inSPIREd Member: Tom Gill

You’ve probably seen him in CREW class at SPIRE (although he finally tried a RIDE class!), Tom is one of the most energetic people you’ve ever met. We sat down and had a great conversation with him.

Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your fitness background and what brought you to SPIRE?
Since high school, I’ve always been involved in athletics (football, wresting, and track) and took up tennis after. All these sports were great, but I’ve never done any aerobic fitness training. Because of arthritis, I saw my tennis game fall off and ended up having a hip replacement done. After getting a new part I decided I was not done getting better, not done getting stronger.

At the end of 2014, lot of things were happening in my life. I started reading the book Boys in the Boat over Christmas. I haven’t read a non-fiction book in a while, but this book blew me away. I’ve been more of a loner all of my life, and reading about the Zen of working with eight people in a boat gave me the sense that I needed to partner up. My daughter told me I should check out this new place, SPIRE, which offers a rowing class. I decided to sign up and give it a shot.  I couldn’t sleep the night before my first class…

I survived that first class and haven’t looked back. SPIRE has great instructors and beautiful equipment.

Have you met any goals or made any changes since workout out at SPIRE?
Short answer – yes. I’m at my lowest weight in 35 years! My disc golf game overall and my distance has dramatically improved. Before SPIRE, I would easily sleep past 7:30am. Now, I wake up in the morning and can’t wait for the SPIRE workout. I’ve been following the Whole 30 diet and its helped change so much for me. My outlook on future endeavors, both in my career and in my personal life, has also improved.


We know you are a CREW guy, but you recently took your first cycling class at SPIRE – what did you think?
I was very apprehensive about it. My daughter spins regularly, but convinced me to give it a shot. I like to bike outside, and I’ve found that the first couple of times I get on my bike in the spring, my legs are worthless.

The SPIRE RIDE was different from being outside – a much sweatier experience. But I loved the fluidity of it. Spinning my legs and pushing my RPMs at a high speed like that – when does anyone get to feel their body work like that?!

I was also hesitant to try rowing initially, but overcoming that hesitation made me very curious to see what would be the same and what would be different about the RIDE class.
***For the record, we checked and Tom took 21 CREW classes before giving RIDE a shot!

Will we see back in RIDE?
Yes. CREW is still my favorite class, but the group’s energy produced from the cycling room is very unique.  
***Since our interview, Tom has taken three more CREW classes and TWO more RIDE classes!  

What inspires you? In fitness and in life?
Seeing inspiration in others.
Being around passionate people.  
And people that replace fear with curiosity – that can get you through so much.  

Question:  What is your favorite music to work out to?  To relax to?
I like the music during class, but I’m really more of a podcast guy. I like:
Big Picture Science
Radio lab
This American Life

Do you have any advice for others looking to get started with indoor rowing or cycling?

You can surprise yourself by accessing a potential that you may not realize you have. In a nutshell, that’s why I’m excited, that’s why I come back to SPIRE. I’ve accessed something that I thought was gone or dormant.

Any lasts comments you’d like to share?
After buying two blocks of classes which allowed me to get a routine going, I gifted a few of my spots to my daughter and then upgraded myself to the 3-month membership.  All in! 


Tom operates Rhythm for Unity, a facilitated hand drum experience. You can learn more at