you should work out.

You live and you learn or whatever and one of the biggest things I’ve learned in the last couple of years is that you should work out. By “you” I mean “me,” I’m just reminding myself. But I’d like to share why working out is so necessary to me and maybe that will inspire you too.

I’ve talked about working out before, I know. It’s just really burrowing a permanent place in my life and heart and I’d like to express that. I JUST LOVE IT OKAY. I’m not a doctor or a trainer or a therapist or even a front desk person at a gym so I’m really not authorized to dispense this advice but I’m going to anyway you’re welcome.

Working out helps me…FEEL NORMAL. For so long I felt awful – depressed, anxious, tired, fully nihilistic. I’m still fully nihilistic but the depression, anxiety, and tiredness are partly semi-cured by working out. I firmly believe in a “use it or lose it” mentality when it comes to working out. Once you stop using it, you lose it. But guess what? ONCE YOU START USING IT AGAIN IT’S NO LONGER LOST.

BOOM, BITCH. You can continue that cycle for all of your years on earth and then in the blackness that becomes you when you die. It’s a beautiful thing.

I used to be so pissed at people that worked out and liked it, so I get it. Those people suck. I AM that person and I think I suck. Like shut up. But you really have more options to hop on this rainbow sparkling iridescent endorphin train than you think!

By “work out” I mean “do any kind of physical activity that is reasonably attainable per your body, time budget, and level of athleticism.” By my definition, “working out” could mean like ANYTHING. Walking your dog, wandering around the park looking at birds, riding your bike to work, blablabla and so on and so on. Did you bake and get sweaty because baking requires old school grandma muscles you’ve never used? That’s working out, man! There are a lot of options and all of the options are good and okay!

UNLESS the option you’re trying out doesn’t feel great. This shit needs to FEEL GREAT. If it’s too hard and you’re dying, that’s not great. If it’s too easy and you’re not finding a pleasantly distracted place of peace and even ELATION, that’s not great. IT’S GOTTA BE GREAT SO FIND THE THING YOU THINK IS GREAT FOR YOU.

It might take some trial and error, but the best things do. That’s how you find a romantic partner, that’s how you find a therapist, a job, etc etc. Kiss the frogs and move along, you can do it.

I’ve arrived at a place where I can accept that cardio is trash. CARDIO IS STRAIGHT GARBAGE. I can only do cardio if it’s hidden inside a fun dance, there is a trampoline involved, or I’m running while listening to the soothing, hypnotic, distracting sounds of Nike Run Club. I WILL NOT, EVER AGAIN, run on the treadmill or elliptical or ride a stationary bike simply to get a certain amount of time in and burn a certain amount of calories.

THAT IS A JOYLESS ENDEAVOR AND I WILL NOT STAND FOR IT. YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT EITHER I’M SAYING IT RIGHT NOW PLEASE DO NOT KILL YOUR SOUL IN SUCH A WAY THERE IS MORE OUT THERE FOR YOU AND YOU’LL LOVE IT.

You can’t let working out be to lose weight or even to get in shape. I mean I guess you can if you want, but for most folks it’s going to feel joyless that way. Just bring some joy in, do a fun thing. Little kids run around in circles. Even little kids like me, who hated playing sports and would rather read books, spent some time running in circles every day. Just because.

BECAUSE IT BRINGS JOY.

I was inspired to go on this ridiculous work out tangent because I returned to my most favorite trampoline class at JaneDO early this morning, after a 3 month hiatus. Hopefully I only have to realize this one time for the rest of my life but THREE MONTHS OFF THE TRAMPOLINE IS TOO MANY MONTHS OFF THE TRAMPOLINE, YOU GUYS.

And this morning as I walked into class I was like “I’m le tired” but as soon as the music started up and we started stretching I was like “OH HELL YEAH IT IS ON, BABY,” and I jumped (ha) right back into it. Like every song was the best song I ever heard and I’m jumping up and down and looking at the instructor begging him with my mind to give us a cool move to do as the beat drops. Because doing a cool move as the beat drops, when it feels like you are inside the beat, THAT IS LIVING, PEOPLE.

And if you don’t want to live your life along with the beat dropping I don’t know what to tell you. The beat is in your mind. You make the beat. You should work out.

janedo may challenge.

Here we go, it’s the JaneDO May Challenge! The JaneDO May Challenge actually started on May 1 so we’re 7 days in. We are a week in. I really put off writing about this and instead sat on my couch and watched The Sopranos. I couldn’t muster the mental strength to put pen to paper, or whatever.

7 DAYS IN AND GOING STRONG.

But I AM going strong! From a physical perspective yes, very strong. The challenge is to do 21 classes with JaneDO in 31 days. You have the whole month of May to do it! I’m actually going to try to do a class every day of the 31 days because there is LITERALLY NOTHING ELSE TO DO. But first I need to get to 21. Let’s focus on that.

The JaneDO May Challenge simply consists of marking off each day you attend a class on a cute little bingo board. To participate in the challenge you can obtain a bingo board at any JaneDO location.

OH WAIT NONE OF THEM ARE OPEN.

They’re actually doing a virtual bingo board this year and I am PUMPED. I usually lose my board at least once and I always forget to bring it to class like…every day. So the virtual board is really working out better for me overall. Maybe it should always be virtual?! Save the trees?!

Virtual board, FOREVAAAA.

