As I checked into my first workout of the year at Physique 57 today, I hit my major milestone of 52 straight weeks of exercising! Looking back, some of said weeks were a tad light (read: I barely got to class once), but I’m crazy excited that I managed to show up to sweat at least once a week, every week, for the whole year.
This year marks the first time since college that I’ve sustained a consistent exercise program for more than a few months. In fact, I experienced many fitness “firsts” in 2012…these were some of the highlights:
- PILATES! I actually took my first Reformer class on New Year’s Eve in 2011, but I had my first-ever private session with my favorite teacher in January 2012 and started taking class every week after that. Boyfriend and I go to her class in Brooklyn every week, and I never want to give it up. My core strength has improved like whoa, and most of my old nagging sports injuries have faded. Meanwhile, Boyfriend’s back never bothers him anymore, and he has all sorts of arm muscles now. Thanks, Joe!
- Taking my first Lotte Berk-based barre class at P57 in February under the guidance of the amazing Holly. I am still not sure if barre is the best workout for me, but it’s true that there’s nothing else like it.
- My first experience with truly athletic yoga– FLOW with Erin Jacques and Amanda Murdock at SLT Yoga. I left a sweaty, melty mess. I really need to take this class more.
- Finding, and becoming obsessed with, fitness review blog/platform RateYourBurn. I am a RYB fiend and will talk the site up to anyone who will listen to me, as it’s hilarious AND useful.
- Trying my first-ever spinning class at Flywheel. I was saddle-sore for like a week afterward (tmi?), I almost had two asthma attacks, and my wonky knees don’t take well to cycling, so I haven’t been back. But it was an adrenaline rush I’ll never forget.
- Trying Reinvention Chair at Chaise23. My arms were sore for days afterward from pulling on those bungees!
Other firsts included The Bar Method, Pure Barre, Barre3, Pilates ProWorks, aerial vinyasa at Om Factory, Refine Method, a whole bunch of new-to-me yoga studios, Gaga, and some Pilates mat and tower classes. I don’t even want to think about how many MindBody accounts I’m currently juggling.
Perhaps the most meaningful “first,” however, was finding Simonson Technique dance classes, initially at the Joffrey Ballet School and then at Dance New Amsterdam, its real home. Every teacher I’ve had has been phenomenal, and I always leave class feeling limber, inspired, and excited to return. Dance (excluding Zumba) isn’t a calorie-torcher like Refine, spinning, or SPX, but it is my very favorite way to move.
With my injuries and exercise-induced asthma, not every workout spells rainbows and unicorns for my body, so I had some serious fitness ADD this year as I tried to figure out what worked best for me. I am trying to be more focused now, but I’m still going to keep experimenting with my schedule and trying new classes. (I’m especially excited for Lithe to come to town.) Let’s see if I can keep this fitness streak going for another 52 weeks…
Cheers to good health, friends, food, and sweat in 2013!
From last night, when I took a lovely modern class at Dance New Amsterdam. I’m almost at the year mark– double my original goal. YES.
I sooo meant to go to a modern dance class tonight at DNA…I even wore an exercise tank top as a base layer under my sweater at work today in order to minimize my changing time! Alas, after getting sucked into a conversation with my boss at the very end of the day I totally missed my window to get to the studio on time. Gah.
One thing I’ve really been slacking on lately is following through with the workouts I put on my calendar. Jess at Fit Chick in the City really inspires me with her “Say It, Do It!” feature, so in the name of accountability, I’m going to list out my plans here with the intent of ACTUALLY completing them.
My next 7 days will go as follows:
Wednesday – 90-minute yoga class @ Mala
Thursday – REST (not by choice, have a work commitment!)
Friday – 75-minute yoga class @ Strala
Saturday – 50-minute Intro to Megaformer @ SLT (eep!)
Sunday – REST
Monday – 60-minute Yoga FLOW @ SLT
Tuesday – 90-minute dance class @ DNA
And then…it’s home for Thanksgiving for turkey and veggies (bringing our CSA box home to share with Mom) and maybe some Black Friday yoga. Namaste, y’all!
I would like to say that I’ve been so busy working out and practicing my home cooking that I haven’t had a single minute to update the blog, but we all know that’s not true. However, summer is in full swing, and with all of the moving, birthday-ing, and yes, workouts, I just haven’t been in writing mode… I’m hoping to get back into posting regularly, though, especially since I’m in the middle of a new fitness challenge and have so much to share.
The half-year milestone
I achieved my goal to work out 26 weeks straight (with affirmation coming by way of foursquare checkins) a couple of weeks ago when I checked into a Pilates class. Tonight will probably give me my 28 week shootout when I check into the Bar Method tonight–but more on that later! It feels great to have dedicated a full half year to sweating at least once a week– and usually more like 3, 4, or 5 times every week.
June workout goals
I vowed to work out 20 times in the month of June, 5 of which would be barre classes. Of course, life got in the way, so I didn’t quite make my 20-workout mark– stopped short at 16. However, that still works out to about 4 per week, so I’m satisfied. I did make it to 5 barre classes, including four at Physique 57 and one at the Bar Method. I discovered a favorite P57 teacher, but she unfortunately moved out of the city (I’ve since found a couple of other faves, though).
