Posts tagged ‘Crunch’

Haul you need is love

I was raised in a family that celebrated every holiday it could. I suspect that comes, in part, from the fact that Momma Buns is the queen of many things, including finding the perfect paper goods for any occasion — on sale — at Party City. As my sister and I grew up, she put that talent to the test as often as possible. I remember waking up to find that Momma Buns had decorated the kitchen with red foil hearts and made pancakes (a rare treat on a school morning). Other years, I remember her sitting with me while I scrawled my classmates’ names on Snoopy Valentine’s cards, or my whole family passing gifts wrapped in pink tissue paper around the dinner table. (As I grew older, mine was usually a romantic comedy or super-weeper newly out on video. Untamed Heart, anyone?)

So even though I know that many people think Valentine’s Day is manufactured, romantic silliness, for me, it brings to mind really great celebrations of the deep affection my family and I have for each other. So I love it. And I love you guys. In the spirit of that love-fest— even though the actual holiday was yesterday — I’m going to unabashedly share some fitness-related stuff (plus a few randoms) that makes my heart sing. Cool?

“Golden Years” by David Bowie

I first heard it in the movie A Knight’s Tale, which makes me uncool. But my adoration of choreographed dance scenes already makes me uncool, so whatever. Now, the song is on my running playlist—and it’s very useful as a workday afternoon mood-booster, too.

Love Your Muscles with Crunch

Love Your Muscles logoI joined Crunch gym just after I started my job in New York two years ago. Aside from the convenient locations (one near my job, another near my apartment) and really great classes (Marc Santa Maria’s Monday night hip-hop and Dave Norfleet’s iRide Spinning are FANTASTIC), the vibe there is a little bit funkier and more accepting than many other New York gyms I’ve visited. The gym’s motto, after all, is No Judgments. This month, they’re holding workshops and offering training specials to raise money for Augie’s Quest, a Muscular Dystrophy Association initiative to find a cure for the degenerative muscle disease ALS. This month, the gym will give Augie’s Quest $5 for every new membership and $10 for every new personal training package. “Love Your Muscles” refers to the signs they put your name on when you donate: You can choose a muscle you love — I picked the heart — and your name goes up alongside a cute cartoon drawing of that muscle. If you’re interested in more information or want to donate, go here.

Savasana

Toward the end of every yoga class, the instructor asks everyone to lay on their backs, heels together, toes flopped apart, arms by their sides, palms open. Sometimes our eyes are open; often, they’re closed. We lay in this position, known as savasana (suh-VAH-snah) or “corpse pose”, and relax everything. Sounds like sleeping, you say. It’s seriously close, but so much better. Often, the  poses right before savasana are challenging, and laying down and focusing only on breathing and relaxing seems like a reward. In Bikram yoga, sometimes the only thing that gets me through a rough class is the thought of how sweet the savasana will be at the end. I lay on my mat and think about how the ground is supporting me, holding me up, and how I don’t have to do anything except find little snarls of tension in my body and then let them go. Even if you’re not into yoga, try giving yourself a few minutes of motionless chill-out time after a tough workout sometime. It’s pretty awesome.

Puma’s Dizzy Barrel Bag

When my old gym bag bit it, I tried to make do with tote bags and backpacks and the like. No good. I resisted buying a new one because I didn’t want something huge and clunky, but I needed something big enough to fit a change of clothes, my sneakers, and toys like my interval timer, my iPod, a magazine, my weight gloves, etc. Behold, Puma’s Dizzy Barrel Bag. It’s pretty great, kind of stylish, and (right now) on sale! Gym bag woes, cured.

Puma Dizzy Barrel Bag

So cute, right?

I’d love to hear what gets your heart pumping, too. Gadgets and gear? Workouts? Instructors? Personal accomplishments? Something completely unrelated to fitness but awesome nonetheless? Tell us about it in the comments section. 

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February 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

So, that was my Saturday . . .

I accidentally signed up for two fitness events on the same day planned a huge day of fitness fun this past Saturday, starting with New York Road Runners’ Fitness Body, Mind, Spirit Games in Central Park. As Steph and I were walking along Central Park West to the race, a couple in an old-school sedan pulled up alongside us and asked for directions to 67th and Madison. I crouched down next to the car and told them how they were going to cross Central Park at the 72nd Street transverse. They asked if there were any bridges to go under. Only then did I realize what they were towing behind them.

As it turns out, I was giving directions to Harry and Barbara, two members of the Waterloo German Band, who had driven their car and freaking awesome float all the way from Illinois to Manhattan for this year’s German-American Steuben Parade. (Check them out in action; pretty impressive.) Once I routed the couple around the park — and away from any low-hanging overpasses — they thanked me. As then as we were walking away, they honked, beckoned me back, and very sweetly asked me to mail some postcards for them. Why the heck not? They had literally hauled a larger-than-life cuckoo clock replica behind them across six states; it was the least I could do.

Much later in the day, Steph and I were lamenting the fact that we hadn’t taken a picture of the float before the clock rolled away. As we were telling Mr. Haul Buns (or, The Artist Formerly Known as The Fiancé Formerly Known as The Boyfriend—whichever you prefer, because I’m fairly certain he doesn’t prefer either) about our day, I pulled out the postcards to show him and bam! They were Waterloo German Band postcards! Harry and Barbara, you guys rock — mostly because your cards proved to the skeptical Mr. HB that the float actually WAS festooned with a stuffed deer head.

Anyway, after our Good Samaritan stint, Steph and I ran the Fitness 4-miler. The Biggest Loser‘s Bob Harper was there on behalf of Quaker, and TBL‘s season 11 winner Olivia Ward and her sister and teammate, Hannah Curlee, were on hand to cheer for all of the runners. Steph got thisclose to meeting Bob, but his press person scuttled him away from fans just before the start of the race. This photo is all we have to remember our almost-encounter with The Blonde One.

Maybe he ran away from us because I was yelling, "Believe in yourself, trust the process, change forever!"

Happy with our times, and with me gingerly nursing the knee I’d scraped when I took a header getting into the start corral — sigh — Steph and I took the 2 train down to South Street Seaport for Women’s Health magazine’s Are You Game?

This pretty awesome day of (relatively) free group fitness classes and swag giveaways was so much fun. TBL‘s season 11 trainer Cara Castronuova was there to teach a boxing class; during a Q&A, she told us all that women should be able to throw a nice, clean punch. Seems like good advice.

(Photo: Stephanie Pinsdorf)

 

Though we got shut out of a few classes because we hadn’t reserved spots (a definite must for next year), we took part in two really great sessions: Rock Yoga, a vinyasa class set to songs like Guns N’ Roses’ “Patience” and Aerosmith’s “Dream On” — it shouldn’t have worked, but it totally did — and La Blast, a cardio ballroom class developed by Dancing with the Stars’ pro Louis Van Amstel. Amstel was even there to teach the class; from the moment he told us to shake our boobs and think with our pelvic regions, I knew I’d have a pretty great time. Afterward, Steph and I weren’t about to let this blonde, male reality TV personality get away without taking a photo with us.

Harper, this coulda been you.

September 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment


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