FitLabPGH is a podcast about movement and movement opportunities in the Pittsburgh, PA area. Once a week we also highlight a FitLabPGH mover…someone who understands that movement is a lifestyle…not just an activity. The questions are lightly edited to allow for easy readability. Click FitLabPGH Features for more info if you want to be featured/know someone who should be featured.
This Week: Ryan Popple
Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? I moved to Pittsburgh 10 years ago. Back then I was really into BMX. The riding scene here was/still is really good for bmx. A lot of my friends that I would travel, ride and compete with lived in Pittsburgh. I would come to visit, ride and party with them every summer, before eventually moving here and becoming a full time resident. Due to injuries I had to hang up the bmx. Now I am a cyclist of a couple different disciplines. The cycling community in Pittsburgh is awesome. Very welcoming, all inclusive and positive.
What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? -Cycling (cyclocross, MTB, road/gravel) -Hiking -Yoga
Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? It’s hard to choose the best, but a couple years ago my wife and I went to Sedona, which was amazing. We met up with some friends to do some of the best, technical and scary mountain biking and hiking that I’ve ever experienced. It’s beautiful out there.
What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? Depends on the time of day and workout but… Pre- normally a good breakfast. Steel cut oats with fruit. Post- a smoothie with a scoop of Coco Elite protein powder.
What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. Lately it’s been the poke bowl from Reed&CO. Everything on the menu is amazing.
Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? This winter I had planned on taking up more running, but an injury has kept me from doing too much of anything lately. Luckily it wasn’t worse, and I should be clear for all activities very soon. I’ve also been very interested in jujitsu for a while. I just need to make the time and drop down to True Believer for some beginner classes.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? Motivation and accessibility.
What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? I went to Australia 6 years ago on a BMX trip. I met up with some friends that lived in Sydney. The very first thing we did was jump off some sea cliffs into the ocean. The locals call it “the blow hole.” It wasn’t too high of a jump, maybe like 40/50ft, but then the scary/sketchy part… to swim through a cave and come out on the other side of the headland. The cave was about 50 yards long and narrowed as it went on. This particular day the water was choppy and had a washing machine feel. Once in the cave, we had to dive underwater each time a wave came to avoid being smashed up on the cave ceiling and walls. It was hectic, exciting and could have been deadly. I never felt more alive.
What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? I’m really into yoga. Yin yoga to unwind before bed it my favorite. I also use a foam roller everyday.
What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) Emerald View trail system has some great views of downtown and the point.
Contact info for Ryan Popple: