Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Group fitness frustration

Y'all know how much I love BodyPump, right? So let me tell you a little story...

On Monday evening, I got my booty to the gym with plenty of time to attend the regularly-scheduled BodyPump class. When I walked through the door, I noticed there was a substitute teacher - notable, but not a big deal. It was someone I've taken (other) classes from in the past and therefore recognized, so, fine. I set up my station and got ready for class.

Matching your shoes to your weights is critical.... ha
Right before the class started, the teacher started talking. She stated that she was not a BodyPump teacher and had never been, and had only been called on to teach the class a few minutes before. She said we were going to do weight-lifting exercises to music, but not the normal BP moves, and not choreographed to music. She was going to do the best she could. 


Immediately, people start looking at each other skeptically, murmuring and rolling their eyes. This is a class with a lot of regulars, and a very popular teacher. Perhaps not the best start for the sub...

What went on during the class was confusing, at best. The music was blaring, the microphone was way too low, and the moves were choppy and disorganized. The instructor was clearly uncomfortable and unprepared, through knowledgeable in weight lifting moves. I think she did do the best she could... But it was a far cry from the average BP class. 

As the class went on, several people packed up and left. Personally, I find that kind of rude. However, I also understand, because if you go into a class expecting a level of instruction and certain style of education, and receive something completely different, should you have to stay the whole time? 

I'm torn over what I should have done or what others should have during that hour. Personally, I'm pretty flexible. I enjoy the group class environment, no matter what's happening. I probably couldn't have gotten a similar workout on my own. But I know others could. 

Also, we did several moves that I've never done in a BP class. I'm sore In places that I've never been sore before! I was confused at the time, and I thought it was a bit dangerous due to the sub's inability or lack of explaination about several moves, but i know enough that I think I did everything correctly. The same could probably not be said for everyone else in class. 

Also, also - I burned more calories in that "class" than I usually do in BP, due to being in the "target heart rate" range more than usual in BP. Just a side note...
This includes 75 cal burned on the elliptical before class... but still
So my question is, what would you have done? This one threw me for a loop. Would you have stayed or left? How much is too much when your group exercise class does not match what you expected (or paid for)? I am very curious to hear from others who have experienced something irregular in a fitness class!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The show must go on!

Wow. Monday blew past me and somehow it's Tuesday already! It's gonna be that kind of week, I have a feeling...

We had very little planned this weekend, and it was exactly what we needed. We were busy, but it was mostly playing catch-up with things that have needed to be done for a while. I grocery-shopped at Wegmans, went to the gym (twice!), returned library books, and even got several loads of laundry done. Nothing too exciting, but it was so nice to have a list of errands to run and not be trying to beat the clock the whole time. Anyone know what I mean?

Anyway. A few months ago, when I heard that Jennifer Nettles was playing in Richmond this summer, I immediately convinced C that we needed to attend the concert. After I bought tickets, I found out that my friend, Aileen, and her husband also had tickets! So we knew we needed to make a plan to get together before the show.

The show was Friday, and Aileen and C planned a great tailgate spread while I travelled the Midwest. Just as we were getting everything packed up on Friday, it occurred to me to check that tailgating was allowed since none of us had ever been to this venue… and wouldn’t you know, it’s not! (Whomp, whomp.)

We were determined not to let that little cloud rain on our parade, though – the show must go on! Luckily, we found a great park less than 10 minutes from RIR, and we set up our own pre-show party! We enjoyed a lovely dinner, grilling next to a pond, in a practically deserted park. It was probably the nicest, most low-key “tailgate” ever – and I loved it! It was just what I needed after getting home at 2 AM that day. We hung out and talked and relaxed before heading to the show. It was perfect!

Once we got to the concert, we had no trouble finding seats together – the venue was probably only 2/3 full! I thought for sure that Jennifer Nettles would be a sell-out show, but apparently she does not have as many fans in the area as I expected. (Although Aileen pointed out that maybe she just doesn’t have the name recognition as a solo act that she does with Sugarland – which is probably true.)

J.N. is down in that white blur somewhere... sorry!

The concert was fantastic, and C and I both had a great time. The set list was a mix of new, solo songs, Sugarland songs, and a few 70’s covers. Plus, Jennifer was just as entertaining and animated while performing as I remembered from the last time we saw her. I couldn’t have been happier!

J.N. and Brandy Clark (her opener), doing their duet - loved it!

Really, it was great timing for a concert - a fun event to close out a super busy (traveling) work week, and a fun event to kick off a low-key weekend. Friday-night concerts are not usually my thing, but this one was just perfect. Thanks for a great show, Jennifer Nettles!

So tell me...
  • Do you tailgate for concerts? What would you have done if you already had your picnic packed and then found out you couldn't tailgate?
  • What's the last concert you went to?
  • What's fun for you this week?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five for Friday: Travel Edition

After getting home close to 2 AM this morning, it's probably unnecessary to say that I am exhausted. Where is a caffeine IV when you need one??

