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    Gym Gypsy

    Staying in shape at fifty...

                        Staying In Shape At Fifty 

    by, Tina Smiley 

    Self-proclaimed Gym Gypsy...visiting and reviewing gyms and other cool stuff too! 

    "How do you stay so lean...? What's your diet look like...? How often do you work out...?  What program are you following...?  How do you stay in shape...?? "

    These are questions I get asked quite a bit and I never really know how to answer them.  I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to write about today so I'm kinda winging it. In this post I will try to answer these questions and explain what seems to work for me. I'll also touch on a little background information about how I started my fitness journey and how I manage to stay in shape at the age of fifty. :) 

    Believe it or not and despite what many of my recent friends probably think, I was not always "in great shape."  Granted I've always remained what is considered 'normal' weight and was never OVER-weight, outside of pregnancies ofcourse,   but never in all my years have I been in better shape than I am right now at age 50.  Yes, you read that right... I am fifty. Half a century old.  Five decades underway.  Over the hill plus ten.  I am now officially eligible for an AARP membership. (It used to be 65. Thanks alot guys for lowering your standards)

    Ten years ago when I turned 40, I didn't think much about it....the age didn't seem to hit me and I still considered myself somewhat "young." My boys were all still in school, I kept busy as a mom and wife, and I wasn't too concerned with my overall appearance or my own health and well-being. Heck I wasn't even coloring my hair...just accepted the increasingly grey strands with age. 

    When we moved down here, I began utilizing the neighborhood gym because one: our HOA fees were paying for it, and two:  I suppose on some level I knew I wasn't satisfied with how my body looked. You know how it is...late 30's/early 40's, having birthed three kids, not over-weight per say, but finding yourself flabby in places you took for granted back in your 20's. A friend once told me just to accept it. It's what happens and it can't be fixed. Ya old now. 😧

     At first it was maybe 2-3 days a week for no more than an hour at a time, but I never really broke a sweat. (The gym is air-conditioned, so I pretty much stayed 'comfortable.')  Eventually 2-3 days/week turned into 3-5 days/week, but I still had that "middle-age pudge" going on and not a whole lot of muscle to show despite my efforts in the gym.  It wasn't until one day I realized I needed something different. I needed to change how I was working out. I needed to sweat! So I decided to start running. To this day I credit my long-time friend and high-school pal Tammy, for inspiring me to start this awesome form of cardio. At the time she was doing 5k's and half marathons and she would encourage me to just atleast try. I thought she was nuts. But I decided to give it a shot. ❤

    It kinda terrified me at first because I had told myself for years that I couldn't run.... that I had bad ankles. Literally, I convinced myself of this because anytime I'd run I would wind up tripping and my ankles felt like they were about to break.  Ofcourse the reason my ankles felt like that was because they were weak and not being used.  I did not realize that at the time, so I just made up excuses.  It's funny how we tell ourselves little lies and we believe them! 

    Anyway, one day (sometime during the early summer of 2012) my fitness transformation began. I drove to a local park and just started running around the track. It was miserable. I was hot and my ankles were sore, but I persevered nonetheless.  In the beginning I couldn't even run the whole 1/2 mile lap without stopping to walk.  Eventually though I wound up working my way up to running the entire loop around the park.   I remember the first time I was able to do that, I was so thrilled! I felt accomplished. And I was beginning to get addicted to that infamous runner's high :)

    As the summer months went on I found myself running more and more and before long, I shed about fifteen pounds or so.  I even began to show some lean muscle, especially in my arms.  My legs started thinning out and they too even looked better.  I used to stare down at my thighs when I was sitting (especially in the car...ya seem to notice stuff like this when you're alone driving) and be horrified at how they would blend together. Ugh! Well, running seemed to take care of that for the most part. Hello nice thinner thighs! Clothes started fitting me better, and I felt like a new person. I felt so great I tried to recruit my husband into joining me with my new-found passion. He's always hated running but God love him, he tried it and for a little while he persevered. He even ran a couple 5k's  with me. Here's a photo he took of me after completing my very first race...the Legs for Life 5K back in October 2012.  I don't remember my overall time but it wasn't bad and still remains one of my best to this day at around 27 min. total I think.  Todd didn't do too bad either that day... but he still hates to run. ;)  

    Before that year ended, we both wound up participating in another 5k as well as our first mud-run. The mud run was a small local one sponsored by the YMCA and a few other small businesses.  I vaguely recall "running into" a few crossfitters that day....little did Todd and I both know that was merely a preview of what was to come for us. 

