Thank you for checking out The Community Conversation, brought to you by Prototype Training Systems, home of CrossFit Prototype! The Community Conversation highlights a different member of the Prototype Community each week and allows them to tell their story, share their life experience, and communicate their perspective on all things fitness.
We’ve all listened to podcasts and watched YouTube videos that highlight some of the world’s greatest leaders and visionaries. We believe we have some AMAZING people at Prototype and we want you to get to know them! (Check out our last episode here!)
This is our 21st episode of the community conversation and I would like to introduce our guest, Dr. Annie Powell. If you have been at Prototype then you should know who Annie is! Annie has been part of the Prototype community for over 7 years, she’s a pediatric doctor, she’s done every program we offer at Prototype, she’s won multiple community awards, she’s also got to be one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, I’m so glad to have her on!
So, click the link below to watch this Community Conversation on our YouTube page! You can also check out The Community Conversation on all major streaming platforms including Spotify! Don’t forget to subscribe!
Michael Collette 0:03
Thank you for tuning into the community conversation brought to you by prototype train systems home across our prototype. The community conversation highlights a different member of the project community each week and allows them to tell their story, share their life experience, and communicate their perspective on all things fitness. We’ve all listen to podcasts and watch YouTube videos, I highlight some of the world’s greatest leaders and visionaries. And we believe we have some amazing people here at prototype and we want you to get to know them. This is our 21st episode of the community conversation. And I would like to introduce our guest, Dr. Annie pal, if you’ve been appetite, then you should know any is any has been part of the project community for over seven years, almost eight years, the pediatric doctor she’s done every program we offer basically a prototype, she’s won multiple community awards, she’s also has has to be one of the nicest people that I’ve ever found. I’m just so glad to have her on today. And I know if you’re listening, you’re probably pumped to learn and hear from me as well. So Annie, thank you for being part of the community conversation today.
Annie Powell 1:08
Thank you for inviting me. I’m so honored to be here and excited for this.
Michael Collette 1:12
I know and you’re all dressed up because I know you have a lunch date right after this
Annie Powell 1:16
Michael Collette 1:18
We’re gonna really dive into it. So any Why don’t you just give everyone a little bit of background on yourself? Like how did you come across CrossFit, like you talked a little talk about your, your fitness journey, all that all this?
Annie Powell 1:32
Totally. So I growing up as an active kid, I did swimming, and I played field hockey in high school. And then through college and med school, I was really like pretty compulsive about my studies, and didn’t have a lot of balance with getting a ton of fitness then. And after med school is residency, and I had twins during residency and then had another daughter shortly thereafter. And after I had the kids, I started kind of getting more into the fitness world. So we moved to westborough, the same year that you guys opened. So we moved to westborough in 2012. And I was driving downtown and try and thinking about like, Where am I going to go and what am I going to do when I drove by prototype and I looked in the window and I saw this like, you know, kid who was like 22 or sometimes coach in the class, this guy opened the gym. And these people swing in from bars. And I was like, oh man, that looks so cool. But I don’t know if I could do it. And I was like, maybe I need to I was like between CrossFit or like the like get in shape for women program across the street. So I didn’t know like which one to go to. So I called and I got Brian’s answer on the phone. And at this point in my fitness journey, I’ve been doing a lot of yoga and dance. And Brian was he sounded like somebody from like a yoga studio. He’s like, no, it’ll be great. Come on in. You’ll love it. He was so Zen and welcoming. I was like, Okay. So I think the next day I came into my first class, which you guys called elements at the time. And you were coaching. And I loved it from the beginning. It was so hard and so different than anything I had ever done. But I loved like the group training, I love doing the same thing as everyone else. And the coaches here are just really stellar, which is really why I kept coming back.
Michael Collette 3:32
So you’ve done over 1000 workouts at the gym, you’ve been here for almost near the inception of the of the gym. And if you guys are listening, I think I’m the 27 year old kid she’s talking about what what is kept you going back, like what has kept you motivated, what has kept you continuing to like pursue excellence in all those different facets of what you do.
