journey to buff: the gear

As I type this, I’m eating a steak taco and recovering from a rage blackout. Traveling for over two hours on New Jersey Transit, the king of commuting failure, will do that to you. While I was trapped in a tunnel, an unintelligible, garbled voice shouted what I believed to be the cause of our transportational demise, and there was a real moment of blind rage. I had missed yet another expensive class because New Jersey Transit is incapable of arriving into Penn Station on time.

Over the past few years I’ve managed to breathe it out, to realize that I can’t control mass transit and I can’t will the trains to move forward like I’m Carrie in Carrie, circa 1976. However, after five hours of disturbed sleep last night, I’m fairly certain any modicum of rationality is clearly off the menu.

This is precisely why I need to work out. To get into a meditative headspace where it’s just me breathing through dark spaces. Where it’s just me breaking through something physical to get to something emotional. When the whole of my world — the commute, the emails, the bills, the whole mess of it — is reduced to a lull, a sustained quiet beep.

Lately, something’s shifted. It’s been a shift imperceivable to everyone, including me, but I’ve been getting really excited about working out. I’ve been hitting different spaces five times a week and I’m starting to feel sublime. It’s as if my work on a machine has morphed into all aspects of my life, owning the hours, and I’m calmer (save today) than I’ve ever been. Boxing, bootcamp, cycling, barre, yoga, pilates, rowing — you name it, I’m taking it. And I’m working hard.

That being said, I invested {read: I paid for every single item you see in this post} in a small suite of tools that have made my workouts easier, and dare I say, enjoyable.

First off, I’m going to lay my hand on the table and reveal that I tend to sweat A LOT in classes. Even with the tightest of wound buns, the sweat-in-eye situation has been downright diabolical. During my recent sneaker spree {I invested in a pair of Nike Fitsole 4s, which have amazing arch support}, I purchased a Sweatyband, and believe me when I say that not only have I avoided the situation, my hair is in-tact, post workout.

Folks who know me well know that I’ve been singing the praises of Chaise Fitness from the rafters. Since I’ve been taking Chaise {as well as a host of rowing classes}, I’ve realized that getting a pair of workout gloves really helps prevent blisters, chafing or any sort of redness/irritation. They deliver a great grip, and I’ve even seen fellow yogis practice with their gloves to prevent slippage.

And speaking of yoga, can we talk about the Aurorae “Synergy” Yoga Mat/Towel, please? Although the mat was designed for hot yoga classes, the combination of vigorous vinyasa, my sweating, and having to use a block to even out my arm imbalance {long story}, this mat performs like no other. Believe me when I say that this is the best $60 I’ve spent in quite some time. Unlike other mats which require a fair amount of use in avoid falling on your face in downward-facing dog, the first time I used the Synergy mat, it performed.

While I’m sweating and weeping and getting all cathartic with myself, I want to feel comfortable. I want my clothes to have movement, without costing a million dollars. Although I own a fair amount of Lululemon, I actually loathe the fit and quality of the gear. Tops don’t absorb sweat as much as I’d like {considering the cost} and I do feel the clothes are designed for lithe, hipless ladies. I feel confined in my gear in yoga, when all I want my clothes to do is move with me, not impede my flow. As a result, I buy all of my workout gear from Gap Body, notably the Gap Fit line. I love the fit, feel and the fact that the clothes ALWAYS GO ON SALE. I’ve scores of tanks, pants, tops, tees, and most recently, I’ve acquired this sweat-absorbing warm hoodie, which is the gift that keeps on giving.

Finally, I’m buying into the hype of the FitBit Force. A lot of my close friends have talked about how the wearable device gives them a clear view of how fit they are, but it also motivates them to move. My friends are a demonstrably tough crowd, and when I asked them whether the FitBit is worth it, I got an unanimous HELL YES, BUY IT ALREADY. Luckily, a friend of mine is snagging one for me with his corporate discount, and I’ll definitely give you the score as soon as I get it.

Right now, this is the gear that’s getting me going, but I would absolutely love to hear what you’re using in your routine. Also, would love to know if you guys have a FitBit. Tell me EVERYTHING.COM.

3 thoughts on “journey to buff: the gear

    1. Gloves completely saved my hands. I’ve also decided to start taking rowing classes, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for not dealing with blisters.

      I also heard great things about the Jawbone, but the Force really did it for me. If you get the J, let me know what you think.

      Warmly, f.


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