    But my Crossfit experience will have to wait for another blog post. Ha!

    Fast forward to today... This picture here is me just days before I turned 50 this year. It was taken right after my workout one morning at the gym. (not the neighborhood gym mentioned above as I've graduated since then to a gritty local warehouse gym with no AC and plenty of equipment)  Which brings me to try to answer the question of how I stay lean and how often I work out? Well, I mix things up for one thing. I like doing cardio, HIIT movements, some Crossfit classes from time to time, weight-training/body-building, and even yoga.  Typically my weekly workout schedule may look like this... Monday/Thursday: weight-train. Tuesday/Friday: HIIT and/or Crossfit classes. Wednesday/Saturday: Cardo, which includes running, biking, rowing, or all three. And I'm thinking of bringing swimming back in. Haven't done that in a while!  And Sundays are usually ("usually") a rest day. 

    Because doing just one thing over and over gets boring to me, (and that's what happened to doing crossfit day in and day out) I like mixing things up. I even get tired at times with the gyms I go to and sort of bounce around, whether getting punch passes or temporary memberships at different places just to keep things interesting. Btw, that's how I came to be known as the "Gym Gypsy" and the reason I started this blog! Over the last 5-6 years, I've participated in multiple 5k races,  crossfit competitions, OCR/mud-runs, a half marathon, and most recently my first duathlon. So ya see...I'm quite diversified when it comes to my training activities. Haha. 

    Question number two pertains to my diet...what do I eat? Well, it's pretty simple really. I don't really "diet." By that I mean I don't follow any prescribed or planned diet that I read off someone's blog or IG post. I just follow a sort of food plan that works for me. I eat the same breakfast every morning, almost exactly to the t, which is about  2 1/2 eggs, 3 pieces of bacon, small serving of fresh fruit (mostly berries), and coffee. Several cups of coffee that is, and yes I even add creamer! (and a dash of caramel syrup too!)

    For lunch I'll typically eat either chicken, tilapia, or low-sodium tuna mixed with a little mayo and cut-up veggies. For dinner, it'll pretty much be the same thing. I don't measure my food either...I just basically guess. Since I'm not a big eater, it's typically anywhere between 4-6 oz of chicken, or one filet of tilapia, and 1-2 packets of tuna at 17 grams of protein per pkg.  Introducing more protein in my diet has made a big difference in how I eat. Basically I never ate protein, hardly at all! I never understood the importance of it, and how it helps with muscle growth and bone health! 

    What I have learned as I have gotten older is that some of the foods I used to love eating in my younger years just don't agree with me much anymore. In other words, even though I may like eating them, I don't like how I feel 'after' I eat them. I'm half Italian so you can imagine I pretty much lived on pasta! There was always a pasta dish in the weekly menu, whether as a child or even into my adult years. I still like pasta but I couldn't tell you the last time I've eaten it. I need to look more into the veggie pasta.... maybe I'll check into that and blog about it sometime. ;)   Other food/drinks as well like pre-packaged boxed meals (hello good ole mac-n-cheese), cereals, pop-tarts, soda, even beer.... they just don't bode well with me anymore. I won't say I don't eat them at all, although I can't say I miss boxed mac-n-cheese much, but I just don't eat them as frequently as I used to. My "diet" I guess you can say remains pretty simple. I like to stick with the 'cleaner' foods...ones that aren't full of false additives. But I do have my weaknesses! 

