Bon Weekend

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TGIF! The past week has been a bit hectic! My little sis graduated college last weekend and I couldn’t be more proud (photo evidence). I’m really excited to see what the future holds for her and what car she picks as a graduation present :-P. Speaking of graduations… T-6 days! Although I’m very excited to graduate, I don’t think the real excitement will come until after the bar exam. Studying for the bar commences after Memorial Day and I’m just trying to fill my days with as much activity as I can until that horrid date! Now here’s a bit of what’s on my radar in the days to come and picks of stories from around the web:

+  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been biking a lot more. After finishing my internship in Camden, I decided that the $90+ septa pass wasn’t worth it. I spiffied up my bike after a long winter of rest and got peddling. Today was supposed to be Bike to Work Day, but it got delayed due to the beautiful nasty weather until May 19. I may never bike to work since I commute to NJ, but I am in definite solidarity with those who do. More bike lanes please! I’d also love for the (out of commission) 12th street trolley tracks to get paved over, I nearly killed myself on them the other day! #wishfulthinking

+  I’ll be doing Yoga on the Steps this Sunday with Arielle of Hungry and Single fame along with some mutual friends. Yoga on the Steps is a beautiful event where hundreds of people do yoga on the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum to raise money for breast cancer research. I’ll be yoga-ing in honor of my Aunt Babs who is currently battling breast cancer.

+  If you can’t make it to Yoga on the Steps, there is a free synergy partner yoga class on Sunday at 10 am. Philly Yoga Factory and Lululemon are patterning up to teach you how to do all that crazy (awesome) nonsense you see going down in Rittenhouse Square on sunny days. But for real, synergy yoga is a form therapeutic yoga that incorporates elements of Thai massage, yoga and Capoeira, all done with a partner. The class will be held at Bikram Yoga Philly [1520 Sanson Fl. 3] and no RSVPs are necessary.  You can show up with a partner or be paired with one there. It sounds pretty intimate to me (hello! Thai massage!) so I’d show up with one or show up looking for love.

+  I first came across this inspiring runner, in an instagram picture following the Broad Street Run.  Turns out the man in the photo, John Schultz, is nearly 82 and didn’t even start running until he was 59! Philly Mag did a beautiful write up of his running journey and his motivation to continue running.  A must read!

+  The Forbes 30 under 30 Summit is coming in Philadelphia in the fall. New life goal? I think so.

+ This epic kitchen hack solves a very serious first world problem. Make perfect mason jar-sized jar smoothies every time. Thank me later.

– B

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Dear Spinning, I Love to Hate You but I Really Love You

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I’ve come to realize that I have a serious addiction to free fitness classes. If that is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I’m a broke law student! Can you blame me? I promise once I have a real lawyer income (AUGUST!) I’ll be more than happy to support the fantastic studios that offer free classes… but I’ll still go to free classes too ;). As my favorite founding father, Benji Franklin, once said “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

Last night I fulfilled my addiction by going to a free spinning class sponsored by City Sports at FlyWheel [1521 and Locust]. To be honest, I really didn’t feel like going. I was having a blast with my friend Kathie and my puppy just shooting the shit but I had told some twitter friends that I’d be going and I didn’t want to be Debbie Downer or worse… Nancy No-show. So I hopped on the BSL for the first time in weeks to go to Flywheel. I’ve been mostly biking since finishing my internship, but I thought I probably wouldn’t want to bike home after a spinning class. I was right.

So I show up to FlyWheel at 7:30 on the dot thinking I was late for a 7:30 class. Turns out the class was at 7:45 and I was an idiot. Whatev. It gave me plenty of time to get my shoes, locker, and water bottle filled with “room temperature” water. Once we got in the room I placed myself dead center in the back row and started peddling. The instructor Emily was the shit. Not only did she play awesome music but she was super hyped and encouraging the whole time. I’d definitely take one of her classes again in the future.