To do a livestream class with JaneDO and start checking shit off on your card, check this out: JaneDO Livestream

The JaneDO May Challenge has been going on for a few years. The first time I participated was in May 2016. As you may be aware, 2016 was a big year for me as far as getting healthy and getting my shit together. So I really enjoyed this challenge as a final “do the right thing” boost before the summer came and it was time to party.

The past few years the prize for completing the challenge has been a branded tank top. I love a branded tank top! I ESPECIALLY love a branded tank top with a date on it that references the current date of now. So 5 or 10 or 37 years from now one can look at that tank top and be like, “Yeah!” Kinda like how I look at my t-shirt from cheering at the Insight Bowl in 2005 which as of today was 52 years ago.

Last year it may have been something that wasn’t a branded tank top but I’m having trouble remembering. I did fail at one challenge recently in January because I got sick and maybe I failed last year in May as well. You can’t win them all, you guys. As much as I would like to be an unstoppable workout machine it doesn’t seem like that’s in the cards. In the Bingo cards, specifically.

That’s all I got. Are you doing any fun fitness challenges? Any fun other challenges? Are you just taking naps all day and accomplishing nothing? I read that’s okay too.

brave body project class.

My pal Al has been telling me about the Brave Body Project classes she takes on NEOU, so yesterday morning I was excited to check out a Brave Body Project class in person in NYC with her!

Brave Body Project is two gals that I believe are pals and they started the company to bring fitness and empowerment and overall badassery to other gals that are into that sort of thing. WHICH IS ME.

girl boss painting at luminary nyc
Not always a fan of girl boss” as like a “concept” but I guess you can say its heart is in the right place. And I like these colors.

Yesterday we attended their class at the Luminary space in Nomad. Like kinda by the milkbar flagship store. Just FYI.

I have some outrage to direct at Luminary, which is – how the heck are you supposed to get in the place when none of the buzzers indicate which floor the company is on?! Also when both phone numbers listed in the class confirmation email are useless because no one answers them. I’m just wondering.

couch and palm wallpaper at luminary nyc
V cozy, once I figured out how to get in.

What I’m saying is, this entrance process could be improved. Also it felt worse and more terrible and dramatic to me because I arrived at 7:44am for a 7:45am class and I was stressed AF. But I still feel my cries for help should have been addressed. But then a nice man working in the foyer of the building finally took mercy on me and let me in. He also directed me to Luminary’s floor. Again this information was not conveyed to me at any point until this man revealed it.

cute seating and lighting
Cute little corner.

Maybe it’s like a secret club?

On to the Brave Body Project class! I missed any informational preamble, which upset me, but I got there halfway through the warmup and I was ready to go.

fitness studio where brave body project class was held
The studio.

The format of the Brave Body Project class is 10 songs of strength and cardio. So I would def recommend wearing sneakers. Because the cardio. They almost had me faked out because everyone had 2lb weights and I was like oooo maybe this will be more barre-ish and no cardio?! But ugh there was still cardio.

mirror selfie in "hello gorgeous" mirror after brave body project class
The mirror says “hello gorgeousbut that was hard to capture.

It was fine.

I guess.

The format was enjoyable, I liked the 10 songs of 10 different things. If I had been there and known about the 10 songs in the beginning I would have been comforted by counting down what song we were on in my head as we went through.

Since I MISSED the beginning I was still comforted by the knowledge that it was only going to be 45mins. I could do it.

The instructors, Amber and Lindsay, taught the Brave Body Project class together and worked off of each other and I really liked that. I’m not sure that’s always the format they use when they’re teaching in person, but I do know that’s more common on NEOU. Also, the class reminded me of cheerleading camp in a way! I was transported back to my days of attending camp and teaching camp. It’s fun to teach as a teacher team and it’s fun to learn from a teacher team I think. I liked it. I already said I liked it but I’ll say it again. I liked it!

"wellness wing" in gold lettering
It’s wellness, bitch.

The Brave Body Project gals were also wearing workout shorts! Personally I love workout shorts and shorts in generally and I feel as though they are unfairly ignored and/or persecuted and I was glad to see some leaders in the fitness field go down the workout shorts path.

Guess who googled “cute workout shorts” after this workout? MY FRIEND AL AND ME THAT’S WHO.

After the class we were permitted to use the amenities at Luminary and they were nice! I liked the color scheme of everything, whites and pops of gold. It felt like a luxurious little place to get ready.

Luminary had a bunch of products to use, too – face, body, hair, tampons! The full set. So we took advantage of that.

beauty products

Unfortunately the water in the showers was cold. I mean maybe they’re still working on their fitness/gym/locker room game and it’s a work in progress. And that’s why the missing door/entry information and freezing shower happened. I’d give them another chance, it’s fine.

Very cold but very pretty and maybe that’s the trade off 🤷🏻‍♀️

Additionally they had an in-house salon where a hair stylist was doing blowouts! It cost money, they weren’t just giving blowouts out for free, but I thought it was super cool they made fitness and blowouts available on-site in a co-working space.

selfie in mirror after brave body project class
Utilizing salon.

I hope to attend more Brave Body Project classes in person! And I’m also going to check them out on NEOU. NEOU is the best workout at home option. I promise I don’t work for them. But it is. It’s like $15 a month and you get all kinds of shit. Do it. Run, don’t walk.

Have you ever gone to a Brave Body Project class? What did you think? Would you go again? Are you a member of a co working space like Luminary? I don’t know…just trying to make conversation.