    I recently tracked my calories for about two weeks just to see what it was I was consuming and how it all added up.  While the results were not all that surprising as I pretty much eat the same thing, I realized that some of my little vices have alot of calories when you add them up! Darn you, Dove Dark Chocolate! 🍫🍬💕

    The point is is that I tend to shy away from foods that make me feel bloated and dare I say "gassy." I know that sounds yucky, but it's the truth. I can't even eat ice-cream without feeling a little sick afterwards so I just avoid it.  Do I miss the gooey chocolate sundae with nuts and cherry on top? Yeah I do, but the thought of me running to the bathroom afterwards keeps me from indulging.  And so is the same for alot of the junk foods I often ate 10+ years ago. It just not worth the bloat.  People wonder where the six-pack abs come into play.... it's exercise yes. Anyone who knows me knows I love doing ab/core workouts. I'm sort of obsessed with them. But the coveted six-pack comes mostly through diet! 

                                                  "But how do you STAY in shape?"

    How I "stay" in shape [I believe] is found not only in the variety of things I like to do, but also in "how" I do them. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I never used to like to sweat. I mean, ofcourse I still don't enjoy sweating if I'm all dressed up and ready to go somewhere nice;  I'm talking about sweating when you exercise. I used to stop working out as soon as I felt the first drop of perspiration on my body. I couldn't stand the feeling. So if that describes you, then that's the first place you gotta start. Get over yourself and just accept that working out and sweating a little (and sometimes alot!) is not a bad thing and frankly, it can be invigorating. 

    The other thing I've learned over the years of training my body, is that in order to really get something out of a workout you need to concentrate and think about the movement you're engaging in. Focus! Focusing on the very muscles you're working on and learn how those repetitions feel at 1,2, 3 all the way up to 20 or so depending on your rep scheme. If you are simply going through the motions and not putting in the effort, you will get very little if anything out of your workout. Believe me, I know! And to be honest, there are still days where I find myself doing that very thing at times in the middle of my workout.  My mind will start to wander and I'm not focused on the task at hand. I'm just going through the reps to hurry and get it done OR I may just get sloppy.  I have to remind myself to get back in the game and if I'm too tired or simply just not feeling it, I know when to stop. We all have days like that, and it's okay. But don't let those days keep you from coming back.  It's not about falling, but rising every time we fall. 

    I wish I had the magic pill answer to the question of getting and staying in shape but I do not.  Honestly it's different for everyone and I had to personally find out on my own what worked for me. It's a trial and error sort of thing really. I think alot of women (and men as well) get it in their heads that they just need to do this "one thing..." whatever that one thing is and they'll be able to be that fitter version of themselves. But I don't think the answer is quite so simple. It's not just 'one thing.' It's actually a combination of things over a period of time. And that's another thing.... It's taken me time to get to where I am today. It didn't happen over night.  My journey started back before 2012 when I began to run and sweat! lol  But to go back even further, I was working out before then too, so my real journey goes back to when I decided to work out at my neighborhood gym.  I just didn't realize at the time I had over a decade of progress to do before I would become happy with myself. And the journey never ends...because if you're like me you realize that there is always something to strive for in life.  


    I leave you with this in mind.... Just because you find yourself in whatever state you're in right now, if you're not happy with it, if you're still breathing, there is time.  There is always time.  It's never too late to start YOUR journey.  We all have a story to share and life worth living.  Don't ever think though, that your time has past.  I used to believe my life was over after 20.... that 30 was old. Then 40 years of age came along, and I thought that was it...I was as good as I could get.  Well...the big 50 came and I'm living proof that there IS life well into your 40's, 50's and beyond. If you're on social media alot, you can see for yourself. There are countless men and women all over the world who continue to defy the age stigmas put on us by society or even family and close friends.  Don't listen to the doubters. 

