So far, so good on my new “get outside every day that I am in Colorado” goal. This weekend was a blast!
Working backwards, yesterday I was able to get out for a quick three mile run on the Open Space trails behind my apartment. I have been a little bothered by my weight lately, so I’m trying to make sure I get in at least 30 minutes of cardio every day. Yesterday, I pretty much put on my workout clothes and sneakers as soon as I got up, and it made it so easy to just get it done and move on with my day! Need to remember that trick going forward. The 3.1 miles went by really quickly, and I got to listen to one of my new favorite podcasts, Diz Runs. Denny interviewed me for the podcast a few weeks ago (which was really crazy to hear my own voice on a podcast while running!), and the episode I listened to yesterday featured my friend Dane, who I haven’t seen in a while. It was like running with friends, but all by myself!
Saturday, though, was about making friends. I got to head to Red Rocks amphitheater for a really awesome annual event called Fitness on the Rocks. In concept, it’s very similar to Self’s Workout in the Park that I’ve attended in New York for the last few years. In practice, though, I found it to be pretty different.
Like Workout in the Park, Fitness on the Rocks (FOTR) is a big event where there are tons of fitness classes and you can try a lot of different things. The event ran from 7am-1pm, and there were basically at least two different events going on every hour. However, I really liked that FOTR required you to get a wristband (your ticket for entry) to every single class; in contrast, Workout in the Park had one big open class and then really small specialty classes that required wristbands. This meant that the big class was overcrowded, and depending on the class, I sometimes found it tough to get enough space for a good workout. At Workout in the Park, the wristbands for those small classes are first-come first-serve (meaning: get there as soon as the gates open!), but at Fitness on the Rocks, you got to sign up for them when you bought your ticket – so you knew what you were in for. And even though I signed up for FOTR just last week, there were still plenty of classes available!
Check in was pretty easy, except for the fact that you weren’t allowed past the check in tents until you had physically put on every wristband you had requested. I signed up for a lot of classes, so that was a lot of wristbands to attach! But soon enough I was on my way in, and since I got to check in at 6:45am, I was among the first inside at 7am. The upper plaza was full of vendors, many of whom were still in the process of setting up, but I bypassed them for now to head straight to my first class of the day – Core Blast, led by Fitness In the City.
The class started with a warmup, and then we went into four circuits of four exercises, repeated three times. I have a really weak core, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the class was organized. We did a mix of straight-up abs exercises (e.g, planks dipping right and left to challenge the obliques) and compound exercises designed to get your heart rate up (e.g., mountain climbers). It was windy up there, and my yoga mat kept blowing around, but I had a ton of fun and got really sweaty too.
From there, I checked out the booths for a bit (more on that later), and then headed to the actual amphitheater to find the women from the Bold Betties Meetup group. I’ve joined a lot of Meetup groups in Colorado to help me make friends – and I’ve been so impressed by everyone that I’ve met! At the Meetup groups I’ve joined in New York, I felt like there were always a few “odd ducks” who made me feel uneasy. But in Colorado, where seemingly everyone is a transplant, I feel like I’ve been completely at ease with the Meetup groups right from the beginning. Three cheers for making friends on the internet!
I got to know one of the Betties while we waited for class to begin, but then there was no time left for talking – Total Body Blast took a ton of energy! It was a full-body workout without any equipment, and I was amazed just how much I was able to “burn out” my muscles just using my own body weight. After a warmup, we did 15 minutes each focused on legs and then arms/back/chest… and I was dying by the end of each set!
I ended up leaving before the abs segment, since I had just worked my abs pretty hard in the previous workout, and I wasn’t sure how much more they could take. But that gave me a few minutes to try out some Zumba (the class on the upper deck) before my new friend Cara and I really went to town visiting the vendors.
When I say “visiting the vendors,” I should note that this wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either! While some of the vendors were simply handing out samples or information about their product/gym, there were many that were leading short workout challenges. Cara and I were scared off from the squat challenge because we had already worn out our legs at Total Body Blast, but we decided that it could be fun to try the jumping jacks challenge. How many jumping jacks (all-out, hands touching at the top) can you do in 60 seconds? I managed 87 to win my wave, but then Cara cranked out 89 in hers. Awesome!
I was also really excited to try out a workout with Orange Theory, which I’ve heard is kind of like Barry’s Bootcamp/Tread Fitness. Turns out that Orange Theory also incorporates rowing machines (actually, the water-filled Indorows, which I’ve tried before at Crowbar Cardio) and some Crossfit-like moves with medicine balls. We did a great quick workout that had me breathing hard, and I also got to meet the owner of the coming-soon Boulder location. I can’t wait to check them out so close to me when they open!
On the food side, I was psyched to see Paige (who I knew from Blend) representing Kind Bars, though we only got to chat for a little bit. And I was really excited to see both Lyfe Kitchen and Protein Bar there, since those are two of my favorite healthy restaurants! The Protein Bar was giving out some samples of a yummy superfood salad, and I eagerly devoured those 🙂
Although Cara and I were exhausted, we decided to do just one more event before leaving… and it ended up being my favorite thing of the day. From 10:45am-11:00am, we were challenged to carry sacks of rice up from the bottom of Red Rocks amphitheater to the top. For each sack of rice that made it to the top, money would be donated to Project Worthmore. The catch? Each bag of rice was 25 pounds! With Red Rocks amphitheater being pretty steep (and the height of the seats requiring giant steps), this was a crazy intense butt workout that left me gasping for breath and wondering if I could even lift my legs high enough to scale the final few steps.
Fortunately, we also had to carry the sacks back down so that others could take a turn, and going down was a lot easier… which made me forget by the bottom just how hard it was, and suggest to Cara that we do it again. Oops! Realized my mistake when I was about halfway back up, but by then there was nothing to do but keep going. In the end, I was really proud that we had managed to not only climb the amphitheater pretty quickly, but also carry fifty pounds up it. Long hiking expeditions with margarita machines, here I come!
Overall the day was a blast – and I am still sore today from the awesome workouts. The ticket was $15, which was well worth the price for all the workouts and the free samples. (I definitely now have several months worth of Perky Jerky, among other goodies.) The day was really perfect, and I feel like the organizers really couldn’t have done a better job… unless they improved it by holding it more than once a year. I can’t wait till next July!