Teammate of the Month: Karl H

Karl Haraldsson is a man about town. But if you haven’t caught him biking around the city, you can catch him at Paramount. Just be sure to get up early. Of course, if you intend to sleep in, you can get to know Karl a little better here. He’s an interesting guy with a wide range of interests. Oh, and he might possibly be part Viking. 

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Lubbock, Texas.

What do you do for a living? And what does that mean you do on a typical day?
I work for a legal technology company called LexPredict. On a typical day, I’m either in a
bunch of client meetings or doing data science. Y’know, fun stuff. 

When do you typically work out?
I prefer to work out in the mornings.

What are some of your favorite things to do (beside working out obviously)?
I enjoy reading, mostly sci-fi and fantasy novels. I also like to smoke meats, Texas-style obviously. I enjoy eating at awesome restaurants and drinking boozy whiskey cocktails. In addition, I’m a fan of Divvying to get around town. I’m a supporter of the Cubs and FC Barcelona.  

What’s something about you that people at the gym might not know?
My father is from Iceland.

Why did you first start coming to Paramount?
I felt like I was becoming too sedentary, and regular gyms weren’t cutting it for me. I used to go to gyms on my own or with friends off and on for years, but I could rarely sustain a rhythm.

I wanted to instill in myself a sense of accountability, and that’s exactly what Paramount has done.
— Karl H

What can you do now in workouts that you couldn’t do before?
I feel like I can push myself to exhaustion on the rower, then push even harder in the
final 100 to 200 meters.

Favorite exercise / workout?
Rowing on the erg, hands down.

How do you feel about working out with your significant other?
I like it. It often catalyzes my competitive side. My significant other has always been in
much better shape than me, but I sure as hell am not going to drop my plank until she’s
done too.

Deserted Island Q&A—list a few things you’d want if you were stuck on one.

What movies / TV shows would you bring?
Game of Thrones, Westworld, LOST, Star Trek: The Next Generation (duh), 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Parks & Rec, Atlanta, The Great Escape, The Lion King

What books?
o Everything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
o I guess Franzen’s stuff—never read any of his books, but they’re waiting on the shelf.
o The Stormlight Archive (nerd alert)
o The Expanse series
o and various biographies

What food?
As much easily preserved food as I can carry.

What music?
Chance the Rapper, Anderson .Paak, Solange, Leon Bridges, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Vampire Weekend, and Fleet Foxes

Tolerance is Key

 Photo by  Levi Saunders  on  Unsplash

Photo by Levi Saunders on Unsplash


When we say "you," we really mean every individual who wants to swing some kettlebells, not exclusively you. Obviously. Paramount should be a home away from home for anyone who steps foot in the door. We don't care about your fitness level, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliation.  

Here, we welcome diversity in all walks of life, from the clothes you wear to your ideological values. It really shouldn’t matter if you want to work out in your middle school PE shorts or a designer workout top. And frankly, it shouldn’t matter who you voted for. As long as your heart isn’t full of hate and you’re respectful of one another, you’ll help us create an even better place to exercise. Simply come as you are and have a good attitude.

I know I shouldn’t have to state this at any time in our history, but I just wanted to make it crystal clear. Intolerance will not be tolerated. Hate has no home here.

If you feel otherwise, we respect your right to exercise elsewhere.

You're Awesome

First, let it be known we think you’re awesome. But even if you’re at the furthest reaches of your awesomeness, you can always become a little more awesome. And we believe Paramount can help you extend the limitations of what makes you so great.

Here at Paramount, we have one goal—to help you become more awesome. And that means helping you become stronger, move better, and feel your best. We want you to be absolutely confident in your movements. You might wonder why we’re so invested in this. Well, we believe feeling great about your body and mind is the best way to achieve ultimate awesomeness. And that pays dividends to the world around you.  

 Photo by  Valeria Zoncoll  on  Unsplash

Basically, if you feel awesome, you’ll be able to keep up with your kids, love your significant other, enjoy life, and crush it at work. In turn, that helps everyone else aspire to be just as awesome as you. Your awesomeness is inspirational and infectious, so get out there and help the world be a little more awesome. We deserve it. 

Teammate of the Month | Emily T

Brains and brawn. It’s an unstoppable combination. In fact, most of us would be lucky just to claim one of these attributes. But this month’s athlete has both. She’s Emily Twichell, Ph.D. Though a self-professed “nerd,” she’s really a professor of badassery. 


We recently caught up with Emily, and she was kind enough to grant us an interview. Now, it’s your turn to get to know her better.

First off, where did you grow up? 

Just outside of Rochester, New York.

What do you do for a living? Could you walk us through a typical day?

I’m a Change Management consultant, which means I spend most of my time helping business leaders implement changes more effectively, all without driving employees crazy.

When do you typically work out?

[I attend] 6:15 pm night classes as well as a Saturday or Sunday workout here and there.

What’s your favorite Logan Square eatery?

It’s cliché, but I have to say Parson’s on a nice day…when you don’t have to wait hours.

What’s your favorite place to grab an adult beverage?  

I’m a sucker for the ‘70’s vibe at Heavy Feather.

What are some of your favorite things to do (besides working out obviously)?

I like to travel. I spend a lot of my weekends visiting friends and family. Recently, I went to Costa Rica, and I’m now planning trips to Hong Kong, Thailand, and Cambodia in the fall.

What’s something about you that your fellow gym buddies might not know?

I’m a fairly big nerd. I have a Doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, which is a fancy name for what I explained above.

Why did you first start coming to Paramount?

I was doing a lot of yoga at the time, but it wasn’t helping me reach my fitness goals. I knew these [Paramount] classes would be higher intensity, and they would create accountability to work out on a more regular basis. I was right!

What can you do now in workouts that you couldn’t do before?

I had never done rowing before starting at Paramount. Unfortunately, as soon as I started liking it, I sprained my ankle and can’t row for a while. 

Favorite exercise/workout?

So hard to pick just one! I like doing any type of circuit training with different exercises at each station – it’s fun and goes by super quickly.

Okay, it’s time for our famed “Desert Island Q&A.” If you were stuck on one, what would you bring of the following?

Movies and/or TV Shows:

I love thrillers and crime drama TV, so Law & Order SVU, the Killing, the Fall, and Sherlock Holmes to name a few.


I can’t re-read books, but probably some kind of historical fiction.


If it’s not likely I’m getting off the island, and I somehow have an endless supply of grilled cheese, I’m going to eat it.


Mix of classic rock and alternative/indie tunes.