Take a peek inside the Tight Club community, each week we’re checking in with one of our crew to learn what they get up to when they’re not slamming balls or crushing burpee challenges. These are the people that motivate you in class when sh!t gets real. From OG’s to newbies, here’s their inside scoop.
We decided to interpret this literally and choose from the Wikipedia list of buzzwords. We picked some that we think kind of describe each other.
Allie is… brand narrative, holistic approach, organic growth
Mal is … strategic communication, core competency, best practices
M: She will absolutely read your piece of writing, and provide thoughtful critique. She’s really good at it, and she’ll always tell you what she liked as well, so you feel like it wasn’t all criticism. Similarly, she’s a great active listener. She really cares about people and how they feel about things, even minor things that most people aren’t interested in. She wants to hear about it. She hates small talk. She’d much rather talk about your difficult relationship with your parents than the weather.
She knows everything. I’m not kidding. I’ll be like, How do you mine bitcoin? What was the Suez Canal Crisis about? When I’m saying a nice thing about someone is it a comp-li-ment or a comp-le-ment? The best part is that she never makes me feel silly about asking something.
Around election times (municipal, provincial, and federal) she writes an extensive and in-depth email about all of the parties and candidates to help people in her life—who say they don’t have enough time to care about politics—make an informed decision about who to vote for rather than just not voting altogether. She has a poli-sci minor, and civic engagement is super important to her.
She donates a ton every year to charities. I think she has six recurring ones and other ones here and there throughout the year. Mostly I know this because we started doing our taxes together last year, and I felt like a total scrub.
A: Favourite favourite is going to a wedding together. Favourite everyday is just going for a nice cocktail, but a wedding is where we truly shine.
M: Yes, that’s true! We have never turned down a wedding invite, even when the couple probably would’ve preferred us to. We will light up your dance floor and look absolutely amazing while doing it. Also, Allie loves it when I read aloud to her, so sometimes we will spend an afternoon or evening together while I read her textbook to her. I’ve learned a lot in the course of her grad studies, and it hasn’t cost me a dime!
A: We used to do most of our working out separately (I played soccer and rode my bike on a trainer in the living room while watching Forensic Files and Mal rode her bike to get around), but in the last few years most of our workouts have fused. We play dodgeball on Tuesday and softball in the summer. Our Tight Club schedules don’t always align, but when they do she is my favourite partner, and it never gets old to look her in the eye and shake her hand and introduce myself at the beginning of class.
M: I am planning this massive event in Toronto called Earper Homestead Convention Canada — it’s a Convention for the SyFy-produced Canadian TV show Wynonna Earp, which is a cult hit among a niche crowd of fans. I work as an event planner at Hawksworth as my day job, but this is a whole ‘nother beast. It’s a 3-day thing involving multiple celebrity guests, hundreds of fans, and many different panels, parties, and other events. All of the events I’ve done up to now, even the large ones, have always been food-focused; I’ve always planned for restaurant groups. I’ve never worked on something of this scale. It’s absolutely mindblowing how well it’s coming together. This is so wild and so cool and is going to bring together so many people. It’s tight. Real tight.
A: I have the best friends. My dad died unexpectedly last March, and it’s been really tough for me. I feel like my grief made me cumbersome, like I was some clumsy, sad bear bumbling around in social situations. But any expectation of normalcy was solely from me because not once did anyone make me feel bad or weird for needing to, like, lie on their living room floor in the middle of our hang out.
M: Allie is not much of a grand gesture person — so reliably so that when I wanted to buy myself some time to propose before she could do it, I delayed her by telling her I’d only say yes if she put together a flashmob. Her charm is more in daily thoughtfulnesses. She makes me feel special all the time, every day — by coming home with my favourite candy, surprising me with my favourite takeout when I’ve had a hard day, listening to my cues and buying me the gifts I really want, or even just taking care of annoying little tasks and errands when I’m too busy to deal with them. After all that, birthdays and anniversaries end up being times when she lets me make all the decisions (which is what I really like).
A: I think the grandest thing Mal ever did for me was plan our entire wedding. And not just like, a wedding, but the best and most beautiful wedding. I think I was pretty difficult to work with in the beginning (why do we need to rent chairs when the venue has free chairs?), but she was patient and persistent and organized in a way that was hard to argue with. Probably about once a week I think of those ugly venue chairs and how thankful I am that she held her ground.
