Tag Archives: fitness

Today: Being responsibly indulgent.

The change in seasons, the end of Daylight Saving Time, and the final weeks of my pregnancy have combined forces to make me, basically, an exhausted grouch.  I had a routine appointment with our midwife last week (and am headed to see our ob-gyn this morning) and while everything is still going great, she told me in no uncertain terms that it’s time to slow down.  

There are going to be days when Grace doesn’t nap (payback, perhaps, for my own unwillingness to nap as a baby) or when my car needs to have its actuator replaced (and don’t worry, I called it an actuary… like the person who provides actuarial services… when speaking with the mechanic #whyme), and slowing down is just not in the cards.

But I’m quickly seeing just how many opportunities I do have to take it easy (or easier).  And while this often feels a lot like being indulgent, I also know it’s downright important.  I’d like to avoid getting sick or overly run down or more grouchy during these last few weeks, and ensure that I’m enjoying as much time as possible playing and reading and dancing and drawing with my silly, precocious, thoughtful and fun only child.  While she’s still our only child.

Ideally, I’d nap when Grace naps… but not only is her nap schedule unreliable, I can rarely sleep during the day.  I can, however, curl up on the sofa with Clark (and leave the dishes and laundry and writing projects and whatever else until later) and the baby monitor.  And that’s got to count for something.  I like to think of this hour or so (and any other chance I have to put my feet up) as being responsibly indulgent.  Here are few other ways I am indulging.

Being responsibly indulgent

Rethinking what constitutes exercise: I finished up my last outdoor bootcamp class last week and did not renew my membership or by a class pass for the new season.  While I absolutely loved the workouts and getting together with the other women and their kids, I just had the sense it was time.  One thing that has been different (and I am so grateful for this) the second time around, is that I am less inclined to compare myself to other pregnant women.  I’m much better at trusting my own instincts.

Instead of going to class, I’ve been making sure to get out of the house for walks (albeit, slow ones — and I’ve stopped wearing my fitbit, for now, because… welp, my weekly step count was getting depressing) with Grace.  We’ve made two trips to the Trailside Museum in the last week.  We’re getting plenty of fresh air, plus bonus points for improving our mental health by walking in nature.

Poodle doodles Being playful: We’ve got enough serious business to attend to as adults.  I try to draw or paint every day, which is usually very restorative, but sometimes I take even that too seriously.  I was recently inspired by one of Grace’s favorite books (it’s so, so good)– Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson— and cracked open a new sketchbook and doodled some poodles.  And Frenchies.   Happy, playful, and not at all serious.

Making “down time” appointments: This is more of a big indulgence, but sometimes we just need to treat ourselves.  The spa inside Whole Foods Market South End recently rebranded and when I saw they were offering prenatal massages, I jumped at the chance to book an appointment.  They were offering a 10% discount during the spa’s relaunch, but their prices are really reasonable… plus, you can get your grocery shopping done while you’re there.  Multi-tasking is (usually) responsible and (definitely) indulgent when a massage is involved.  The massage with LaToya was absolutely blissful and I am definitely looking forward to going back.  I wish scheduling in down time came as easily as scheduling in the necessary stuff (like last week’s dental cleaning… woof).  

Reading more, watching less:  Our midwife had all kinds of suggestions for (attempting) to get more sleep.  Unfortunately, I’ve been super uncomfortable at night and barely logged two hours the night before my appointment.  We’ve heard it all before, but when the woman you’ve entrusted with nine months of care for you and your child speaks up, you listen: limit screen time, don’t watch murder shows, don’t watch the news, don’t read anything upsetting, ease into bed and let your brain know you’re winding down.  Old habits die hard.  I sleep with my phone next to my head, the baby monitor cranked up to “can be heard on Mars” level, and you know I love a good true crime story (which is not to say that I love when crimes happen…).  But with the help of some new reading material, I’m making progress.  I’ve been watching less TV and crawling into bed as early as I can.  I’m currently working through Food Gift Love, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, and the current issue of Yoga Journal.

