The Outlaw Life

running, reading, blogging, loving

Habemus Papem! and a New Gym

on March 13, 2013

White smoke rises from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected at the Vatican, March 13, 2013. REUTERS-Dylan Martinez

So, there’s a new pope! A new Big Poppa (Big Il Poppa? I’m still a little confused what the proper grammar is when you are, after all, a true player). I’m not a Catholic in any way, shape, or form, but I like to consider myself somewhat of a worldly citizen, and the newly elected leader of the Catholic church is kind of a big deal, globally. According to what Christiane Amanpour (LOVE HER) tells me, Pope Francis (formerly Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina) is not only the first Pope from Argentina, he’s also the first non-European since the FIRST POPE EVER and he, apparently, was fairly legit as a Cardinal re: being a good Christian – he apparently lived modestly, cooked his own meals, and chose to take the bus rather than the hired limo he was offered. While I myself have some issues with the Catholic church and women, and while I like to keep my blog basically politics and religion free, I will say that I pray the best for the new Pope as he takes on the weighty responsibility of leading one of the biggest religious/social institutions in the world. Any Catholic readers out there – thoughts on the new Pope?

In other, far less globally-important news, Mark and I joined a new gym today! His tax return came in this morning (right on time, in a kind of surprising twist of events!) and his mom offered to go halfsies with us on a six month membership to a really awesome, new-ish local gym!


(Man, I LOVE Fat Amy. Her GIFs are always appropriate. Always.)

We’re going to keep on month to month after that, budget willing, and as long as we’ll get as much amazing use out of it as I think we will! For all of you in the Overland Park/Olathe area looking for a new gym to try, Mark and I toured and were amazingly impressed with HealthRidge Fitness (all the following photos are from the club website – I totally blanked on taking our camera with me for our tour this morning!

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HealthRidge Fitness club offers two floors and more options than I felt emotionally ready to handle the first time I heard about them. After walking past the front desk, to the left is a beautiful cafe and sitting area, complete with fireplace, couches, and cozy chairs. The cafe has a ton of menu options for everything from sandwhiches and wraps to smoothie, juice, and coffee drinks, all of which have a bent towards being low-cal, high protein, low carb, energy boosting, etc. The people seemed friendly, but I will say that although the parking lot was packed and everything seemed busy when we were at the gym, there were actually no people at the cafe at the time of our visit. No update yet on the quality, but I look forward to trying out a couple of the different smoothies I saw available (the strawberry coconut energy boost and peanut butter cup protein smoothies both sounded FANTASTIC) and we get a $10 gift card to the cafe when we do our first personal training session with the club!

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When it comes to the whole point of the gym, HealthRidge has it beat to what I’ve seen in the area: from this picture, you can see the entire weight room available on the lower level of the gym, you can see the 1/8 a mile indoor track that the gym provides, and in the upper left corner you can see a bit of the cardio zone, an area packed with treadmills, stair steppers, elliptical machines, recumbent bikes, upright bikes, rowing machines…and I”m sure a couple more I didn’t see. What I think is INCREDIBLY awesome is that each machine comes with its own adjustable television, meaning I can finally run and watch Millionaire Matchmaker and not be even more gym-shamed! The majority of what I saw on the weight floor was machine-assisted lifting, but I was told there was quite the collection of free weights if I decided to make that a passion!

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What set this gym above and beyond in my mind (and the reason we ended signing on the dotted line without taking our normal ‘we’ll think about it’ duck-out) is that there are SO many options for different methods of training/group fitness that, for real, I’m already feeling like I did back during college “shopping week” when I would take as many classes as humany possible just to try them all out! HealthRidge Fitness not only offers the gambit of “traditional” group classes – GroupPower, yoga, pilates, step, spin, kickboxing, and so on – they also offer additional opportunities for an small fee every month. For example, there are options for a swim Master Class (did I mention there was a pool?! Oh yes, there is a pool – zero-gravity deep end ab workout here I come!), a Boot Camp, a Boxing Training Camp, and even a Crossfit box associated with the gym! This last thing brings me NO DESCRIBABLE AMOUNT of excitement, as I’ve been wanting to/nervous about getting involved in Crossfit for a while now, and I think this might just be my chance!

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All in all, I CANNOT WAIT to go back for my first work out tomorrow, and for next Tuesday when Mark and I have our first personal training session (complimentary with joining, of course, as I totally wouldn’t have the money for personal training otherwise!). I’ll let you guys know how it goes!

PS: HealthRidge Fitness has no idea I’m writing this, and they in no way asked me to say such lovely things. I said them because I thought them on our tour!

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