Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Double the pleasure- double the fun...

...double spin classes today!

The morning started out with a nice stroll on over to Mr. Greg's spin class at 6:15 a.m. I walked into the studio and was welcomed by a huge smiling face, coffee and candy! I didn't partake in either at first (I had some coffee after class) BUT both made me morning that much better. I had an intense ride this morning. I focused on myself and pushed myself pretty darn hard. I didn't want to finish class upset that I didn't push myself as hard as I could've for the 45 minutes that I was in there (I mean- let's be's ONLY 45 minutes out of my day).

After a crazy day at The Kohl's Children's Museum (with 50 children under the age of 5), I needed a nap! But-- pit-stop first: Lululemon!

I ran by Lululemon on Halsted and grabbed some barre socks (almost like these) , a new headband (which, I HATE. Maybe I can return it?! I should've looked at the reviews- it doesn't stay on my head!) and an awesome new sports-bra. The girls were super-helpful. They asked what I was in for. I mentioned that I just started spinning again and am a barre novice. I told them that I was taking classes at Fit Girl and that I really liked it. Their eyes lit up when I mentioned Fit Girl Studio! They've recently tried classes there and LOVED it. One girl even said, "Don't try Spin Shred- it's SO hard!" My response, "That's my favorite class so far. It's a killer!" I also mentioned that I was blogging about my experience and they were stoked and excited to follow it.

After my little nap, I geared up and headed back over to the studio for my second spin class of the day. I was going to take barre tonight, but I'm taking my first Cardio Barre class tomorrow and was nervous about taking doubles. I felt like every muscle in my body was worked after my last double barre class experience!

I'm to thankful to have gotten my butt to Fit Girl tonight- Liz had a great playlist ready for us in honor of Halloween (Thriller, Ghost Busters, Disturbia, Rocky Horror, etc). In addition, she put together a crazy-good workout! I held my isolations the best that I've done so far. I turned my resistance up higher than ever before on my climbs. I sprinted with all of my energy, remembering that it would only last a short period. And, ya know what?! I left class feeling so strong and proud. I didn't look like a newbie and I felt great.

After class, I brought my husband by to see the studio.  Funny thing, he went to high school with one of Fit Girls that works at the studio. Such a small world.

....andddddddd- scene! I'm exhausted! Time for bed; gotta get my Fit Girl sleep on!

Sorry for the creepy looking picture, but I love the quote!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I nearly had a breakdown in barre class this morning. I looked around at all of the beautiful, lean and fit girls (no pun intended) in class. But, then I heard Amy remind us, "Focus on yourselves. It's only about you. Look yourself in the mirror and dig deep inside." I nearly lost it. I don't care how many miles I can run or how healthy I eat-- I'm unhappy with my body. There, I said it! Transparent and clear for the entire world to read. Hating your body isn't sexy. It isn't attractive or becoming and it surely doesn't make you FEEL good. I stood there (with my leg on the barre and my arms extended) and just prayed that maybe things can change this time. I don't want to be overweight (I'm living proof that eating healthy and running does not = a super-skinny body) and I don't want to hate on myself any longer; it's exhausting. I glanced around again at all of girls in the room and knew that I needed to dig just a little bit deeper and stretch just a bit harder if I want to reach my goals--- if I want this time to be different.

At the end of class, Amy said something that made my eyes well up with tears (thank gosh for a dark room). Amy announced to the class, "You ladies did great today. You pushed yourselves so hard. You may have even pushed your neighbor or someone else in the class to work just a bit harder today. You never know the impact that you can have on someone else- so always try your personal best." Whew! Who knew that working out could be so emotional?!

After class, I talked to Amy for a second and she reminded me that if I ever need a modification or have a question to just ask. She said that my form looks great and that I should be proud. She also mentioned that she'd like to take a class with me sometime so that I can see that barre is simply a challenging class. Even after all of these years, it's still an intense workout, even for her.

At any rate, this tired girl is off to relax for the night.

Spinning at 6:15 in the morning. Day 4 on my Fit Girl challenge!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Barre- you want me to do what?!?

Holy guacamole
My entire body has a twinge of soreness- is totally sore. Thanks, Amy!

I got to class early and was able to chat with some of the other Fit Girls. Everyone is so supportive and welcoming. I love this place more and more!