I could get used to this whole being indulgent thing.

Also On Tap for Today:

How do you (responsibly or irresponsibly) indulge?

Today: Currently | September 2015

We’re more than half-way through September and my fellow old folks and I are left to wonder, Where has the time gone?  I’ve been feeling a bit in limbo (but physically unable to actually limbo) lately.  

Part of me wants this third trimester and all its grouchiness, discomfort and ill-fitting pants to fly by.  And part of me has always wished the calendar went Winter, Spring, Summer, Christmas.  But most of me wants to freeze time… or at the very least, slow it down a bit.  Even if that does mean being surrounded by fall decor (a.k.a. the worst) a bit longer.  Pants and faux pumpkins aside, here’s what’s currently going down.

Currently | September 2015

Currently feeling…

  • A little adrift and a lot disorganized.  Which is unsettling.  I usually have my act way under control, but I’m finding myself losing track of my keys, doctor’s appointments, and days of the week.  I’ve resorted to using Google Calendar (I’m usually paper-and-pen only), my regular planner and a dry erase calendar.  I’m making more lists than usual.  I’m triple-checking my handbag before leaving the house.  And I still forget something.
  • Like I sort of miss the back-to-school rush.  Sort of.  I love being home with Grace (and I know this was the right decision), but this is first year I haven’t been swept up in that new year’s feeling that used to come with September.  I did treat myself to some new school supplies paint, though.  Which brings us to…

Currently watching…

  • Paint dry.  I put together a new watercolor palette this morning and keep peeking to see how it’s setting up.  (I’ll probably let the paint sit overnight before using it.)  I’ve been using a pre-filled palette for ages, and am excited to see how limiting my colors and being selective will affect my creative process.  Then again… 18 shades is not really a limited selection.

  • Grace, Clark and mini-plastic-Clark snuggled up on the sofa.  They melt my heart.
  • Football… but only because it’s on.  And hockey is not.

Currently reading…

A little doodle from earlier this month

  • Articles about potty training.  Because Grace decided a few months ago that diapers are weird.  I don’t blame her.  And while I appreciate her enthusiasm for forgoing the diapers, I wish she were a bit less interested in testing out every, single bathroom available to her.  From her new gymnastics gym to Target to the Chatham Fish Pier… we’ve seen and experienced ’em all.
  • Mindy Kaling’s new book, Why Not Me?.  Because she can do no wrong.
  • A Nest is Noisy — fascinating for me and the little one.

Currently creating…

  • A gold leaf and shell homage to summer
  • A pre-baby check list (which I will likely lose and/or forget about… see above).

Currently enjoying…

Apparently this is what Grace thinks my workouts look like… she’s not far off.

  • Outdoor workouts and lots of stretching.  
  • Making plans with friends.  
  • Rediscovering old favorites on Spotify, including Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day” and basically anything on the 90s Pop Radio Hits playlist.

bulu box

  • New mid-workout treats.  As a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I had a chance to check out last month’s Bulu Box for free.  I’m a sucker for monthly boxes — they’re such a fun way to find new products. I think a Bulu Box would make a great gift for the athletes on your list this holiday season (Too soon?  Nah…).  The August box was sort of hit or miss for me, but I suppose that comes with the territory.  I loved the movit energy gummies and racefood fastbar — both were perfect for a mid-bootcamp boost. I received a weight loss supplement, which (even if I weren’t pregnant) is not really my jam.  Similarly, I’ve cut back on the caffeine, but I have a feeling the Runa tea included last month will come in handy soon enough.  I’ve loved other Runa drinks I’ve tried and look forward to brewing a nice hot cup once our little guy arrives.  I (thankfully) haven’t had occasion to use the fourth item included in my Bulu Box — an anti-itch cream — but hey, you never know.  If you’re interested in your own Bulu Box (or one for a pal), use the discount code SWEATPINK to save 50% on a three month subscription.

