You Really Gotta Meet… Bernie

I’m fortunate to know some pretty amazing people. Thanks to CrossFit, Weight Watchers, Roller Derby, and other wacky/fun/scary/silly adventures, I’m able to surround myself with best-quality people to humor me when I want to do The Murph and comfort me when my frexcitement gets the best of me. Good things are even better when they’re shared, so you really gotta meet…

Bernie Porter
Dayjob: Computer Programmer

Man! I can’t believe this: I’ve known Bernie for about a decade. We can’t be that old. Impossible!

We met making web sites in San Francisco at a big ol’ corporate web firm. When Dave and I relocated to Austin in 2001, we bragged and gushed about how much we loved it here, and a bunch of our friends followed us to the Lone Star state… including the fabulous Bernie.

As you read Bernie’s profile below, you’ll learn many cool factoids about her. But I’m going to let you in on a secret: The coolest thing about Bernie is that she has no idea how totally f*cking cool she is. Unlike me — who doesn’t have an unshared thought or a milestone (small or large) unheralded — she’s totally chill in the way she goes about things: an email question here, a no-big-deal purchase there, and suddenly, she’s got a CrossFit-ready home gym and is kickin’ out the WODs.

When I asked what’s she’s been up to lately, this is what she said:

“I currently row and rock climb. I’ve been rowing recreationally at Austin Rowing Club for a few years. Right now I row on a women’s quad. I just took up rock climbing. So far it’s very fun, but is kicking my ass.”

Uh-huh. That’s all. Just a little rowing and climbing.

To that list, you can add gymnastics (“Gymnastics was my first sports-love, and I haven’t really ever found anything I love as much.”) and belly dancing and running (“I ran the Austin marathon a few years ago.”)

Oh, yeah! I forgot to mention that she’s also a mom. An excellent mom. And gardener and… well… see for yourself.

What’s your favorite workout song and why?
I don’t listen to music when I work out, though I’ve been meaning to try it for running. I sometimes listen to This American Life or Fresh Air when I’m working out in my living room.

What’s your favorite healthy meal/snack?
I’m currently really into cottage cheese and grapefruit. Also, steel cut oats with blueberries.

What’s your favorite food indulgence?
Bread. I love bread.

Running skirts: yes or no. Why?
Probably not for me, but I encourage other women to pretty up the trails with them!

If you could workout with anyone — living or dead, fictional or real — who would it be? What would you do? Why?
This was a hard one to answer. I wanted to say maybe Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee, or one of my heros from gymnastics history. But, I settled on Linda Hamilton’s character from Terminator 2. She does pullups on the legs of her up-ended hospital bed. She has a stash of serious weapons hidden in the desert. She fights a Terminator. So. Bad. Ass.

Maybe we’d do a nice run through the desert, followed by some knife throwing. I would think Linda’s workout must be very functional.

OK! You’ve just had the workout/race/competition of your life. Congratulations! How do you celebrate?
A long hot shower and something big for dinner, like Tex Mex and beer.

Pretend you’re creating your dream team of people you like to train with. What’s your team name? What are your team colors? Any specifics on what your uniforms look like?
Well, I have thought some about this. I like to spin elaborate fantasy scenarios when I’m doing a long endurance workout, like running or rowing. For example, on cold dark nights, when the river is lonely and it’s just our little boat of four, I like to pretend we’re women from some ancient fishing village preparing for a hunt, out on a pre-dawn scouting mission. So our uniforms would probably be animal pelts and maybe some ceremonial body paint. You know, for luck.

What’s your trick for getting motivated when you’re just not feelin’ it?

  1. Get dressed.
  2. Do *anything* at all. For example, just 10 pushups is enough.

Often after doing *something* I feel like doing more.

Do you have any advice/tricks for people who are thinking about working out but need a kick-in-the-pants to start?
Get a wall calendar. For every day that you do *anything* at all, put a red X through that day. See how long you can make the chain of Xs.

Got a favorite quote?
“Go easy. But if you can’t go easy, go as easy as you can.”

Anything else you want people to know about you?
I gave birth to my daughter at home, in a completely natural labor and delivery. I’m immensely proud of that, but it’s not something that ever really comes up in normal conversation.

I’m a terrible swimmer and I dislike water slides and amusement parks. I can juggle and walk on my hands. My first thumb joints bend backwards into a C shape.

Someday I hope to leave the sordid world of web programming and start my own landscaping company.

Meet Mark Schneider

This is Mark: In addition that winning smile, he's got a huge heart and a giant brain. He's my coach and trainer. And now he...

Read More
A Chat With Nom Nom Paleo

It's no secret that I think Michelle Tam, a.k.a. Nom Nom Paleo, is the cat's pajamas. We've been friends for years now, but we "met"...

Read More