Love, Sweat, and Insanity
By Krista Gerber
It is nearly impossible to find Micah Spry without a smile spread wide across his face, even in the midst of leading his third Insanity class of the day. Born in Manning, South Carolina, Micah now lives in Charlottesville, Virginia where he leads Insanity, a high-intensity maximum interval fitness program that has caught fire within the Charlottesville community. Micah was presented with the opportunity to learn and teach Insanity while working as a recreation attendant at The Boar’s Head Inn Sports Club. Quickly, Micah realized that leading Insanity was what he wanted to do. He remembers thinking, “I need to become a student of insanity before I become a teacher… I started buckling down, studying, becoming a student of the insanity concept.”
Insanity, created by fitness guru Shaun T, is a heart-pumping 45 minute workout divided into 4 blocks, which provide an intense, full-body workout. Individuals of all ages and fitness backgrounds from the Charlottesville community have become hooked on Insanity, specifically Insanity coached by Micah Spry. Micah notes, “All these people in this one room, students, professionals, retirees...but we are all in there for one common denominator: fitness and exercise...it’s amazing.” It is clear that it is not just the challenging fitness routine itself bringing these individuals back time and time again to endure another sweat inducing workout, but also the energy and heart of Micah Spry.
Micah bounces into every Insanity class bursting with positivity and what appears to be infinite amounts of energy, spreading his infectious smile to everyone in the room. The eclectic group of individuals, from high school students to professionals, gears up for the tough workout that they will perform for the next 45 minutes. They chat excitedly with one another, catching up on their weekends and asking how their families are doing. The people in this room have formed a community through their time spent in Insanity. As soon as the music starts Micah jumps around the room giving everyone a high-five, greeting them each by name. If someone is new to the class, Micah makes a note to ask them their name. If someone is not giving their maximum effort, or doing an exercise with poor form, Micah does not hesitate to call them out by name – keeping them from “cheating their body”, as he calls it. Anyone observing Insanity can see that Micah Spry genuinely cares about what he is doing, and about each and every individual who walks into his class.
In Micah’s limited spare time outside of the 8-9 Insanity classes he leads every week, he says he finds himself, even then, “reading about insanity, going online, studying Shaun T, the spearhead of the whole insanity movement.” Micah is committed to making the workout class the best it can possibly be. He explains that, “I have to keep it steady, and not get complacent, still find ways of making it fun for myself. If I’m not enjoying it than B-o-b and Clare are not enjoying it,” referencing some of the regular attendees in his Insanity class at The Boar’s Head. Bob Paxton, who is affectionately referred to as B-o-b by Micah, describes how, “Micah brightens my day every Tuesday and Thursday. When I’m packing my gym bag at 7:30 in the morning I’m already looking forward to his 5:00 in the evening Insanity class. He fosters a sense of team and community, everyone in the class is truly interested in what others have going on in their lives. This is solely due to ‘Coach Micah.’”
To Micah, one of the greatest rewards of leading Insanity has been the strong personal relationships that have formed. Micah recounts that, “The connections, the bridges that are being built through this Insanity class are the relationships, the friendships, invitations to dinners, churches, water skiing…..a lot of bridges are being built, and I am very thankful for that. Very strong bridges that will last forever.” Micah is more than just a fitness instructor, he is a friend to those who have made Insanity a part of their lives thanks to Micah’s inspiring commitment to ensure that each individual is getting the best workout they can receive. Bob Paxton says, “I consider Micah a friend. We have lunch together occasionally and discuss family and what is happening in our lives. I’m trying to get him out to Lake Anna to teach him how to water ski, I would like to return the favor of how he gives me something to look forward to twice a week."
The Insanity workouts, which are quite challenging for most, come naturally to Micah. Micah views his physical ability, which has been apparent since childhood, as a gift. As a child growing up in rural South Carolina, Micah kept active doing work on his family’s farm. He recalls, “When summertime rolled around, I was out with my uncles learning how to drive a tractor, how to change tires. Those things kept me active, kept the fire burning. Those men whom I was around--they were my role models. Each one of those men brought their own gift to give to me. I’m like a product of all of my uncles. I’m standing on their shoulders. So, each day I don’t want to let them down.” Additionally, Micah describes standing on the shoulders of his cousins George, whom with respect and admiration he fondly called Jr., and Gary, who both played an instrumental role in encouraging Micah to move to Charlottesville after getting out of the military. Micah continued on to say that, “Those people that impacted me growing up, you guys are now feeling those people. You have never met my Uncle John, my Uncle George, my grandma, but you’re feeling them.”
Micah explains that Insanity supplies “so many benefits in and out of the studio. You still have that Insanity mentality even at work.” The Insanity mentality that Micah has fostered and created is one of pushing through struggles with a smile, and facing challenges with a positive frame of mind. Despite the physical demands of leading multiple Insanity classes in one day, Micah describes feeling “like a generator...the more classes I do the more energy I have...The more I do, the more I have to give.” The amount of energy that Micah brings into each and every class of Insanity is remarkable. The fire that burns inside of Micah enables him to light the spark inside of each individual who walks through the door for Insanity. Every person who walks into the studio after a long day of school or work is rejuvenated by the positive energy which flows outwardly from Micah. Micah describes that “love, sweat, and insanity” is what he is all about.