What are we trying to do? (and a great chili recipe)

When it comes to fitness, health, and general self-betterment, Agatsu NC wants to build the best community there is.

We are a starry-eyed cliche in many ways. We admit it. We have a lot of excitement for this place and big dreams driving it. Here are some of those dreams:

  • We want to make complete physical fitness as accessible and fun as possible.
  • We want to teach movement as a lifestyle, not a task or chore.
  • We want to help correct your imbalances, heal your injuries, decrease your pain, and make you more resilient. (So that pain doesn’t find you easily in the future.)
  • We want to help you establish strong goals, then help you in your pursuit of those goals. (YOUR goals, not our goals.)
  • We want to leverage the power of community to enhance the whole dang operation.

To do that, we’ve got to talk. We’ve got to socialize. We’ve got to explore and share and support each other.

Because really, it’s the getting to the gym that’s hard. It’s getting out of bed a little earlier for some yoga that’s the real challenge. Or trying to go for a run after a really long, crappy day. It’s also hard to make a complete, healthy meal when you’re getting home late from work with no groceries in your fridge and a hankering for fast, easy, greasy comfort food.

You can find all of the basic instruction you could ever need for your physical fitness for free on the Internet. The catch is that you would have to do it alone. Schedule your own time. Find your own motivation. And oh yeah, buy your own equipment. Worst of all, you don’t get to see your friends. Much less make new ones.

Having a community helps support the gaps in your strength, physical and otherwise, so that you can build that strength safely and well. Community is powerful — not just for getting you moving, but for making you happier.

The Danes have a great, mostly untranslatable word called “hygge.” (HOO-guh!) Essentially, it means “coziness.” It’s the difference between putting on a favorite old record that once belonged to your mother, as opposed to playing the same songs on a digital music service. Or lighting a wood-burning fire on a frosty night vs. playing the “Fireplace for your home” channel on Netflix. Which one feels better, fuller?

Hygge is real, tangible warmth. It has history, substance, depth.

Is it possible to run a gym that’s full of hygge? That’s what we’re trying to find out.

Yes, you can go buy some online programs. A lot of them are truly great.

But, we’d wager to say that having someone who cares about you watch your movement in-person and give you corrections as you go will not only get you closer to your goals, faster — we’d also bet that it has a heck of a lot more hygge.

All that said, we’ve got two suggestions.

First, come out to our grand opening this Saturday, 5-Jan-2019, to get to know our local movement community. We’ll have a class from 8:30-9:30 (follow the directions on the get started page to register for the class if you want to attend), then afterwards we’ll be answering questions, munching on some snacks, and trying out some different movement challenges. We’ll also have t-shirts and hoodies for sale, as well as a few deals/bonuses/prizes to share. Come for the class, or come after 9:30 just to hang out! We would love to see you. Feel free to bring some food or drink to share if you have the inclination — but it’s not a requirement of attending.

If you are already member or plan to come to become one, be sure to join our member community group on facebook. And follow us on Instagram.

Secondly, make yourself a hot, home-cooked meal this week. Something that will warm you to your bones, fill up your family, and leave you with some leftovers to make the next day even easier. Our suggestion: our favorite chili recipe. It’s adapted from a lighter turkey chili recipe, but since we’re pretty active we like to make it a little heartier. Below is our version. (And the original if you want it.)

This is the kind of thing we want to share with you — whether literally in terms of having folks get together regularly at the gym to eat and hang out, or virtually by at least connecting with you in our facebook community group to talk fitness, food, and goals.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped (or two ribs celery, diced, if you don’t like onion)
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1⁄2 tsp dried oregano
1⁄4 cup chili powder
1⁄8 tsp ground cinnamon
2 bay leaves
2 lb lean ground beef
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 piece (1 oz) dark chocolate or 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 bottle or can (12 oz) Guinness beer
1 Tbsp chopped chipotle pepper*
1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
1 can (14oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and black pepper to taste
Hot sauce or cayenne (optional) to taste
Raw onions, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, lime wedges, sour cream (optional)

Step 1

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the oil. Then add fresh veggies and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are visibly browning. Add spices, cook until fragrant.

Step 2

Add the meat and tomato paste, stir and cook until the beef is cooked through. Add chocolate and beer. Wash your hands. Open the can of whole tomatoes and enjoy the satisfying task of squeezing them between your fingers to break them up into the pot. You want them chunky but not whole. Stir it all up real good. Simmer on low to medium low for 45 minutes.

Step 3

Add beans, salt, and pepper, then stir. Cook for about another 5 minutes until beans are hot.

Top with: cheese, extra hot sauce, crumbled fritos, avocado, green onions, or whatever else your heart desires.

*Dump a whole can of chipotle peppers and adobo into a food processor and pulse. Put it all in a jar in your fridge to dip into whenever, to add some spicy smokiness to this chili and other dishes.