There are pretty much two ways to spend your quarantine: get in shape, or binge-watch TV and eat.
Surprisingly, personal trainer and CrossFit coach Lynn Hoang says both options have their merits.
“I have my relieve-stress list,” says the Houston native. “That’s where I watch my favorite shows (namely Schitt’s Creek, the Canadian comedy that just ended its six-year run) and eat my favorite foods. And then there’s my ego-boosting list. That’s where you go outside and work out, or do knowledge learning—something that’s hard, but you feel better after you do it.”
The 28-year-old Vietnamese-American lesbian woman enjoyed martial arts when she was younger, but fitness wasn’t her only job.
“I used to work at MD Anderson as a software analyst,” Hoang says. “But I got more involved in coaching and working as a hands-on care provider.” She went from 12 years of Taekwondo (competing on the state level) to CrossFit, and eventually to teaching at the CrossFit Be Someone gym in the Heights. After government officials ordered gyms to be closed to slow the spread of COVID-19, all of their classes have been moved online.
“One hundred people at a gym had to be moved from in-person to online within days,” she recalls. “I didn’t miss a workout. I have a home gym, but you can be creative if you don’t have weights at home. You can fill a backpack with books.”
Now that quarantine restrictions are slowly being lifted, CrossFit Be Someone is back to its normal hours with class size caps, and everything is disinfected between sessions. But many members are still choosing to take online classes. “We are continuing to offer online personal training, which many of our members are still utilizing as they transition back to the group classes while others have chosen to become exclusively online athletes.”
One of the appeals of CrossFit for Hoang is the weight lifting.
“It’s a high-intensity interval workout with Olympic weights, gymnastics, and cardio,” Hoang explains. “It’s about [developing the] overall wellness to face whatever life throws at you.”
Like many Houstonians, she’s had a lot of time to kill lately. Besides her daily 35- to 40-minute workouts and online classes, she also takes her dog to the park for long walks.
“Latte is a rescued eight-year-old pit/Lab mix from Pup Squad Animal Rescue,” Hoang says. “She’s 70 pounds. It’s like having another human in the house. I think she was a little confused about why I was home so much.” (Her name, by the way, comes from an artsy latte-like marking on her nose.)
In addition to Hoang’s job at the gym, she also attends classes at Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, where she’s finishing out the semester online. She has two more years to go before getting her license.
“Athletes will come up to me and say this hurts or that hurts,” Hoang says. “So I think the chiropractic license will be really helpful.”
But for now, she’s enjoying some down time.
“I’ve been able to sit in my backyard in Spring Branch and enjoy my morning coffee,” says Hoang. “I just sit and appreciate the stillness of things.” She’s also been enjoying Sunday drives to Chinatown to get takeout from the Asian restaurants. “I really want to support them, because they were hit early by this.” (Those restaurants have also lost a lot of business as anti-Asian discrimination rose during the pandemic.)
But as with in all things in her life, Hoang balances healthy meals with comfort food—in her case, the foods her family ate when she was growing up.
“As a family, we would sit on the floor together and eat a lot of fast foods,” she recalls.
A fitness expert eating fast food?
“I’m not going to lie; Popeye’s is my favorite,” she says boldly. “Those biscuits! I can’t act coy about it—I love them.”
You can check out Hoang’s online classes at crossfitbesomeone.com.