I had a much easier time at this spinning session than the last one I did a few months ago. I suppose I have Broad Street training to thank for that! I found it much easier to keep up with both the torq and rpm commands. One area I know I need to work on is my rpm when I’m out of the saddle. I just can’t get my legs to move that fast when I’m standing… yet. Another thing I need to work on? Getting my damn feet out of the locks. I feel bad just leaving the shoes locked in but I need to stretch!

Following the class, I met up with fellow spinner and Philly powerhouse Kiera Smalls, owner of CityFitGirls and personal trainer. We went to HoneyGrow, which seems to be a post-FlyWheel ritual and chatted about everything but mostly our excitement for the upcoming openings of Charlie was a sinner. and V Street.  I got a spicy veggie stir fry with tofu and boy did I need it! Mid-way through the spinning class I thought about how little I ate during the day and how I really needed to eat something protein based for dinner. All I had to eat yesterday was a bowl of kasha and almond milk, and PB sandwich, and a bunch of homemade hummus. NOT enough to survive spinning. Thankfully, the stir fry was huge (a whole Chinese take out box) and I ended up having leftovers. I can’t wait to have the rest of that spicy delicious-ness for lunch today!

If you want to sign up for a FlyWheel class: 1. let me know and 2. Do it on their amazing app!

Sweaty at Philly Power Yoga

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Today I ventured over to Philly Power Yoga for another #yelpfitclub event. Philly Power Yoga just so happens to be located in the same building as Thrive Pilates which I went to a few weeks ago at 2016 Walnut Street. This was my first hot yoga class so I was bit (totally & completely) nervous. I envisioned doing yoga in a sauna. During that vision I would collapse and die and my obituary would say fond things about my desire to become a yogi but my resistance to say “om” at the end of class…. I digress. Like any newbie, I plopped myself in the back row but not too far off-center and with a solid view of the mirror. WRONG. Hot yoga = front row. Little did I know I positioned myself right in front of a space heater. Not the smartest move but the heat ended up being surprisingly tolerable.

At the beginning of class we set our intentions. For this class I wanted to focus on cleansing. I may or may not have eaten an entire pizza this weekend. Whoops! I wanted to reset my body to get back on a healthy track and this class was going to be my proverbial reset button. The instructor, Marissa, was great! She lead us through a very well rounded class with just enough legs, abs, twists, inversions, and back bends. I really didn’t feel like anyone muscle group got over exerted.

Here’s the rundown of my review.

Sweat: 15/10

Remember when I said I couldn’t get much sweatier after Thrive Pilates? I lied. Although, in all fairness this was a totally different kind of sweat. It wasn’t HIIT or cardio sweat. It was “holy shit it is hot and I didn’t know I could sweat from there”-sweat. My intention was to cleanse and I’m pretty sure all of my sweat glands got a good cleansing today. 

Breath: 2/10

This is yoga! Only ujjayi breath over here! Ok, for some poses the ujjayi was a little more pronounced but that’s what you’re supposed to do right? Send your breath to that part of your body that needs strength. I’m not the only who does that… right?

Pain: 3/10

So the true test will come tomorrow. I really pushed myself on leg stretches today so I’m sure stairs will be a blast tomorrow. I still struggle with most poses that require arm strength (I’m talking about you side plank). Hopefully with a few more classes that will become easier.

After class I treated myself to a kale and apple smoothie from Pure Fare [119 S. 21st St.]. It was deliciously light and creamy. I really appreciated that all their juices were dairy free! I also treated myself to an outfit for the Broad Street Run (T-1 week!!) from Lululemon [1527 Walnut St.] and a new curling wand that I’ve had my eyes on. Beachy waves – you will be mine!

P.S. Lululemon, this was my first purchase and I get the craze. Your fabrics are phenom. Prices… not so much. I want to give a shout out to Brett and the girl in the fitting room whose name escapes me. I have had some seriously horrific customer service at Lulu before, (ok… every time before) but you ladies broke the mold. I blame you (and thank you) for the amount of money I spent today. I’ll see you at Broad and Jackson on May 4th!