Try something new (and scary)
I ventured out of my usual habits and attended my very first Flywheel class in June, followed quickly by my first Bar Method class. These made for two very different, but equally positive experiences. Flywheel was first on the docket, and I showed up over half an hour early to a Friday night class with Ryan Makely. The front desk staffers hadn’t even finished setting up the shoes yet– yikes! As such, I didn’t get as warm a welcome as I’d come to expect from reading others’ reviews, since the staff was busy, but it was fine. Had a weird interaction with a fellow student waiting for class; as I took a couple of puffs on my albuterol inhaler, which I take prior to cardio workouts for my exercise-induced asthma, she asked me if the inhaler “helped.” I was puzzled and answered, “Yes, in that it lets me keep breathing…” Her friend jumped in and explained what albuterol and asthma were. I guess she thought I was taking some kind of performance-enhancing substance? Anyway, I started to get a little nervous when the door to the classroom opened and I saw that all of the students in the prior class were utterly soaked with sweat. It was a little comforting that there was a variety of ages and body types represented in the previous class, but on the whole I was a little terrified. When I got into the room, an assistant helped me adjust my bike, but I totally zoned out when he was explaining the settings to me. If I go back, I’m going to have to get more assistance with setting up.
As for the class itself, I have NEVER experienced anything like it. It totally blew me away. I was dripping with sweat 2 minutes in, and my quads were on fire at the 5 minute mark. Ryan had amazing energy, even though the crowd was pretty quiet, and I found myself letting out a couple of whoops along the way. He taught on the bike, which was really nice as a first-timer– I was able to see what first, second, and third position were, as well as proper form, even from the back row. Ryan incorporated a lot of jumps, tap backs, and hills in the class, which kept things varied. Even though I was always about 10 below the torque range he said, and 5 RPMs behind (and my stats afterward were super-pathetic), I got an amazing workout.
It definitely took some getting used to– I had a tough time balancing myself on the bike seat when I needed to sip my water, which was often. However, once I started engaging my core more, I was able to find my balance. I also had some difficulty figuring out how to stand during our first standing sprint, but I quickly got a hang of it. By the midpoint of class, I was looking forward to the standing parts! As I mentioned, my power, RPM, and other numbers were seriously pathetic (we’re talking 5th or less percentile) and I think I made a huge mistake in letting myself kind of stop pedaling during each transition. I think that’s something that I could improve with more practice.
All in all, I had a fabulous time at Flywheel, I conquered my fear of spin class, and even though I almost had two asthma attacks during class, my lungs and legs survived! I doubt my knees would like all the repetitive motion if I were to go regularly, and I think I might actually need to put some kind of orthotic in the cycling shoes for my wonky feet, but I would not hesitate to throw this into my workout routine for another change of pace in the future.
Stay tuned for my review of my first Bar Method class, and some thoughts on the couple of classes I’ve taken since then.
The heat wave over Memorial Day weekend did nothing if not remind me that 1) summer is just around the corner, and she’s going to be a bitch, and 2) I will probably have to wrestle my way into a bathing suit at least once over the next few months. Blerg. However, Well + Good NYC recently posted a piece on “how to design your perfect summer,” and since I blindly follow all advice I read on the Internet, I’m obeying life coach Laurie Gerber’s first tip:
“Write it down. The most important thing is to actually create a detailed plan, says Gerber, and put it in writing. Start with the tips below. “Extra credit if you read what you wrote, post it somewhere, and/or tell people!””
I’m willing to bet that Laurie’s already designed her perfect summer, and probably knows her stuff, because she looks really happy in her headshot– like she’s laughing at a really clever joke that we can’t hear. So here I go, writing it down.
In the months of June, July, and August this year, I hereby pledge to:
- Complete 20 workouts each month (an average of 5 per week).
- Of those 20 monthly workouts, at least five will consist of trembling and grunting my way through a Physique 57 or other barre class (Core Fusion, Pure Barre, Bar Method, etc.)
- Try something new/scary every month. So in June, I plan to take my very first spinning class at Flywheel. (Will my exercise-induced asthma and wonky knees be able to handle it? We’ll find out!) July may see me attempting taking on a hardcore session of metabolic resistance training with the Refine Method, and in August I’d like to make an ass of myself at Brooklyn Boulders or something else completely different from my usual dance-yoga-Pilates-barre routine.
- And of course, I promise to rest on two non-consecutive days every week to let my body recover. That part’s easy.
- Turn 27 without whining about how I’m getting “so old” (but really guys, I’m getting sooo old omgzwtf)
- Drink cocktails– preferably fruity ones with a gin base– on rooftops, as often as possible.
- Take advantage of the spacious kitchen in our new apartment with some serious hot-weather-friendly home cooking.
- Obtain the necessary appliances to blend and juice to my heart’s content.
I’ll be sharing stories about my workouts and eats the whole way through. Stay tuned.