Names: Kelly O’Donnell and Raj Palchaudhuri
Occupations: Advertising & Promotions Paralegal; Product Technologist at Dell
Hometowns: Dallas, Texas; Grosse Pointe, Michigan
How/when did you get involved in Row House?
My friend Kristen talked me into buying a Gilt voucher not long after Row House opened its Columbus Circle location and I was hooked. I got Raj to try it when he was looking for a new way to be active.
How did you two meet?
I tell people we met a bar. Raj tells people we met at a “live music venue.” We met at Prohibition on the UWS on Leap Day 2012.
Do you remember your first workout? How was it?
Kelly: I think my first class was with Eric. I vividly remember him telling me that my squats weren’t low enough, haha.
Raj: I took a class with Kirby at CC. Row appealed to me right away.
How have you grown in that time — health, body, mind, etc.?
Kelly: I love Row House because it allows me to compete against myself or take it easy and still feel like I got a good workout. It also helps me fight the winter blues!
Raj: I’ve lost around 20 pounds, and my overall health is significantly better!
What's your workout history like? How is Row House different than what you've done before?Kelly: I used to do Jane Fonda videos in the 90s! I’ve done it all from yoga to pilates to running to strength training. I also do some Beach Body workouts at home. I love that Row House works my body without killing my joints. After years of running, it’s great to find something that works me just as hard without the damage to my body.
Raj: I’ve always been into team sports — football, basketball, soccer. I play on a handful of Zog football teams throughout the years. I never really had to work at being fit when I was younger, but I definitely need some activity now!
Do you work out together? If so, what do you enjoy about it?
We sometimes take the same class but we never sit next to each other. It’s too distracting. I also like the front row and Raj prefers the middle row.
How do you support each other’s fitness goals?
We try to coordinate taking class so that whoever isn’t taking class or took class earlier can start dinner or run errands (if needed), so it never feels like working out is a chore or taking time away from other things that need doing.
What do you enjoy most about Row House?
Kelly: I’ve always really liked the vibe and everyone is super friendly. All of the instructors give you a little something different so I can pick and choose what kind of workout I want or need each time.
Raj: It’s a great workout in a short time. It never feels onerous and has delivered great results for me.
What keeps you coming back?
All of the above!
Do you have any advice for new members?
Everyone should definitely try 3 to 5 classes before deciding how they feel about rowing. Also try different instructors because every instructor’s class is pretty different. You also can’t pay attention to anyone else’s numbers, especially in the beginning when you’re still figuring it how it all fits together.
What do you hope to achieve in the coming year?
Kelly: I hope to keep the momentum from January. I’m aiming for that 1-million meter mark!
Raj: I hope to get closer to Kelly’s row numbers 😊