At MISSION we always say that everyone has a story. But stories are often meant to be shared. Part of redefining group fitness for us is finding the balance between respecting the space we need as individuals to feel safe, and supporting one another in the endeavor to overcome challenges. The reasons we walk into the studio every day are different, sometimes it’s to find solace, and sometimes it’s to find understanding. As a result, we’ve started “WHAT’S YOUR MISSION?”, a way for our members to tell their stories, and connect with others through narratives and photographs. Assuming that your story is somehow more meaningful, or more singular, or more anything, is a trick we play on ourselves when things become overwhelming. Hearing the voices and the stories of others only brings us closer to a deeper understanding of our own journey.
Meet Christian Zangenberg. You may recognize him if you’ve taken a ROW class at MISSION. He’s the one in the corner, quietly kicking ASS.
Born & bred in a small town in East Germany, Christian took a risk 8 years ago when he accepted a job and moved nearly 4,000 miles away to Durham. He used to Row competitively in Germany (no shock there – have you seen how fast he can knock out 500 meters?) and even coached competitive teams.
But when he moved to Durham, Christian admits he began neglecting his workouts. He decided he wanted to start working out again this winter and had the goal we’ve all had before: to lose weight and get back in shape. While he biked in the summer and went skiing in the winter, he was looking to take his workouts to the next level.
Christian heard about MISSION through a friend, and three days later entered a contest to win a class pack. He didn’t win, but he didn’t let that stop him. He thought it was too much of a coincidence to ignore and signed up for his first class – ROW. With his first class down, Christian decided to step out of his comfort zone and try Cycle: BEATS. He’d never done any kind of indoor riding, so he wasn’t sure what to expect.
Well, those first few classes were hard. He tried to find others in the room and mimic their rhythm, but he admits it has gotten easier. Eventually he hopes to try the front row. But not in Mindy’s class.
What started as an effort to lose weight has now become a complete change in lifestyle. He completed the Body by MISSION Challenge this spring and lost a whopping 17 pounds. It was during this challenge that he realized how crucial nutrition is to overall fitness. He always thought he needed red meat, but the nutrition component of the challenge showed him that there are options other than steak.
Christian’s first impression of MISSION was that it was very clean – a comment the owner was thrilled to hear – especially compared to some of the other facilities he had been to. He also loved how friendly and encouraging everyone is. We’re extremely flattered that he holds MISSION in such a high regard in comparison to the studios he’s visited all over the world, and we love that Christian has become one of our most well-known members.
We asked Christian a few hard questions:
What’s your favorite class at MISSION? IT’S HARD TO SAY…I PICK THE CLASS AND THE INSTRUCTOR ON MY MOOD. I LIKE THAT THERE IS CONTINUITY AMONG CLASSES BUT THAT THE INSTRUCTORS ARE SO DIFFERENT.
What class challenges you the most? BARRE, BECAUSE IT PUSHES ME BEYOND THE LIMITS OF WHAT I THINK I CAN DO.
What’s your MISSION for 2018? ALL HEALTH-BASED. I HAVE A WEIGHT I WANT TO GET TO, RUN A ROAD RACE AND FIND A BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE.
Well those are some lofty goals, but if anyone can achieve them, it’s Christian. We know you’re going to kill it in anything you do.