I was on business travel this week, so my brain is practically mushy at this point. I did want to share a few of my favorite things from the past few days, though! It always looks a little different when I've been on the road. Travel adventures lead to the strangest assortment of pictures on my phone. It's fun to look back!

1 // This particular work adventure had me traveling through the Midwest, and while the first couple of days were rainy and gray, the last couple were absolutely gorgeous. The weather just blew me away - 70s, sunny, brilliant blue skies, and no humidity! I couldn't get enough. With days like that, I understand why people love their farm towns so much.

2 // Travel always means the chance to discover new local treasures... we experienced Biggby Coffee on this trip, and it was delightful! Reminded me of Dunkin' Donuts. A chain coffee shop, but with a kind of homey feel. Yum!

3 // My coworkers are busy getting pictures of their kids.... and I'm getting pictures of my cat. Typical. Not ashamed! C sends me lots of kitty pictures when I'm gone - makes being away a little easier!

4 // Airport meals are the worst. I ended up with very little time between flights last night, and hadn't eaten in hours. I was determined not to grab fast food (everyone around me was eating McDonald's!!) and didn't really want a pre-made sandwich that had been sitting around all day, either... made do with what I could find. Thank goodness for Greek yogurt & hummus, which held me over til I got home.

5 // Every new airport I'm at gives me a chance to discover some cool new things... This was my first time passing through Chicago-O'Hare, and I'm definitely impressed! I loved seeing the indoor Urban Garden they have growing, and even found a yoga room available for people who want some quiet time! If I'd been dressed a little differently, I probably would have used it. Another exciting find was the water-bottle-fillers at every water fountain - a little luxury! It makes SO much sense to encourage people to use refillable bottles, and it's so much easier than trying to use the water fountain. Hooray!

Back to the usual grind for me next week - I am looking forward to a low-key weekend and a little bit of normalcy!

linking up with karli and amy

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mobile Monday (again)

Another Monday, another mobile post... But this one is "mobile" for a different reason, too:

That's right, I'm at the airport again. Another business trip begins today! I'll be sleeping in Michigan tonight - any of my readers call that lovely state home??

Thought I'd pop in to share a little thought-provoking quote to start your week.

I got this in my inbox from Real Simple this morning, and it resonated with me a bit. Maybe because lately I have been feeling a little more comfortable with who I am, and a little more accepting of my flaws (heaven knows that is a lifelong roller coaster, right?) Its not always the case, but right here and now, I'm doing all right. That is worth documenting, I think!

Have a wonderful Monday! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A girl can dream...

Do you ever daydream about what you'd do if you suddenly found yourself with a little spare cash? I mean, I know the right answers - invest, put it in a rainy day fund, pay off a debt or a bill... but what if you didn't have to do those things? What if you just suddenly found yourself with an extra chuck of change, and you could do whatever you wanted with it? Wouldn't it be fun to have the luxury, just once, to go out and do anything you wanted with it? Let's just dream about it for a minute or two...

The first thing I'd do is finally hit "purchase" on my Pottery Barn shopping cart - I've had new drapes for our main floor sitting in there for month,s and I just cannot pull the trigger! I'm dying for new window treatments now that we have pretty new paint on the walls, but the only curtains I've found so far that I love cost an arm and a leg - PER PANEL. Whyyyy don't they come in sets of 2, at least?? Anyway. Those curtains would set me back $389.


Left with $611, I'd then hit "purchase" on my Lucy shopping cart, and finally buy myself two new pairs of leggings. I adore my Lucy leggings (I have a pair of the X-Training Capris and a pair of the Hatha Capris) and I wear them constantly, both for workouts and for lounge wear, and I could definitely use some new ones. Buying a one of each type would cost me $158.

With $453 still in my wallet, I'd head to my favorite day spa and book a day of pampering. I've been craving a massage for months now, and what girl wouldn't want to take her spa experience to the next level? A package including a sugar scrub mani and pedi, deep cleaning facial, massage, eyebrow wax, and shampoo, cut, and blowdry would cost me $348, including a tip.

At this point, I'd be completely relaxed and blissful, and be looking to spend my remaining $105. A dinner date with my husband sounds like the perfect way to blow that last chunk!

I'd make us a reservation at one of our favorite local restaurants, Poppy Hill, and we'd get all cleaned up and pretty before heading to dinner. Once seated, we'd order a bottle of wine and their crab crostini appetizer to share. Then, we'd order entrees - chicken parmigiana for her, chianti blueberry BBQ short ribs for him. We'd slowly enjoy our meal and our wine, and even though we'd be completely stuffed, I'd convince C to get a homemade chocolate chip cannoli to share - can't pass up amazing dessert opportunity!
When paying our tab, we'd be a little generous with the tip, and the total would end up to be $104

Happy and full of delicious Italian food, we'd make our way home to get comfy on the couch and continue binge-watching Parks and Rec (I just can't stop!) - the ideal evening!

If you've been following along with my math, you'll know that I didn't quite spend all $1000... I've got $1 left. What to do with that dollar?!.... Put it in savings, of course! :)

So tell me...
  • What would you do with a spare $1000??