It’s hard to believe that I’ve only lived in Charlottesville for a year and a half. In the past 18 months my life has taken a 180 degree turn – for the local. I am so in love with this town; the local businesses, the grass-roots community focus (of just about everything), and the amazing blend of engrained history and progressive development. Everything about how Charlottesville was built, and how it continues to grow, is inspiring, but I can honestly say that it has been the community that completely sold me. I lived in Charlotte for 14 years, and while I loved it for what it was, I have never loved a city or a community the way I love Charlottesville and the amazing people that I get to connect with every day.
I’m definitely a creature of habit, so consolidating my life into a pretty even two-mile radius has been nothing short of perfect for me. Since everything is hyper-local and the food scene here is amazing, it’s not difficult to build an incredible and unique route for each day of the week, but even so, there are some key spots where you can expect to find my on any given day.
I’ve always been pretty early to rise so coffee and I have had a long standing relationship – over three decades so I’m thinking things are starting to get serious. The first two or three hours of my morning are largely spent sending emails and pushing through my to-do list so it’s not weighing on my mind all day. Once we’ve hit more a more reasonable morning hour I’ll usually head over to MADabolic to either coach or take class – but first, more coffee. My second coffee fix of the day serves a combined social and caffeinating purpose, and usually goes down at either Paradox Pastry or Milli Joe. Both spots are locally owned by some awesome folks and have the hand-crafted, and local loving vibe that is completely void at a chain. (At Paradox you MUST try the Buckeye, and Milli Joe’s fresh almond milk latte’s are like none-other.)
Once I’ve had my second (or third) coffee fix, I’m ready to go, and it’s usually a direct shot over to MADabolic. Coaching is definitely my passion — I absolutely love the energy exchange that happens during class — but I love taking class equally. Our clients and coaches have the most amazing energy, and they bring it in full force every day. I can’t remember the last class where I wasn’t pushed by the person next to me, and for me that’s everything. It’s the energy and the tight knit community we have in Charlottesville that makes every day worthwhile and is truly what gets me out of bed in the morning. (Well, that, and my dogs).
On my off-days from the intervals I can be found just up the street at Tru Pilates taking in a much needed stretch class. My natural inflexibility paired with the intense training that I put my body through 4-5 days a week demands it, and so does my mind. It’s amazing how much of a release my body and mind feels after class — and let me tell you, that class is not easy!
When it comes to food, I’m spoiled on all fronts. We have such amazing local produce and meat at our fingertips here, and thanks to Relay Foods and my last year of (amateur) culinary education, it’s so easy to eat clean, local, and delicious meals at home — but that’s not to say I don’t go out.
Citizen’s Burger Bar is my clutch go-to grab a beer with friends, or keep my clean eating streak up with my high maintenance (but consistent) order.
If you’re ever eating at the bar just ask Chris for ‘Dar’s salad,’ he’s got it memorized, but in case it’s a rare day when he’s not working, stil give it a shot: House Salad. No bacon, no croutons, no cheese or onions. Add blueberries, avocado, and a (local) Timbercreek Patty…pink. Oil and Vinegar on the side. It’s amazing, and it’s totally 28toLife approved.
On weekends, if I’m not at CBB or putting in time as the Mayor of MADville, you can find me grabbing a beer at Three Notch’d Brewing Co. or holding court at Bella’s with owners and MADabolic clients Doug and Bella.
This is the biggest small-town I’ve ever known. I love walking in to any given business and seeing at least one person that I know, or the two-degrees of separation that rise up when meeting a new friend. What excites me, though, is that as small as the town may seem at times, there are so many more people still left to meet. I think that’s what excites me most about the continual building process of owning a business — the cast of characters that will inevitably change your life — and Charlottesville is such a beautiful place to experience it all.