RABBLE ROLE MODEL 2017 – MEGHAN JOYCE.
Meghan Joyce won our prestigious annual Role Model award for 2017. Meg has been playing with us for only one year and her enthusiasm and positivity has been felt by almost every member, chatting to everyone and encouraging other players.
Why did you move from the U.S. to London?
My arrival to London was a combination of hard work and excellent logistical planning. I am originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. During my time at University, I took a year to study in Florence, Italy and Berlin, Germany. On those adventures, I met many international students, with most being from the UK and Ireland. I wanted to live outside of the U.S.
Once I graduated, I almost immediately started working for a tech startup company in Minneapolis. We achieved success and the company moved me out to New York City to support our East Coast clients. After a year of living in the city that never sleeps, I realised it wasn’t for me so I moved back to headquarters in Minnesota. After a year at home, the company decided to expand internationally to London, with me leading the operations in Europe. So that’s how I engineered my move to London. I have been here for 2 years and I absolutely love it.
How and why did you join Rabble?
At the end of my first year in London, I realised that I was lonely and lacking a proper group of friends. It had taken a year for me to notice, as I was so busy soaking up every experience that London had to offer, but I was missing the feeling of belonging and community. As a New Years Eve resolution I resolved to find a community in London that I could be a part of. I quickly Googled “things to do when new to London” and Rabble kept showing up with excellent reviews. After quickly Googling what a Rabble was and what they did, I knew I had to try it out. I was always an active person, at minimum always active in three sports and I was missing that level of activity in London.
It was Rabble’s dedication to fitness and fun that won me over. I showed up to my first session (Game of Thrones) in the second week of January at Clapham Common. The air was freezing cold, the rain relentless, and the ground extremely muddy. I put on my, then white, trainers and began to play. What first struck me as unique was everyone making introductions, saying hello and welcoming me to the session. Not five minutes into the session I knew more than half of the names and people were cheering me on, offering encouragement and celebrating team wins. This lasted the entire session and I can remember at the end people coming up to me saying they hoped to see me again. That one-hour session did more to make me feel at home than one year in London chasing pubs, museums and brunch hot spots ever did!
I remember thinking, “Damn, Rabble needs to be everywhere. Let’s do this!” And it just so happened that I was going home to the U.S. for three weeks. I asked Charlotte if I could bring Rabble to Minnesota and she said “Wicked”. It was after that that she suggested I become an instructor and I immediately jumped at the chance. Rabble is easily the best part of my day. I wanted a way to bring my love of Rabble to all the players and becoming an instructor was the best way to do that.
How different is Rabble to other fitness experiences you’ve had?
I often frequented gyms only to run aimlessly on the treadmill or unenthusiastically lift free weights. I would join group fitness classing hoping to catch the elusive love for fitness. Nothing ever got me to that point. However, with Rabble, it has always been different. Its games are a mix of high-intensity cardio and endurance running, and these quickly forced me to become more active and fit. More than that, Rabble’s games are rooted in rules and activities that we grow up playing making it easy to catch on and remain a challenge to improve.
Rabble has perfected the art of playful fitness. It’s designed to draw you in, work off your inner competitiveness and allow you to enjoy the workout. I’ve never experienced anything else like it. On top of all of the fitness, Rabble offers a social element that is unparalleled to anything else in the market. Unlike other groups, Rabble’s social events are not a collection of awkward acquaintances saying hello and catching up on the weather. Rabble’s social events are an induction into the Rabble family, welcoming you to a larger network of like-minded, fun-seeking individuals.
Have your exercise patterns changed?
Rabble changed the way that I approach and interact with fitness. For many years, fitness has been my favourite nemesis; both loving the affects it offered but hating the effort it required. I love sports! In the U.S. I did swimming, ice hockey, football (soccer), volleyball, kickball, softball, pretty much any super American sport. I’m super enthusiastic about Rabble and often get into planning new games, helping out behind the scenes and expanding the Rabble brand. It was a constant quarrel between knowing I should be active and desiring to be somewhere else experiencing something else (usually drinks in a pub). Almost immediately after beginning Rabble, I began to get see fitness as a friend, as an escape that offered balance and structure to a fast-paced and stressful life.
I became addicted to the Rabble games (and I still am) – sometimes going to four or five sessions a week. The sessions challenge my fitness levels and push me to be fitter. In the last six months I’ve seen in myself increased endurance, 10kg+ weight loss, muscle toning, definition and increased agility. On top of the physical changes, Rabble has also reduced my stress and anxiety levels, often times being a kind therapy to my day. All of these positive changes have allowed me to establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle of continual fitness and healthy eating. I’ve found that not only has Rabble opened my eyes to all types of fitness but also it has allowed me to enjoy and appreciate it more.
How do you feel about Rabble?
Rabble has made me a better, happier person and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. As you explore its depth, you realise it is so much more… It is a well-rounded community encapsulating friendship, fitness, and fun. Ironically, fun is too small a word to express the amount the amount of enjoyment I get out of Rabble. Perhaps a better word to express my feeling of Rabble is ecstatic. Rabble has taught me about loving fitness and has given me a family in London. I can truly say I now that I found the sense of belonging and home that I was searching for. Rabble has changed my life in London.
It is likely for these reasons that I chose to give back to Rabble and become an instructor. Not only am I able to continue sessions with Rabble but also I am able to impart all of Rabble’s best qualities onto newbies. It’s one thing to be a player but to transition to instructor means supporting a business and community and actively working to see it grow. Through this, my passion for Rabble has grown even stronger. I can’t wait to see Rabble pop up in every city, expand to new countries, grow its community and change the way that the world views fitness. Rabble is going to continue to do what it does best, be a loud, disruptive group that shakes up the way we all interact with fitness.
Rabble is my life. Well honestly, Rabble is in my diary nearly every day of the week and that’s how I like it!
How did you find becoming an instructor?
The biggest surprise to me was how much I would miss playing while I instruct! Half the time I just want to jump in and start throwing the ball around or donkey tag people. Beyond that, I’ve been really impressed with the players. Everyone is so great to coach and attitudes are always so positive.
How did you feel winning your award?
Ecstatic. I was really excited to win the Rabble Role Model award. The Intercity City Awards is a night to celebrate all of the great things that make Rabble what it is and I am thrilled to be included in that. A lot of excellent people won awards that night!
Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
I like to thank Charlotte, Deb and Shivi. The three of them have been nothing short of inspiring, loyal and all-around amazing people to be around. They are inclusive, welcoming, encouraging and geniuses with gifs. London now feels like home because of them. They also do a lot of work behind the scenes to make Rabble the amazing group that it is.