Alright, time to go peek at that paint again.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you subscribe to any monthly boxes?  Which are your favorites?

Today: Yoga on the beach.

One surefire way to make yoga more enjoyable? Take it to the beach.

Nick, Grace and I are enjoying a few days of R + R at the Cape, and so when Charlotte, who heads up marketing for the new Boston-based startup MoveWith invited me to check out their classes and take one for free, I assumed I’d have to put that off until we were back in the city.

horseshoe crab

However, I was thrilled to find a beach yoga class just a few jetties away in Harwich Port.  I snuck out of the house early on Monday and had time to collect a few treasures before the hour-long class with Katelyn Gleason started.  Katelyn was so friendly and welcoming and quick to offer pregnancy-friendly modifications and lots of encouragement.  And all that sun, sand and crashing waves meant, basically, the best quick nap savasana ever.

Katelyn teaches this vinyasa flow twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays– check MoveWith for more details) and plans to teach in the Boston area this fall.  Class was so wonderful Monday that I quickly recruited a friend, signed up and paid for today’s class online.  I left my yoga mat at home and just used a beach towel, which was perfect (live and learn).  It was another beautiful way to start the day.   Just when I thought the Cape could get more relaxing…yoga on the beach.

A few other classes I have my eye on for upcoming workouts:

Most MoveWith classes are $10-15 and there is no monthly or long-term commitment, which I love, and they are currently working with instructors in Boston and San Francisco.  Check ’em out.

And the meet me at the beach?

Also On Tap for Today:

When was the last time you took a good savasana or nap or zone-out?

 

Today: Currently | July 2015

If I see or hear one more back to school commercial…  Lord, help me.  Because of all that snow, the last day of school in Boston this year was June 29th, which was basically five minutes ago.  So, please… let’s keep those school supplies out of sight for at least another month.  

[Also, this is the first time since I was in kindergarten that my life doesn’t essentially revolve around an academic calendar.  So that’s kind of weird.  After graduating, my work was largely tied to school partnerships and while I never had a summer break, things always really ramped up in September.  Now that I’m home, I think Grace, Clark and I will spend September at the beach.  Or, like… doing laundry.]

This isn’t a post about graphing calculators (do kids still use those?), though… right?  Right.

Currently | July 2015

Currently feeling…

  • Thrilled to have shared our news with you and grateful for all the love and support
  • Like it’s 95 degrees and I am pregnant (because it is, and I am)
  • Excited about our upcoming vacation
  • Like life has changed so much in the past two months.  “Clean out the pantry” has been on my to do list since June, I sometimes forget to shower, and I caught myself having a semi-serious (albeit one-sided) conversation with my dog yesterday.  But I don’t think I could be happier being home with Grace. 

Currently eating…

  • As much fresh produce as I can get my hands on– tomatoes and berries, especially.  I loved our trips to the farmers market (here and here) this month.
  • 900 popsicles a day

Currently watching…

  • “On the Way to School,” a beautiful documentary about several children and the challenges the overcome (in most cases, daily) to get to school.  It’s surprisingly uplifting.  And I want everyone to watch it. (It’s available on Netflix.)
  • File these next two under much less enlightened: Candidly Nicole on Hulu+ (fellow Simple Life fans, rejoice!) and Naked and Afraid XL on Discovery.  Both make me laugh, like, a lot.

Currently creating…

  • Some fun little sketches and paintings in my new sketchbook (details here).  I got out of the habit of painting daily this month, but have started to get back on track this week.
  • Playlists galore.  We’ve been in the car a lot (going from one fun thing to the next), and making good use of that Spotify subscription.
  • A plan for the second half of the summer and a list of everything I’d love to do, see, and enjoy
  • Lots of Chatbooks (they’re 20% through today with the code HOLDON) — I am officially obsessed after making a little book of photos from our 4th of July on the Cape.

