Archive of ‘crasher confidential’ category

Cheers to New Beginnings

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The blog has been quiet for awhile, and it’s high time I explain why. So here it is…

I am excited to announce that I accepted a job in New York City and will be moving there next month.

It’s an enormous change, but one that’s full of enormous hope and enormous opportunity. New job. New city. New people. New everything.

I’m not going to lie. All of this has me scared out of my wits. My comfort zone? Somewhere in the rearview mirror. But what’s life without a little bit of zing to keep us on our toes, right?

I wanted to share the news with you as soon as I heard, but the honest truth, dear friends, is that this post is more difficult to write than I ever imagined. I have written it, deleted it, and rewritten it a dozen times. Mostly because all of this is so new and I’m still gathering my thoughts. But mainly because change is hard and even harder to put into words. I’ve lived in the District for ten incredible years. Over the years, it has gently morphed from the city where I went to college to the city where I work and finally into its latest incarnation: home.

DC Fit Crasher grew out of that sense of home. When I wrote my first blog post two years ago, I had lived here long enough to notice the city’s fitness scene changing, evolving, and growing into something entirely new. Boutique studios were popping up left and right, some in popular neighborhoods and others in up-and-coming communities I had never heard of. It was exciting to watch small business owners try new things, take chances, and offer DC an expanding host of options to get healthy, strong, and fit.

Since then, the city has taken its love affair with fitness to a whole new level. National retail brands offer free in-store workouts. Commercial buildings, community parks, and hotels organize packed-to-the-gills fitness events. The city recently hosted two first-of-its-kind fitness expos. Grassroots groups get up early and stay up late to provide free, fun, and contagiously energetic workouts for anyone who will just show up. It’s now trendy to burn + brunch, sweat + sip, and replace happy hours, dates, and corporate meetings with workouts.

In short: DC has become a fit crasher’s dream come true. I am consistently inspired, motivated, and awe-struck by everyone I meet in the DC fitness community, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of fitness fanatics to sweat with.

To my readers, colleagues, and everyone I’ve ever randomly snapped a sweaty photo of or shared a class with: thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your world. Thank you for dreaming big, bold, crazy fitness dreams. Thank you for whipping up delicious tonics, juices, protein bars, and salads. Thank you for reading this little slice of the Internet I have come to love so much. Thank you for your advice, kindness, and friendship. And thank you from the bottom of my spandex-clad heart for making DC one of the coolest places to workout in.

So why leave? Personally and professionally, it’s time to make a change and try something new. Change is intimidating. But change is also the first step toward making things more awesome, so let’s do this. I’m ready. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith, throw down some serious hustle, screw your courage to the sticking point, grab life by the horns, and make things happen. And as far as fitness trends, workout options, and wellness fads are concerned, I couldn’t be more excited about entering the big leagues in New York. It’s the home of aqua cycling and naked yoga, for crying out loud. I’m both intrigued and mystified, but more importantly, absolutely ready to take on the challenge.

The big question is: what will become of DC Fit Crasher? Truth be told, I don’t have a clear answer yet. There’ll have to be a name change, of course. But starting a new job in a new city means I have a lot on my plate in the “real world,” and I want to be sure I allow myself the time to be fully present in that experience. Even if that experience means packing boxes till wee hours of the morning, driving them into New York City in a big orange uHaul, and eating Chinese food for dinner on the floor of my new apartment until I muster the energy to unpack. The real world is about to throw a whole lot at me – new city, new job, new people, new running routes, new gyms - and I ask for your patience as I take it all in.

I do know one thing. The Fit Crasher blog will continue. Maybe not as consistently at first. And maybe with a slightly different focus and format. But I love fitness and this incredible Fit Crasher community too much to stop blogging entirely. That said, I’d like to ask for your help. If anyone has suggestions as to how the blog could improve in its next iteration, things you’d like to see or ideas about how it could be better, please drop me a line with your thoughts. I would adore hearing your feedback.

I hope you’ll follow along with me as I start this exciting new chapter and take on all of the sweaty adventures that come with it. I couldn’t think of a better group of folks to do it with, and for that, I am sincerely grateful.

Until next time, DC.

As for you, New York, I’m raising my glass in toast to everything that awaits. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.

Cheers to new beginnings.

 

 

 

Hello from Spain!

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Hello fit crashers! Sorry for the week-long absence, but I’ve been exploring Madrid and Sevilla on an impromptu summer vacation to Spain. What a beautiful country full of so many wonderful sights, sounds, and delicious eats. I can wait to share a few highlights with you next week on the blog, including how I worked out and kept things (mostly) healthy while touring around overseas. Hey, it’s all about moderation right? Those tapas and churros won’t eat themselves!

