This month, we’re featuring Colin Manning, General Manager of Membership & Fitness at First Ascent. He’s new-ish to climbing (and catching the bug), so we asked him some questions about fitness. Reach out to Colin at colin@firstascentclimbing.com!

How did you get into fitness?

I had been a life-long athlete, and after college and moving into the corporate world, I needed to find a better alternative to health and wellness outside of the normal globo-gym setting. I began getting certified in various aspects of the fitness industry and eventually became passionate enough to open my own gym.

What do you love about fitness?

Pushing my limits beyond what I thought I was capable of. Seeing the direct correlation between hard work and results.

What other outdoor activities do you participate in?

Anything and everything outdoors…the more time I can spend outside the better. I have no limits and will try anything, so I’m slowly checking different things off of my list. Currently, I’m learning how to use a compound bow.

Do you have any particular fitness goals for this year?

Nothing specific to fitness, but I am looking to build a pole barn and home gym on my back property in the coming year.

What keeps you busy when you’re not at First Ascent?

My house and my property. My house was built in 1930, so I spend a lot of time working on remodeling the house. I also have several acres of land and 18 acres of water that I have been slowly developing. I’m looking to begin growing some of my own food next year.

What do you love about Chicago?

The sports and the people. After living all over the United States, nothing beats the passion of Chicago sports fans and the genuine attitude Chicagoans have.

What is your favorite Chicago spot for food, music, art or culture?

Au Cheval absolutely lives up to its reputation, Cafe Robey Rooftop is a good place to grab a drink for a hell of a view of the city skyline, Violet Hour is still a staple for pre-dinner drinks, Publican is a quality go-to for both drinks and food, RPM Steak & RPM Italian (along with all LEYE venues) always deliver on great service, but I live out in the suburbs, so I tend to stick to my local spots.

What is something about you that most people don’t know?

I attended the University of Hawaii, Indiana University, and University of Nevada Las Vegas. I have 3 rescued Mastiffs. I drink entirely too much coffee every day. I am obsessed with Texas but will forever think In-n-Out is FAR superior to Whataburger.

Anything else you want to say to the FA community?

I absolutely love when people join me for a workout, so if anyone ever wants to jump in with me or schedule a day and time to work out together, e-mail me and we can work out together: colin@firstascentclimbing.com