In 2016, I’d like to publish more guest posts on my blog. My friends have so many experiences and perspectives that would be valuable to share with my readers. Steph recently approached me with the idea to write a post about how to re-ignite your fitness passion after moving to a new city. I know that many young professionals live in more than one city before settling down, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for her to contribute. Plus, having only lived in New York since college, this is a topic I can’t speak to. Keep reading for Steph’s story.
How to Re-Ignite Your Fitness Passion in a New City
I discovered my passion for fitness when I lived in New York. I was a barre3 studio member and a 305 Fitness junkie. I frequented my apartment’s complimentary gym. Plus, I was fortunate to work with colleagues who often chose “fun runs” over cocktails at the end of a workday. My goal was 5 workouts per week, and my roommate jokingly dubbed my weekend workouts “The Saturday Special” when I took barre3 and 305 Fitness back-to-back. (To NY readers + visitors, this is one of my favorite combos! The strength and focus you practice in barre3 is a nice pairing to the all-out dance party you get at 305 Fitness. The studios are even on the same block, so you can make both in plenty of time.)
After 3.5 years of living in New York, it was time for me to move back to Chicago where I spent the first 25 years of my life. My family and friends are here. My company coordinated my job transition. My involvement with She’s the First would remain the same regardless of the distance. And it’s another large city. Everything was falling into place, and I assumed the fitness aspect of my life would follow suit. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
For almost 5 months, I avoided this piece of my life. My transition to Chicago was much harder than expected. I missed New York and my life there. While I thrived at the change New York offered me when I first moved, I somehow felt overwhelmed by that change in Chicago. I chose to run or pick up a class here and there, but never on a consistent basis. My apartment building no longer had the gym I could pop into any time of the day. I didn’t have the energy that my regular workout schedule once gave me. My clothes weren’t fitting well. I was beginning to not recognize myself. I knew something had to change.
I am finally getting into my fitness groove, and I’ve been thinking about the tips I would share with myself a few months back or with someone making the move to a new city.
Spend the money — I had taken a SoulCycle class with Hallie Wilson before we both made the move to Chicago. As a dancer growing up, I have never felt less coordinated in my life on that bike. Hallie is a constant source of fitness inspiration. I knew I had to get back in the saddle in Chicago. Although an expensive studio, I purchased a 5-pack of classes because I knew the spend would make me commit. I’m feeling much more coordinated (phew!), and I love the sense of community you have with fellow riders. If you’ve been interested in trying a class, now’s your chance. You can join the SoulCycle x Target pop-up happening in cities across the US.
Set a goal — I registered for the United NYC Half lottery with the idea that I could book a trip, should I get into the race. Little did I know this race would become the true catalyst to get my fitness life back on track. There’s no way I would be crossing the finish line without training. Along with my running pal, Erin Leigh, I’m setting out to tackle this half with a training plan by New York Road Runners. If you’re a runner, try visiting a new city planned around a race. And if you’ll be running the NYC Half, leave a comment or send me a tweet through the link below!
See what the city has to offer — All gyms offer free passes, and I encourage you to take full advantage. These passes give you a sense of the facilities, classes, and most importantly, if you can see yourself becoming a regular visitor. My company provides a significant discount to join the gym attached to our building, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness. Yes, that’s how much I was avoiding all things fit – I can get there without leaving the office building! After discussing further with a rep, I was able to turn a complimentary week into a complimentary January. I started my 10-week training plan before a full-time commitment come February. If gym life isn’t your thing, check to see if ClassPass ($25 off your first month with this link) is available in your city to explore boutique fitness classes. Not only will you get a workout, but you’ll be able to explore new parts of your city and meet fellow fit friends.
Surround yourself with inspiration — I previously worked on-site at the headquarters of two fitness-focused clients. Creating social content for SIX:02 and Tough Mudder definitely infiltrated my personal life and my approach to fitness. Since I no longer work with those clients, I need to keep myself motivated in my day-to-day. Some of my favorite bloggers include Kelly Roberts, Jamaica King, Mellie Cay, Meaghan The Fit Crasher, Megan of Run Like a Girl, and Evann! I’ve also been using my own hashtag to keep myself accountable and to connect within the fitness community. Follow my progress at #gettingfitwithflo.
While I’m making major strides, I know there is a much more I can be doing. What tips would you give us new-to-the-city folks for jumping into the local fitness world?
Stephanie Florence is a 20-something who can talk to a brick wall and dance to a kazoo. She contributes to the 40:20 Vision as the Millennial editor and on every day that ends in “y” you can find Stephanie meeting people, telling exceedingly long stories and taking the approach of a student…always. Find her dancing around Chicago in her personalized Chuck Taylors, complete with her Twitter handle: @StephanieFlo.
Photos via Death to the Stock Photo