How The Rise Was Born – Part I

When you attend your first workout with The Rise, you might think that we’ve all been friends forever and just decided to start working out together.  In reality, most of us found each other through a friend, a google search, a chance encounter or just by accident.  Before I get to how some of my fellow risers found out about The Rise (or their “origin stories”),  here are Anthony’s and Jo’s take on how The Rise was born:

“How did I hear about The Rise? I’ll answer a slightly different question because my involvement stretches back before we had a name: How did I get involved with these maniacs?

A friend from Boston introduced me to Dave when I moved to NYC, and we decided to meet at 6:30am in Washington Square Park on my birthday October 3, 2012, four days after I moved to the city. I ran frantically around the park looking for a group of early-risin’ fitness junkies… “is this the thing?” I panted to each cluster of fittos. “No! Eeew!” shouted a women’s fitness group. Finally I saw this tall dude standing there with a deck of cards in his hand. “Is this the thing?” I said. “Yeah this is the thing” Dave replied before I jumped down and started flipping over the cards.

Because why not? When you know, you know.

That day crystallized a friendship, and a desire to share our love for group workouts with anyone who was crazy enough to work out with us. We didn’t call it The Rise back when it was just Jo, Dave and I.  The workouts were very different, but in many ways it was exactly the same. We all shared this fun-loving attitude coupled with a competitive streak that pushed everyone to be better. My goal most mornings was to crack as many jokes in 30 minutes as possible and do the most burpees. For some reason, when you are laughing the burpees don’t hurt so bad.

So to answer your question, I always knew about The Rise.  All it took was meeting similar minded maniacs, then I just had to do it. And you know there ain’t nothin to it.”-Anthony

We're #1!

We’re #1!

“The order of the events I’m about to describe are the subject of some debate, but this is how I remember things going down.

One Tuesday, Dave announced on Facebook that he was going to do a deck of cards workout in Washington Square Park at 6.30 the next morning. I was all like “Sure thing, Dave!”, but then I woke up in the morning and it was raining a little bit so I was all like “Hell no, Dave!”.

Later that morning I see pictures of Dave with a handsome, stocky looking fella by the name of Anthony Burdi. My heart was filled with a furious jealousy at having missed out on this clearly awesome workout. So, the next Wednesday I dragged myself out of bed and rode my bike to meet them. It was the best feeling ever to be up with the sunrise and getting my butt kicked by these two awesome dudes.

After a couple of weeks of this Wednesday routine, we somehow got the idea (Dave claims it was me, but if that is true he almost certainly incepted it in my brain) that we should be doing this 3 mornings a week. The idea of Tabata Mondays and Hill Fridays came pretty much immediately. For the longest time I expected one of us to give up, but it just kept going (fun fact: Dave actually did miss one morning when he slept through his alarm. I can scarcely believe it myself, but it’s true).

So, the first time I heard about The Rise was when Dave emailed me and said “Hey, I think I’ve come up with a name for what we’ve been doing for the past few months. What do you think of `The Rise’?”.

Needless to say I thought it was a dumb idea and destined for failure,** but Dave and Anthony have (joyfully and spectacularly) proved me wrong.

** Editorial note: not really, but kind of.” -Jo

As you can see, The Rise was created because a few like-minded people found each other and share the same desires to make friends, get fit and have fun doing it!  Make this your week to just show up and join in on the fun.

And check back next week for Part II: The Rise Origin Stories.





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