Friday night I attended my first blogger event at Sweat. I’ve been to Sweat before and I regularly go to HIIT classes so the format itself was not new to me. We need a shortened class, Tabata style, and it flew by. Let me break it down:
Show up to Sweat. Everyone is super nice. Duh.
They give a quick tour and lavish you with water… Sorry Propel but you are not my jam. Amenities in the bathroom however, are tops.
IV me comes in to sell us on their services. While I am sure that stuff works great and I am always curious to try new recovery techniques, I also consider $80 shots to rehydrate during a hang over rich people nonsense.
Class is led by Owner Paul who I haven’t worked with before. Class breakdown is above. If I had know DB push presses were going to be on the schedule I would not have used I such heavy weights in the SWAT class I took at Enrgi shortly before. Total arm burnout. Other thoughts on class: he gave us different instructions for sprints (raise incline, raise speed, etc) which really forced you to push, they have a target on the wall where you are supposed to aim and as a short as hell women I moved to a different wall as I was concerned about my form in attempting to reach the ceiling, rowing and TRx were standard and boxes came in various sizes and again as someone with no legs I thank you kindly.
After class we were treated to some juice ( yum), homemade protein balls (double yum) and Q&A.
It’s interesting to talk to an owner about their goal for their gym and he was really interested in what we all look for in a workout and what we find intimidating.
For $169 a month, I think Sweat is a bit pricey for me, but they are a great little community oriented group fitness gym in the Gold Coast. Or if you just want to roll into KitchFix and then stop by Sweat to purchase one of their awesome tanks you could do that too.
I did not run in high school. I did not run in college. I did start running until three… oh maybe it was four now… years ago. Which means the last time I ran just one mile was three, maybe fours years ago because at the time, I physically could not run one mile. This weekend, I ran the Humboldt Mile inaugural race (put on by Three Run Two) and the idea was to run your fastest mile.
I have no clue what my fastest mile is. Well, I have a clue now and it’s 8:03 minutes. Though I am quite convinced that I could have run faster. The funny thing about a mile is that it is just long enough where if you don’t know what pace to go you find yourself thinking can I go faster before I give out (the answer is yes) but it’s just short enough where you don’t want to go to too slow. I was running… not necessarily uber speeding but running fast and towards the end I thought oh god, my legs are tired already but then I saw the finish line and was like oh hellz no I can sprint through this.
How does one prepare to run their fastest mile? I have no clue. I just did my usual runs. I suppose one could actually run a mile and figure it out that way. Or one could do something like Nike’s Find Your Fast program. Or one could just throw their hands up and say who really cares and hope for the best. Next time… if there is a next time, I know I can go faster, but at least this time I know what my fastest mile is.
If you are wondering if I would recommend this race for next year, the answer is absolutely. The course is through the gorgeous Humboldt Park which I am never around. It starts at a very reasonable and happy time of not 6am. It’s fun, it’s quick and how often do you get to run just one mile?
And no, I didn’t take any of these pictures. I stole them from the very talented Three Run Two photographers. Personally I forgot to take any pictures that day.
The very tiny and brilliant Rowan Blanchard recently stepped up and called out T Swift (ok so she didn’t name her, but it’s basically implied) and why the hashtag squad goals is a polarizing and bad thing. You can read the Glamour interview here.
Why am I mentioning #squadgoals today? On Friday night, I spent the evening with some of my #fitfam (though I call them #realfriends) and it really brought to light for me how wonderful it is to have strong female friends. I moved to Chicago about ten years ago to pursue improv. I met some hilarious and truly wonderful people in that community. Some of my best friends are still comedians and they are effing hilarious. However, during the past three or so years I have stopped performing comedy as much and have delved into this world of fitness. I think it’s so easy to look around you at the gym and feel like a chump amongst amazingly fit people, but these gals have been nothing but welcoming. They are funny, make delicious food, lift heavy weights, kick everyone’s butts in classes, drink their body weight and alcohol and still get up to take class the next morning. I have watched one of them kick butt on the row machine while being 8 months pregnant. I have watched others perform moves and lifts that just blow my mind. They push me to be better. At times it’s honestly a bit difficult, because let’s be real… I want to be them. But then I remember that I am and I am strong and excel in my own ways (hello chest muscles).
I suppose for my friends #tribe is a better popular hashtag to be using. This is my tribe. They have made me a better, stronger and happier person. If you don’t have a #fitfam #tribe then I highly suggest finding one. They have pushed me and made every single workout that much better.