Currently enjoying…

  • Lots of great workouts.  I absolutely love the outdoor bootcamp (yes, even in the blazing heat) I’ve been attending and have started working in prenatal yoga videos a couple times a week.  
  • Swimming as much as possible.  We’ve been in the water a lot this month, from swimming class with Grace to pool days at my parents’ house and dips in the ocean in Southie and on the Cape.
  • An unusual (but welcomed) desire to make plans.  No one would mistake me for a social butterfly, but maaaaan, I love spending time with our friends and family.

Also On Tap for Today:

What were some of your July highlights?

 

Today: Ready for Action! (a preview and giveaway)

One of the many advantages to being home these days is the opportunity to take my workouts outside.  In addition to long walks and short runs at Castle Island (who can beat that view?), Grace and I recently started joining my sister-in-law and friends for a stroller-friendly bootcamp a few mornings a week. 

I am absolutely loving it.  It’s exactly the structure and community I’ve been craving.  I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun working out, and it certainly helps having a cute little spectator cheering me on.  After having spent most of the winter cooped up inside, though, it’s taken me a while to get my act together in prepping for these workouts.  From sunscreen and plenty of water, to diaper stuff, toys and snacks (Grace snacks while I work out… I think she has the right idea), to a yoga mat and resistance bands, I’m bound to forget something.

After falling for nearly every product inside the Hello, Beauty! bag from Whole Foods Market, I was so excited to hear that they would be releasing a second bag, filled with Whole Body products, just in time for summer…. and just in time for me to stop making a second or third trip back inside our condo before bootcamp.  

My lovely friends at Whole Foods Market River Street in Cambridge hooked me up with a complimentary Ready for Action bag to preview before they are available in stores on Saturday… aaaand I’ve got one for you, too!

Each Ready for Action bag contains a carefully curated collection: sunscreen, aloe, Toms of Maine deodorant, arnica gel, Nuun electrolyte tablets and superfood shake mixes, along with coupons for other great products.  And the bag itself is really cheery.  It is hand-printed bag by RIJI Green, a company committed to ending human trafficking.  It’s perfect for storing sunscreen and snacks (clearly, we are all about the snacks) in your beach or gym bag.

When it comes to active living, our local Whole Foods Market really is a one-stop shop.  I know the products and ingredients on the shelves are going to be safe and family-friendly, which I can’t necessarily say about so-called nutrition and supplement stores.  

I couldn’t wait to put the Goddess Garden Organics Natural Sunscreen and Boiron Arnicare Gel to good use during this week’s workouts, and I’m looking forward to mixing the Amazing Grass vanilla chai Amazing Meal into my next shake.

You can pick up a Ready for Action bag for just $12 (it is valued at $50) tomorrow, Saturday June 27th at 10 AM at your local U.S. Whole Foods Market store, in the Whole Body department.

Ready for Action giveaway

I’m excited to share a Ready for Action bag with one U.S. reader.  To enter, please comment below.  A winner (though… you’re, like, all winners… and don’t you forget it) will be randomly selected on Tuesday, June 30th.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your list of summer essentials?

Today: With a little time and a little space.

I used to be a morning exerciser.  I’d wake up before my alarm rang, head to bootcamp or the gym at our old condo.  It would still be dark and quiet when I returned from my workout, and I’d be ready to take on the day.

Fitting in fitness when you have a little time, and a little space

And then I traded morning workouts to become an evening exerciser.  I’d rush home and get changed, and Nick and I would head to CrossFit Southie together.  Like my morning workouts, evening workouts became part of our routine.  

And then I became a parent, and the only thing routine about our routine… is that everything changes from one day to the next.  There have been countless days when I’ve thought, “I’ll get up early and workout before work,” only to find myself up most of the night, nursing Grace and singing made up words to made up songs until she fell back to sleep.  There have been just as many days when I’ve thought, “I’ll workout when I get home.”  But when six o’clock rolls around, what I really need is a nap. 