-B

Yoga in the Park

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Yesterday, I got my yoga on with a few friends at the Schuylkill River Park. Finding the park itself (over a pedestrian bridge) was easier said than done. Rather than entering from 25th and Locust as suggested online, next time  I will just take the staircase down from the Walnut Street bridge. That way seems much more direct!

Once I found where I was supposed to be, I was surprised by just how many people there were! As a latecomer, I unfortunately found myself placing my mat on a bit of an incline. This proved to be a pain when it came to the balancing poses which I am notorious bad at to begin with. No former cheerleader here!

The class itself was great! At the beginning of the session, the instructor gave us a moment to think about what we would like to dedicate today’s practice to. Since this week marks my last week of law school (!!!), I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate my practice to my motivation. That if I work towards something, be it law school, the Broad Street Run, becoming vegan, or Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose), I can achieve it.

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The pace was comfortable and not too challenging (aside from balancing) for me. However, the instructor did give plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself or make modifications throughout. The instructor’s assistants were helpful in correcting alignment. However, one of my friends felt that they should have asked before touching to make corrections. I have to agree with that. By far the hardest aspect of the class was not getting distracted by all the cute puppies that were walking by! My only regret? Not taking an allergy med before coming! I didn’t even think about that aspect of being outside on a beautiful spring day. I will definitely be going back and this time arriving early to get prime yoga mat real estate! Next stop? Yoga on the Pier!

-B

#PhillyFitClub2014: Thrive Pilates

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Yesterday, I went to my first #PhillyFitClub2014 event at Thrive Pilates! Thrive is located at 2016 Walnut St., just a stones throw away from Rittenhouse Square. For Fit Club, we took Thrive’s Cardio Sculpt class. Judging by the amount I sweated during the class, I’d say it lived up to its name. Granted, the lack of AC on an 80 degree+ day wasn’t helping mitigate the heat we were creating during class. Get on that Thrive! The wimpy fans aren’t cutting it!

Back to the class… the instructor, Chelsea was awesome. She created the class herself. Thrive Cardio Sculpt had elements of cardio, kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, and dance. It was hard work but a lot of fun! I’d say it was comparable to a BodyPump class in that it was low weights and high reps, but less conventional moves like sit-ups and push-ups. For each of the moves, we would count down together as a class from 8. I actually really liked saying this aloud as opposed to just hearing the teacher say it. When the repetitions got hard, we could say the numbers as loud as we wanted to get us through it. Chelsea also seemed to have the innate ability to know when to switch between cardio and strength moves so we could catch our breath. She also had great little pep up phrases throughout like “it’s only 1 hour of your day,” “you came here to work out”, “just because it hurts doesn’t mean you can’t do it.” I really appreciated that these weren’t constantly said and were used sparingly. I may be alone in this but I find it immensely annoying when instructors are constantly cheering us on.

I typically judge classes on 3 factors: sweat, whether I get out of breath, and pain the next day. Here’s the rundown.

Sweat: 9/10

Couldn’t get much sweatier if I tried. Everyone in the class was dripping by the end of class.

Breath: 5/10

I definitely had an elevated heart-rate for the entire course but never felt like I had to stop to catch my breath. I like that. 

Pain: 3/10

I not in too much pain today. My calves are a bit sore, which makes sense because we had an emphasis on legs. I probably wouldn’t want to do any arm workouts today either, but at rest they feel fine. 

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Following class, a few of us went to Yellow Juice Bar [2046 Sansom St.] to refuel. I have to say, I wasn’t that impressed with either the customer service or the juice. There were some technical difficulties with the credit card reader which the counter server was quite flippant about. Unfortunately,  juice was sub-par too. There was a TON of foam and the flavor wasn’t that good (I got the #4 in veggie& fruit juices). I think I’ll stick with my homemade juices and Sip’n’Glow [932 South St.] for the occasional splurge.

P.S. If you “check  in” at Thrive on Yelp, you get 15% off at Pure Fare [119 S. 21 St.] right around the corner!

-B

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