    Just know it's never too late to be a better version of you. ❤

    **Photography credits: Cover photo is courtesy of Jeff Thrower Photography,

    https://jeffthrower.com/   and other photos taken by my dear husband, Todd Smiley :) 

    Nat Greene's Duathlon....(review)

                              Nat Greene's Revenge Duathlon  🏃‍♀️🚴‍♂️🏃‍♀️

    by, Tina Smiley

    A self-proclaimed  Gym Gypsy...visiting and reviewing gyms and other cool stuff too. 

    So yeah....I recently competed in a Duathlon. It was fun, it was a challenge, it was exhausting!  More importantly though, it was something both my son and I did together. Well by "together" I mean we both took part in it. The only time we were actually together was at the starting line. Then he took off and left me in the dust. We eventually crossed paths about an hour and half later as he passed me on our last run loop, heading for the finish line. Ha.  I think his official time was an hour and thirty four minutes total.  Mine...well, that's hard to say. It turns out I never got an official finish time because I screwed up in my first transition which prematurely set off the chip.  In other words I think I was disqualified.  😧

    I'll get into that in a bit.  

    Earlier this year after finishing my first half marathon with a friend of mine, I thought to myself, 'now what? how can I top this? what other thrill can I take part in?' After a quick google search for upcoming races, I came across the Nat Greene's Revenge Triathlon Series. Since I've not swam in quite some time, I didn't think I'd be ready for the swimming portion especially open water swimming! Fortunately for me I had the option to choose the duathlon which still offered three events, but substituted the swim for an additional run.  So the race  was "run 2 miles; bike 12.5 miles; run 3.25 miles." Piece of cake, right? Atleast that's what I thought. But my running buddy was not interested so I asked my son Trey to do it with me.  He agreed even though he knew he'd have to borrow either his dad's or brother's bike unless he was willing to ride 12+ miles on a BMX bike.  He wound up riding his dad's. 

    I had been riding my bike for a while and had even been taking spin classes off and on at different gyms for over a year so the bike portion did not really scare me. I like riding actually. It can be quite enjoyable. Plus, cycling is great for the legs. Speaking of nice legs, we recently saw Carrie Underwood in concert and dare I say yours truly comes in a pretty close second to the leggy blonde in that department. Just sayin'. 😉

    Well, my bicycle is more of a trail bike than a road bike so it's not necessarily aerodynamic on the road. But that never bothered me, nor did it ever occur to me that it'd be quite a bit slower in a race than one designed to travel on a paved surface.   After all, I'm not exactly a veteran cyclist as I merely ride for exercise and enjoyment, not for speed!  Trey and I were casually reminded during our adventure that we both were riding the wrong type of bikes. Oh well, we were chill.  This was our first bike race and frankly we were doing it for fun!

                               **Race Day**

    On race day, I woke up so darn early at 4am. This was probably the hardest and most dreaded part for me as I don't do very well getting only 4-5 hours of sleep and awaking before the birds start chirping.  We had to be on the road by 6am in order to be at the marina by 6:30am...a whole hour before the start of the race.  By the time we got there, parked half mile away, were finally given our chips, got our legs/arms marked and set up our bikes, there was a huge line at the port-a-johns. Like 30 deep! I had to pee so bad that when I finally made it to the john I could barely hear the guy going over the last-minute instructions regarding the race.  Well, I thought to myself, I guess I'll just follow the crowd.  Turned out however, that the majority of the racers were doing the swim part of the race which left only about 30 or so of us "duathlon" racers.   Chumps. lol 

    As the race began, my son took off and little did I know I wouldn't see him until the last run.  I started up the hill and the first 2 miles of my adventure had begun!  By the time I got back to the first transition to get my bike, I noticed he was already gone. This is where I messed up. As I approached the transition area, (no one was ahead of me btw)  I apparently went in the "out" side, setting off my timer and eventually screwing up my completion time which I didn't find out until the end.  Sucks, but again, I never got to hear the last minute instructions to remind me.  To be honest, I did think the overall race was a tad bit unorganized.  The fact that we picked up our bibs the evening prior but still had to wait in line for timers the day of the race;  and that several days before I had even gone to the marina office asking questions about the race yet there was no info available. Heck one guy didn't even know about the event!  He was like, race? what race? 