These days, plans to workout don’t always pan out.  In fact, it seems they rarely do.  What does work, though, is fitting in a little fitness when I can, where I can.  I may not be able to count on an hour at the gym each night, but I can count on a 15 minute walk during lunch, some yoga in Grace’s room while she plays with her Little Tikes piano (not exactly ambient music, but I love it), a little balance work in line at the grocery store, and five minutes of weights while dinner cooks.  

Fitting in fitness when you have a little time, and a little space

Things I love: a little understated flair on my running tights and some pink laces.

I’ve been seeing a physical therapist for a few months for back and hip pain, and she has given me a series of exercises that, as she says, you can do pretty much anywhere and not look like a weirdo.  I like not looking like a weirdo.  And like a quick yoga flow in the nursery or some squats in the kitchen, they require only a little time and a little space.  

Fitting in fitness when you have a little time, and a little space

I’m no longer a solid morning or evening exerciser.  A workout is only going to happen if it’s easy and accessible.  (And if I don’t find or make excuses, but hey.)  In the interest of ease and accessibility, I’ve started laying out my workout gear again and even put together a little home gym in a bin.

CS by City Sports for women

City Sports recently sent me a few items from their CS by City Sports fall line, including the See Me Go 1/2 zip top (on sale for $38), Sporty long sleeve (on sale for $18), and Dual Fashion tight (on sale for $38).   I’ve always loved City Sports and used to walk down to the Chestnut Hill store (which got even better when it reopened last March) when I was in college for new running gear.  Their CS line is an affordable, well-made and well-designed alternative to, welp… the alternatives.  

The See Me Go top is great for layering (and it has thumb holes, yaaaaaasss!), as is the long sleeve tee.  I’ve worn the tights for both workouts and for running errands (paired with a black tunic and ballet flats).  CS by City Sports comes extended sizes (something I think all fitness companies should get on board with), and their apparel is flattering, functional and unfussy.  In other words: exactly what I’m looking for.  

CS by City Sports for women

Speaking of functional and unfussy, here’s my home gym in a bin.  I pulled together the things I use most often, or that could motivate me to fit in a quick workout without much (or any) planning.  

Home gym in a bin

In the bin (which, for bonus points, is paisley and adorable):

Other home gym essentials that didn’t fit in the bin, but that hang out nearby:

  • Foam roller
  • Yoga mat
  • Exercise ball (which doubles as the most amazing way to soothe or rock bounce our baby to sleep — seriously, all parents should have one)

While this little home gym in a bin is cute enough to leave out, it fits perfectly in our front hall closet (safely tucked away from curious babies and Frenchies) and can be pulled out whenever I have a few minutes to fit in a quick workout.  Easy and accessible, functional and unfussy.  

Obvious disclaimer: I received complimentary apparel from City Sports.  As always, thoughts and opinions shared on these items are my own.  Oh, and here’s something timely: City Sports’ Black Friday deals include 30% off CS apparel.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your workout style? 

Today: DirtyGirl Mud Run 2014 and being a beginner again.

I’m usually partial to good, clean fun.  Mostly because I am lazy and don’t like cleaning up messes.  This weekend, however, was a bit of a departure.  My sister and I ran our first DirtyGirl 5k on Saturday morning and I swear, I am still smiling.  Also: 4 showers later, I am still finding mud in various places.  Like way inside my ear.

I’ve participated in one other mud run before, and it happened to be on the same course at the Amesbury Sports Park.  Nick and I ran together, and by together, I mean that he blazed ahead and I met him at the finish line six hours 30 minutes after he started his celebration beer.  It had rained quite a bit before the event, and the narrow and steep trails felt, welp… super dangerous.  People were falling left and right and on one another.  The obstacles were fun, but it was hard to run between them due to the thick mud.  Basically, I fell from one obstacle to the next.  I was happy I participated, but not eager to sign up for another event.

