I don’t like to run outdoors in the cold weather, and with the exception of a few oddly warm days, baby, it’s cold outside. I am often tempted to use the cold weather as a reason to not workout, but that isn’t going to make me any warmer, or fitter for that matter. I’m also not much of a gym goer. I do have a gym membership, but I’m not sure I’ve set foot in that place in over a year! I’m the type of gal that needs someone to go to the gym with, someone to motivate me to get out the door and then once I’m there I’m pretty much “over it.” So, I began my search for ways to take my workout indoors and still be enjoyable. What I found was an awesome alternative.
In the warm weather, I run almost daily on Kelly Drive. Something that has always captured my interest as I run along the river is the rowers. Be it a regatta that brings droves of people into Philadelphia and closes the drive, college teams practicing or a Saturday morning class of beginners, I love watching and listening to the teams out on the Schuylkill. Not a cold weather alternative, I’m aware, but you know what is? RowZone Indoor Rowing and Fitness Studio.
I found RowZone through a Groupon: five classes for $35, which is feasible, so I went for it. Classes are scheduled throughout the day at really convenient times for my crazy schedule. There is a RowZone in Manayunk near my daughter’s school and I can hit up a class right after I drop her off. In a nutshell, it’s uber convenient.
I should mention, I have never rowed before or even sat on a rowing machine. The website encourages first timers like me to arrive 20 minutes before class to get acclimated. I like this. The instructor was awesome and very patient with me. He sat me down and explained what everything on the machine was, the function it performed and also how to best use each function. He explained how the class would be set up: 10 minute row, a leg strengthening set, 10 min row, a leg strengthening set, and so on. I felt very at ease about what was about to go down.
A few more participants trickled in, all seeming to know each other, which was pretty cool, too. And the class began. I should now mention that I assumed rowing was more of an upper body workout, and this could not be further from the truth. I’m a runner, so I do have strong legs. I am, however, not a rower, and man do you need strong legs to be one! Focusing on form, the strength of my legs as well as the RPMs on my machine, it was an invigorating 45-minute class. I was sore for two full days following this workout and that is very satisfying to me, a sign that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.
I have been back for two more classes at RowZone Manayunk. All three have been completely different but every much as challenging. I have two more left on my Groupon and I will be taking them over the course of the next week.
I’m excited to have found a place to get a great workout indoors. The instructors are full of spunk and give individual support throughout the class. The atmosphere and camaraderie among the class members is encouraging and I felt extremely fit following the classes I’ve participated in. I’m not sure how easily affordable the classes are, but I will definitely find room in my budget for more following the usage of my Groupon. Future RowZone classes might just be the motivation I need to cancel that grossly underused gym membership.