    And what was up with having only four port-a-johns for several hundred people?  💩  However, since I seemed to be the only one who got "disqualified" I guess I'm the one who was disorganized.  Oh well, I'll know better next time. 

    As I left the gate and started up the hill for the 12.5 mile bike portion of the race, my legs were already worn from the 2 mile run.  I was still trying to grasp the fact that I've been up since 4am! I quickly adjusted though and before long I was actually enjoying the lengthy bike ride.  Within minutes other cyclists donning wet suits and special cycling shoes were passing me on their aerodynamic spin machines.  One guy zoomed by just to take a tumble about 50 yards ahead of me as he literally flipped over his bike and landed on the side of the road. As I peddled by and asked "are ya good?" he nodded but I could tell he was pissed. 

    Over the next 40 or so minutes, I just peddled. And since I had been having issue with my gears not being able to switch into the upper 7 for the past few weeks, I pretty much stayed in gear 13. In total I believe I switched maybe twice to a lower gear for an incline. But honestly, the ride wasn't bad at all and frankly it was enjoyable! Outside the fact that I was getting thirsty but refused to stop to unscrew my water bottle...(um yeah..I never got myself a proper bike water bottle...the ones that fit securely and with the pop-up lid)  I suffered through but was fine.  The sun even started peaking through. There was one stretch of road where I wish I had my phone handy because I would have definitely taken a selfie!  📸

    I thought for a short time I may have gotten lost because there was nobody in front of me and nobody behind me. I was getting a little nervous, and kept turning my head to see if others were on the same path. Finally I caught a glimpse of a rider in the distance ahead of me. Then out of no where cyclists started passing me again.  Several would say "good job!" as they peddled past me. I wondered what that really meant....are they making fun of my bike? Do they feel sorry for me because I'm obviously going too slow? Or are they looking at the age written on the back of my legs and were truly impressed with the fact that us older folks can still be active?  (I'm 50 years young btw) 

    Before I knew it, I was closing in on the last mile of the bike portion of the race.  As I approached  the transition area once again, I took a few seconds getting off my bike as my legs were surely jelly at this point.  After a quick drink of water, I took my helmet off, and almost started out the wrong exit.  What is it with me and transitions?! Sheesh... Thankfully I caught myself.  Fool me once...fool me twice... no.  Let me just say the last portion of the race was brutal! Those measly 3.25 miles may have well been 10 miles. It was certainly my worst three-plus mile time in recent years! 

    I did however, pass Trey on this run. Well...he passed me. He was on his last mile as I was in the middle of my first. Needless to say I wound up stopping for water twice on this run as well as slowed down to walk a few times.  Like I said, it was brutal. But, when it was finally over it was a good feeling to know I completed an actual duathlon...covering a total of 17.75 miles of active cardio! Yay for me!  Yay for both of us. :) 

    Unfortunately however, because of my transition screw-up I was not awarded an official time. And no, I was too busy looking around for Trey to even bother looking at my watch when I finished, nor did I even see a clock nearby. 

    Would I do it again? Probably. I don't mind running and I like riding my bike. But an actual "tri-athlon" would be an even cooler feather in my cap. If only.... if only I can just get over my phobia about swimming. That story will have to wait for another blog. 

                            ◾◾◾ Run....Bike....Run! ◾◾◾

    My boys 😊

    Mother's Day 💖

    My hubby 😍

    Am I making a difference?

                                       Am I making a difference? 

    by, Tina Smiley 

    Self proclaimed "Gym Gypsy"...visiting and reviewing not just gyms but other cool stuff too.  And sometimes I just want to share my thoughts of the day. :) 

    "Every person has a legacy. You may not know what your impact is, and it may not be something you can write on your tombstone. But... every person has an impact on this world."  ...Dana Horn 

    Have you ever wondered if you are making a difference in this life?  Is what you do day after day mean anything to anyone?  Are you an inspiration to someone...whether it's a family member, friend, or neighbor down the street?  Are your actions motivating to others?  Are you a positive influence on the people around you? And...when it comes right down to it, what will others say about you when you're long gone? 