When the folks at DirtyGirl reached out to me, however, I was starting to run again (this was shortly after Grace was born, but before I broke my toe… I think) and was looking for a race to train for.  I convinced my sister to join me and figured if nothing else, we’d have fun together.  And did we ever.

Before and After (and yes.. that is mud ON MY TEETH.)

I hadn’t run since the whole toe thing, so to say I was undertrained would be an understatement.  At the same time, carrying around a 13 lb. baby in a 35 lb. car seat and practicing inversions while she sleeps has paid off, making those climbing obstacles a breeze.  I tried my best to keep up with my sister (who actually, you know, works out), but if nothing else, those walking breaks served as great motivation to be thoughtful about future goals and training.

Getting back into shape (whatever that means, seeing as I feel like I am a totally different shape) after having Grace has been humbling, which is both challenging and freeing.  The slate is wiped clean, so to speak.  After dropping my sister off, I took a ridiculously long shower and then promptly downloaded the Couch to 5k app.  Having completed two marathons and countless other races, it bruises my ego a bit to think of myself as a beginner, but hey… that’s where I am right now.  I think my new mantra has something to do with meeting myself where I am, not where I was.  Also:  I’m okay, you’re okay, we’re all okay.

Back to the mud: At one point, I was doubled over with laugher when my sister looked at me and yelled “AAAAH!  You have a mustache!”  I had nothing clean to wipe my face with, so on we went.  I swear, I laughed for the full 5k.  Which explains how I got mud on my teeth.  Gross.  I have never been so eager to see the professional photos from an event.

I kept thinking, I wish every workout could be this fun.  While there can’t always be giant inflatable obstacles and tutu-clad competitors alongside me, I bet infusing some of that playfulness into my training or yoga practice would do some good.

DirtyGirl Mud Run 2014: The Highlights

  • The course was the perfect balance of muddy, yet still run-able.  While I had take breaks to walk here and there (those hills are no joke), you really could run this course.  It took us just under 40 minutes to complete the 3.1 mile loop, including obstacles… and two laughing induced asthma attacks.
  • The obstacles were so much fun.  They were challenging, but not impossible and unlike similar events, you can opt-out, if you choose.
  • No offense, dudes, but there’s just something about an all female event…
  • The event had a really positive, supportive vibe.  Fellow runners cheered one another on and staff and volunteers were helpful and friendly.
  • From the parking and shuttle bus to the post-race showers and everything in between, the event was so well managed.

My sister and I are already looking forward to next year’s event (we’ve started recruiting teammates and designing our outfits… there may be sloths involved muhaha). To save on your registration to an upcoming Dirty Girl 5k, use the code BLOGFRIEND.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary entry to this event in exchange for writing articles for the DirtyGirl blog.  All the dirt shared here is my own.  Get it… dirt…?

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your current mantra?

Today: Flywheelin’ with ClassPass.

My midwife cleared me for yoga and “brisk walking” (which sounded super fun until I briskly wiped out on my neighbor’s icy sidewalk) two weeks after Grace was born.  When I was still feeling (relatively) great two weeks later, she encouraged me to engage in “moderate exercise.”    My CrossFit Southie membership is on hold for another week or so (and as anxious as I am to be back, I want to be sure I am as careful about returning to CrossFit as I was about CrossFitting while pregnant), and though I love a good workout DVD as much as the next girl, it felt important to get out of the condo.  And see other people.  Like, other than the post office people.  I think they have grown weary of my chatty visits.

