Most of my weekends in the summer are full of indulgence and a little bit of health (Sometimes Healthy). Between all the traveling and beer, food and wine festivals up here, the weekends are the perfect time to let loose and enjoy all that my new area has to offer.
However, this particular weekend had the perfect balance of fun and fitness. Usually time is an issue, but for some reason, this weekend we seemed to have enough to do it all! Instead of boring you with every detail, I’m going to break it down with the top 5 Sometimes Healthy Moments of the weekend.
1. Learning a “New Release” at Kickboxing
Yesterday, I finally got to find out what it meant to have a “new release” at BodyCombat. I’ve mentioned my newfound love for BodyCombat in a previous post, and luckily, it’s continued to grow every week that I take the class. I always enjoy the energy in the class, but on “new release day” it was at an even higher level!
I’ll be honest. In many ways, as you can probably tell, I’m a very low maintenance Sometimes Healthy Girl. Plant me in front of the TV to watch Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition with some Swedish Fish or a scoop of sprinkle-covered ice cream, and I’m a happy girl. No need to wine and dine.
But with gyms, I’ve always been different.
Many days of the week, especially the monotonous days, my workout is my favorite time of the day. It’s my “me” time. The time I can work through any issues in my head, while also burning some calories. So, when I lived in NYC, I was able to justify belonging to the “premier” gym in the city. I loved nearly every minute at that gym, and sometimes it kind of felt like a spa. But hey, when you’re working out next to people like Diddy and Gerard Butler, the price tag isn’t exactly small.
I was nervous moving to the Hudson Valley that I wouldn’t find a gym that could fulfill my workout needs, in particular when it comes to kickboxing. The kickboxing class I attended in NYC was an intense workout with a cult following, and like the other crazy ladies, I was obsessed. (read about it here).
Luckily, after 6 months, I’m very pleased to say that I couldn’t be happier with my gym in the Hudson Valley, Gold Gym. There are two gyms near me, and I get access to both at a fraction (that’s an understatement) of the price I paid in NYC. For that price, it has literally everything I need (too many treadmills and ellipticals to count, lots of weights, classes and space), plus more. I find the small things, like the Cardio Cinema and the women’s workout rooms, to make such a big difference.
It’s the classes, however, that have been the biggest surprise. I really appreciate the standardized method of classes at Golds Gym (through Les Mills). I think it’s pretty cool that almost anywhere I go in the country, I can take my favorite kickboxing class and have no problem following along (I can also check out all of the tracks online). I appreciate how they stick with the same format for a few months to allow you to get comfortable and then switch it up. It’s actually the best way to get in a quality workout, because once you catch on, you can waste less energy stumbling around and focus on working your butt off!
BodyCombat is a carefully formulated class of mixed martial arts and cardio movements. Each class includes about 8 fights (songs) full of punching, kicking and a bunch of different moves I’ve never seen before. But, by far, my favorite part is the instructors. They’re full of energy and somehow know how to make motivating the room seem “cool” instead of cheesy. I have no idea how they do it…but I do have a secret dream to become certified in the class some day, so maybe I’ll find out.
Yesterday’s class had an extra buzz of energy in the air, because everyone was excited about the new release! While the unfamiliar moves were challenging, it was easy to catch on, and I could tell most people in the room felt the same way. Not only did I get a great workout, but I actually felt invigorated inspired after the class! I even filmed a little “testimonial” for the gym’s Facebook Page (Don’t get excited. Words are my thing, people, not cameras).
I’m looking forward to exploring more classes at the gym, including BodyPump (tried it a few times, but want to do it consistently), BodyAttack and BodyFlow.
2. Wine Ice Cream and a Waterfall
After a little too much vino on Thursday night, we decided to take it easy Friday with a dog walk around Beacon, a town nearby. We’ve walked the town at least 20 times and have never noticed this giant waterfall.