Until then, have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you on the flip side!

Bootcamp + Brunch, Swimming, Green Juice, and Kayla Itsines

These weekly roundup posts are quickly becoming my favorite to write, although I’m having a hard narrowing down the things I want to share. So bear with me as I experiment with length and style, I know they can be a little long but I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them. Okay – now on to a few highlights from this week!

Bootcamp + Brunch at Glen’s Garden Market

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This past weekend I attended a fun bootcamp and brunch hosted by Balance Gym and Glen’s Garden Market, which happens to be one of my favorite go-to foodie places here DC. The event was a fundraiser for the local chapter of Steve’s Club, a nation-wide organization that aims to provide after school crossfit classes for at-risk youth. Scrumptious locally-sourced food, a sweaty bootcamp, all for a good cause? Not sure I can think of a better combo.

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The Balance instructors did a really fantastic job keeping the bootcamp accessible to everyone who attended, and split us up into two groups to make sure we all got individualized attention. We started off with a warm up and quickly moved into some of my favorite love-to-hate exercises: partner resistance sprints, broad jumps, lateral paces, and weighted lunges. I say love to hate because they are powerhouse moves that do the trick, but there’s no shortcut around them. They take everything you’ve got. Great for getting the best bang for your buck in a short bootcamp, also great for tuckering you out in a hurry.

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After an hour of making us work for our supper brunch, we were awarded two wooden tokens to take into the market and collect our prize: an iced cold, frothy beer (or iced coffee, in my case) and a plate of delicious brunch fixins’. The brunch included an egg and cheese soufflé,  roasted potatoes, and a kale side salad. Easily worth every broad jump and resistance sprint!

brunch at glen's garden market in dupont circle

Summertime Swim Workouts Are Back

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It’s officially summertime and DC public pools are open for business. Cue the celebration!
I grew up as a competitive swimmer and for many years never thought I’d be interested in doing laps for personal fitness, but I’ve grown to love the methodical, no-impact workout more and more each year. DC is blessed with a number of relatively well-kept public pools that are perfect for swim workouts. I typically go to the olympic distance Hains Point pool or the Francis Pool in Dupont, which is where I had my inaugural swim this past weekend. I went at around 2 p.m. and didn’t have to share a lane. Don’t think I’ll have that luxury all the time, but it was lovely!

Trader Joes Gets In On The Green Juice Trend

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This one is too good not to share, so I had to include it in my roundup this week. I discovered that Trader Joes is now selling cold-pressed juices for (are you sitting down?) $5. I’m pretty sure the last green juice I purchased was smaller and double the price. The two flavors I saw at my local TJs were this green one with kale, spinach, ginger, lemon, and other good-for-you ingredients and a red juice that contained beets and other veggies. Both included celery, which I think overpowers ruins everything. But if you’re looking for a less expensive juice option and don’t mind celery flavor, here’s a fresh new idea!

Taking the Kayla Itsines Workout Challenge

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If you read a lot of fitness blogs, you may have seen the name Kayla Itsines floating around recently.
 She’s the Australian personal trainer behind a popular new 12-week workout program that primarily focuses on high intensity circuit training. It’s not a new concept by any means, but the sheer number of impressive-looking before + after photos on her site are enough to make me at least want to try it and see for myself just exactly how this thing works. I purchased P90X and the TRX for the same reason – intriguing, but I wanted to make my own opinion.

Now, a few disclaimers. First of all, I am always enormously skeptical of commercial workout programs that promise amazing results. I am also highly skeptical of before + after photos, because I know how deceptive they can be. Second of all, I cringe that the program is packaged in a book called the “Bikini Body Guide.” I’m not at all a fan of fitness marketing that focuses on vanity. I don’t need a bikini body, I’m looking for solutions to get healthy, strong, and confident. How about the “Healthy, Strong, Lean, and Confident Body”? Can I get a training manual like that? And finally, you should know that I received a copy of the program for free.

I’m intrigued enough by her approach and her throng of enthusiastic followers to commit a few weeks to following the program with a critical eye and seeing how my body responds. Fellow DC blogger Chelsea is also checking it out, and you can read about her experience here. I may post updates on the blog now and again, and if you’re more interested I am happy to give additional details. I’ve done two workouts already (one at home and one where I schlepped weights to a local park – see above) and can honestly say they completely and utterly schooled me, which I was not expecting. So I’m cautiously optimistic. Have you tried her program? Leave a comment and let’s connect!


Your turn: what are a few of the fitness highlights from your week?


 

Top 10 Fit Crasher Highlights From Last Week

Hope you all had a glorious Memorial Day Weekend! This past week was packed with all sorts of random fit crasher goodness, so I thought I’d break it down for you with a top ten list. Are you ready?