One of the upsides to being overtired is that I have much less energy to think rationally and/or talk myself out of things.  When I received an invitation to the ClassPass Boston launch at Flywheel, I probably should have asked myself the following questions:

  1. How might sitting on a spinning bike feel mere weeks after giving birth? (Don’t ask, I won’t tell…. Okay, I will.  The first minute or so felt like an atomic wedgie of death… and then I remembered to adjust the seat height on my bike and all was right in the world.  Obviously, the post-partum experience is different for everyone, but I am guessing there are more gentle re-entries into the world of exercise.)
  2. Do I have any business whatsoever at a place as cool as Flywheel?
  3. Can I ride a stationary bike? (It’s been ages.)
  4. What if I fall off?
  5. What will my mental state be at 7:30 PM, after being up all night and all day?  Safe for human interaction?  Acceptable for the public domain?
  6. Do I own clothes other than these three bathrobes I’ve been rotating and have become weirdly attached to?

Instead, I just RSVP’d Very much yes.

And I’m so glad I did.  In addition to the much needed normal (the others, not me) human  interaction with some of my favorite Boston girls (Caroline, Sarah and Sarah), I got a great workout and maaaaan, did that feel good.  I loved everything about Flywheel, from the friendly staff to the stadium-style set up, and the high-tech TorqBoard to the freedom to control how intense (or un-intense?) my workout would be.  Added bonus: I did not fall off anything.  Our instructor, Ann, had the best energy and chose the perfect soundtrack for our 45 minute ride.  I can’t wait to take another class with her.

Lucky for me, I don’t have to wait long.  Shortly after Tuesday’s event, the lovely Jenna at ClassPass reached out with the generous offer of a complimentary one month membership.  I immediately (after saying thank you, obviously) booked another class with Ann at Flywheel and checked out the other classes available in and around Boston.

ClassPass

For $99/month, members can take up to 10 classes at partnering studios and gyms (up to 3 classes at a given studio per month, for example: 3 of your 10 classes can be at Flywheel).  There is no long-term commitment required.  You can find all the details here, but here’s my take:

  • While $99 isn’t chump change, the $10/class you’d pay with ClassPass is often much less than the cost of individual or drop-in classes at the participating gyms and studios (a single ride at Flywheel is $28… a bit rich for my wallet… but to be fair, this includes amenities such as shoes and lockers). #chaching
  • The variety of classes available (spinning, yoga, HIIT, etc.) is fantastic, and the participating studios and gyms are some of the city’s most popular venues (I love a good map: Boston studios, New York studios).
  • I love that you have to reserve your classes in advance.  I know this will keep me accountable, while ensuring I am carving out time to take care of myself
  • ClassPass’ website is very user-friendly.  Members have access to information about each class, studio and instructor, as well as a review system for sharing post-workout tips and experiences.

In addition to scheduling Ann’s class, I took a post-baby fitness class in the Back Bay this morning, and may also fit in a restorative yoga class (which I am hoping amounts to adult nap time… so tired) for later this week.  In the meantime, I’m going to make a list of things normal people talk about (i.e. not diapers) and practice chitchatting with Clark.

Full monty disclosure: I attended a free class at Flywheel and received a complimentary month-long membership to ClassPass.  All opinions and thoughts shared are my own.  Especially the part about the wedgie.

Also On Tap for Today:

Who is your favorite fitness instructor?  Do you have a class to recommend?  What’s your favorite thing to talk about with other grown-ups?

Today: The sport of fitness has arrived. {Part 2}

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]After an incredible morning at Reebok World Headquarters, I could only imagine what the afternoon had in store.

We finished up at Reebok CrossFit One and headed back to the main building to find that the brand room had been converted for lunch and our afternoon conversation and focus group with some of the ladies from Reebok’s women’s division.  No detail was overlooked during our visit, right down to the CrossFit notebooks and colorful Reebok centerpieces.

Each of us had a bag of goodies waiting on our chairs, filled with clothing and a fresh pair of ZigTechs in the perfect size.

Kate Young and her colleagues lead a great discussion about how fitness brands reach out to women, and the importance of using real women as ambassadors.  We all giggled over this video, but it helped to drive the point home.

When brands are marketing product to women, whose voices are they using?  What stereotypes or perceived weaknesses are they playing into?  When it comes to fitness apparel and footwear, why wouldn’t we want to see and hear from real women?

