Posts in "Community Highlights"

Ice Chamber Profile: Jen P.

Community Highlights | July 30, 2015

JennyI started working out at I.C. shortly after I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hips. I could no longer run or play tennis or do any of the high impact activities that I loved to do. I wanted to find a place where I could stay in shape, that was also fun and inspiring. My friend Patty had recently joined the I.C. and loved it so I gave it a try.  This was when they were in the old space on Jacuzzi street, and my first session was with Danielle who was so welcoming and helpful and great, and I could tell right away that they could really understand my limitations but also push me forward.

There are many things I love about coming to the Ice Chamber – the staff, the community (it’s ok to chat and get to know people, and also okay to be a zombie and say nothing at all, especially at 6am).  For me in particular, with my hip issues and also knee injuries, it’s a place I can feel totally supported in my efforts to stay in shape.  They are great at adjusting activities so I can participate, asking me how I’m doing, and encouraging me. On top of that, it’s a place I always feel good – even through extreme ups and downs personally. It’s a place where I am able to remind myself of what’s good and positive. I always, always leave there so happy that I went.

I run a nonprofit organization that  helps schools, community organizations and low-income housing communities provide support services for kids that they need in order to show up at school ready to learn. Our largest areas of work are in after school and summer programs, health and mental health care, and access to meals.  We work across the state. I also spend a portion of my time as an adviser to the State Superintendent of Schools, on a range of policy issues related to my areas of expertise.

I have a beautiful daughter who recently turned 11. She used to come to the I.C. a lot but now that she is allowed to stay home alone she usually chooses that!

Through the Looking Glass

Community Highlights | July 21, 2015


Another generation of IC toddlers learning by watching.

Back on My Regimen


Ian is back building his strength base for his first responder duties.

The Fam

Community Highlights | July 19, 2015


Carolyn V.B. practically raised her young family at the IC.  These kids know how important exercise is to mommy!

All Smiles

Community Highlights | July 15, 2015

IC May1 Blog-21


Ice Chamber Member Profile: Loredie and Ross

Community Highlights | July 2, 2015


Loredie:  I started in Sep 2007.

Ross:  I started in Dec 2007.  I was reluctant at first.  All I remember in Oct and Nov of 2007 was that Loredie was excited about going to the Ice Chamber, and she would go there consistently each week.
Loredie: I started 10 months after giving birth to my twin sons. I was partially bed ridden during the last trimester of my pregnancy and essentially lost a lot of strength and muscle mass. I couldn’t do a single sit up. I was also recently diagnosed with osteoporosis which really prompted me to get serious about my health and physical well being.

Ross:  I started going there after reflecting about what kind of dad I wanted to be.  Specifically, I thought about my own dad when I was 16 years old.  My dad was able to play 1×1 basketball with me, and he was still pretty darn athletic.  I thought to myself, “I want to be able to do stuff like that with my boys when they’re 16.  I want to be an active dad – not just in sports but in all things they’re interested in.”  After I quickly did the math, I realized that my dad was 43 when I was 16, and that I would be 51 when my boys are 16.  I had an 8 year deficit to overcome.

Loredie:  The best part of the IC is the community. The people are generous, supportive, and incredibly talented. I enjoy working out in a group setting. I love watching people exercise because it’s a form of healing. It releases stress, builds strength and endurance, and ultimately clears our heads.

Ross:  Agree with Loredie completely.  It’s the community.  I love the group setting, and I love the variety.  In any one week, I can do Boot Camp / Core, Industrial Strength, and sometimes Kettlebell or Spin.  I also enjoy Stretch and Restore.  After I work out at the IC, my mind, body, and soul feel more clear, healthier, lighter.  It’s a great feeling.

Loredie: I was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the US with my family when I was 8 years old. I grew up in San Francisco and graduated from SFSU with a degree in Nursing. I quickly realized that clinical practice was not my path and ended up working for a medical device company where I eventually discovered how devices and drugs are brought to the general population through clinical trials. I found this career path to be very exciting (still do) and I’ve been in it for more than 10 years. I’m currently working at Genentech’s research and early development group where I get to contribute and witness incredible possibilities that can positively impact so many people.

Ross:  I also was born in the Philippines and immigrated with my family when I was 4 years.  Grew up in San Pablo, went to Salesian High School, then graduated with a Civil Engineering degree from Cal Berkeley.  Never worked 1 year in Civil Engineering.  Instead, I fell into software and have played a variety of roles for the past 20 years from sales to customer success to services to data operations.  I’m very grateful that I have the opportunity to exercise and to bond with such a wonderful community at the IC.