TEN: Kate Bakes Bars

kate bakes bars


kate bakes bars

I had the opportunity to try my very first batch of Kate Bakes bars. What makes these so special, you ask? Well, a few things! They’re made right here in DC by a local lady entrepreneur who is committed to providing the city with healthy on-the-go eats. The ingredient list is small and full of items I recognize, and each bar is always gluten free and vegan for anyone who has dietary restrictions. Not to mention, they’re pretty darn scrumptious too. My favorite flavors were the banana cinnamon oatmeal and the chocolate coffee. Perfect for tossing in my gym bag as a before or after fit crash snack. These things were definitely a highlight of my week! Thanks for the samples, Kate!

NINE: New Oiselle Running Shorts

oiselle roga shorts

My stash of running shorts is in serious need of an update. I was thrilled to receive a pair of the Lululemon speed shorts for my birthday earlier this month, but after wearing them over and over again, I figured it was time to add another new pair to the rotation. I have been hearing awesome things about the Oiselle roga shorts, so last weekend I popped on over to City Sports to try on a pair. It was love at first lunge (yes, I did a few in the dressing room). In fact, I wore them out the door and straight to the trail. There’s a front pocket deep enough to fit my phone, and a back pocket that works great for keys and an ID. They have just the right amount of stretch and a comfortable wide waistband. I’m officially smitten.

EIGHT: Garden Greens

organic salad greens

A friend of mine has an organic garden plot and grows some of the most delicious-looking produce every year. He is experimenting with different kinds of greens this spring, and is having overwhelming success with just about everything he put into the ground. So much so, in fact, that he currently has more lettuce than he can possibly eat and was kind enough to give me a sampling of his bounty. I was over the moon excited to have a huge bag brimming with the most colorful, fresh looking leaves I’ve ever seen. Salad heaven!

SEVEN: Outdoor Workouts

playground workout

 

memorial day weekend workout

No gym? No problem! Fit crashing doesn’t have to happen at a studio, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it has been here in DC. I like using the 12 Minute Athlete and Sworkit circuit training apps for quick, no-nonsense sweatiness wherever I go. I definitely got a few strange looks from kids enjoying an evening playdate at the playground, but hopefully they’ll remember the crazy lady doing pull ups on the monkey bars when they get older : )

SIX: Berry Season!

berries and lemon

I think this pictures says it all, yes? Hello summer!

FIVE: Standup Paddleboarding

Key Bridge Boathouse DC
On Memorial Day a friend and I slathered on the sunscreen, strapped into lifejackets, and took to the high seas Potomac River for an afternoon of stand-up paddleboarding at the Key Bridge Boathouse
(formerly Jacks Boathouse, RIP). I almost forgot what a tough workout it can be going against the wind and the current. After an hour of adventuring we docked our vessels and went in search of some much-needed nourishment. Hey, all that paddling is hard work! Thankfully, Malmaison was a stone’s throw away and offered fresh-squeezed green juices. I got the Hulk flavor, a refreshing combo of pear, cucumber, and other delicious ingredients. Win!

FOUR: Bowling at the White House

truman bowling alley white house

truman bowling alley white house

Talk about a fit crasher bucket list item! Can’t believe this actually happened. A friend invited a few of us to bowl at the White House Truman Bowling Alley last weekend. It’s a tiny two lane operation, complete with personalized bowling balls, a wall full of shoes, and even its own White House score cards. I loved looking over the pictures hanging along the walls of the various presidents and first ladies using it over the years – the history in that place! I’m absolutely terrible at bowling but had a blast. Now if only I can learn to keep it down the middle…

THREE: Crashing the Newest [solidcore] Studio

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On Sunday I took a bike share bike to Mt. Vernon Triangle to check out the newest solidcore studio. The location is a little bit hidden – look for it underneath the Le Pan Quotidien across the street from Sixth Engine bar. It has the same design as the other studios but in a more convenient place for folks living in that neck of the woods. A word of caution: this is still the toughest and most addictive workout I’ve done in DC. You’ve been warned.

TWO: Memorial Day 12 Miler

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The weather this past weekend was picture perfect. 70 – 80 degrees, no humidity, brilliant sunshine. I decided to make the best of it and adventure down to the monuments to see what kinds of things were going on for Memorial Day. I should have mapped it out before I left because it ended up being a whopping 12 miles! I ran part of the way but it was mostly a brisk walk. That said, I had to stop at one of the tourist-trap concession stands to buy a water and a bag of pretzels just to keep me going. Serves me right for not planing ahead!

