Meet frequent FHIXer turned FHITfam team member, Meira Sussman. Despite several surgeries + tedious recoveries, she looked to Fhitting Room as a place to gain strength mentally and physically, even making the top 100 FHIXers list. Meira shares why she loves Fhitting Room Classes, what sets them apart, and why the classes are a great FHIT for those dealing with an injury.
When did you start taking Fhitting Room classes? What got you hooked?
I started taking Fhitting Room classes in March of 2018 right after I closed a fitness studio that I was a huge part of for a number of years. I was honestly looking for something intense and not only found that in Fhitting Room, but I truly felt at home the minute I walked into the Upper East Side studio. The front desk was so welcoming, the FHITpros had this magical way about them, and I quickly became obsessed. Fun fact: I just looked back at my class history and I brought my mom to my second class the very next day. She was super embarrassing (literally asked a million questions + was doing so many mom cheers during class), but what I'm really getting at is she also fell in love with Fhitting Room and continues to take classes with me!
Best advice for someone looking to work out with an injury?
No ego amigo! This has taken me a very long time to learn but better late than never, right?! Side note: I went through 2 out of 4 ankle surgeries with Fhitting Room as my main strength program. It’s a true story that I've been modifying Fhitting Room classes for about 2.5 years now, and I've never felt stronger. My advice is to:
- Get clearance from your doctor + physical therapist
- Chat with the FHITpro before class - you can even send them a DM to say hey heads up, I'm coming to your class and I have this going on. Every single trainer at Fhitting Room has been so supportive and creative with modifications, and now I even feel comfortable doing my own mods.
- Don't try to keep up with the rest of the class, just continue to do what feels best for your body/injury. Sometimes I pretend I'm at home doing my own workout so I remember to move slowly + with purpose without feeling the need to move at the pace of everyone else.
How did Fhitting Room play a role in your recovery?
Not only did Fhitting Room play a large role in my recovery but Fhitting Room also helped get me strong pre-surgery. With any lower-body injury, you rely heavily on one leg - for me, I only had 1 leg for 4 months (a few different times). Everyday things like simply sitting down or getting up from the couch on one leg was challenging, but I was able to do these things pretty easily because of how well FR classes trained me for these everyday life things. While I lost a lot of muscle, I think I was able to get back to being active a lot quicker because of all the strength I built taking Fhitting Room classes. Shoutout to BLD who worked out with me 2x a week on zoom right after my surgery this past December. Check out some of the exercises he gave me while I was on crutches that mimicked movements that you would see in a Fhitting Room class.
As soon as I got clearance to hold additional weight post-surgery, I felt comfortable enough to come back to Fhitting Room because I knew I'd be taken care of. I have to give a big shout out to Riley who is the queen of modifications💚
What was the process of building back strength in your ankle?
Honestly, it was/has been a very frustrating process + I'm still not even close to being 100% yet. When you're immobile for so long, you have to relearn to do things. I had to relearn to walk. I went to PT 3x a week for about 2 months and then went down to 2x a week and now, about 8 months post-op, I still try to go 1x a week. I started off with very basic things like scrunching my toes and picking up marbles with them, to leg raises when I couldn't stand. Now I do exercises such as calf raises off a step to very simple things like just standing and balancing on one leg on foam pads. A lot of my PT exercises I use as modifications when I can’t do an exercise during a Fhitting Room class so it translates right over. I don't think the journey of building back strength is ever fully complete but I'm very proud of where I'm at!
How did you discover Fhitting Room?
My camp counselor from when I was 13 (crazy!) was living on the UES and would religiously take class every Saturday with Dennys. She invited me to come with her back in 2018 and the rest is clearly history.
How did you go from being a Frequent FHIXer to a FHITfam team member?
OMG. This sounds so corny but I still can't believe I'm on the FHIT Biz team. I remember applying for like every position that Fhitting Room posted at one point - Ok, that's aggressive - It was only like two positions. I actually think I just applied to see what would happen and I 100% wasn't qualified for them but I knew there was something special about this place and thought "I'd do anything to be part of it". My friends would send me IG stories saying "you should apply" because they knew how much I loved the brand!! Well, I didn't get those other positions BUT in March of 2020 I applied for a position that I was confident I could excel at, and here I am about a year in and still Living FHIT!
What do you do at Fhitting Room + What is your favorite part about working here?
I am the Business Operations Manager at Fhitting Room. You're prob like OK, but what does that mean?? I think of myself as the Jill of all trades - I do a little bit of everything but right now my main focuses are building our merch business, leading our Fhitting Room On Demand efforts, being the middle man between our Ops + Marketing team, and just supporting the team in the day to day as best I can. Some of my colleagues say that I ask how I can help them too much (sorry not sorry).
What sets Fhitting Room apart?
I've never met a group of people who care so much about the quality of their work. That statement holds true from FHITpros to FHITcrew to the Biz team and desk team. I also just realized this question might be referring to the actual workout - OOPS. I'm really not biased as I was a client for more years than I've worked for Fhitting Room. FR truly brings the benefits of personal training to a high-energy environment while practicing Kettlebell skills. I touched a kettlebell for the first time at Fhitting Room + have learned countless kettlebell skills + proper form from simply taking classes and receiving form correction from the FHITpros. Every single FHITpro just truly cares and wants to see you get better every time you step into class.
How often do you get your FHIX?
I try to take class 4-5 days a week but always base it on how my body feels/what my schedule looks like. I make every class low impact aka no jumping and try to mix in at least 1 Just Strength class every week.