Posts Tagged ‘balance’

City Sports Run Club with CS by City Sports Apparel

By Kristina

On Monday I went to City Sports Run Club with Jess. We ran with her friend Emma, Rachel from Healthy Chicks and her friend Jess. The Run Club meets every Tuesday at 6:00 pm, and welcomes runners of all abilities. You can store your bag in a dressing room and learn about a new company each week. This week, Merrell showcased some of their new shoe offerings, and there were Bonk Breaker peanut butter and jelly energy bar samples.  Another reason to go–every mile you log gives you $1 in rewards points. I’m excited to go to more of these runs–they fall right after my school leadership team meeting, so it’s a great way to finish the day and keep my work and life balanced.

City Sports gave us running apparel from their CS by City Sports line, which has lots of affordable options and extended sizes for long tights, capris, crops, tank tops, shirts, longsleeved shirts, and hoodies.  The material is soft and breathable. Rachel and I both chose the All Sport Tank. I picked yellow while she picked pink. I liked the loose fit and ruffle detail. I think it will be good for barre classes and strength training as well as running in hot or cool weather (with layers).


We also both picked the Accelerate Run Full Zip in Black Stripe. I liked that this had thumbholes and a small pocket near the waist for keys or ID.


Jess and I both chose the Paramount Run Capri in yellow and gray. I liked the zippered pocket in the back for taking keys, ID, and an emergency $20 for running. I noticed there is an iPod hole if you wish to carry an iPod in the pocket (probably a shuffle or nano would work best). I would wear these to barre and strength training as well, but have had some trouble when doing situps in pants with zippered back pockets.


We then gathered as a group to go over the 3.5 mile and 5 mile routes that went along the river and came back around the Public Garden. I like to take the JQUS Running Club out along the river, around the Public Garden, and around the Common as well, so it was familiar territory! The girls and I chose the 3.5 mile route and enjoyed some good conversation and the scenery of the Charles River, Beacon Hill, and Back Bay before we arrived back at City Sports.


Looking forward to the next run!

All photos by Ben Eld and City Sports.

Disclaimer: Our CS by City Sports apparel were complimentary courtesy of City Sports. All opinions are my own.

C2 Pilates Blogger Barre

By Kristina

Yesterday I went to a C2 Pilates blogger barre class with Jess from Little Miss Runshine and Denisefrom Fit 4 a Foodie. Other attendees included Sarah from SarahFit, Jen from Boston Bachelorette, and Monica from Burpees and Bubbly.

c2pilates Jess, Denise, and me

CC began with an introduction of the studio, rundown of the class routines, and rationale behind their method. I appreciated this–though I have gone to many barre classes, I like knowing what to expect! In fact, I was a little nervous because I heard from Jess that the class was supposedly harder than the ones she had gone to before.

CC and Carolyn put their heart and soul into designing great barre & pilates classes for students of all ages and fitness levels. As we get older and spend most of our workdays at desks, it gets harder to complete and recover from long runs, ultimate frisbee games, and tough classes such as soul.train Crazy 8’s. I am now trying to lure my 50-something coworker to Pure Barre. Though she did gymnastics and cheerleading as a teenager and has natural athletic ability, she was hoping for a “beginner” version of barre.

CC and Carolyn

C2 Pilates provides a different approach than many of the other barre studios, making barre more accessible to ladies like my coworker. Differentiation of instruction rocks! Their oldest barre client is 84, and they are also doing a fundraiser (Pink Barre) for breast cancer.  Instruction will be modified to accommodate physical limitations or provide extra challenges. The classes are also designed for more of a slow burn than the intense burn that many other barre classes incorporate, and it is comprised of 50 minutes of standing work and 10 minutes of floor work rather than moving from barre to floor and back. I’ve noticed that Pure Barre, Core Fusion, and Bar Method clients tend to be in their 20s and 30s–would love to see some 84-year-young ladies in there too!