    "Am I making a difference?" 

    Maybe you don't even care if you are or you aren't. Perhaps you live your life with total disregard of what other's think of you, whether it's positively or negatively. But for many of us, we do care. In fact, a lot of us may care a little too much.  We just don't want to admit it. 

    Well let me be first to say that yes, I do care what others think of me even though I've been known to say otherwise.  Let's be honest....we live in a world driven by social media and we're inundated with images, posts, and updates on a daily basis and quite frankly it's hard to ignore the temptation to want to be "seen" or "heard" like everyone else.  The glamour shots, the fitness pics, the cute selfies... (gotta luv those filters! ha)  Who's got better abs and a tighter ass?  And who are those folks taking endless photos of  lavish and exotic vacations with the too-good-to-be-true perfect family of adorable children and beautiful parents??

    Did you even wonder what in the hell you did wrong because your life obviously sucks compared to theirs!?  I have had those thoughts many times over. I'm sure you have too. And that's why we find ourselves wondering if what we do even matters....to us or to anyone?  Because if we do matter, than our lives would be better. Somehow. Right?

    I found myself venting one day to a good friend about how my fitness journey seemed to go by the wayside....that even though I know I'm living proof that a woman my age could be vibrant, healthy, energetic and dare I say pretty decent looking and in damn good shape!  But I just couldn't help but wonder who was truly inspired by me? If anyone at all?  I mean, yes I do what I do for me. I enjoy the benefits of looking and feeling good for being half a century old, but is my personal success in fitness an example and motivation to somebody else?  Is anyone looking at me and saying, "If she can do it, I can!"  Do I inspire?  Am I making a difference?

    Now "making a difference"  is of course a tricky thing because although we tell ourselves it's about what we want to do for others, it's really about what we want for ourselves.  Here's the thing,  I believe most of us are people-pleasers. We want to be "liked" and/or "recognized" so we do things for other people.  And by pleasing someone else, it pleases us in return, therefore making our generosity less generous.   So basically, we are the opposite of generous and are just selfish by nature.  But I digress.... 😁

    My point is, we cannot allow ourselves to get caught up in what others may think about us and how we compare to other people.  In that I mean, constantly trying to "one-up" somebody else. There is always gonna be those who appear to have a better [fill in the blank...] than you. A better job, better house, better body, better social media presence, etc...   The thing is though, all this stuff you think you're missing out on may not even be real! I've got to remind myself almost daily that how I perceive someone else's life could be a different reality for them. 

    And the funny part of it all is, YOU very well may be the one that somebody else is comparing THEIR life to.  So you just never know who is watching you.... who you are influencing.  So it's okay to take a back seat once in a while and just ignore the noise. If you are doing something right, chances are it'll be noticed at some point. You just need to be patient. 

    On the other hand, it may not be noticed and accepting that can be difficult. Believe me! But like my friend so aptly pointed out..."Often times making a difference in someone's life is a silent win that simply goes unrecognized."  

    To summarize: Believe in yourself, be genuine, and be real. Be you! After all, no one else can be. :) 

                Believe In Yourself. 




    Team Smiley Product Picks.....(Hats)

                               "Hats off to you!"  

                              Our Hat Collection, from Team Smiley Apparel 

    by, Tina Smiley 

    Self-proclaimed "Gym Gypsy" visiting and reviewing not just gyms but other cool places and stuff as well! 

    As some of you may know, a few years ago my family and I decided to create Team Smiley Apparel....a small clothing line oriented towards fitness and gym wear.  We have since realized that with the name "Smiley,"  our brand has perked an interest in the casual lifestyle and can be worn anywhere and not just in the gym!  At some point I'll blog more about our home business and how we got started.  