We learned all about Reebok’s shoe lines (and got a sneak peak at some top secret projects due out this fall… very cool stuff), and I couldn’t help but think back to my mom’s Reebok Princesses.  Remember those?  Times, they are a changing, that’s for sure.  From shoes designed for lifting (like the one above, Reebok’s CrossFit Oly Lifter), to those designed for high mileage running, we got to experience them all.

After a delicious paleo-friendly lunch, we headed down to Reebok’s Human Performance Engineering Lab to meet with Bill McInnis and get a behind the scenes look at what goes into designing and producing each pair of Reebok shoes.

Bill showed us all kinds of prototypes, allowing us to see how our RealFlex and ZigTech shoes came to be.  There’s so much more to the process that I could have imagined.  As someone with a strong mistrust of fax machines, I shuddered to learn that shoe models used to be made by fax, as a shoe designer would fax a rendering to someone who would then carve their interpretation of the shoe from a block of wood.  Inevitably, it was a long and involved process.

At our next two stops, we got to see the shoe magic happen.  From CAD to 3-D printers, we got quite the tour.

I could have stayed down in the labs all afternoon, watching models being made.  It was really fascinating.  Soon, though, it was time for us to trade our safety goggles for dancing shoes.  Ilyse Baker, an accomplished dancer, choreographer and Reebok Ambassador was flown in from California to lead a cardio dance class in one of Reebok’s studios.  We were truly spoiled over the course of the day, and this was no exception.

Even before the music started, I could feel the smile on my face growing.  I was reminded of something Johnice said to us earlier in the day: fitness is supposed to be fun.

And man, was this class fun.  Ilyse‘s energy is infectious.  She took us through a fluid warm-up before teaching us some really fun choreography.  Every time I looked up at the mirrors, my goofy grin grew bigger and bigger.  It was a fantastic workout.

What a way to end an exceptional day!  I am so thankful to be included in the event, and am especially grateful to everyone at FitFluential and Reebok for the opportunity.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!  And Happy You’re Almost a Mother’s Day to my sister-in-law, Colleen! 🙂
  • 10 tasty sangria recipes, perfect for this gorgeous weather
  • Getting ready for the week ahead

How do you keep fitness fun?

Today: Flashcards for grown-ups.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I wouldn’t have survived 17 years of schooling had it not been for flashcards.  Lots and lots of flashcards.  While I pride myself on being a good listener, I am most definitely a visual learner.  When it came time to pass my finite math final (a class my mom helped me choose because finite means there’s an end, and I hoped that class would mark the end of a tumultuous streak of, um, not being able to add), I stayed up for nearly 36 hours straight, memorizing formulas.  And hoping I could figure out which variables to replace with which numbers.  Flashcards saved my life.  Or more accurately, my GPA.

They still come in handy, now that I am grown-up.  From putting together a workout, to keeping the condo in relative order, to finding a bit of inspiration, there’s a flashcard for just about everything.  If if there isn’t?  Welp, you can make one.

A few years ago, my brother and sister-in-law gave me a pack of brilliance cards with my Christmas present.  I had no idea things like this existed, but I was instantly hooked.  They’re like fortune cookies without the calories.  And crumbs.

I bet you could make a great set of your own with an old deck of playing cards and your favorite quotes, mantras, inspirational sayings, or photos of my dog.

My collection of grown-up flashcards includes Portuguese words and phrases (made that set myself using some good old fashioned index cards), a yoga deck, Jillian Michael’s Hot Body in a Box, and various others.

In my perpetual quest to stay organized at work and at home, I stumbled upon Buttoned Up and their great line of notepads and other products.  They make a set of grown-up flashcards aimed at building better organization habits.

They’re all great for travel, stashing in your over-sized lady briefcase, or for spreading out across the floor like a stressed out coed during exam week.

Speaking of which, good luck on finals, student friends. 😉

Also On Tap for Today:

What kind of learner are you?