ClassPass Review

Right before the start of the new year, ClassPass–sort of an all-you-can-eat buffet of boutique fitness studios–came to Atlanta. Since I was still struggling with foot pain and trying to decide how to move forward with my fitness, I decided to try it out and signed up.

classpass
from classpass.com

The details: For a flat rate ($79 in my area) you can take as many classes as you want per month at participating studios, with the catch being you can only take three classes per studio. So for example, I could only take three classes during the month at a Pure Barre studio, but since there are about 80 participating studios in Atlanta, there was still plenty to choose from.

What I loved: If you use it correctly, ClassPass can be a great deal for your money. If I had paid the single class fee for all the classes I took in January, it would have been a bill somewhere near $250 dollars (I took an average of 3 classes per week).  There are a lot of types of studios to choose from–spinning, barre, Pilates, yoga, CrossFit, rock climbing, aerial gyms…so if you’re looking to explore different options with little commitment, this is for you. Scheduling your class is a breeze–their website is easy to use and they have an app as well.

What I didn’t love: You have to cancel a class a full 24 hours in advance or you get a $25 charge. This tripped me up a little because sometimes my husband’s work schedule changes at the last minute and I have a young child. I completely understand  why the policy is in place, but it stressed me out a little.

Will I sign up for another month? Probably. I do think it’s a great price for all that it offers, and it’s both a blessing and a curse that it pushes me out of my comfort zone: walking into a fitness class that I’ve never tried terrifies me a little. When I’ve put down the money and I don’t want to get that $25 cancellation fee, I’m much more likely to go to a new class I signed up for. That being said, there is something I enjoy about routine–getting to know the teachers I’ll see three times a week or looking forward to Saturday morning yoga. I feel like ClassPass offers me a nice balance of the new and the comfortable–I can still take my favorite classes and try that aerial silk class that has been on my bucket list (disclaimer: I haven’t tried it yet. I don’t think my core would hold up!).

ClassPass is offered in more than 20 cities and growing. To find out if they’re in your city, check them out here.

Do you like trying new classes? What fitness activity is on your list that you haven’t tried yet?

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TotR: My Worst Race (and the Lessons I Learned)

Welcome back to another Tuesday on the Run with Run the Great Wide Somewhere, MCM Mama Runs and My No-Guilt Life! Today’s topic: your worst race.

4miles
Sometimes runs don’t go as planned…

I’ve been really lucky when it comes to races–for the most part, the races I’ve run in have been well-organized. I can only think of two races that I’ve really had a bad time with. One was an event with multiple distances and although I’d signed up for the 10K, my bib color marked me for the 20K distance. The course wasn’t marked, but they had volunteers sending runners in the direction they were supposed to go based on bib color. I thought there was something wrong with my running app when it told me I was almost 10 miles into what was supposed to be 6.2. Lesson learned: always double-check your registration.

But my very worst race was a 5K that shall remain nameless. It was a little neighborhood 5K, organized by a church. It wasn’t my neighborhood, but I decided to run it because they were supporting a charity I like (and the shirt was cute).

I loaded up my then 3-year-old and headed out on the residential course. As a stroller runner, I started in the back–which wasn’t a big deal until one of my stroller tires went flat. Completely and totally flat. So out came my son, who walked awhile…and then he got tired. So I carried him, while pushing the gimpy stroller. We fell so far behind that the cones showing the course were removed. Oh, did I mention the cell service was terrible and I couldn’t call for help or GPS my way back on track?

Luckily it was a safe neighborhood and I finally found some nice old ladies who were out gardening who directed me back to the church and my car. We crossed the finish line as they were putting it away, and that race will always hold what I call my 5K un-PR at a little over two hours.

Lesson learned: now I always snap a screenshot of the course map with my phone and, if it’s a small race, give my husband my estimated pace so he’ll know if I’m way off track. 

Have you ever gotten lost during a race?

Not the News I’d Hoped For–But Why I’ll Keep Looking Up

(I’m a little late on my Tuesdays on the Run with Patty, Erika and April, but better late than never! Be sure to check them out!)

Back in early December, I hurt my right foot running sprints. I assumed if I took it easy the pain I was feeling in the ball of my foot would go away.

It did not.

Between the holidays and a booked calendar, I didn’t make it into the doctor until this morning.  I really had no idea what was causing me pain, but I’d assumed that the doctor would be able to advise me on how to fix it. And I suppose he did…by telling me I had to stop running.

Not the news I’d hoped for.

When I was younger and painfully shy and not at all athletic, I would joke that I did not have a body that was made for running. Turns out I was right.

An X-ray of my foot showed an incredibly high arch. “Like, absurdly high,” the doctor said. It also showed that my second metatarsal was, as the doctor put it, “longer than he thought possible.” Other doctors were called into to look at my freaky foot. He said the combination of the two things was putting stress on the ball of my foot, and more importantly, stretching my Achilles tendon in a not-so-good way. When I told him I’d been running for a couple of years and had a half marathon under my belt, he just stared at me.