    However, today's post is simply to introduce to you our hat collection. We currently have five hats available now on our website www.theteamsmiley.com.  I've taken photos of each of them and have displayed them here in this blog.  In addition to the five, I've also included the three retired hats we no longer have in stock nor have any plans to reintroduce. 

    **Please take note my photography skills are of novice ability so please do not hold that against me! 

    Zero Dark 30 Snap-Back Trucker (Black) and the Show Stopper Snap-Back Trucker (Heather/White) 

    Class Act Adjustable Baseball Hat (two colors available: Pink and Vegas Gold) 

    Pictured here ofcourse is yours truly modeling our newest hat, the "Signature Series Adjustable Baseball Hat" in stonewashed black color only. 

    This comfy cap is uniquely designed in that it really is the handwritten signature of my beloved late father-in-law, Charles W. Smiley.  He was always known to have very neat handwriting (especially for a man....no offense guys, but alot of y'all aren't too particular with your penmanship!) 

    Anyway, Dad I know you're up there smiling down on the idea your name AND SIGNATURE is on a hat and can be worn by anyone! You're also probably thinking, "where's mine?!"  Well... we have one set aside for ya. 

    This is Dad's actual signature.  I believe it was photographed from an old family Bible my husband found.  As you can see, it's unusually neat and well-written.  It's pretty cool that we could save a photo, replicate it and then put it on a baseball hat.  I have a feeling this might not be the only item we will eventually have with his signature.  

    These three hats from Team Smiley are no longer available and have since been retired. The black Class-Act Adjustable Baseball Cap, along with the America's Away Colors Camo Snap-Back and the Heather/Black Show Stopper Snap-Back Trucker hats.  

    Personally, I think we should restock the camo trucker hat...it was quite popular.  I'll have to put in a word to the boss man and see if we can take this particular hat out of retirement. ;) 

    Charles W. Smiley, aka Dad or "Papa."   This is my husband's favorite photo of his father...we think it was taken by his mother while his parents were on a vacation.

    This is Team Smiley. I am pictured here with my three sons... Tyler, Trey, and Tom, along with my husband, Todd.  Btw we're all wearing something from our product line! 

    So there you have it.... our hat collection. Since this is my blog and I'm the Gym Gypsy where I review stuff, I give these products a high mark on the recommendation scale.  You can check out these hats as well as other products on our website, www.theteamsmiley.com.  We can also be found on Facebook and Instagram if you dare to get on social media.  So what are ya waiting for....go check us out!  

    Crossfit 584: Gym Review

                                                             >>  My Review of Crossfit 584 <<

    by, Tina Smiley

    Self-proclaimed "Gym Gypsy" ...visiting and reviewing one gym at a time. 

    "We train the body and mind so that you are prepared to take on any task you may encounter during the day.  With athletes of all ages, abilities, and diversities, we train as a community, motivating each other along the way." 

    By now you’ve probably figured out that I’m a bit of fitness junkie and I move around a lot dropping in to gyms, crossfit boxes, yoga studios, bootcamps, etc… ergo earning the term “Gym Gypsy.”  This endearing term was initially given to me as an off the cuff remark one day as my friend and coach, Scott Barbee, was introducing me to one of his members. I thought it was pretty accurate and well... it sorta stuck with me. 

    Scott is the owner and head coach of Crossfit 584 here in Burlington.  I believe it’s accurate to say he’s the main reason that the Crossfit community even exists in town today as he and a local gym owner partnered years back and opened Crossfit Training Valley in nearby Gibsonville over the summer/fall of 2009.  I still remember our very first introduction to a "crossfit class" as my husband and I dropped in one Saturday morning.... to say we were a tad intimidated was an understatement.  We soon joined and became a member of the crossfit community. Before long, my three boys also joined, and the Smiley Family was a big presence in this new-found fitness community.  Since then, the original “box” had gone through two splits, some controversy, and eventually had to close their doors. It was as sad day, but life goes on. 

