Huzzah for our April Client Rockstar Christian Lee Branch. I'm gonna be real with you, sometimes we do crazy shit with our bodies at ieFitness and sometimes people are a little (understandably) resistant to that. Christian is fearlessly down to try new things and push himself. Never a sigh or a side eye from him. He shows up ready to work, has never cancelled, never even been late to a session. He's, in this humble coach's opinion, a true exemplar of personal accountability. And, oh nelly, is he a badass to boot!
My thoughts and questions for Christian in bold.
Christian, you have a pretty cool job - tell us a little about what you do!
I am a higher education administrator who works in Student Life/Services. Basically, we work with all the student organizations to ensure that their co- and extracurricular life is as enriching as their academic life.
My favorite annual event we have is Breads of the World. This is our Thanksgiving celebration where we come together as a community made up of many different cultures to give thanks for our diversity and bring awareness to the sufferings of those around the world. We call it Breads of the World because we get many different breads representative of the different cultures and at the end of the presentation everyone in attendance shares a meal of bread and soup together.
MMMM, Carbs. I would like that one too...for many reasons. You are #BigSingerBoy - How does singing keep you tuned into your body?
Singing is my joy, singing is my therapy. My singing is totally in line with how how feel and I
have to say that the breathing that I have learned to sing properly has helped me with my fitness. In using breathing techniques that I have from singing, I have been able to be less winded during training sessions.
You recently made some big changes to your diet - basically cooking a lot more and eating way less processed food - What are some of your favorite foods or meals that you incorporated?
I have always eaten anything and everything (except Vegemite, sorry my Australian friends) but recently zucchinis, mushrooms, onions, and peppers have become my favorite things to eat.
Before we started working together, you were on a bit of a fitness hiatus - other than singing and getting around NYC, of course. What advice do you have for people who might be nervous about restarting intentional movement?
Intentional movement is not the exercise that caused pain and heartache in the past! I was never a fan of exercise in the past and a lot of that had to do with the pain that it can cause your body when you start up with it and, maybe more importantly, how people react and talk about it when you are not in the shape that is traditionally not seen as healthy. Working with Sam is filled with support and actual non-judgment, a promise that many trainers, doctors, and people with good intentions have made in the past but have not kept.
Thank you, Christian.
Friends, I'm so happy to be able to lift up wonderful folks like Christian. He gives selflessly and without condition to his students, friends and family. There's as equal a chance of finding him belting out Whitney at karaoke at 3am as there is finding him singing hymns to his parish on Sunday morning...which I find a wholly (holy?) admirable trait. And if we could all fearlessly embrace more challenges, we'd be the better (and healthier!) for it. Go Christian go!