Tonight, I did my second class of the day. I also wore my "I <3 two a days" shirt. I tried barre for the first time . I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I have a dance background and am pretty flexible I was flexible before I became a runner. I thought the class would be challenging but....that's totally an understatement. At the end of class, Amy asked me how I liked it. My response, "Um, so I thought running a marathon was difficult..." My cousin, an avid barre girl,  quickly reminded me that it's a completely different type of workout from running. Then, she reassured me that, "It's so hard at first but your muscles adjust. You see changes quickly. Oh, and when your legs shake- it's a good thing!" haha

Class Review- Barre:
Upon entering class, you grab two sets of weights and a strap. Don't forget your water (even though I didn't touch it during the actual class) and a towel (yes, you do sweat!). Then, you head to the barre to begin.
The class consists of various series of workouts focusing on abs, calves, glutes, arms, hips/thighs. I felt like there was a good mix of ballet, Pilates and strength exercises. But honestly, words don't do the class justice. It's not like anything that I've ever experienced. Now, I have a whole new monster to tackle... I feel like I'm a pretty good runner, I kick butt in spin and now I need to master this thing called barre..

I'm taking another class with Amy in the morning. I promised to stretch, so off I go... ohhh...ouchhh...eeks...okay...I'm up .

What's your experience with barre classes? Help a new girl out!

I like to do it in the morning, apparently...

Oh, stop being dirty! I, apparently, like to take morning classes! I had a blast at my 6:15 a.m. morning spin class with Miss Sarah today.

When my alarm went off at 5:40 a.m, I popped right out of bed. I have the be honest, I didn't sleep that well. I had butterflies in my stomach! I know it sounds crazy, but I'm more than committed to making this a total lifestyle change once-and-for-all. I know that getting up before the sun each morning and walking to the studio isn't always going to be easy. BUT-- the fact that it's just across the street (I timed it; it takes 4 minutes to get from my condo, downstairs and over to Fit Girl Studio) certainly helps.

In addition, everyone that I've met so far at Fit Girl Studio is so enthusiastic and pumped to be there; it just makes me want to give it my all each time I'm there!

Sarah had a great Spin class this morning. It was "regular" spin class and lasted 45 minutes. Sarah did a great set of sprints, jumps, climbs and isolation exercises. The class was pretty full and she kept reminding us that, "The Monday Morning Crew doesn't mess around!"

I spun my booty off and then hopped in the shower to get ready for work. I got to work with plenty of time to spare. I should mention that there's plenty of parking on Clark St. in the mornings (and it's free until 8 a.m.) for anyone wanting to take early morning classes. My super-sweet husband even thought to park my car infront of the studio last night so that it would be a breeze to jump in my car and get to work!

I had a great morning and have felt energized all day. I cannot wait to try my first barre class tonight!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I'm no longer a FGStudio Virgin!

WOW! I just got back from Fit Girl Studio and had the most amazing first class.

I was greeted by two Fit Girls (Amy and... ah, I forgot) when I entered, with smiling faces! I got checked in and was given a quick tour of the studio. When you enter, there's a seating area and "store" to pick up any of your Fit Girl needs. The studio consists of a spin studio and beautiful yoga/barre studio. They also have a locker room and coat racks with plenty of room for all of your schtuff. Finally, I know this sounds crazy...but... they have a locker room with ::drum roll:: SHOWERS! I was nervous that with a small studio, they wouldn't have showers available. But, fret no more! I can indeed get a morning workout in each morning and get all cleaned up again before heading off to work for the day. Can you say--- shot of endorphins to start the day?! 

Spin Studio
I had Amy help me get set up on my bike before class. I was a bit nervous because the bikes are super high-tech- I've never used a bike like it before (even in my super-fancy athletic club). The bikes actually sway with your body (think....the feeling of riding a real bike). I was reminded that they're intense and it'll help me use my core (it sure did). In addition, the bikes have a bar that lists your elapsed time, RPM and miles. Once I got comfortable on the bike, I loved it! The studio was very clean, cozy and the perfect temperature.