Annie Powell 3:59
There’s multiple levels to that answer. So I remember when I started so I was a six a hammer to start with. Because my kids school time was later and the original six cm group with your you’re in LA you’re now in LA at the time you and Aaron were dating with Karen and john and Brendan and Eric and just Clancy. And it was this just wonderful, like so much laughter so much community. And I really enjoyed being around everybody. And when I was going to 6am I remember that that there was this class that came even ahead of 6am I thought that exam was early. And when my kids school time shifted earlier, I was like, Oh man, I have to start kind of getting up earlier and getting myself to 5am. Now I can’t imagine not being part of that. So I start my day, surrounded by people who maybe inspire me to just be better I am so grateful to be around the women and men and coaches who I interact with every morning. It is very much for me just as much about emotional health, mental health as it is about physical health at this time. So I really do love the people I love the coaches is also coming to prototype for me has been a lot about personal development and ways that I didn’t expect. So I’m in my 40s. Now, with three kids and a career, it didn’t occur to me that I would be able to learn so many new things at this point in my life. So in addition to doing the CrossFit classes and the prototype classes, I’ve been fortunate to work with with Joe black extra to coach Joe in the bar and do the prototype barbell club, and even compete in weightlifting events, which if you had told me, I was going to know how to weight lift 10 years ago, I would have thought you were crazy. So I love that I’m still learning new things at this point in my life. And one other answer to this question, sorry. This is one of the few things in my life that I just do for me. Right? So for those of us who are moms, and you know, we have spouses, kids and patients, this is mine, this is my time with my friends to develop skills that I love doing and feel passionately about. So it’s it’s actually become really sort of almost like a secret practice of something that I do just for my own self. So how did you like dentists join? Oh, I know. Right? Well, okay, so my husband now so a lot of people don’t actually know that we’re married, because I never changed my name. And then we also tend to not always interact very much. The doctor things though, right? Yes, that’s the doctor then yes, that’s a doctor thing. I’m like, Listen, I went to school for a long time, I’m not seeing some doctor, somebody else’s last name, I have my own last name. So that Dennis joined a few years after, I think a couple years after I did, and he was just like, he works as an ER doc, and his schedule is brutal. And I’m like, you really need to try this out. Like, it’s gonna make you feel better. And you could go, you know, he did the whole thing that it says. He said it wasn’t for him. But I had a very strict rule initially that we were not going at the same time, because I like to go with my friends and with my time. So now, I do concede on that occasionally. And we do sometimes come together, which is fun.
Michael Collette 7:40
So funny. It’s just so funny. I know the I knew that answer, but I don’t think anyone Yes. So you basically have stayed here for the community. And then you’ve kind of found other things that you never thought that you were going to be able to do. What What do you remember, like one or two things that, like stick out in the back of your mind that I know you mentioned? Like if I said you were gonna do weightlifting or learning? Like what are what are some things that stuck stick out in the back of your mind that you’ve been able to do over the course of, you know, the time that you’ve been here that you would never have thought you were going to do or maybe even capable?
Annie Powell 8:21
So many things. So you know, definitely the Olympic weightlifting and even competing in Olympic weightlifting. When, let’s see after I had been here, I think for a couple years, it was 2015 and 2015, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and I was out of the gym for a while like, you know, whatever time I was going through through treatment, and I remember coming back, and I was sitting with you. And I was like, Mike, this is so much harder than I thought it was going to be to come back. And I feel like I’m never going to be able to do those things I was able to do before. And at that point, you were kind enough to start working with me. And we were doing personal training to help me get back into kind of what I was able to do before. And then I learned a lot from you about the power of mindset. And the limits we put on ourselves thinking we can’t do something. So working one on one. I don’t know if you remember, but it was with you that we did. I did grace for the first time, our acts, and I thought you were bonkers. I was like you’re crazy. And I did it. And I never thought I would be able to do pull up. And then I remember we started prep to do Fran and I did that a couple times. We worked on getting the prep to do date day and so on with the handstand push ups that are x. And it was really like, you would say things to me and I’d be like Mike status, like you’re crazy. That’s never gonna happen. And then we would work through it, and it would happen and it was so Cool, and you’re like, no Annie, you don’t need another drink of water stop going for your water bottle, you actually don’t need her as. But I, I have really like fond memories of those training sessions fond in a way of like, I also felt like I was gonna like pearl of those training sessions after my cancer treatment. Because it initially started, I want to get back to where I was. And then it was like, you know what I want to be able to do things and be stronger than I was before I got sick. And having that happen was so empowering. And joyful, for me.
Michael Collette 10:44
Such a incredible story. I don’t think enough people know that either. And it’s not something that you necessarily heard sharing all the time, too. But the story of kind of being in a bit place where you never thought you were going to be able to be where you were, and now you’re exceeded where you were.
Annie Powell 11:05
Yeah. And when you go through an experience where you are worried just about surviving, to then, you know, prototype, for me, has been such an important part of like reconnecting with strengthen my body, in my mindset. And I’m just incredibly, incredibly grateful to the people here for that.
