My Summer of Fitness Kick-Off

Since I moved to the city, I have been on a fitness roller coaster, starting at the top and then dropping so low that it was hard to get the momentum going to get back up on the workout wagon. I used every excuse in the book (to myself, of course) – mainly that I was too busy balancing school, work, and life to workout. Well… My mind listened, but my body did not. Not only did I gain a few pounds, but I became really sluggish. So I decided to change that this summer.

With my blogging internship for FiTMAPPED, and just being in New York in the summertime, I’m gaining the momentum that I need to make fitness a bigger part of my life. Luckily, living in such an expensive city has its perks – so many things are free! Whatever you’re into, there’s a festival or some kind of event geared for it. And with NYC being such an active, fitness-obsessed city, there’s fitness and healthy lifestyle events all the time, especially in the summer. And because of that, I’ve dubbed this summer my Summer of Fitness. And hopefully next summer and the summer after that.

And since the summer officially started last Friday, I’m proud to say I’ve been on quite a roll:

Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind over Madness, which you can read about here.
Ballet Class at Dokoudovsky New York Conservatory of Dance (as part of Dance Week)
Buns n’ Biscuits Bootcamp and Brunch (you can read about my experience here.)
Pilates Mat Class at Ballet Academy East (as part of Dance Week)
Outdoor fhitting room class (as part of FITiST & Lole Showtique Summer of Fitness at Hudson River Park)
Mid-workday lunch-hour run
Pilates Circuit Class at Studio Anya (as part of dance week)
A nice, 3-mile run passing the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges (talk about a view!)
Real Ride spin class at Revolve Fitness
One last evening run along the East River (to top it all off)

My favorite workouts of the 10-day kick-off, other than the ones I’ve already written about, would definitely have to be:

the fhitting room’s FHIX class at Hudson River Park

fhitting room - Hudson River Park

(source)

This high intensity training class was challenging and fun at the same time. Eric and Ben, the trainers, made sure to introduce themselves to everyone (this is quite impressive given that there were about 70 people in the class), and double-teamed to make sure we sweat ALOT. Interspersed with burpees and planks was a relay-race including sprints, crab walks, bear crawls, you name it. It felt like I was back in 4th grade again, only this time my gym class was filled with fitness fanatics and the “gym teachers” made sure you gave it 110% effort. Of course, I’m sure their classes at the actual studio are even more intense, and I would love to try them out there as well.

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(a sweaty and wide-eyed me with the trainers)

Pilates Circuit Class at Studio Anya

The minute I walked into Studio Anya, I was captivated by the zen atmosphere. The Pilates Circuit class was no joke, and I’m not proud to say my former experience in Pilates classes and the reformer did not prepare me for this, probably because my core hasn’t been worked like this in quite a while. Pilates has a fabulous way of activating muscles from their very core, rather than on a superficial level. The circuit class included exercises on the reformer, wall, and chair, all which worked different muscle groups and in different ways. Following the class,  I had a greater sense of my alignment and more control of my core.

Studio Anya(source)

Real Ride spin class at Revolve Fitness

This class was INTENSE! Taught by Kristin Kenney, who is HUGE in the fitness world, this class was no joke. I was dripping sweat almost immediately. She led us through a stimulated route in Sicily, and we alternated between high resistance and high speed. There were times when I was struggling, but Kristin had a great way of motivating everyone to keep going, so I tried my best to give 100% effort throughout the entire workout. 

Revolve Fitness(source)

What I’ve learned from the past 10 days: always give everything you do 100%. The best workouts I had was when I stopped holding back and just went for it. I never realized how strong my tendency was to hold back and conserve energy, but what I realize now is that its not worth it. There’s a fine balance between conserving energy for endurance and going all out for intensity.

This is just the start to my Summer of Fitness, but I’m confident that it will give me the motivation I need to keep going. Are you making this YOUR Summer of Fitness as well? Let me know!

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Recap of Last Week: Michigan Comes to New York!

The lack of posts last week can be attributed to the fact that some of my greatest friends from back home came to visit me in the big city. They made a 12-hour trek to get here, and boy am I thankful for that green dragon that got them here. As amazing and exciting as the city is, it is very very easy to feel a little lonely and homesick sometimes. Thankfully, my friends came here before the homesickness settled in too much.

I think one of the biggest worries (for me especially) of moving away is the fear that people will forget about you – that the friendships and relationships you built will dissolve, and you’ll be replaced with someone new. Luckily for me, my friends have smashed that fear and thrown it far, far away – farther than the distance that separates us. Even before I left, my friends threw a surprise graduation/birthday/going-away party for me – a grand feat orchestrated by my boyfriend and two of my wonderful girlfriends. It was

then that I realized that these friendships will continue, they won’t even be paused or slowed down, they’ll push on full-force.

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Yes, we’re goofy…and yes, we’re all wearing I ❤ NY t-shirts. And yes, I miss every single one of them.

So when 3 of those amazing people showed up in New York, I was the happiest girl in New York City. And on a mission to make sure they had the best time in the Big Apple. A great thing about friends visiting you is that you get to act like a tourist and fall in love with the city all over again. We went everywhere, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Union Square, from Times Square to Central Park. And ate so much food – I developed an inverse relationship with my wallet and my waistline – you can guess in which direction.

Some of my favorite grub spots included:

Grey Dog, which had an extensive list of Michigan sandwiches on the menu (more than enough to win us over). This is probably one of my new favorite brunch spots – the service, atmosphere, and foods were all spectacular. I got the Veggie Press, which had spinach, herb goat cheese, roasted artichoke, and roasted red pepper, and a Raspberry Lemonade. Yum!

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Cheesing now that we are one step closer to having food in our bellies…

And yes those are cheesy fries on our table …I never said I had a healthy week, did I?

Crumbs Bake Shop – Where a delicious Cannoli Cupcake was split between Chase and I.

Madman Espresso – We headed over here on a rainy/snowy day for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Pretty good choice, if you ask me.

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A cortado beats a latte any day.  Don’t believe me? Try one and you too will become a believer.

Bagelsmith – After hours of dancing at The Woods in Williamsburg, a night is not complete without a visit to Bagelsmith for their tasty bagels. My favorite? Everything bagel with Sundried tomato cream cheese. My friends agreed….and we came back the next day. That good.

So yes, I ate alot of good food with very good friends. We walked until our legs/feet hurt and had a grand ole’ time. Let’s hope they liked it enough to come back soon!