Outside – The Freshest Place to Do Your Thing

Last summer I took a 3-week teachers training course at the Los Angeles based yoga and spinning studio, YAS, after which I realized I may not want to teach either of their spinning or yoga classes…sorry mom and dad. I enjoy the spiritual aspects of yoga and their philosophy of “no chanting, no granola, no sanskrit” took some of yoga’s greatest pleasures out of the practice for me – I love granola (although this is not a typical part of yoga class) and I do love chanting om. While I never taught at YAS, I learned about proper form and alignment in basic yoga poses and the benefits of each asana. Spinning was great for me because it’s non-impact, gentle on the knees, and an awesome interval workout. The only drawback to spinning, as with most teacher-led classes – the quality of the class depends on the teacher. Spinning in a class where the teacher plays bad music, spins out of rhythm, or screeches, “oh yea you can do it, go, go, go…,” the whole time is so unbearable for me that I’ve left classes to avoid punching the teacher in the face.

As you will come to realize I’m somewhat of a gym avoider, which is easy for me as I’m a spoiled Californian (although San Francisco can get pretty nasty). I do make the occasional gym visit if I feel like ellipticizing or want to get in a treadmill fartlek run – we’ll discuss these bad boys later, but on the whole other than going to yoga, I would rather workout outside a million times more than inside. If you’re stuck inside at work all day, why do you want to go to a humid, moist, sweaty, stuffy, dark gym that smells of stale B.O. and swims with men in cut-off t-shirts watching themselves get swell in the mirror. Baffling. I do understand the convenience of a gym and any exercise is better than none, but I just feel so much fresher and healthier after working out in the fresh air getting rained on by vitamin D.

One of my favorite outdoor workouts…stairs.

2 thoughts on “Outside – The Freshest Place to Do Your Thing

  1. Hi Caroline, Much to say. But for now, I have felt and acted the same way for the past, hmmm, 35 (or so, who’s counting??) years. I never could understand why people (i.e. young ad then not-so-young) women would prefer grappling with machinery of cold steel and sweat-infused molded plastic to the joys of the great outdoors. While at U-Michigan, I quit running for swimming only when the procedure of dressing for the elements took longer than the run itself. I remain an avid walker–yes, still with Lulu, we’ve both aged but gracefully and with muscle tone! Breakfast for me is usually oatmeal (with an occasional granola substitute) laden with nuts, berries and seeds. I hope to see you before this year ends, or toward the beginning of the next. And I hope that you will soon be able to channel much of your creativity and energy into paid employment. Lots more to say about that…but I’ll sign off for now with love, (Aunt) Fran

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