An App for Adventure

I am most definitely a decisive person. I never struggle to choose between two options; I always have an opinion. That’s why it is so hard for me to admit that I am a gym-jumper. During my time in Portland, I’ve hopped between three gyms! The first one was too far, the second one was too boring, and the third one…. well, I love it! It isn’t a “gym” per se, it is an app.

Class Pass is a program that lets you pay one monthly fee and have access to classes at hundreds of gyms in your city. I literally have 1000 different classes at my fingertips. Previously, I liked running, yoga, dance classes, and barre. I did these same 4 in a steady rotation that grew tiring after a few months. With Class Pass, I’ve tried exercises that I never imagined I could do!

My first adventure was Jazzercise! I had always driven by the creepy Jazzercise warehouse on my route home from work, but never thought to give it a try until I saw it on Class Pass. I imagined it would be old women dancing to the oldies. I checked out the website and it seems like the company has really tried to rebrand itself. The new classes are called “Dance Mixx” and say they blast the newest hits. I decided to give it a try! I was one of 4 women in class and by far the youngest. The instructor stood on a 5 ft tall stage and screamed into a microphone the entire time. It wasn’t really “dancing,” but more of aerobic Richard Simmons moves repeated to music from 2005. Apparently there is a rule that the instructor has to be talking the entire hour, so she can distract us from the work out. This requires her telling us about her part time job, her childhood, her favorite jokes – all while we were dancing! I like to work out to empty my mind and this just created chaos! After the entire hour, I left feeling like I didn’t even break a sweat.

My second challenge was to sign up for a hot yoga class. The only person I knew who had tried it was my brother, who said it is a ridiculous amount of sweat. I read reviews online and most women said that it was stifling and they had to take breaks. What had I gotten myself into! Portland was soaring into the 100s, the last thing I wanted was more heat! I showed up for the class and was led to a tiny room that barely squeezed 15 of us in. The room slowly started heating up and it was… comfortable. We slowly went from pose to pose and I felt like I achieved a deeper sense of calm and meditation. It wasn’t heart pounding, but some poses were difficult. I am definitely planning on going back!

My most recent undertaking was spinning class! You’ve probably seen these classes made fun of on TV for their loud electronic music and passionate cult of followers. Spinning is the extremely sweaty exercise on a stationary bike – the giant, tall ones! Not the recumbent bikes most elderly people use at the gym. Before the class, I read some reviews and two of the authors said they actually threw up during class! I have never really ridden a bike before, so I was nervous. I came to class 15 minutes early, as instructed, and was fitted onto my bike. It was so tall, I had trouble getting onto it! I was surprised – it was actually pretty comfortable and I could pedal sitting AND standing! I thought it may be easier than expected. Only one other student came to class, so that was a bit awkward. Warm up began and I followed the commands to spin faster and increase the resistance. By the end of the first 5 minutes, my legs were jello. I thought they might get relief during the standing pedaling, but when the time came, my legs wouldn’t even hold me up! I was forced to sit through the entire class and suffer an increasingly painful butt. Those seats are concrete! It was torture not being able to stand, but barely being able to sit! Time crept by and I was so sweaty, I couldn’t keep a grip on the handlebars. The other student was texting the entire time! I don’t know how she did it so effortlessly. That definitely made me feel a bit like a newbie. But I made it through the class! I have never been sweatier and I like to hope it was a great workout – I forgot to wear my heart rate monitor.

The next class I want to try is either a bootcamp or CrossFit! I hate how obnoxious people who do CrossFit are – always bragging about it… but I am curious! I tend to prefer cardio work outs and CrossFit is basically about how many reps of weights you can do in as little time possible. Despite the stereotype, I am intrigued!

As Class Pass becomes more popular, I can only hope that they add more classes and I can try more amazing things. Maybe they will get a rock climbing class or rowing!

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