The District Dude - Mike Chabala

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Bend it like Beckham is a thing of the past. It's 2018 and more like kick it like Chabala.

In honor of the Fifa World Cup starting TODAY, we're excited to feature former Houston Dynamos player Mike Chabala! Hailing from California, this athlete is already achieving his Houston #goals on and off the field. Founder of Sphere Club, a soccer inspired fitness group, you'll find Mike coaching classes around town. Check out his feature to read his tips and tricks as well as favorite Houston hot spots.

In the words of Mike himself: "Let's kick it."

What was the inspiration behind starting Sphere as a soccer-inspired fitness class?
I created Sphere because of the lack of support on and off the field from Major League Soccer when I was left without a contract in 2014. I missed the locker room and saw an opportunity in the field that I could exploit. I wanted to change the game. I was forced to enter corporate America while continuing to train myself in case I was presented with an opportunity to get back into the league, I found myself exploring fitness classes and concepts and completely underwhelmed with the experience and atmosphere. looked at fitness classes and concepts that could supplement the structure and atmosphere that I needed to be at the peak of my game. More than that, I wanted to connect with like-minded people. Class after class and concept after concept disappointed and frustrated me. When I realized that what I was looking for was something that didn't yet exist, I created it.

If we were to take a soccer lesson from you, what’s the first skill you’d teach us to master? Always be moving! One of the greatest skills to master in soccer has nothing to do with your footwork on the ball. It’s what you do away from the ball and how you support your teammates as a larger whole. If you’re standing still and watching, you might as well be on the bench.

River Oaks District is known for high-fashion apparel and accessories - Tom Ford, Hermes, Dolce & Gabbana … what’s your favorite retailer when shopping for a new look? Honestly, youd be hard-pressed to find me outside of athletic gear, so I’m either wearing our signature sphere apparel or something from Lululemon. For high-fashion, my go-to is Tom Ford. At the end of the day, it’s about more than the name. It’s about the brand. I respect companies that never compromise their attention to detail. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

When you have some time to relax and play, where do you like to go in Houston? I’m usually working out at sphere or the Four Seasons Downtown. To relax, I am a huge fan of Healing Waters Float Spa. I work hard to push my physical body to its limit, and I’ve found that floating is incredibly healing for body, mind, and SOLE.

You need a caffeine boost, so you stop by Toulouse for a coffee - what’s your order?
Espresso with almond milk 

When someone from out of town comes to visit - where is the first place you take them in Houston? First place, a Sphere class. Second place, 13 Celsius for wine and s’mores.

Erin Suvalsky