I think it’s fairly safe to say that I love working out. I love the adrenaline. I love the endorphins. I love the people you meet. Tonight I finally went to a free outdoor class from Mountain Athletics/November Project. You want a summary?
Meet up with my friend Dani who is just the most delightful human and the reason I finally made it to one of these.
Find the pole that signifies where to meet up.
A stranger comes over and hugs me because that’s just what they do at November Project.
Everyone introduces themselves and what they are training for.
Warm up (I remember nothing but there were lots of burpees).
During legs I notice a little girl watching us so when I finish I ask if she wants to learn what we are doing. She is mildly interested and then we race up a hill because she likes running.
Abs – plank, side plank, butterflies, jog around the park but none of this matters because Emily joins us for the entire ab set and says awesome things like I can see the moon, I’m tired but I can keep going, I’m going faster than you and I’m a superhero. She is the very definition of #littlebutfierce.
Workout done – cool down.
The workout and the people were definitely great but Emily reminded me why I want to train people. She’s curious, confident and wants to workout with these adults that she doesn’t know. It’s infectious. And that. Right there. That is what I want to do with my life. I want to work in fitness with children. I don’t want to be a gym teacher. I want to be outdoors or doing special programs with kids. I have no idea how one does that but it was likely the greatest moment of my year.
If you are signing up for the Bucktown 5K make sure you use my code RAMSWGAG3 for a little something extra in your goodie bag.
Last week and continuing into this this week I have been trying to step outside of my box and have had some adventures with Nike. Nike is huge in Chicago. They offer free classes at their training center, free group runs with their running club and free events. Quite frankly if I didn’t love my gym so much I would ask myself why I am paying when I can do all these great workouts for free.
Speaking of my gym, last week Nike rolled into Enrgi to let us try their new cross training and running sneakers: I am not quite sure if I loved them or not but they are nice and light which is delightful! They stopped by for a special warrior class at Enrgi where we got to try both sneaks.
Saturday I finally joined NRC for a long run. The efficient side of my brain has a hard time traveling south just to run back north and then south again but since I have more flex in my schedule I figured why not. We headed south from Nike for an 8 mile run and views I don’t always get to enjoy. I definitely enjoyed this run (especially since a friend joined me) though we ran a bit faster than the anticipated 9:30 pace… So by the end I was trying to focus on other things so I wouldn’t slow down.
Last night I attended a football Inspired class designed for draft week (sliders, med balls, farmer walks, superman push ups, deadlifts, sprints and all the fast feet you never knew you wanted). The class was part of an Instagram contest and while I didn’t make it to the final round I did get a nice lil draft week tee (which I quickly sweated through) and got some nice sprints in! The downsides to this event was that we had to be at the new Michael Jordan store (apparently they use their workout area upstairs to train high school athletes in poorer neighborhoods…thumbs up!) by 6:30 but the class didn’t start until closer to 7:30. I had to get a friend to cover my class that night and I could have actually taught it. They did win me over though with their locker room which was loaded with our tshirts and the frees to wear.
I said I probably wouldn’t do this type of thing again, but let’s be real… I would!
And belated Happy Easter. I could give you a run down of my weekend which included a brutal 11.69 mile run (the first 6 was great, the second almost 6, not so much…. this is why recovery is important kids) and a class with my gal Brittany over at Studio Fit… but instead, I will just give you this video from this 9 year old phenom.
There is a lot going on in my life right now. Which is true of basically everyone. And as much as I feel like a lot of things are falling apart, a lot of things also seem to be coming together. So to focus on the good…
1) I am pleased to say that I was chosen as a RAM ambassador this year which means that I will be repping the race series and Fleet Feet at various expos.
2) I’ve been picking up lots of shifts over at Coop. All this running around has me somewhat exhausted but I am gaining valuable and awesome experience. I work in Downsize which is a program for folks who have lots of weight they want to lose. I have a few regulars who are awesome and strong and have beautiful form. In the past week we’ve also had some newbies: one woman who has never worked out before and a 62 year old woman who doesn’t need to lose weight but wants to. They both require lots of attention and modifications but they are both trying so hard and I respect them so much for joining the program. This all means that I need to look up some more modifications of course, but it’s pretty darn cool. I only began my fitness journey a few years ago but it’s easy to forget how it feels when you start. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s somewhat embarrassing. But that all goes away so fast.
If you had asked me a few years ago where I’d be in a few years this would not have been the answer but I’m so glad it is.