    In the meantime however, the closing led to the opening of two different other boxes in town….the first one being Crossfit 584 and the other being Crossfit Simplicity which I previously reviewed and highly recommended.  

    Located on the busy strip of South Church Street, Crossfit 584 is pretty easy to get to and if you frequent the area, you’ve probably driven by more than once. With 2500 square feet of workout space, this gym is home to it’s 8 coaches (including Scott) and roughly 100 members, many of whom I've personally gotten to know over the last few years.  Structured and coached classes are offered Monday through Friday, ranging from early morning to mid evening.  On Saturdays there is typically a “Community Workout” offered for newcomers and then Sunday, members can enjoy and open gym time. 

                                                    >>  Expert Instruction and Training <<

             ...Endurance, Stamina, Conditioning    ....Speed, Power, Strength   ,,,Balance, Agility, Coordination   ,,,Muscle Gain & Weightloss    ...Diet, Nutrition, Wellness     ,,,Mobility & Flexibility   ...Olympic Lifting   ..Sports Specific Training                                                                            ....Functional Fitness   ...Cert. Personal Training


    Anyway, Coach Scott’s a pretty cool guy and with 11 years of Crossfit experience, he knows his stuff.  Currently  possessing a Level 2 Crossfit Certification  (and working on a level 3), he has over 10 years of coaching experience as well as as a Functional Movement Screen Certification. Scott is also a Level 2 Advanced Sports Performing Coach under USA Weightlifing.  So, if he sees you doing something even a little wrong, especially with a barbell, he will correct you. I’ve seen him drop what he’s doing, walk clear across a gym floor just to correct somebody who is lifting wrong.  You may not think that’s a cool thing, but believe me…it is. 

    The other coaches also follow a passion for fitness and mobility. There are even opportunities for personal training if that’s what you prefer.  You can check out their website for all they have to offer, or you can simply stop by and chat with the owner or one of the coaches. 

    Now I was hard pressed to come up with possible "downsides" to Crossfit 584. Actually it's been difficult for me to think of any negatives about the gyms I've reviewed so far, but to be fair and balanced (like or unlike Fox News) I will attempt to give you both the pros and cons. So here goes...

    Like many boxes, there is the issue of parking.  Crossfit 584 is no exception as they have a somewhat small parking lot and share it with a pet hospital right next door.  You are not allowed to park on the left side of the building.  Members and visitors used to be able to utilize the upper parking lot to the right of the building until this past year when another gym located there brought up concerns.  Fortunately there hasn't been too much of a problem so far. 

     Another slight complaint...sort of a nit-picky thing... is the fact that 584 does not have a large barbell rack. Instead, they offer individual racks you have to drag out and put away each and every time you do squats or presses.  Also, their pull-up bars are "suspended" from the ceiling, along with their wall-ball targets. Swinging from the ceiling for your toes-to-bar and pull ups takes some getting used to.  Wall-ball shots are also a little more difficult since you're tossing to a target in the air rather than to the wall.  But hey... it just makes you better at them I guess. 

    If none of that bothers you however, then you've no reason not to drop in to Crossfit 584.  There's always a good workout to be had and more than a few friendly faces to see when you walk through the door.  So put on your sneakers or crossfit shoes, grab your gymbag and head on over and check them out. I promise you will get an experience you'll remember, and a workout your body won't let you forget.  I can almost guarantee it.  :)  

    Fun facts:   *The name '584' is from the old area code for Burlington, NC.    *There is a front lobby area, with seating and wifi.     *Two bathrooms are located within the facility along with a shower.   *Free community classes are offered each Saturday morning at 10am.   *There are two coffee shops located within direct walking distance...one next door and one across the street!    ☕❤

         There are plenty of "toys" to play                                                                                  with here at 584.                

    My husband and son joined me for a Saturday class. 🙂

    You can test your tire-flipping skills outside. 

    Check them out!    

    Crossfit 584           

    3319 South Church Street, Burlington, NC 27215 

    Phone: 336-214-7193