With each making it their own, Flo and Shawn Braddy are all in on Rhapsody Fitness both inside and outside the gym.
What is your story?
FLO: After graduating with a BS in Sports Science from Kingston University London, I headed to Charleston in 2013. I was offered a soccer scholarship (we call it football from where I’m from) to The Citadel, so I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. I also earned my Masters in Health Exercise and Sport Science during that time.
SHAWN: I am originally from New York and later spent time in North Carolina before coming to Charleston to work at Boeing as a Software Engineer, which is where I am now. I have always been active throughout my life and enjoy a relaxed environment for gains, friendly competition and a good challenge.
The two met at a food truck during Flo’s final summer here. Although she temporarily moved back home, Shawn had other plans and went across the pond to pop the question. These love birds tied the knot soon after.
What brought you to Rhapsody?
FLO: Coach Elizabeth invited me to a Shebeast event at Rhapsody. It was a no brainer! I had the best time, and seeing so many badass women was pretty damn empowering. The Rhapsody team kept inviting me back to class, so I finally took the plunge and joined around 2 years ago. I’ve never looked back since. Huge bonus – Rhapsody is a dog-friendly gym and it doesn’t get much better than that.
SHAWN: A mix of quarantine workouts and my athletic wife brought me to Rhapsody. During COVID lockdown, Flo would make sure she went to a virtual class almost everyday. I’m all about getting a good workout in, so I joined when I could and every workout was challenging and engaging. Even though it was virtual, I quickly felt like I was part of the community with Alan calling me out on my bad moves in the background.
Once classes were back in person, Flo bought Shawn a month membership for his birthday and that was all she wrote. The dynamic duo have been steadfast Rhapsody staples ever since.
What have you gotten out of your experience with Rhapsody?
FLO: I’ve spent the majority of my life as a competitive athlete. From West Ham Ladies, Arsenal and collegiate football…competition was my thing. And really the only thing I ever felt I was half decent at! Rhapsody gave me the ability to compete again. I’m in a space where I can push myself to my absolute limits, and I’ve been shocked at what my body is capable of. I’ve also been humbled within these four walls – who knew dubs, handstands and muscle-ups were so hard?! Despite being humbled by many of the movements, I have never felt so strong, and most importantly, happy.
I’ve always had a pretty negative outlook on nutrition and followed many diets where the outcome wasn’t sustainable or healthy. Rhapsody showed me that being strong is sexy. Giving your body the nutrients it needs to train, compete and to live a healthy lifestyle is key. I used to tell myself I’m eating too much, when really I wasn’t eating enough. Rhapsody Nutrition was key to this thought process change.
SHAWN: Rhapsody really pushed me and awakened my drive to get better at movements I would have never done on my own. I feel so much stronger overall and know that I will be better at any sport or physical activity going forward. I also feel a lot more confident in positions I have avoided over time. I have been able to grow comfortable at a steady pace with guidance from great coaches who have no problem correcting me and pushing me to challenge myself.
Taking on challenges and growing as individuals, the Braddys also value Rhapsody as a shared third-space – something they do together and support each other with week after week.
What has being a part of the Rhapsody community meant to you?
FLO: Rhapsody has become family. I’ve met the most amazing people over the past 2 years. The support and motivation on a daily basis from the great humans around me during class and outside of it, is nothing short of incredible.
The Rhapsody coaches have developed my skill set tremendously. No matter what the WOD or movement is, the feedback I’m given is sterling, and I’m a much better athlete for it. Sweat + Serve is also one of my favorite things about the Rhapsody community. What’s better than sweating it out before giving back to your neighbors?
SHAWN: Who knew that teaming up to conquer endless thrusters and burpee-box-jump-overs could build lasting friendships, but that is exactly what it has done. The members and coaches make Rhapsody a community I want to be a part of. From volunteering in the community to competing in my first CrossFit competition with a fellow member, there has been no shortage of experiences I will cherish throughout my life.
From taking on new experiences and forming treasured friendships to finding an outlet for meaningful service, Flo and Shawn are all in on the Rhapsody community inside and outside of the gym’s four walls.