer in duration—rowing, Assault Bike, 35 lb. KB swings, light power snatch, v-ups or ab mat sit-ups, farmer’s carry…so delightful to imagine!
And I know this will come as a surprise to absolutely no one: I love that Assault Bike! I find it really fun to do intervals and to train in different heart rate zones! I’ve been waiting for 2 years for a fellow member to ask to join me for an Assault Bike workout! Please ask if you would like to join in the fun someday!
- What is your least favorite movement?
I am not a fan of gymnastics movements and every time I back squat I need to encourage myself.
- Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less.
Active, creative, curious, dog lover!
- Have you experienced any changes in your lifestyle since joining Viking Athletics?
It is great to be back in the WH community. Viking Athletics is around the corner from the school I teach at and 5 minutes from my home. Having such awesome programming, coaching and an athletic community that I love – so close to home – makes staying consistent and committed to my fitness an easy task!
- What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking about joining or who has recently joined?
I say stay the course! Be consistent, enjoy yourself even when it is hard or you are out of your comfort zone. What I love about this mode of training is the variability! Every day there is something new to learn about training and yourself. Keep showing up even when you don’t feel like it. Once you get in the door, start warming up, chatting with others, the next thing you know you are finishing the workout, proud that you did something for your health and well being!