Michael Collette 11:33
What do you what would you tell people, right, so people come into gyms every single day, it’s gyms in general, not necessarily the type of gym that we have. But gyms in general have an incredibly high attrition rate something like upwards of 70 to 85% on a year to date basis, which basically means that eight out of 10 people that walk into a gym and sign up typically leave. So folks that go into gyms that are looking to insert goal, right, and it’s more than likely lose weight look better, feel better, be stronger. They’re not, they might not also understand the additional stuff that comes out. Yeah. Right. Like in that might not be a goal of theirs. But it’s a bigger part of like the whole picture. So like, how do you talk about this stuff to, to folks that like me? Yeah, I understand it. Right.
Annie Powell 12:40
Right. Right. So I think that I like think about what underlies those motivations, right? So what needs are being met, that we want to, you know, look different or feel stronger. And that’s what prototype does is fill those different needs. So this is about way, way more than a gym, or fitness. This is about connection. This is about personal growth. It is about feeling a sense of vitality in your body. And those are things that we always get to feel the chaos of our day to day lives. So I have a you know, I talk prototype up to all sorts of friends and you know, my kids compare now to my, like, closest friends from outside the gym. Now, come here, my husband. And what I say is, honestly, it sounds cliche, but I say it really changed my life. And I can’t imagine my life without it now. And that this is something I do to like, nourish my spirit as much as I do to feel strong. In and we all need that. In today’s crazy world.
Michael Collette 14:03
Yeah, we had a crazy year for sure. No, sorry.
Annie Powell 14:07
Sorry, I’m just, there’s so much there’s such an intimidation factor. And like when you think of those mental limit, like those mental limits we put put on ourselves, like when I’ve talked to friends. It’s been like, Oh, I don’t think I can do it. Or I could never do that. And I’m like, you would first of all, you would be amazed. And second just come. Like that’s honestly that’s the hardest part. And then once once you open up those doors and those opportunities it just happened.
Michael Collette 14:41
I can’t agree more. Yeah, really call that. You you referred to what needs aren’t being met because of the goals that they have and that’s um, you kind of find that through motivational interviewing.
Annie Powell 14:56
Michael Collette 14:57
And it’s It’s hard for some people to also what I found, I would be curious what your thoughts are. But I have found that, you know, some people are just like, Fufu. Like, that’s not important. Like, I just want to lose 20 pounds, but it’s like, Yeah, well, why? Right? Like, what is that? What is that going to do for you, you know, back leg, but it’s interesting, because we’ve lived through a year where, you know, there’s your social isolation, every excuse in the book to not do stuff, while some folks took the exact opposite route and, and found in leverage their time to actually do more than what they were used to. What do you think? Um, you know, as it relates to, like, COVID. And the folks that are, you know, there’s still people out there that are not and not just here, right, in Massachusetts, things, things are getting a little bit. Yeah, but like, in other parts of the world, that Canada, for example, they’re still not in the best place, you know, what advice would you give those, those people that are like, that are struggling?
Annie Powell 16:09
You know, yeah. So, you know, in, in the world of Pediatrics, in particular, we COVID has affected our population much differently, because kids thank goodness or not, is susceptible to the physical severity of illness as our adults, however, there’s been this incredible, we call it the third wave of COVID, this just intense surge of mental health issues within the pediatric within the especially within, like the adolescent community, because of the effects of the isolation, the decrease in connection and the decrease in activities that gave them joy, whether it’s music, or theater, or sports or whatever. So now, I think more than ever, it is important to kind of reconnect with these elements that bring us joy. And when we look at the Science of Happiness, there is no doubt that movement, right, so movement, especially which can kind of like be buried and take us out of our comfort zone, movement that connects us with nature and movement that connects us with people, all those things are crucial to our brain’s ability to kind of release those neuro chemicals that just make us feel better. So so often talking about like, getting outside, as best you can, if it’s safe, and connecting with others and trying to reconnect with like those activities that ground you and bring you joy. So, you know, I know like for so so dennis is that you know, as an ER doctor, and I know for for him. And for me as well, like the pandemic affected occurs differently. But having our routine where we were still, like, for me still, you know, waking up and getting on the zoom and doing our virtual classes. It was, it was like such a lifesaver in terms of staying mentally healthy during them. So important. The mental health is important. Yeah, it’s so important. And the movement and connection and communities are all such fundamental pieces of mental health.
