name : Blake Raymond
hometown : Boston & Los Angeles "split"
age : 33
favorite Split flavor : Peanut Butter and Blueberry
dream Split flavor : Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cream (fluffernutter). Maybe get some Nutella involved?
how do you Split? : Rice Cake in one hand, Split in the other… sometimes they meet!
What do you do for work?
"Fitness Professional" – I'm a jack-of-all-trades trainer, including one-on-one sessions in strength and conditioning, physical therapy and preventative exercises, and helping athletes maximize performance. Then I also teach group classes like HIIT and bootcamps, and some spin classes.
What do you do for fun?
I love a good marathon, which means I'm usually in either gear-up mode or wind-down mode. I did four last year, and aiming for two this year. I recently did the Boston Marathon, so for now I'm in "off" mode trying to do more yoga, weight training… basically anything other than running to keep things fresh and try some new activities. I also love cooking and hosting friends to do a big spread!
Between fitness being your work and your hobby, how do you stay motivated and keep it fresh?
The whole marathon running thing is definitely one way to mix it up! As far as keeping work exciting, it's actually pretty easy because it's a totally different set of motivations. There are days I don't feel like teaching the class I have scheduled, just like there are days I don't particularly feel like running for ten miles, but I think of the people that are showing up to sweat and I do it for them, not for me.
Why and how do you use Split in each of your "personalities"?
I love Split because it's easy and accessible. I can take one everywhere I go, and I really do – there's one in my car and my backpack at all times. Sometimes I just rip the jelly and use it during my marathon training when I need a sugar blast that won't fill me up. When I'm home from a session I'll stick it on a rice cake - sweet and salty!
What is your biggest passion – what excites you and motivates you?
Bringing people together and uniting for fitness. At the end of the day, I'm really a community enthusiast – I call it "social sweating". I'm lucky to be able to make a career out of my passion, and I just try keep that in perspective at all times.
How do you make your community better?
I just try to be passionate about what I do and try to get as many people involved as possible, so it's about accessibility really. I pride myself on being a great hand-holder – anyone at any level can show up to an event and I'll do whatever I can to make it a painless experience. I host group runs around LA and try to make it as communal as possible, getting high-schoolers involved, bringing dogs. I think a lot of folks are so busy and stressed, and I try to contribute with a relaxed space to just shake off the dust. Exercise doesn't have to be intimidating!