I have been part of 8 Limbs for over two years and I am constantly awed and warmed by the strong solidarity and support of this gym. I moved to Philly a few years ago from DC and I had a wonderful kettlebell family with F3 Training in DC. I got into kettlebell by doing a 10,000 swing kettlebell challenge with F3 when I was suffering from being overweight and in chronic pain. After seeing what my body was capable of after this challenge, I was amazed and hooked. I tried several kettlebell gyms when I moved to Philly but none made me want to stay. They had more of a bro and competitive mentality and I was used to showing up at F3 for nerd shirt Mondays class or prince a-go-go music on Wednesdays and then grabbing a beer with the crew after.
I wanted that same community feel and I got it and so much more with 8 Limbs. When I first signed up Coach Kate sent me a thank you card and I kept it. She and the other coaches are incredibly mindful of form in class and make sure that I am challenging myself without impacting my health and wellness. My form and bravery for going outside of my comfort zone has grown so much under their guidance. I suffer from asthma, so there have been months at a time that I can’t get to class because of my breathing. When that has happened Coach Kate has reached out to see how I was doing and what was preventing me from coming to class. As someone who struggles with weight and weight loss, I often feel like I’m invisible at gyms or less than because I’m not a size six. At 8 Limbs, I feel seen, valued, and supported which makes me keep coming even when my schedule is insane or I’m tired. I’m also so impressed with how adaptable and resilient Coach Kate and Coach Charlie are. In the time that I have been going to 8 Limbs, they have suffered two closures due to a fire and the Coronavirus. They were in close communication with all of us through Facebook and email and found space that we could train in while needed adjustments were made. Everyone was supportive as we all have a great example of this with the leadership of Coach Kate and Coach Charlie. This is more than a gym, it’s a tight-knit and supportive community and I’m proud to be part of it.