Around Christmas time each year, ACAC offers “The Gift of Wellness,” which is a one month membership meant to be given as a gift.
For the past two years, it has been my present to myself.
Interesting note: Last year it cost $49. This year it was $79. That’s some serious inflation. I guess they can get away with it, though. I paid.
I had to take some more time off from running, so it was VERY nice to have a variety of cardio machines to choose from:
I discovered Expresso bikes at Gold’s Gym a long, long time ago. I can’t believe they haven’t become more popular. ACAC Downtown only has two but they’re usually both free. You have to register on the website (maybe that’s why most people avoid them?) But once you do, you can choose from a few dozen virtual rides that vary in length and difficulty (1-20 miles). There are rides by the ocean, through a redwood forest, in canyons and cities and even outer space.
You can race yourself from a previous ride, or choose a different pacer. You also get to see how your time compares with other people who have completed the same ride. I finished a very challenging ten-mile ride only to find that I placed last out of everyone who had done that ride at ACAC. That’s motivation!
The older bikes changed gears automatically on hills, but the newer ones (the ones at ACAC) require you to do it. I think I actually prefer the bike to do it for me. I like to keep skill out of the equation, although having to switch gears does keep you engaged. I did a forty-seven minute ride the other morning and was never bored.
I think they’re actually called stepmills. They’re not the ones that were popular in the eighties and nineties, but the ones that are like escalators.
Come on, you know you’ve been tempted to run up the down escalator. Or is that just me?
There’s a reason they don’t want you running up the down escalator: It’s dangerous. These machines might be even more dangerous. They’re pretty high off the ground.
To make things worse, I do the “interval” program. There are a few different models at ACAC, but some of them don’t have a display. That means there’s no warning before it speeds up. You choose a level between 1 and 20, but it doesn’t tell you how fast you’ll be climbing at each level. I once had the thing go from 60 steps per minute up to 130. I almost went flying off. I would definitely not recommend this machine to anyone with balance issues. I love it, though!
According to Dictionary.com, Ashtanga Yoga is:
“a form of hatha yoga based on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and its eight stages or ‘limbs’ and involving ujjayi breathing and a swift series of poses; also called raja yoga, also written ashtanga, astanga.”
I had been wanting to try Ashtanga Yoga for years, so I was happy to finally make it to a class. I like the idea of learning a set series of poses.
I felt a little lost at times, and the instructor occasionally gave cues that I didn’t understand. He’d say something like, “now you can take your jump-back (or maybe it was jump-through?)” I had no idea what that meant and looking around the room didn’t help clarify anything. Most people weren’t doing anything and the few that were moving, all seemed to be doing different things.
I enjoyed the class, though. I would definitely go back.