CC led the warmup, arms, legs, abs, and cooldown sections while Carolyn led the cardio legs sections. The music was slower and calmer than I was used to, and at first I felt like we were in a more traditional ballet class. I liked the scaffolding of the exercises (gradually increasing in difficulty, and spiraling back to different muscle groups). For example, we worked arms and legs several times rather than moving in discrete sections. Over the course of the class, we did eleves, releves, arabesques, attitudes, plies, tendus, and rond de jambes as part of the carefully choreographed routines (all of which were timed perfectly to the songs). The instructors’ cuing was helpful and accurate. They positioned themselves so that they could see us and we could see them in the mirrors, then provided verbal corrections to our form and alignment. I worried about going the wrong direction from the other students and hitting someone in the face. Thankfully, this did not happen (though I did drop my orange ball in the later leg work!).

All in all, the C2 Pilates barre experience was a fun way to meet other bloggers and shake up my fitness routine. Thank you CC and Carolyn!

Sunday Funday

By Kristina

My old roommate and I used to get the Sunday night blues. She’d be working on group projects or case studies for MBA classes and I would be cobbling together lesson plans, usually by reading through math blogs (Dan Meyer, Sam Shah, and Kate Nowak were my gateways to this fascination world of curriculum). We were constantly starting the work week already tired, growing even more tired as we looked forward to the weekend, then never fully resting on the weekends.

I used to think I needed to work constantly to be the best teacher I could be, never taking the advice I so freely doled out to my students about getting enough sleep to be fully focused in class. I stayed up too late, slept too little, and inhaled too much coffee to make up for the sleep deficit. To me, teaching life and social life were mutually exclusive. I rarely hung out with friends on weeknights, and on the occasions that I did, I often worried about what I *should* be doing for school instead of fully enjoying social time.

I have gotten much better with getting most of my work done before I leave school and with giving my full attention to social time. I am also adjusting my schedule so it works best for me. For example, I now go running earlier in the day rather than waiting to run at 7pm with girlfriends, because exercising too late at night makes it difficult to fall asleep on school nights. Additionally, I sometimes go to afternoon yoga or pilates classes and then do work rather than going with the rush-hour crowds. However, when the school year starts, I’m going to miss the freedom of being able to hang out with friends in an impromptu way during summer evenings. Most of all, I’ll miss the feeling of not worrying about work during the evenings. In spite of changing routines, this Sunday night blues feeling is hard to shake.

Today, my boyfriend and I played Settlers of Katan with some friends. We got the invitation when we were walking home after working at iYo Cafe, and I thought “I’m too tired and I should really work on my lesson plans some more.” After a short yoga session and dinner, we decided to go because we’d feel happier hanging out with our friends rather than putting in a few more half-hearted hours on our work. Lo and behold, we were right–chatting, socializing, and exercising our brains with Settlers was way more productive.I’d love to continue these Sunday Fundays throughout the school year. In order to do so, I’ll have to get everything done and planned out before Sunday afternoon…difficult, but well worth it in terms of fighting the Sunday night blues!

Om and Quitting the Gym

By Kristina

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t…snap at their students.

Little Miss Runshine’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge is going to be on like donkey kong. I checked out these six dvds from the Boston Public Library today to get ready for the September 1st start.

I hope that doing yoga DVDs and classes regularly for a month will:

a) keep me calm in and out of the classroom

b) undo some of my running-related inflexibility

c) serve as a good alternative to the gym, because calm and saving $ > calm

Jess (Little Miss Runshine) and I joined Boston Sports Clubs about a year ago. Initially, I thought I’d go to group exercise classes as well as avail myself of the various cardio machines and weights. I like the great selection of gym locations near my home and work, but I’m not using the gym’s facilities and classes to the best of their potential. I have been to a grand total of two group exercise classes (one spinning and one vinyasa yoga) during the past year, have ventured into the weights section only a few times, and have probably spent most of my gym time either foam rolling or on a treadmill. Thus, the cost per visit is probably $$$$ rather than my initial vision of $. The math teacher in me cringes at this.

