Megan Gressel was a popular pilates instructor in Oakland. She used to talk to me about her dreams of opening her own studio in her El Cerrito community. Well, I am so proud of her, because, guess what? She did it. Plank + Power is now open.
Insights, stories and interviews about homeownership and living in the East Bay
From a Piedmont native, Emmy award-winning television journalist-turned-home matchmaker, part-time radio anchor, UCLA graduate, wife and mother of 3.
MEGAN, WHAT IS IT LIKE TO SEE YOUR DREAM ACTUALLY BECOME A REALITY?
It’s been pretty wild. I had this dream of having a space for the community to enjoy movement and see each other. The other day, we had one mom from school leaving a class and a mom she knew was coming in after class. They started talking and I was like, wow, it’s all happening. We’re the meeting place for these PTA moms, which was kind of the dream.
WHAT ACTUALLY MADE YOU DECIDE TO GO FOR IT? I KNOW YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT IT FOR A WHILE? WHAT MADE YOU ACTUALLY DECIDE TO TAKE THAT LEAP AND DO IT?
So, El Cerrito is kind of a sleepy town in the sense that I feel like people don’t totally know about it. They know Berkeley, they know Oakland. And so for years I’ve been teaching in San Francisco or Oakland, but I’ve always wanted something here. And during the pandemic El Cerrito went from being a town where people slept and then commuted into the city to being a town where people spent a lot of time. But there’s not a ton of stuff for us to do here. So I was like, now is the time. I have to get on it before somebody else figures out that this is not just a sleepy town.
SO HOW SCARY WAS IT?
It’s been very scary. We spent all of our money making this happen. And, you know, it’s like you’re throwing a party and you hope people will show up. You never know. You don’t want to be sitting at the party with your party hat on all by yourself.
WHAT HAS THE REACTION BEEN FROM THE COMMUNITY?
It’s been really overwhelming. We’ve had a lot of people sign up for memberships. A lot of people come in and try our newbie specials. The community seems to have really been wanting something like this. I feel like the people in El Cerrito like to support small. They’re not into big box fitness or big box stores, so having something small and local that they can support feels like it’s been really warmly received.
SO WHAT IS PLANK + POWER?
Plank + Power is an endurance workout. It’s 45 minutes super efficient, but even though it’s high intensity and requires endurance, it’s low impact on joints. So if you’ve got old injuries that have healed but still really want to work out, this is the workout for you.
AND SO WHO CAN DO IT? CAN ANYBODY DO PLANK + POWER?
Anybody can do it. The workouts can be scaled up for athletes, people that are really, really fit and want to really push themselves. We can always give them cues to make things harder. Or if you are recovering from an injury or you’ve recently had a baby or you’ve just never worked out, we have plenty of ways to scale back so that the workouts are still tailored to you.
MEGAN OF PLANK + POWER, THANK YOU.
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