Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More than a "walk in the park"

I mentioned awhile ago about the free classes in Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham and just wanted to follow up and report on how much I am enjoying these classes! If anyone from the Birmingham area is reading this, I would highly recommend the RR Park classes as a great way to work up a sweat! (Not that we aren’t working up a sweat just stepping outside, since the weather angels have decided to grace us with August temps in early June, but I digress…)

I have been taking the boot camp classes most Tuesday nights since then and they are deceptively difficult…using a combination of plyometrics and more “traditional” moves (i.e. push-ups, planks, squats, etc). We are moving non-stop and the 90+ degree temps add to the ass-kicking. I like to think I am adding to my own bad-ass factor (HAHA) by running a mile to class from my work parking lot (after the obligatory Superman quick-change at Newk’s) and then back afterward. No need to even wonder why the run TO class feels SO MUCH SHORTER than the run back and even though it’s “only” a mile, I sometimes wonder if I might not be a tad insane given the temps lately.

Last night on the run back I passed a few runners struggling in the heat. When I was a couple blocks away from my parking lot I happened to catch one guy out of the corner of my eye who was running parallel to me (on the other side of the street). He looked like he was in great shape but fading in the heat. At this point my own legs felt like lead and I wanted to walk SO BADLY but I made it my mission to stay even with him until I reached my car. I am proud to say “mission accomplished” and am happy that the random stranger was there to push me the last couple of blocks. However, I did not envy the runner as he kept pushing up the hill on 20th street!

Smiling or Grimacing? You decide.

In addition to boot camp, I also tried the RR Park yoga class for the first time last Thursday. For me, getting in a weekly yoga session is really important in helping to stave off injury and I love having the opportunity to focus and truly be in the moment. I haven’t been able to make it to my usual class at the gym b/c of the horrible traffic conditions/interstate construction work going on right now so I was excited to try this class. And hey, who needs a bikram class when you can do yoga outdoors in 95 degree heat? (And if I had $1 for every time I heard a version of that statement Thursday night I would be well on my way to a new pair of running shoes. And for the record, I used that statement with a coworker earlier that day, so I did not totally rip off someone else’s bad joke!)

This class is definitely going into the weekly rotation! The instructor had such a great energy and truthfully the heat wasn’t unbearable. Right now, the classes are scheduled to go through November and I am already anticipating how great it is going to feel come fall.

My perspective (I love the historic smoke stacks)

After class

The yogi made a statement during the class that I would like to leave you with for now. It resonated with me completely in that moment and I hope others can find value in his words as well.

(Paraphrased and spoken in a calming yoga-like cadence) As you refocus and rededicate your intentions to this class, think of the things that brought you to this point today. These actions and encounters are in the past and they served you well…or maybe they didn’t…but either way they are in the past. As you stand here, do not think of everything that is on your to-do list for when you leave this. All of those things will be waiting for you in the future. Be focused in the present; be completely selfish and focus only on yourself and this moment; be here with intention…focus on the here and now.

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