AnnMarie Grohs: See what you’re capable of

The owner of Boho Cycling Studio, AnnMarie makes it a point to go farther than she’s ever gone before. But, like, not just on special occasions. All the time.

Photo by: Image Machine

Update #1 — January 21, 2016; 3:21 PM

We ran this during last year’s Fitness Week, and quite liked it! AnnMarie is always an inspiring person to listen to (or read about).

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Original — January 15, 2015

AnnMarie Grohs of Boho Cycle Studio is into all sorts of different kinds of fitness, but her personal drive is fueled by the thrill of reaching new frontiers. What can I do? How far can I push myself? Sure, the result is great–she feels amazing in many ways. For this running, cycling, and life-living enthusiast, working out satisfies that itch that so many of us have–the achievement itch. And what better way to be competitive than in a healthy, productive contest with yourself?

What does “fitness” mean to you?

Tough one. A healthy mind, body, and spirit. Ha! “Spirit” is funny as most people would not peg me as someone who says something like that, but I guess I mean a sense of comfort with myself.

On the flip side, it also means I’m a jack of all trades for fitness…I want to run well, I want to bike well, I want to be able to pick up big boxes easily. I like that if I wanted I could probably win an arm wrestling contest or jump over big rocks on the trails easily. I want to be able to do everything. I have my limits, I will never be on American Ninja Warrior, but could I do some of the things on the show? Maybe…so let’s train for it!

How did fitness find you?

“AnnMarie loved the couch and a coke,” my mother says a lot. And it’s true. I did. It wasn’t until college that I got into any sort of fitness.

My supervisor at my college job was a ton of fun, and I thought, if she can run a “Jingle Bell 10k” so could I. I trained for one official week. I went from doing nothing ever to jogging for 11mins. I ran the race. I got passed by eight people carrying a home made sleigh. To this day, it’s my parents favorite story about me. I passed people on the hills and lost steam at the end. I came in last. I think this is where I got competitive (or maybe it was always there, and this was when it came out). I had such a blast. Two weeks later I ran another race, and I did not come in last!

I moved to Chicago at 23, and this is when my world of running opened up! The city has an amazing running community, and what better way to spend an evening than running along Lake Michigan?! All of a sudden, I had a great outlet for myself. It was the best part of my day. No one could talk to me or bug me, it was just me running with an amazing view. I started entering small races here and there for fun. Once I decided to run my first half marathon, I pulled out the credit card and got a personal trainer. I loved everything about it. All of a sudden I was doing crazy weight training, running drills, and doing workouts I didn’t think I could do. It was amazing to see what my body could do and what my mind could do. I pushed myself out of a comfort zone for the first time and was proud.

My trainer also began my change in diet, not “dieting” but paying attention to what and when I ate. We tracked my food, how I felt in a day, when I was hungry, and how I was eating the foods I like. The difference that made in my life was amazing. I learned I needed to fuel myself to accomplish the goal I had set. Once a person can get their mind around food as fuel versus food as a comfort or enemy, it’s a whole new world.

Fifteen years later, I still run as much as I can. I lift weights, enter races, spin a lot, and set crazy workout goals. I thoroughly enjoy seeing what my body can do.

And I use my workout time as time for me. I have a lot of free time for myself, so when I get the chance to be alone, it’s amazing. The world is always coming at you, and to have that time when it can’t is a recharging opportunity. My head can clear, and I can get the world all back in order.

What’s your personal roadmap for staying fit?

I work out four to five days a week, planning my workouts a week ahead of time and trying to keep a mix of cardio and weight training. I run, spin, hit the gym for weights, work on balance, and strengthening the feet, knees, and hips that I have injured in the past.

I often set small two- or three-month goals and try something new. It’s how I work best in general. For example, I need to do yoga more, so this winter I’m focusing on that for two months and cutting back on other things.

How are you helping to keep Richmond fit?

When you’re at Boho,1 what you’re doing should not feel like a workout. It should be a fun experience. I want others to have that time to stop and focus on themselves and as I do. I want to help them get their own worlds back in order.

If you could encourage people to make one change in their lives in order to become more fit, what would it be?

Honestly, move a little more. You don’t have to be me and my fitness regime, but you can move a little more.

I recently read Born to Run,2 and one thing the author (Christopher McDougall) focused on while trying to dissect why this tribe in Mexico are such amazing runners is the fact that they are happy and smiling while they run. They are doing well because they enjoy what they are doing. If it’s not fun, go home!

Other Fitness Week Reads

  1. The Boho instructor roster is fun to read, and you can tell their emphasis is on having a good time. Disclaimer, our very own Lauren Eubank (who, for the life of her, cannot avoid getting mentioned in print over and over during Fitness Week) teaches at Boho. We enjoy getting her off track from boring business meetings by asking her how her playlists are going and watching her face light up. 
  2. Bryan Hooten, subject of yesterday’s Fitness Week piece wrote a very cool thing involving this very cool book! What a small world! (Or city). 
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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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