Ice Chamber Member Profile: Nancee

Community Highlights | June 17, 2015


I started at the IC around 2007, after Lisa and Brian Meckler raved about it. We were in the old building and I was a 7am’er. I took some time off while finishing my hours and becoming licensed as a psychotherapist. I returned January, 2013.

I started coming, initially, to challenge myself and get fit. I love to work out and feel very competitive with myself (for example, when I need motivation I pretend I’m a navy seal). Bootcamps were cropping up all over and I wanted to give one a try. I love to try stuff that’s happening in fitness. It’s weird but true. If I see a new exercise at the gym, I want to try it!

But, after I left in 2009, I found that although I continued to workout, I felt very isolated and a little lost at the gym. I felt a huge hole and missed the community and physical challenge/reassurance. During that time, I became very sick. I was exhausted and experiencing physical signs of breaking down; such as food blindness, weight gain, migraine headaches/fogginess, pain, etc. As soon as my career stabilized a bit, I re-joined Ice Chamber and sought out a doctor, naturopathic physician and nutrition advice. I started to feel better but it was a very long road. Ice Chamber has been a huge part of my recovery back to well-being. And, recent bloodwork results show so much improvement that all of my levels read in the ‘ideal’ range. That’s really why I work out – for my health.

I like the reassurance I feel that when I come in the workout will be challenging, thoughtful and meaningful. I put a lot of trust in that aspect of Ice Chamber and feel it’s important. Also, I have always felt anxious in groups and group activities – as well as interested in group dynamics. The Ice Chamber community has been supportive, warm and encouraging – which helps me overcome this anxiety. Whether I’m the image of an athlete or not, I definitely have the heart of one. I always root for the hustle and feel IC has many like-minded, sweat-infused souls around. I can compete and challenge myself; without feeling compared. I like the diversity of activities. I like that I see personal improvement. I like when the music matches the intensity – turn it up!

I started singing in Las Vegas as a child and expanded my repertoire to include acting and visual art while in college. After school, I traveled, did some odd acting jobs and continued painting but the decision to move to San Francisco, during the height of the bubble, proved a new direction was fated. I found myself in the wine business and grew a successful career for over a decade. However, I always felt a pull back to psychology and a deep need to be helpful. I had a minor in Art Therapy and volunteered in schools throughout the Bay Area, but finally, that wasn’t enough. I woke up one day and knew I wasn’t feeding my soul – and it was hungry! I got my Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and, now, I work as an EAP therapist for a large California company, am a Research Therapist at Cal and have a small private practice in Montclair.

The Ice Chamber has been an important part of the journey – and integral in my daily self-care.

Kid Class


You are forever a kid at the IC.

Ice Chamber Member Profile: Tsan

Community Highlights | June 15, 2015


I started at the Ice Chamber April of 2005.  A girlfriend and I were having trouble losing our baby weight, and we joined at the same time.  In the old days, BOOT CAMP was billed as a jumpstart to getting back on track, and that’s what we thought it would be: one month.

I’ll never forget the first day at 6am.  The Ice Chamber was located inside the Albany City Maintenance Yard, and at first, I thought I was in the wrong place.  Douglas Reeves started two days before me and approached me after the workout, saying, “just go home, take some Motrin, and sleep for the first three days.”  Good advice.

The Ice Chamber exemplifies a complete dedication to craft and the focus on all people as athletes. That’s why it flourishes.  That’s why I like it.

There are lots of gyms that have some form of “group fitness” class or bootcamp-style classes; when I travel, I have attended them.  In fact, a couple of years ago, I even did a workout in the gym that served as part of the inspiration for the Ice Chamber.  The classes were fine enough, but I knew if I had to rely on them for regular workouts, I would eventually get bored and quit.  I was never quite sure why that was; was it the varied workouts?  The people?  The music?  What was the magic combination that just happened to come together here?   I asked Steve the question directly, and he looked at me and said, “do you think this happens by accident?”

Someone once summed up my relationship to the Ice Chamber like this:  “Well, of course you need to go to that place.  Clearly, it’s your oxygen.”  Perhaps a little hyperbolic, but it is certainly the springboard from which I draw strength in all its forms.  The people, the competition, the support, the diversity, the challenges.  it’s what a fitness experience should be.

Life is full of curveballs largely unexpected and often unexplained, and we all have coping mechanisms that allow us to function.  I’m not above a glass of bourbon, but I also know it has limited value and is unlikely to prepare me for another bump in the road.  Coming here and working hard gives me a new outlook on my life experience.

Our Beautiful Tribe


We are grateful to the strong and powerful women of the Ice Chamber for representing on so many levels!

Take a peek behind the scenes at a photo shoot to honor their achievements.