Class Review- Spin Shred:
AMAZE-BALLS! The Spin Shred class was lead by Michelle, the owner of Fit Girl Studio. The class is described on their website as follows:
Spin meet your new best friend: Total Body Conditioning. 
Shred hundreds of calories in this 60 min 
fat burning, 
muscle toning class. 
(20 spin + 20 strength + 20 spin)

WOW- It was no joke! I'm sure that my next class at Fit Girl will become my "favorite" class but right now...Spin Shred is my new favorite class! 
20 min-spin:    We had a great ride for the first 20 minutes consisting of a flat ride, climb and sprints. 
20 min- strength:    After 20 minutes, we hopped off of our bikes and headed to the yoga/barre studio. We all grabbed two sets of weights (they had 1,2 and 3 lb weights), our towels and water and headed to the mirrors. We had an awesome 20 minutes of kickboxing/turbo kick style strength exercises (with weights) and time for push-ups and stretches at the barre. After the 20 minutes in the room, Michelle told us, "Leave your weights where they are; we'll clean them up for you! Head on over to the bikes and let's get ready to ride!" I LOVE it
20 min-spin:    Our final 20 minutes totally flew by. We started with a climb. Then, as Michelle put it, "Things got jumppy!" with a series of jumps. Next, we did a series of sprints (20 seconds hard, 10 seconds rest). Finally, we finished with a cool-down and stretches

Can you tell that I absolutely LOVED my first class?!? I thanked Michelle for a wonderful class, grabbed my things and headed out the door. I was SO sweaty, high or endorphins and excited about my first class that I walked out the door without my coat shorts... and a short sleeve 40 degree weather. Oops! I realized after 15 seconds outside in the wind that I might want to put on my jacket- Toto, we're not in Florida anymore!

I can't wait to try a "regular" spin class tomorrow morning with Sarah and my very first Barre class tomorrow night with Amy!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Runaway Bride!...Well, kinda...

Tonight, I ran my first 5k since The Chicago Marathon. I ran The Pumpkins in The Park 5k. It was a chilly 43 degrees with a wind chill of 35 degrees- Fabulous! I dressed up as a runaway bride. It was an effort to re-used some of my wedding supplies. I used an old bride shirt and my bachelorette sash and necklace. I bought a cheap garter and veil from Michael's. Finally, I made a tutu and sign for my back. I thought it was creative- my husband thought that I would win the costume contest. Ehhhhh-- it wasn't quite THAT creative! But, I did get a lot of smiles, claps and shouts of "That's cute!" I had a great time and ran a PR for a 5k. I'm on a roll and absolutely cannot wait to take my fitness to another level with Fit Girl Studios tomorrow. I need somethings new, something that works, something different and something else to love. So glad that Fit Girl Studios prides itself on their motto:
"Love your workout- love your body!"

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's official- I'm a FIT progress!

I recieved this lovely little email tonight:

...and I just registered for my classes for the next week!
I cannot wait to try:
Spin Shred
Cardio Barre
and Restorative Candlelight Yoga

My first class is Sunday- Spin Shred with the one and only, Michelle!

Dreaming of being a Fit Girl

This summer, my husband and I were taking a stroll down Clark St. in our neighborhood. I saw a storefront window with brightly colored pink paper. I wasn't sure if it was an advertisement for a new froyo place or maybe just "junk" wallpaper covering  yet another closed city storefront. To my surprise, I saw a beautiful pink logo with the words "Fit Girl Studio" on it. Seriously?! A new fitness studio just across the street from my house? I had to find out more!

When I got home I looked up the website and found out that they were a fitness studio specializing in Barre, Yoga and spin classes. I had just re-joined another athletic club, but was excited to learn more about Fit Girl. I HAD to try it out! Months went by and I continued to stalk their website to learn more. 

Fit Girl Lincoln Park opened last month. Today, I contacted Michelle (the owner of Fit Girl Studios) and asked her if she'd be willing to sponsor me on my journey to become a Fit Girl (my teacher's assistant budget just wouldn't allow me to do it on my own at this point). I know I need help to reach my fitness goals and I thought it might be a longshot but you have to ask; if you don't ask, you'll never know. 

Just ask about hour after sending Michelle an email, she responded letting me know that she'd love to help me on my journey! I was elated! I CRIED- literally broke down in happy tears- on the CTA! I didn't care if everyone saw me grinning from ear to ear AND crying at the same time--- Fit Girl Studios has ALREADY changed my life by giving me this opportunity!

With that said- it's so-long generic athletic club and HELLO to being a FIT GIRL! Please join me on my progress to fitness, health and happiness in the city!