SELF Magazine’s Workout in the Park is Blowing Into The Windy City

SELF Magazine’s Workout in the Park is Blowing Into The Windy City

 

Raise your hand if you'll be there with me!

Raise your hand if you’ll be there with me!

Hey Windy City! SELF Magazine Workout in the Park is Back!

Forget training for a half marathon. Unless it’s a zombie and is chasing me, this girl isn’t into running for the sake of running. Nope!  But I have always wanted to participate in the SELF Magazine Workout in the Park! This year, I got my act together and am super excited to participate in what I consider one of the first true signs of spring!

Bob Harper, trainer from The Biggest Loser, is set to host the (get this!–Has it really been this long?) 21st Annual SELF Workout in the Park this weekend, May 17th from 11:00 am – 3:00pm (rain or shine!)

Workout in the Park with Bob Harper

Workout in the Park with Bob Harper

What: SELF Magazine’s iconic active lifestyle event, Workout in the Park returns to Chicago’s Grant Park. Get psyched to participate in a fun-filled day of invigorating exercise, beauty consultations, healthy treats, and fabulous freebies – all designed to inspire women to re-energize their lives and feel their very best.

What I am dying to try out: High-energy CRUNCH Fitness classes on the Main Stage, to Barre Assets, Yoga and Pilates in the Quiet Zone, to CrossFit in the Reebok Fit Zone.  After last year’s fiasco at the gym where I tried TRX for the first time and fell on my ass—I figure I’m up for anything!

Where the FUN is HAPPENING: Grant Park, Butler Field, Enter at the corner of East Monroe Street and South Columbus Drive, Chicago

WHY:  As if I need to say it:  Because it’s fun, it’s exercise and a great way to spend a Saturday in the Windy City! (Also, it’s a great place for awesome people watching!)

ANYTHING ELSE? Attendees will enjoy exclusive giveaways from SELF Magazine and event partners including CRUNCH, Garnier and Reebok as well as Athleta, Aquaçai, Bai, Ban®, Health Warrior®, Emmy’s Organics, Fitbit®, GoGo squeeZ, KIND Healthy Snacks, popchips®, Truvia® and Victoria’s Secret Sport.

So…what are you waiting for?  Tickets are only $30 for a day’s worth of health and fun.  (And hey!  A one-year SELF Magazine subscription is included with the purchase of every Workout in the Park ticket.

SELF Workout in the Park 5

Now!  Get your ticket and join the fun!  And make sure that you tweet me at @windycitymomma with #WorkoutInThePark so I know that you’re showing SELF magazine that Chicago truly is the hippest, happiest and most fit city in the USA!

 

Zumba! Watch Out! Cause I’m Dancing Your Way

Zumba! Watch Out! Cause I’m Dancing Your Way

Remember when it was fun to dance? Do you even remember a time when you didn’t feel the least bit self conscience about “shaking a tail feather,”  letting loose and just having fun?  Me neither. Until I discovered ZUMBA.

 

Recently, I realized that I had Spin class fatigue, and was really tired of it being my only source of recreation.  It was time  to mix this physical fitness thing up a little bit.  As luck would have it, I ran into Melissa Kerpel, one of the Northshore’s most renowned Zumba instructors at the Highland Park Fashion show. I asked her if it was true that a little Jewish woman with absolutely NO RHYTHM, and responsible for a 9 year old girl (i.e. I couldn’t get a sitter) could actually get a great workout if she attended a ZUMBA class.  Melissa insisted that (a) having “white man’s rhythm” (MY WORDS, not hers) was not a good enough excuse to miss out on the fun (b) I could bring my 9 year old with me and (c) the class was about having fun, not following the steps perfectly.  I was convinced.

 

What did I have to lose?  The first class was free and K and I didn’t have any plans.  We decided to give it a try.

 

Tonight K and I put on our dancing shoes, grabbed some water bottles and drove the .2 miles to the child care center by day/Zumba instruction facility by night.  Note: it’s only taken me 3 years to muster up the bravery to go to one of these classes and even now I need to hide behind my child!   Anyway, the first thing that I noticed?  I was one of the youngest women in the room and (thankfully) I knew absolutely no one!  So, I relaxed a bit, did a few warm up stretches and tossed as basketball around with my daughter while we waited for class to start.

 

Once it began, it started with a bang!  I mean literally A BANG! Melissa and another instructor, Kate Wettergren, kicked the dance class off with a combination of Samba/Afrikana music and the class started moving!  Forget my initial impression that ladies older than me couldn’t bust a move!  There were moves busting all over the place!  I could not keep up with the more veteran Zumba dancers.  That room was rocking & hot.  And I can honestly say that the hour FLEW by.

 

It wasn’t always easy to keep up with the class but both instructors were energetic, funny (yes, facial expressions count) and encouraging.  They looked like they were having a great time and as a result, I had a great time too!  By the end of the class I was sweating (that’s a good thing), a bit out of breath and K had not started wandering the halls of her old pre-school out of boredom.  She got in on the dancing too and even, at one point, told me that I was not “thrusting my butt enough!”  Hmm… not sure how I feel about that. I didn’t even worry that someone would see that I was making tons of mistakes.  I don’t think that anyone noticed or cared.  Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing anyway.

 

So will I take another class again?  Absolutely!  It was so liberating to just let loose and dance my heart away without concern that I wasn’t doing the steps properly or following the class perfectly because I was just having fun!  So I encourage you to give this Zumba thing a try.  I promise that it’s not the old aerobics class you remember from the 80’s.  This class is actually a workout masquerading as a PARTY!  And that, in my opinion, is the best kind of workout, don’t you agree?

Photo courtesy of http://www.plumdistrict.com