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I Tried 10 New Fitness Classes in One Week and I Feel Unstoppable

A week-long fitness bonanza proved to be mentally and physically invigorating — NOT exhausting!
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Like many people do in the days leading up to January 1, I deliberately sat down with a journal and wrote out a list of goals I wanted to accomplish in the next 365 days. I covered all the biggies: finances, fitness, travel, relationships and even mental wellness. Also, like many people, I felt a bubbling confidence while scribbling away that made me feel like this year was going to be different in terms of actually achieving said goals.

Here we are, nearly six months later. To be perfectly honest with myself and with you, I do have some catching up to do. However, there's one category in which I've excelled and it's one that I've struggled with in previous years: health and fitness.

Here's the list of goals I wrote down before the clock struck midnight on December 31:

· Take more walks
· Branch out and try new fitness classes
· Take daily vitamins
· Prepare more meals at home
· Buy a bike — and actually use it
· Focus on health/fitness when traveling
· Meditate weekly

Image via Getty

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Diving Into Those #Goals
I started the year off with a grocery shopping bonanza and a deep, committed dive into Whole 30. This jump-started my mental clarity and general energy levels and proved an important step in this new "era of fitness" I had embarked on. I also began thinking about how I could make exercising more fun, as I'd gotten into a rut of only doing (sporadic) two-mile runs or at-home yoga sessions.

The first area I focused on was marrying travel and fitness. Travel is important to me and something I do frequently both for fun and as part of my job as a lifestyle reporter. In years past, I haven't really framed travel as an opportunity to explore fitness and health, but this year I set out to deliberately change that.

In the middle of January, on a trip to Costa Rica, I participated in a grueling, near-vertical hour-long hike through the rainforest with a small group of women. This hike reminded me of the importance of immersing myself fully in the outdoors and that traveling doesn't have to only consist of food and museums.

Then, in February while covering NYFW in the Big Apple, I purposefully walked those extra steps instead of hopping on the subway or calling an Uber. I even managed to find spare moments to meditate and re-ground myself amid the frenzy. There were days where I hit 20,000 steps and the level of pride I felt staring at those numbers made me feel surprisingly accomplished. This was another important lesson I learned: quantifying my progress fueled my momentum.

Image: Yoga on the Lawn at West Palm Beach's DistrictFit

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A Challenge: 10 New Classes in One Week
March is where things really took a turn, though. Determined to meet my goal of experimenting with new classes, I set myself up for success by indulging in Golden Door's fitness resort in California, followed by another fitness getaway in West Palm Beach, Florida, a city that has positioned itself as a blossoming leader in health and wellness travel. (If you're interested in partaking, check out the DistrictFit Wellness Festival that runs October 19 through 21.)

In the course of that one week, I tried 10 different fitness classes, including boxing, spin, barre, tai chi, outdoor circuits, running intervals, pilates, zen yoga, blacklight yoga and even a 1:1 session with a fitness instructor to help me initiate new moves into my current routine.

In an effort to truly step outside of my comfort zone, I purposefully tried classes that I hadn't done before and that I knew would challenge me. Was zen yoga necessarily my favorite thing in the world? No, but I appreciated the fact that I learned it wasn't for me. I also discovered that I feel like a kick-ass fitness star wearing a pair of boxing gloves and that it's the type of workout I'd like to incorporate into my fitness routine every day. I discovered that tai chi is way harder than it looks, that spin is super intense, that working out in the outdoors is notably invigorating and that I am obsessed with barre.

Most importantly, though, I learned that my body was capable.

I mean, I always feel great after a run, but pushing myself beyond what I was used to both in terms of types of classes and number of hours spent fitnessing proved that I was capable of much more than previously assumed. Capable of sparring with another without feeling silly, capable of the painful, difficult micro-movements in barre, capable of simply heading to a park and doing drills. Capable of anything, really.

Image: My Schedule at San Marcos' Golden Door Resort

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Looking Ahead
Trying so many new fitness classes in a week gave me major momentum. Upon return from my week-long bonanza, I signed up for Class Pass, something I'd been meaning to do for months. I love that it allows me to continue trying new studios and new types of workouts, ranging from PureBarre (my new favorite, which I now do twice a week) to outdoor yoga in beautiful spaces to "booty brigade" workouts. And no, this isn't an ad for Class Pass — I just enjoy the app that much!

I also bought a bike, which is another thing I've been meaning to do for a while. I wanted to be able to create those "outdoor workout" vibes easily and anytime, and sunset bike rides have now become a staple in my week.

Another thing I've learned — and that really surprises me — is that I enjoy working out with other people. I previously had only worked out alone but taking classes with a group is highly motivating. I've even got my friends involved in my fitness endeavors and we periodically try a new class together (the wine afterward makes it especially fun).

I anticipate that with anything, my fitness motivation will wax and wane over time, but right now I'm on a high and loving it. So, here's to new classes, new workout buds and a newfound sense of pride and power! With that said, I'm off to barre...

Image: Full Moon Blacklight Yoga at West Palm Beach's DistrictFit

BY WENDY ROSE GOULD | MAY 23, 2018 | SHARES
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