How I got my competitive groove back at Killer B

By Diane Koornwinder, Killer B member

A lifetime ago, I was an athlete. Tennis was my sport of choice and throughout high school and college I was a pretty successful player. Then life happened: I graduated, started my career, and stopped playing tennis — or doing much of anything physically.

Worse, I completely forgot about that girl who had once been fit and strong — and VERY competitive.

Fast-forward 20 years <gulp> and 75 pounds <big gulp> to last summer when a friend dragged me to Killer B. My weight had gotten out of hand and I knew I needed to do something about it, but class-based workouts were not what I had in mind. I had envisioned joining the Y or a 24-hour gym where I could hop on a stair climber or treadmill and work at my own pace — anonymously.

But there was no anonymity to be found at Killer B. Right away I was tested and given a personalized workout level. And the trainers all knew my name within a week (something I still marvel at).

In the beginning, my only goal was to get through the workouts without embarrassing myself. It didn’t take long though for me to notice that the level that had been initially assigned to me was starting to feel a little less hard. Hmmm… should I move myself up to the next level? Why yes, thank you very much, I think I will!

And just like that, I was hooked. My long dormant competitive side woke up and every class became a much-anticipated opportunity to see if I could do just a little bit better than the class before. Even more exciting, there were formalized tests that allowed me to prove to myself, and the trainers, and anyone else interested enough to look, that I was improving. I was surprised at how motivating that was.

For several months, I was content to quietly compete against myself in this way. But one day, I looked around and realized I wasn’t a newbie anymore. I was holding my own. And from this realization, a moonshot dream was born: I wanted to be one of the top 20 women at Killer B! (I told you I was competitive.)

So with my sights set on a new goal, I began competing in the monthly Killer B games. To be clear, these aren’t really games. Rather, they’re intense (optional) workouts designed to expand — the mind and body. Results are posted online and every participant can see exactly where he or she ranks.

If I had joined another gym, there’d be no way to know how I stack up against the other members. Most gyms, in their desire to make everyone feel good about themselves (a worthy objective to be sure), shy away from an environment of competition for fear that it will have the opposite effect.

But Killer B proves that a gym can offer both of these things: a supportive, feel-great-about-yourself-because-you’re-awesome-just-for-showing-up vibe, and a healthy dose of competition to keep members firing on all cylinders.

I look forward to the games and tests (and even the classes sometimes) with equal parts dread and excitement. Dread because I know I’m going to push myself — hard — and it’s going to hurt. Excitement because I have yet another opportunity to check in and see how I’m doing. I even feel a few butterflies.

But the one thing I never feel is bored. How could I when there’s always a new personal level or all-gym ranking to strive for?

At Killer B, there’s no rest for the weary — or the competitive; just endless opportunities to get motivated, to go for the glory, and to push on.

Oh, how’s my crazy competitive moonshot goal coming along, you ask? You can see for yourself in The B Zone. Then set one of your own and join me in my quest for Killer B greatness!

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