Michael Collette 18:25
Well, we’ve, we’ve been fortunate to be able to continue to, you know, leverage and to reach out and to connect with others through different modalities with zoom and that and whatnot. And for some people, it’s actually helped them even more, you know, there’s folks that you look at the flip side, right, there’s always, there’s always another side, like the pandemic is, is created more opportunity to help more people. Right, right, like technology. But so you know, with that being said, it’s not for everyone, but for you know, let’s say like, bring it back to the beginning your conversation, the Karen burden to the world. You know, Karen Burton back on there. I love it. Yeah, she could fit on a camera. Yeah, yeah. Jess can work out with a robot and she doesn’t really, you know, so no, he still he still like, yeah, she’s still late. Um, so um, one more question before we get into the Spitfire around here. What is your your favorite memory to date? Being at the gym?
Annie Powell 19:36
Oh, wow. What a great question. I can’t Oh, it’s so hard to pick one. I have a few. Yeah, so I love when we have the internal competitions and then have a big party afterwards. Those have been some of just the most fun days. I have had a prototype when we do like the summer Throw downs or the wide tober. And then I’ll hang out afterward. I love those days.
Michael Collette 20:09
You have the summer throwdown coming up, we do, it’s going to happen. I actually have a call to finalize all the details, but it will be Saturday, July 24. Con and pegs afterwards will be different than last year. I actually think folks are going to actually have more fun. And it should go a little faster too, which means more more Pool Party time. So anyway, all you know, you guys are listening. This right now might be the first year to hear about it. Yeah. Um, okay, so let’s hammer out the Spitfire round of questions. Right? I need to change these questions. I say that like every single time, but you can listen to these. There’s three questions. The first one is what is your favorite movie and TV show of all time? Oh, so what are you currently binge watching?
Annie Powell 21:06
Okay, so Favorite movie of all time? Dirty Dancing. Hands down. easy question. Favorite. Favorite TV show of all time. Friday Night Lights. Have you? Have you watched that series? Oh, I love quotes Taylor. Love it. I am not binge watching anything. I’m not what I can’t remember the last time I watch a TV show.
Michael Collette 21:30
Probably Friday Night Lights. Maybe. I was on TV A while ago. But we know that there’s
Annie Powell 21:40
actually during the pandemic the girls and I binge watched Jane The Virgin and I loved it.
Michael Collette 21:47
I know that is but it sounds like a movie that dentists are probably not want to watch.
Annie Powell 21:52
Dennis was Not a big fan of Jane The Virgin but I thought it was fantastic.
Michael Collette 21:56
So funny. Okay, next question is what is your favorite musician or band of all time?
Annie Powell 22:05
Springsteen, easy. Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen, I love going to his live shows.
Michael Collette 22:10
Awesome. Live music is coming back to which is coming back.
Annie Powell 22:13
Thank goodness, I miss it.
Michael Collette 22:15
And then last question is what is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working or working out at the gym?
Annie Powell 22:22
Okay, so there’s a seminar answer this in a few different ways, because there’s a sequence of events. So I am a champion napper. So a nap has to be part of that. I’m like, amazing at taping that. So if I get a great afternoon nap, and then wake up. And it’s like evening, the sun’s out and like go to the beach with my kids and a book and I’m fear and maybe some live music. All those things mix together.
Michael Collette 22:52
Sounds like your perfect day. Not as much your hobby.
Annie Powell 22:59
hobby. Yeah, that’s my perfect day. That’s a perfect day. That was a perfect day. So I am a child of two English teachers. I love books. I love to read. I love to take a good hip hop or Zumba class when I get the chance. So fun. Yeah. So fun. And I love to try new kinds of food and go out to eat was
Michael Collette 23:20
awesome. And that’s what you’re about to do right now. Right?
Annie Powell 23:23
I am. I am about to do that right now. But I am so so honored to be asked to be part of this. Thank you so much. Oh, thank you. Me.
Michael Collette 23:31
No, thank you, Annie. And you know, thank you for being part of the community conversation. It means a lot to me, it means a lot to everyone at prototype. And for all of you that are tuning in and watching right now. Thank you as well. Remember, every week we’ll be releasing a new community conversation with a new guest to get your week started. So to be the first to know the new community conversations posted, subscribe to our YouTube page, or on Spotify, and also our daily brief newsletter. And if you are part of the project community, this gets posted every single week in our community members only club on Facebook. That means if you’re on Facebook, I know Annie is not on Facebook while you are kind of in the shadows. But if you’re a member for some reason you’re not in the group slash delegate yet and And lastly, like to be on the committee conversation to shoot a message and we’d love to have you so until next time. Thank you, Annie. Bye, guys. Have a great day. Thanks