Not every day you stumble upon a gorgeous waterfall. Even better, there’s a new hotel/restaurant with outdoor sweating and sweeping waterfall views, Swift. I checked out the menu, and all I know is that for dessert, they have some sort of waffle, covered in Fruity Pebbles, Bacon and Maple Syrup. SOLD.
And, what do you do the night after you drink too much wine? Purchase wine ice cream, of course. The BF’s favorite ice cream place in the world is Beacon Creamery, so when I suggested we share the Peach Zinfandel, I didn’t have to twist his arm.
It was peachy and creamy, but I didn’t taste the wine as much as I had hoped. I also sampled the Cherry Merlot, which had much more of a kick. I think I’d give that a try next time.
3. Veggie Roast + Fire Roasted Marshmallows
Post dinner, the weather was perfect for grilling, and the BF had a giant steak just sittin’ in the fridge. He asked me what I wanted. I said “A bunch of vegetables and cheese.” He gave me a weird look.
We ended up grilling squash (from last weekend at Lawrence Orchard Farms), green beans, yellow tomatoes, purple peppers and a couple of Portobellos. I sprinkled ‘em with olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Then, I topped with some fresh mozzarella balls.
When I told the BF it was one of the best meals I’ve had in a while, again, he gave me the “I think you’re crazy” look. I’m all for balancing protein, fats and grains in my dinners, but sometimes I just want a giant plate of vegetables. And when they’re grilled, well, that’s just perfection on a plate.
Then, the BF attempted to build a fire (we didn’t have many sticks), and it lasted just long enough to roast some marshmallows. I didn’t even bother with the chocolate and graham crackers. Nothin’ beats a nice, charred up marshmallow ya’ll.
4. 10 Mile Pace Run
Saturday, we needed to head to Jersey for a special b-day (more on that below), but I was really itching to get in about 10 miles before we left.
Mr. Cole also needed a run, but with a black fur coat, in the summer he can’t usually handle any more than 6 miles.
So, I decided to run with Cole until he was tired and then bang out the rest after I dropped him off. Because it was so mild out, he was able to last for 7 miles! We ran at about 9:40 per mile, which is a bit slower than I would have run on my own.
However, after I dropped him off, I banged out the last 3 miles in 24 minutes and ended up averaging 9:08 per mile. Thanks to my “pacer,” I was able to finish strong, and it felt great!
5. An Extra Special B-Day Party
Post-run, we headed to NJ to celebrate a very important first b-day: the BF’s niece, Amelia.
Isn’t she just the cutest?
I must say, watching her dive into that cake certainly made me nostalgic for my youth. I mean, I can’t remember the last time someone said to me, “Here’s a cake. I want you to eat it all by yourself and get as messy as possible.”
Ah, to be young again.
The BF’s sister-in-law also surprised me with a belated brownie cake, since I hadn’t seen her since my 30th bday.
It was so unexpected and very much appreciated. As you mothers all know, planning a b-day party is a lot of work, so the fact that she remembered my b-day too warmed my little Sometimes Healthy heart.
She also made her famous chickpea salad that I will most definitely be recreating on this blog. Ingredients include: chickpeas, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, onions and Greek dressing.
I eat half the bowl every time she makes it.
We all agreed that Baby Amelia is growing up very fast, and that is why the BF and I felt comfortable purchasing her first car.
Clearly, it was a hit! (and the perfect way to help her burn off energy after all the cake).
Finally, it was time to say goodnight to Amelia and goodbye to her mommy and daddy.
They’re moving to Massachusetts in a few weeks, and I’ll definitely miss having them around. The four of us always seem to have such a good time just chatting and drinking wine. I can’t wait to visit them and explore their new town!
Now, after all that excitement, I’m back in NYC for a couple of Monday morning meetings. And in the spirit of tradition, here’s the Sometimes Healthy NYC running selfie shot and coffee shot
See ya Wednesday!
What’s your favorite thing about your gym? Favorite exercise class?