“It’s a miracle you made it through that without snapping your Achilles,” he told me. “I don’t know how you did it.”

I left his office feeling numb, and not just from the steroid shot I’d just had in the top of my foot (um, OUCH). His recommendation: no long distance running. That means anything over 3 or 4 miles. No fast running. That means anything faster than a “brisk walk”. And if I wanted to continue running, there was talk of air insoles and custom-made orthopedics and other things that made my checking account cringe even harder than it does when it hears “runDisney”.

You guys…I’m sad. I realize that this is not the end of the world. It is not life threatening, or cataclysmic, and I am thankful that I walked out of the hospital today on my own volition and healthy. But over the past few years, running has defined me–as a person, as a mom, as a writer. I’ve made friends and cheered on total strangers from sidelines and over social media. I cried when the bombs went off in Boston, because it seemed cruel and unusual to hurt runners who were that close. I dreamed of the New York City Marathon, of going Dopey, of being fast. And so, I’m letting myself be sad while I get used to the idea of a new running reality. It’s going to be another 3-6 weeks before I undo the damage I did back in December, and after that I’m not sure what the landscape will look like.

That being said, I’m not going to let myself wallow for too long. After all, I started this blog because I wanted a well-rounded, healthy life…and that means more than running. It means yoga and spin class and weight lifting and boxing and nutrition and barre class and…

Well, you get the picture.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from being a runner, it’s that you don’t quit. You get up early, you sweat, you cry at mile 11 and you keep going until you hit the finish line. You persevere. I plan to take that runner’s attitude and apply it to the wealth of other things I can do to be healthy. I can thank running for making me brave enough to try new things, and to opening up a whole world of possibility.

Look Up!
Look Up!

How do you handle bad news?

January Food & Fitness Goals

I’m trying to break my goals down into manageable chunks this year. I think part of my problem in 2014 was that I WAY over planned in January and felt burned out by early spring, and when things didn’t go exactly to plan by the summer I’d thrown up my hands and given up. So this year I’m taking it step by step and making small monthly goals for each month. That way, if life throws me a curve ball I can repeat the goal the following month instead of losing steam entirely.

First, food.

I know food is the biggest reason I’ve been putting on weight. I have terrible eating habits. I’m picky to the extreme, I have a mild Pepsi addiction and a giant bowl of pasta is my happy place. I know this has to change or all the work I do at the gym is just wasted time.

can'toutrunyourfork

January goals: less eating out and less processed foods.

I feel like one will lend to the other…if I’m eating out less, it means I’m cooking at home, and (hopefully) that means I’ll be eating more whole foods.

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Some of my favorite recipes so far this month! At the end of January, I’ll be doing a recipe round up.

Second, fitness.

January goals: make fitness a priority.

When I’m stressed out or things don’t go as planned, my exercise is the first thing to go. That needs to stop. I know people who are at the gym on their certain days, rain or shine, sleep or no sleep. I WANT TO BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. Maybe not necessarily in the gym, but doing whatever workout I have planned for the day.

Since that’s kind of a vague goal, I had to specify a little for myself: 30 minutes of exercise weekdays, and something–anything–active on weekends. 30 minutes a day should be doable. It should be easy. I spend that much time on social media in them mornings alone (at least!). Maybe I need to tell myself that the only time I’m allowed on Pinterest is while I’m on a stationary bike…

What goals do you have for January?

Girl Seeking Healthy, Balance, Fitness & Fun

Being healthy shouldn’t be a drag.

When I was younger, I wasn’t athletic or active. At all. I was a bookworm who had a whole host of tried and true methods for getting out of gym class. I wasn’t skinny or fat, I was in that weird in-between that meant I never really worried about it.

And then I had a baby and 30 began creeping up on me. You know what else crept up on me? My thrice-weekly bowls of pasta, my sedentary lifestyle, and the weight.

I decided to do something about it. In late 2012, I got a wild hair and signed up for a half marathon. Having never run a mile. I bumbled my way through the training and survived the 13.1 miles on a wing and a prayer. I continued to run, sort of training, and never getting any faster or losing weight.

I was still using this pathetic excuse for “healthy” up until last year, when I got diagnosed with mono and Epstein-Barr. It took me months to get over, and I knew something had to change. Healthy, I thought, shouldn’t have to be a drag–and what I was doing was definitely a drag. And it clearly wasn’t working.

So I decided it was time to stop focusing directly on the numbers on the scale. Sure, that needs to be a part of it. But if I’ve learned anything from the past 2 years, it’s that making health and fitness something you suffer through for half an hour in the morning is just giving you an illusion of healthy. And I’m way over the illusion.

I’m just a regular girl, seeking a healthy life. And 2015 is going to be the year it starts. I know I’m not alone out there..is anyone else ready to make a healthy change?

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