Louisville Magazine

JAN 2017

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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42 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 12.16 I tell myself that I'll get up a little bit earlier to follow a yoga or Pilates DVD at home. I pack a gym bag in case I find time to walk just one block from the office and hop on an elliptical machine. I sometimes do 20 squats holding one of my husband's 20-pound curling weights in both hands, just to get the blood flowing. I can get into a routine, but often weeks will go by and I haven't done so much as lug groceries inside. (It has to count for something.) I'm sure I'm not alone in struggling to find time to exercise. Getting ahead on transcribing interviews is more important. Working on the house is more important. Family time is more important. Sleep is more important. Social media is — well, I could maybe use a priority shift. e thing is, I really benefit from the mood-enhancing, posture- correcting, mind-sharpening effects of exercise. I just need to stop the excuses. I heard about 502 Fit Pass through friends last summer. It's a membership that gets you into dozens of gyms and studios in town. While my gym, the downtown YMCA, has a variety of classes, it's not the same as stepping in a place that lives and breathes CrossFit or TRX or yoga or Pilates. Founder Cynthia Williams calls it a "functional membership." "It allows people to try different things and eliminates boredom," she says. "It eliminates issues of, 'My daughter has track practice across town at this time.' Well, there's a place near track practice you can go while she's there. Or: 'I got held up at the office and missed my 5:30 class.' Well, there's a class near your office at 6." I buy a one- month, 10-class pass and start signing up for classes on the website, where you can search by day, time and workout type. A ZIP code or neighborhood search isn't available but would be helpful. I begin at Betsy's Studios on Shelbyville Road in St. Matthews. Amanda, the instructor for this 5:30 p.m. barre class, tells me it's a mixture between dance and Pilates. Most of the 10 or so women in the class appear to be in their 20s. We stand ready on yoga mats under fluorescent lights while Amanda adjusts her headset microphone and turns up the four-on-the-floor pulse of remixed pop songs. I can follow along decently, and start to work up a sweat. When we move to the barre, she has us plié with our heels off the ground. "Get those heels higher! When you leave here, I want your legs to struggle to push that pedal," Amanda tells the class as she lifts my heel several inches. I look to the woman next to me, who has her eyes closed and is making an almost-spiritual expression. But to me it just doesn't feel good, not even in a challenging way, and I stop caring. I leave feeling more drained than energized. Barre is a no for me, but I'll be back to try the "restore and renew" class. Next is a Nia class called Joy, at Shine Music and Movement Studio in the Clifton Center. Instructor Maria explains Nia as mind-body movements that mix elements of tai chi, yoga and dance. is particular class is called Joy because in it we are supposed to focus on the pleasure of movement. We free-form dance, stretch and — "Ha!" — vocally exhale our way through the class. Maria says that the following week she's teaching a class to Wax Fang's rock opera "e Astronaut," which she choreographed. Nia is more of a mental break from deadlines and politics than it is physically challenging — the opposite of my barre experience. It may not become my regular workout, but having it as an option on the Fit Pass is comforting. I grew up doing my mom's Billy Blanks Tae Bo tapes and have wanted to try a kickboxing class lately. Instead of going to Home Depot first thing on a Saturday morning, I go to Fit 502 on St. Matthews Avenue. Instructor Jennifer has us in constant motion. I punch. I kick. I squat. It's so challenging that jumping jacks and sit-ups become resting positions. I feel the pleasure in movement that Maria was talking about. ere's a boot camp class at Louisville Strength and Endurance on East Broadway called Use-Ta Coulds, as in, "I used to could do that." ere's a hot yoga studio in Springhurst called Sweaty Buddha. ere's a beginning hip-hop dance class at Safiyyah Dance in Lyndon. ere's an aerial silks class in a neon-lit studio called Fit 2 Fly, which is in the middle of moving from the East End to downtown. ere's a place near Germantown and Shelby Park called BAREfit Adventure Training, which says in its description that it's a "nod to the bygone days

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