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Featured Couple–Nicole and Dave Braun

Nicole, we are excited to introduce you as our new manager of KatieKare. Can you tell us how you started your journey there?

I was at a St. Patrick’s Day party when Jill, former FITT owner and friendmentioned that FITT was still looking for one more person for childcare, on Tuesdays. I thought about it and said, “I can do that!” and here I am,
six years later, still on Tuesdays (the only regular shift I’ve ever had). I
suppose it makes sense for me to take over as Antonette focuses her FITT attentions elsewhere, as most of the Katie Kare gals (and guys) know me as the crazy lady who makes sure every last dinosaur, Duplo and board
book are in their labeled bins before I leave. And, as most of my friends
know, I love babies, so working in Katie Kare provides an opportunity for a baby fix now and again. And I’ve discovered it’s fun to watch the cycle:
infants (oh, she made the tiniest peep so I just HAD to pick her up!);
toddlers (you want to read “Peek-a-Who” again? Sure!); two-day-a-week
preschoolers that I don’t see for a year; then three-day-a-week
preschoolers who are back at FITT on Tuesdays; and then the 5 year olds who head off to kindergarten, to be seen only during breaks or days off
from school. It’s a cycle that I enjoy experiencing at FITT (as opposed to
the bikes, a cycle I do NOT particularly enjoy), while subsidizing my
workouts as an extra bonus!

Nicole, you are not only an OG at FITT-RX, but part of the 1000
workout club. What keeps you coming back after all of these years?

I would have to say, once again, the variety. Almost every class, even if it’s the same class title and same instructor each week, is different. While in general I am not a fan of surprises, I’m also not a fan of same old, same
old with the workouts, so not knowing what each day’s workout will
bring is just fine with me. I have been at FITT since Day One and I don’t
think, with one or two exceptions, I have ever experienced the same class twice. And of course there’s the camaraderie and support that comes
from working out with all my FITT friends. I have spent a LOT of time
with all of them over the years, and whether it’s in the form of support, a well-deserved hard time or just laughs, I really enjoy time spent with

Dave, how did you make your way into FITT?

I thought Nicole was crazy when she started going to FITT co-founder Jill Giorno’s early morning Boot Camp and a little annoyed at the 5:30 start
time. Over time she started getting after me to go, especially after a few
men started going. I’ve always been a runner, getting out several times a week and occasionally lifting on my own in the basement. Then I
crashed my bike and broke my arm and found I actually enjoyed the PT
giving me workouts and “coaching” me during my recovery. So that led
me to try going with Nicole one morning and I’ve kept it up since. It also
helped my training for a two-week backpacking trip with Boy Scouts (and fellow FITT-er Rob Larson) the next year.

Nicole & Dave, do you guys plan your workouts around one another? Do your kids want to throw your alarms against the wall when they
go off at 4:45am just so you guys can attend class?

First off, we have to say that there are definite benefits to living just 6
blocks away from FITT – those alarms don’t go off until 5:12 (yes, that’s
the exact time). So that does help and makes it a little easier (I’ve always
said I refuse to get up at a time with “4” as the first number). And I’ve
always said that we don’t work out together, so much as carpool to FITT. LOL. I even actively avoid being in the same circuit group with Dave
(though it is unavoidable at times). I think Dave appreciates being in a
different part of the room so that I’m not as likely to correct his form.
Right, Dave? (DB: no comment) And over the years, we have had to
coordinate the early mornings some when one of our kids has an early
morning practice or the like – then we take turns, one of us driving the
offspring to York while the other works out on Tuesday, then switching
on Thursday. And after a decade of two early morning workouts per
week, I decided in the past couple of years that I love Antonette’s 8:30am
Thursday class so much that I could stop getting up early on Thursday. So it’s all Ant’s fault that Dave no longer gets to carpool with me on
Thursdays. 😉

Nicole and Dave, why is exercising important to you?

Of course, there’s the usual “I-want-to-eat-so-I-better-workout” rationale. And I feel like working out definitely keeps me healthier day-to-day, keeping random colds and so forth at bay. I also have noticed the effects
working out has on my mental health/mood: if I’m grumpy or down, a good workout almost always results in an improved mind-set. But perhaps most importantly, now that I’ve hit 50 and feel like one thing or another hurts just about every day, I have fully realized just how important
staying active is going to be in maintaining mobility and strength as I
continue to (begrudgingly) age.Dave: I agree with all of the above, plus, as a former high school and college runner who then didn’t run a whole lot for many years, the FITT classes have really improved my endurance
and overall strength for running. FITT workouts provide variety and the whole body training I’d been missing. I would definitely say at 51 I’m
stronger and in better shape overall than I’ve been in 30 years.
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