M: J Edgar Hoover Hamilton was rescued by VOKRA from under a vacuum store (hence the name Hoover - we added the J Edgar and the Hamilton). He’d been living there for a while. The vet estimated he was 3 or 4 years old when he was rescued; he’d never been fixed, he didn’t have any of his shots, and he was flea-ridden. All in one fell swoop he was neutered, tattooed, vaccinated, and defleaed. I’d been cruising for a kitty for a little while and I snagged him the moment he went up on VOKRA’s website. Allie and I had been dating for half a year or so, but I adopted him on my own… however, Allie is probably his primary parent.
Hoover is tempestuous. He’s very cuddly and sweet, incredibly soft, and floppy like a ragdoll, unless he’s in a bad mood. Then he will lash out at you, claws extended, as you walk by. If he’s hungry, he’ll bite you gently at first, and then harder, until you feed him. He has a terrible tendency to bite my love handles. He isn’t like this with guests or catsitters, just with us. He rules the house for sure.
A: I recently got my first ever tattoo, and it’s a matching tattoo to the letters and numbers Hoover has inside his ear to identify him; I’m head-over-heels for the little guy.
M: I actually just hate everything else I’ve tried. Tight Club was the first exercise commitment I made that I actually enjoyed. Weirdly, as a longtime (and passionate) cyclist, I totally fucking hate spin.
A: For me, it’s the sense of community. I think, unfortunately, most gyms actually don’t want people to show up—like they sold tickets for 500 but only bought enough food for 50. I’ve always felt like everyone at Tight Club is noticed and cared for, and it just makes me feel nice to be a part of it.
A: TRX rocket jumps! I feel like I can jump so high.
M: I take a lot of TRX classes, and I love to do a pike during a TRX plank, or challenge myself during a TRX chest press.
A: When Kelsey signed up to be an organ donor, she told us there was an option to send a message with your organs and asked us what message we would send. The answers ranged from serious to funny to heartwarming, and I thought about the question for days after and even asked all my pals and coworkers what they would say, too.
M: How about on our birthdays when everyone had to say something they liked about us? I still think of that to cheer myself up when I’m feeling down.
A: Oh, yeah, that was really so charming!
M: Oh, we love doing this! I’m so glad I met Allie, because she encourages and enthusiastically participates in all of my wacky plans. My best friend Lindsay (also a Tight Clubber) is a professional photographer, and the first year Allie and I lived together we decided we wanted to take a cute holiday photo with Hoover. Lindsay came over, we staged it and dressed up, and it turned out wonderfully. I unpacked my rusty, dusty graphic design skills (I used to work in design many years ago) and turned it into a postcard, which we sent out to friends and family. We’ve now done it for the past 5 years, and it’s gone from a simple holiday-themed photo in our home to a storyboarded, costumed shot at Lindsay’s studio.
My favourite one thus far is from 2016. We modeled it after one of those classic Norman Rockwell paintings that used to grace the cover of the Saturday Evening Post — ours is based on a particular one from May, 1920. Lindsay did a perfect job lighting and shooting it — it looks so painterly — and I spent a long time on the design to match it really well with the original feel of the covers. We called it the Hamilton Holiday Post. I’m so lucky to have such a willing participant in Allie.
A: What Mal said:)
M: Would you believe the Habitant bar at Nordstrom? We like to pretend we’re not skids from East Van sometimes.
A: Oh man, we are currently in different places working on the same Google Doc to answer these questions, and I was seriously waiting to ask her when she got home, “Can we say the Nordstrom bar or is that ridiculous?”
Podcast: My Favorite Murder
Song: In the Morning I’ll Be Better by Tennis
Movie: Lady Bird
TV show: Schitt’s Creek?
Podcast: Witch, Please: a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter world
Song: E-mo-tion by Carly Rae Jepsen
Movie: The Shape of Water
TV Show: also Schitt’s Creek (you thought we would say Wynonna Earp, didn’t you? Joke’s on you)
M: To me, it’s playing hard, working hard, and relaxing hard — being the best version of myself, challenging myself, expecting a lot of myself, but also giving myself time off when I need it. Making memories and building stories. Living a life that I’ll remember with a smile when I’m old, without regrets. Being honest and authentic.
A: I re-read Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson last year, and my biggest take-away this time around was the idea that perfection isn’t about flawlessness, it’s about balance. I think for me the tight life is about finding or seeking that balance—between supporting others and taking care of yourself, between getting rightly pissed off about something and letting things go, between pushing yourself and forgiving your shortcomings.
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