Thursday, February 19, 2015


Checking in after spending a wonderful 5 days 40 miles north of the Mexican border in Green Valley, AZ. 
M's mom is snow-birding down there for the first time, so we took advantage of the free hotel and booked a mid-winter getaway, that just so happened to coincide with my birthday. 

I'd never been to Arizona before, or any true desert state, so it was fun to experience the desert and the climate. It was a perfect high 60s (which felt way warmer than a high 60 in MN) to high 70s while we were there.

We hiked twice, went to the pool twice, did a LOT of reading and relaxing, as well as browsing our MLS, Edina Realty, and apps- perhaps a post for another day, but we find ourselves in the midst of a "do we stay or do we go" existential crisis with our current home. 

{Madera Canyon, Coronado National Forest}
{Madera Canyon, Coronado National Forest}

My birthday festivities spanned two days, which is very rare for me (I sit firmly in the birthDAY camp, not birthWEEK,.. in case you were wondering), but M's planned activity was booked solid, so he and I celebrated with a little date night on Friday the 13th. We drove 30 minutes north into Tuscon and enjoyed a 50 minute couples massage at a spa inside a casino (bonus points for M for gifting to himself, too ;-)), after that we wandered around the casino a bit waiting for our dinner at the Asian fusion restaurant inside the casino - excellent people watching at casinos, I tell you what. 

Saturday (my birthday proper) we went to a tiny artists town called Tubac where we wandered in and out of shops and had lunch. It was a nice low key day. M took two calls on his phone, which he chalked up to a big work presentation he had the day after we returned from AZ. Little did I know he was actually trying to locate the proflowers guy who was lost in Green Valley. 

I can't receive flowers at home because my cat is apparently neglected and malnourished and insists upon eating EVERYTHING living he can get his grubby paws on, so M found a way for me to receive and enjoy some flowers for my birthday :). Thinking back, I think he's sent flowers in some shape or form just about every year for my birthday. 

Saturday night we went to a fantastic little Italian restaurant in town, returned home in a carb coma, and were in bed by 10. The perfect birthday. 

Sunday was one of my favorite days, by far. 
We drove an hour north, to the north side of Tuscon, to hike in the Catalina Mountains at Sabino Canyon. We parked at the visitor's center and took the tram up to the last possible stop in the canyon in a light rain. As if by design, the rain stopped when we got off the tram and hit the trail head. 

We hiked the Phone Line Trail, which was a trail they had started to partially clear to install phone lines. (Why phone lines would be necessary in the canyon, I'm not sure..). It was SUCH a beautiful hike. We stayed high along the ridge as we hiked out of the canyon back towards the visitor's center. It was about 3 hours overall (with pit stops, photo ops, and a lunch in there) and was such a beautiful morning. (M's mom and step-dad hiked too both days but I clearly didn't take many photos of all of us together).

It's funny.. I went from being a VERY outdoorsy child to an inexplicable aversion to the elements the last few years. I still highly dislike being cold and/or rained on, but I've found as long as I'm dressed appropriately, I REALLY enjoy hiking. M's mom bought M and I some hiking boots as birthday/valentines presents and I'm super pumped to put some miles on them this summer at local state parks. 

Friday, February 6, 2015


*FTC Disclosure: I was provided a month free of classpass to try out in exchange for promotion of the program, all opinions are my own.

There was supposed to be a "Classpass: week 2/3" post but.. here we are in February. Woops. 
I've wrapped up my month trial with classpass and want to get some of my final thoughts.
Perhaps the biggest thing I learned through this process was a) what type of workouts I enjoy and b) what type of exerciser I am. 

Here's a confession: in the last year+ at Lifeitme, (not including barre classes or yoga) I have pretty much solely ran on the treadmill or eliptical for 30 minutes and then been done. When I think about what I'm paying a month for my Lifetime (which is onyx level.. so.. $$$ cha-ching $$$) that is hardly maximizing my time or money. 

The plain truth is when I'm not in the confines of an hour long structured class-type workout, I just don't push myself. I make excuses, "oh, NEXT WEEK I'll research those weight machines that scare me and start doing that on certain mornings as well as running!" Turns out, "next week" never came. 

The BEST part about classpass for me, and what differs from Lifetime, is the sheer number of types of classes at certain time slots. If I decided I wanted to work out after work on a Thursday and was browsing for a 5:30/6:00 class, Lifetime may have 3-4 options, but none that interest me that particular day. Classpass, the conversation is so different. Instead of, "well, out of step class, spin and water aerobics.. I guess spin sounds fine today." It's, "hmm, which of these 6 spin classes at 5:00, 5:15, 5:30 or 6:00 do I want to attend." 

Despite this realization, it was still hard for me to come to terms with the idea of canceling Lifetime, for a few reasons. First, even if my workouts were piddly, I loved the routine of the mornings I DID drag myself to the gym: running, showering, getting ready around other people. I felt accomplished those mornings. The reality of classpass is a majority of the gyms I want to attend don't have showers, which makes it a virtual impossibility for me to workout int he morning. 

Second, I learned a little bit more about classpass's structure that made me a little nervous. The participating gyms don't get compensated for being a part of classpass. The incentive primarily is advertising, getting new people to the gym, and then perhaps selling ancillary services. I do see the value in the advertising (perhaps not AS much as my advertising husband would) but I started to wonder- with classpass being a "newer" idea, what if gyms decided they didn't see the return they wanted to and pulled off classpass? I have absolutely no reason to think this (*besides my general anxiety about money that I apparently projected onto small gym owners...?) but it was a thought of mine.  This was even more prevalent when I thought -what if it were my more favorite gyms? 

Ultimately though I can't stay at a gym that I'm not maximizing and that I'm paying $30 more a month than a classpass monthly membership would be (onyx level.. kills me...), based on these fears. I've reassured myself that IF something goes terribly wrong with this classpass model, Lifetime will ALWAYS be there. I can always go back. But I owe it to myself to try something that really motivated me, even if it meant giving up a few nights a week to attend classes- something you'd have to drag me kicking and screaming to do post-work at Lifetime (the parking lot. so busy. so anxiety inducing- also why I would run for 30 minutes and want to go home). 

In the confines of a group fitness structure though, those anxieties about getting home late dissipate, or at least the class goes by so fast that it doesn't register.  

So, since I was behind the 8-ball and waiting on some job stuff.. (#vaguemention) I've already paid for the month of February at Lifetime. I'm going to force myself in there sometime this month (before March gets taken out) and try to "quit the gym."

I can't thank classpass enough for offering me this opportunity. It seems trite to say it was life-changing, but it certainly has the possibility to be! It's gotten me more excited about fitness than I had been in, well, ever