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Blonde On Blonde: An Artist and a Pro-Trainer On Being an Every Day Athlete

Tina Stormberg and Chloe Larouche talk about being in motion, finding stillness and the secret to a Beyonce body.
All Photos by Alice Baxley

From the outside, artist Tina Stormberg and kinesiologist Chloe Larouche live very different lives. Stormberg has designed sculptures for The Standard Hotel. Her work is displayed all over Los Angeles, where she also performs in a monthly drag/variety show called LA Kings, which is part-burlesque, part pro-wrestling, and all female power. Larouche spent much of her life as a pro-synchronized swimmer. Now she's an in-demand personal trainer in Los Angeles. That is, when she's not motorcycling around the city. But the two women find common ground in form and function – sharing a strong belief in sound-body, sound-mind. They met in the back of Wacky Wacko and Peggy Noland, Stormberg's studio in Echo Park, to talk about health, discipline, and the art of being an every day athlete.


BROADLY: You're both really athletic – have you always been that way?

Chloe Larouche: I grew up swimming 40 hours a week. I was going to school from 8 to noon and I was swimming from 1 to 6 PM. Every day of my life from 8 to 18 years old. When I stopped swimming, I replaced it with boxing. (Fitness) is like brushing my teeth. I never miss it. I never don't do it.

Tina Stormberg: I definitely miss days, but I am an athlete – I was my whole life. I played soccer. I was maybe going to play in college. I thought I had to stop doing sports as an artist because everyone at art school was a weird, non-athletic, stay inside person. So I would secretly go running. But then I accepted it and (now) I feel happy to be an artist and an athlete. I had to learn it wasn't mutually exclusive.

CL: Your work is physical!

TS: That's the thing - my work is always physically demanding, cause it's sculptures. I was just doing a mural that was 20 feet by 70 feet. I was up and down ladders all day. Usually my day-to-day work is physical.

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BROADLY: How do you describe the work you're doing now?

CL: I usually lie. (She laughs) I usually don't say what I do because when I do, it gets really annoying. People ask me what I think about their Crossfit, about different exercises. I say I'm a hairdresser. I'm like, "I'm in a club! I'm not going to tell you what (exercises) to do!"


TS: First session – go dance! (They laugh)

CL: I coach boxing now and I coach synchronized swimming and I do personal training - I go to people's houses.

TS: People do like talking about fitness in LA. I like knowing what everyone's regimens are.

CL: LA is a city about image.

TS: And it's an outdoorsy city – people are hiking a lot.

BROADLY: Where do you go to find stillness? Do you ever meditate?

CL: What do you mean? (laughs)

TS: I approach fitness as being part of my quiet time. Long-distance running. The first three years I lived in LA I did the marathon every year. I'd never done long-distance (before). It takes hours and hours to train. That is contemplative time and I approached it that way. A contemplative practice. Boxing is a type of meditation for me because it eliminates all the mental chatter. Which is the same thing that meditation does. It clears your mind. I still do try to be actually still and quiet. But it doesn't happen every day.

CL: I have to learn to do it. I grew up running like a chicken with its head cut off. I can't meditate. I can't nap during the day. I have to learn. The older you get the more you have to do it - cause your body talks to you.

BROADLY: We can get really goal-oriented when it comes to fitness. What would you tell someone who wants to set some new goals?

CL: If you're like, "I want a Beyonce body," I'm like, "Do you have Beyonce time?" You have to be realistic. Time. It's time. People are always like, "I want this quick." It's not going to happen. It's time that's the most important thing. And discipline. That's the only way to reach any goals. The time you're going to invest and the time it's going to take.


TS: I think knowing your body and picking the right things that are going to suit your health. Because some people, all they need is walking around. Or swimming once a week. Yoga.

CL: If you put yourself on a diet and you do it for a year, you're going to fuck it up in a year. If you do the same thing every other day, after six months you're going to be fed up. So I don't believe in routine. I believe in habits and in stuff you're going to enjoy. Just enjoy what you're doing and you're not going to get fed up with it. So many people say, "I do this on Monday, this on Tuesday, this on Wednesday … " I'm like, good luck with that - you'll last three months max!

TS: I also think people torture themselves.

CL: It doesn't work. It's also my personal opinion. Just don't put pressure on keeping something super regimented. It doesn't work. If you're an Olympic athlete it's different. But in general, enjoying and taking your time is the best way to do it.

BROADLY: What would you tell a friend looking for advice on finding balance?

TS: Never underestimate the importance of your physical body. It affects your mental and spiritual health so much. Any time I'm freaking out or having a melt down or feeling depressed, most times, either I haven't gotten a good night's sleep or I ate shit for a few days. It is endlessly surprising how easy it can be to stay sane if you just take care of your body.

CL: At this point - time is just the answer for everything I find. It's time.


To learn more about Chloe Larouche, click here. To learn more about Tina Stormberg, click here.

This article was created with Kit and Ace and was developed independently from Broadly's editorial staff.

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