It’s time to put that $$$$ toward a more financially sound way of workin’ on my fitness! I now own a way better foam roller than those at the gym. Running outside is free, and I can embrace my inner New Englander by running in winter weather. Yes, I am saying this as the heat of summer gives way to leaf-peeping season and idyllic fall running weather. I promise not to clamor for the comforts of a Precor treadmill + tv once the first snowflake falls.

Additionally, differentiation suits fitness just as well as it does instruction. If a snow day or a want-something-different-from-running day happens, there are still the options of:

  • soul.train personal training, yoga, zumba, BPM, Crazy 8’s, or indoor boot camp
  • Zuzana Light ZWODs and ZWOWs
  • Workout DVDs (Jillian Michaels, Jackie Warner, Exhale Core Fusion yoga, pilates)
  • Swimming at JFK pool
  • Pinterest workouts

What yoga DVDs, classes, or non-gym workouts do you recommend?

Lost that Summer Feeling?

By Kristina

You lost…that summer feeling…whoa-oh that summer feeling
You lost…that summer feeling…now it’s gone, gone, gone

Even though summer is now officially on its last legs, I am going to try to keep the relaxed feeling of it as long as I can! Though I won’t be able to take hour-long lunches with friends or wander freely through Boston during daylight hours, I’m preparing a list of small things that keep life fun (inspired by Math Teacher Mambo).

1) Cook dinner at least twice a week. I’ve tried to do the “cook it all on Sunday” routine, but cooking relaxes me, so I prefer to spread it out throughout the week. Bonus: if I put on an episode of Chopped while I cook, I feel like a fancy chef even if I’m not trying to concoct an appetizer from peanut butter cookies, bacon, and purple potatoes.

2) Make plans with a friend at least once a week. During my first few years of teaching, it became oh-so-easy to say no to plans out with friends during weekdays. After all, wasn’t I supposed to spend all my waking hours lesson planning, freaking out, or chugging coffee? I will schedule in movie dates (chick flick Mondays at the Boston Common theater or Somerville Theatre), yoga classes, and running with my friends.

3) Read e-books on the T. I now have an iPad, and it’s revolutionized my reading. With the Overdrive app and my Boston Public Library card, I can now have up to 10 e-books on my iPad at once…for free! My students think I’m cuckoo for not always driving to school, but I enjoy the T rides. In the car, I can’t lose myself in the mystical world of A Discovery of Witches or learn how habits can be changed in The Power of Habit. I also love to walk through Beacon Hill and the Public Garden on the way to school…it’s much more relaxing than driving through traffic on I-93.

4) Make nice breakfasts at home. Last year, I made a habit of grabbing the same Starbucks breakfast sandwich and grande Guatemala Santa Catalina Clover coffee every day. This put me in a carb coma and made me hungry again at 10:00 a.m., put a strain on my wallet, and made me cranky because I felt rushed every day. Well that’s because I was–timing my T ride and walk to appear at the Charles St Starbucks exactly at 7:20 a.m. made the morning rushed and stressful. Taking the time to pack my bag, set out my outfit, and prep materials for breakfast in the evenings allows me to enjoy a homemade iced green tea latte and a variety of breakfasts (e.g., steel-cut oats, egg scrambles, roasted sweet potatoes, or smoothies).

5) Take a deep breath and say a mantra. It’s amazing how much a deep breath can help when one feels stressed. Maybe we just forget to breathe. My mantra is “everything’s going to be okay.” I like Math Teacher Mambo’s “It’s going to be great. It’s going to work out fine” as well. One of my old mentors used to imagine herself as the queen of her classroom and repeat “I am tough. I am strong. I own this” every morning…I may take that one too!

6) Prettify. I can live without the trendiest clothes or schmanciest haircuts, but sometimes I recharge by getting a mani-pedi or my eyebrows done. I feel a lot more put together that way!

What small things make you happy?