As expected, the monuments were absolutely mobbed with folks in town to celebrate the holiday. I walked the length of the Lincoln to the WWII memorial just in time to witness a group of Honor Flight veterans being escorted in to see the monument for the first time. It was incredible to watch. Really brought home the “reason for the season” and I felt so lucky to have been there at the right time to see it. But next time, I’ll bring water and snacks for the journey!

ONE: Celebrating 80 Fit Crashes

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The blog reached a whopping 80 fit crashes last week! Cue the confetti and party hats! Do you have a favorite? Leave a comment and let me know, I’d love to hear from you. Cheers to this milestone and at least 80 more sweaty adventures ahead :)

What’s In My Gym Bag: Fit Crash Style

I recently came across a post by NYC gym-goer extraordinaire Evann Clingan titled “What’s In My Bag: Fitness Edition.” She said the idea is a twist on the ubiquitous “What’s In My Bag” post written by style bloggers everywhere. You know the one: carefully curated contents of designer bags beautifully strewn about just so, captured with a click for all the world to see. This was that same idea, but with a sweaty twist. Well, no surprises here, I was smitten. I mean, as someone who’s constantly on the go to different classes, I loved getting an insider’s peek at someone else’s gym bag essentials. In a non-creepy, oh hey you published it so it must be okay kind of way, of course.

So, without further ado, I’m giving you an all-access pass to check out what’s in my fit crasher go-pack. For what it’s worth, this isn’t a wish list of items I would like to have; these are all things I currently own and use on a regular basis.

What's In My Gym Bag

REI Stoke 19 Pack ($54) – I originally got this backpack to use for hikes, but it has quickly become my fit crashing partner in crime. I’ve tried the purse-like gym tote before, but it never stayed on my shoulders the way I wanted and fussing with it drove me nuts. With a backpack, I can have my hands and arms free to carry a yoga mat or bike to a studio distraction free. Win.

Extra sports bra ($11) – These minimal Champion sports bras are perfect for changing into after a particularly sweaty class. Especially if you are running errands or have a long commute home afterward. Nothing makes you colder or more uncomfortable than hanging out in wet clothes, so I’ve made a habit of keeping an extra one of these in my bag at all times.

Nike Free TR 4 ($100) – Okay, so these aren’t the same color as mine, but I searched high and low with no success. They are, however, the same model. And I love them. Funny story: these were purchased in heated desperation. I was invited to crash a Dance Trance class with less than an hour’s notice. I was coming back from work and (gasp) didn’t have my gym bag on me. No workout clothes. No workout shoes. So like a total lune, I ran into Nike Town in Georgetown begging for them to help me find shoes in 10 minutes. These were the result, and they were my first-ever pair of non-running sneaks. Desperation aside, I now wear them every day. And who said impulse shopping was dangerous?

GapFit Motion Tee ($45) – I fell in love with the Lululemon Run Swiftly long sleeve tee, but at almost $70, it’s a tad out of my price range for what it is. Plus, the one that I do own started to show wear almost instantly. These Gap tees, my friends, are pretty darn similar but at a price that doesn’t  bring tears to my eyes. As a bonus, they’re almost always on some sort of sale. They’re lightweight, have just the right amount of stretch, come in beautiful colors, are perfect for throwing on after class, and the sleeves have thumb holes. Need I say more?

Bobo’s Oat Bar ($2) – I discovered these nuggets of awesomeness at my local Yes! Organic Market and have been an addict since. They’re easy on my sensitive stomach and come in lots of flavors. Half of one usually ties me over until meal time if my stomach is growling before or after class. And they won’t mush as easily as a banana if I leave it in my bag for a day or two.

Razor, Hair Ties, Bobby Pins, Lip Balm – Sometimes you just forget. You’ll thank me later. Trust me.

SPI Belt ($20) – Sometimes a crash involves a run, hike, or other outdoor excursion. This little guy holds my phone, keys,  ID, and other small essentials when I’m on the go so I can keep my hands free. I actually keep one in my car for impromptu runs after work.

Yes to Blueberries Face Wipes ($6) – Working out after work is great, but working out with the day’s make up on is not. My face tends to revolt if I forget to wipe everything off before class, so these gentle towels have been a total life saver. I’m not ashamed to admit that at times they’ve also come in handy as a substitute shower after class, too. Not ideal, but they smell great and at least help rid the sweat from your skin if you have to go somewhere after the gym.

Water Bottle ($7) – Still holding on to the Nalgene habit from high school: guilty. This is definitely not an ideal water bottle for crashing, and I really don’t know why I still use it. It’s annoying to spin the top on and off during a workout, it doesn’t fit on spin bikes, and it is really heavy when full. Currently taking suggestions for a replacement!


Your turn: what’s in your gym bag?


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