You’d think after flying back from The Netherlands Monday night and then working all week I might’ve wanted to take it easy this weekend… but it’s me so that would just be silly.

First, I convinced my friend to join me for Trampoline Cardio Sunday morning, which is one of my new favorite workout classes. In addition to tramp cardio, I was planning to spend my Saturday training parkour, but then I saw a post on Derek Hough‘s Instagram account about an awesome community fitness event that him and sister, Julianne Hough, were putting on. Elle is going to kill me, I thought, but I tagged her anyways, “Pleeeeeaaaaase can we do this?!” She agreed. (And yes, we still went to tramp cardio the next morning which was painful but worth it!)

For those of you who don’t know Derek & Julianne Hough, here’s one of my favorite clips of the incredibly talented dancing siblings:

Amazing, right? So of course I couldn’t wait to go workout with them! These two inspire me so much. I love spontaneous decisions, group workouts, and awesome people so it was kind of a no-brainer.

Elle and I arrived early to register and find parking. There was a good crowd but not too bad – more than 50 but definitely less than 100 I think. The workout started at Pulse Fitness Studio with strength & conditioning, then we ran 2 miles (or ran / walked for 2 miles…) to get to the next workout spot – Just Dance Los Angeles. There, we danced (or tried to find our rhythm / laughed at ourselves) for the rest of the workout.

The strength & conditioning was awesome – challenging, but awesome. We split into two groups because we couldn’t all fit in the studio. I was in the outside group to begin with where we did partner workouts for 30 seconds at a time before rotating to a new station. For example, Partner A holds a plank with legs wide while Partner B does ski jumps in and out of Partner A’s legs.

Inside, we were led by Mark Harari in an ass-kicking group workout with a classic energetic, heart-pumping workout soundtrack. Derek & Julianne sweat it out alongside us, stopping only to run around the room to pump us up, shout words of encouragement, and give us high-fives as we pushed through the workout.

When it was over, we all cheered and headed out the door for the 2-mile run down the road to Just Dance. Elle and I ran the first mile and then I couldn’t quite take the heat anymore (also, I’m a wimp when it comes to running) so we walked/ran the rest of the way.

By the time we arrived at Just Dance, I was dripping sweat and panting like crazy. We were handed mini water bottles as we walked in which made me irrationally happy in the moment. I finished the water in about .2 seconds and then took a minute to breathe before jumping into the dance workout.

As I jumped in, I remembered how bad I am at dancing… I spent the entire time two steps behind, nearly (or actually) stepping on my friend’s feet, and laughing at myself as I attempted the kicks and turns, trying to follow the beat of the music. Honestly though, I didn’t care at all. I was having so much fun and sweating A LOT. Killer workout. Great vibes. Great energy. I was happy.

When it was all over, we took a group photo and Derek and Julianne said a few words before saying goodbye. They put this event together at the very last minute, posting literally the day before on social media to invite everyone to join them for the workout. In light of recent events, they wanted to create an opportunity for people to get out and move and, most importantly, to feel good. I loved their saying, motion equals emotion. How you move impacts how you feel, and I completely agree with them. When I get out to move, I feel amazing. Thanks, guys!

Me and Derek Hough

Post-workout with Derek Hough at the MOVE INTERACTIVE event


If at first you don’t succeed…

… Try try again. And again… and again… and again…

I was feeling quite slow and heavy but I was determined to go to the gym, especially since I blew it off the day before due to complete exhaustion (and a touch of laziness). I just felt totally sluggish. I decided to try to kick the heaviness with a workout. Sometimes this works, and sometimes I really am just exhausted. I didn’t know which it would be until I got to the gym.

I warmed up a bit, climbing and doing some precision jumps to see how I felt. My heart wasn’t in it. I just felt off.

I decided to work on something that required less effort, something on the soft floor with soft mats. I started with basic vaults and then I finally started to become a person again and naturally transitioned into setting the boxes up so I could work on kong precisions. For my non-parkour people… it’s when you jump over something and land on something else. That’s basically all you need to know. Or you can watch this old tutorial.

I then proceeded to work on this one specific kong pre, which was at a pretty significant distance (for no reason, I could have easily moved it closer) for the next 1.5 hours. No joke. For 90 minutes straight, this was all I did. One after another, after another, after another. I got close a few times. I landed right in front of the block a few times instead of on top of it. I got one foot on, one foot off a few times. I fell on my bum a few times. I kicked the block I was supposed to be landing on across the room a few times. Never once did I execute a perfect precision landing where I wanted to. And I was totally okay with that.

Did I fail? I don’t think so. I got my ass up and went to the gym. Success. I trained for 2 hours. Success. I challenged myself and humbly accepted defeat… for now. I consider that a success. What would be the point of our training if we always landed everything on the first try?

The Answer is Always Yes

The answer is always yes. Yes, you should move… move it… move it…

Sorry, playful mood tonight. Why? Because I MOVE(d) IT. Seriously, though. This last week of work has been insanely stressful for me and I’ve been sick at the same time. Needless to say, I have not been in a fantastic mood nor have I felt up for training much.

I’ve been taking it easy until tonight when I realized I really needed to blow off some steam, despite how exhausted and sick I still felt. I got home at 9:30pm, ate some Greek yogurt, threw on my sweats and ran down to the little park near my house.

I still thought I was too tired to do much when I left the house, but I figured I’d at least get some fresh air (even if it was in the dark) and maybe do some stretching and mobility.

Well, turns out what I really needed, more than anything else, was to play.

Don’t get me wrong, there is something to be said for a workout helping to relieve stress, but I’ve found that what really makes me feel better is when my workout turns into play and I’m having fun with my training.

I did a light warmup tonight, jogging around the park, and then I started with a few little precision jumps. There are some wide stone steps in the grass at the park that I like to do precisions and plyos on. They’re perfect for a warm up or just jumping around. There is also a wall next to the steps that I normally practice vaults on but Mr. Big Black Spider had already called dibs on that tonight so I respectfully stayed out of his way.

Moving on to a little garden patch with stone stairs of a different variety (don’t you love my descriptions?) I did some more precision jumps and plyos and strides. Then I started playing around a bit and getting silly with some plyo 180s down the stairs until I made myself dizzy. Before wrapping up my workout, I decided tonight was a great night to try 360 precisions on these little stone stairs. Why not?

I didn’t quite make it in the end, but I was having a lot of fun trying. It was so simple, and it made me so happy. I probably looked like a crazy person spinning in circles in the middle of a garden in giant sweatpants in the dark… Well, when you put it that way… But who cares, right? I was laughing at myself, getting lost in the fun of the movement. That, more than anything else, made me feel sane again.

I was sick, exhausted, had just worked a 10-hour day, but I went to the park to move around for “just a minute” and I felt a million times better after letting myself get lost in the training and just have fun with it.

So, should you go train? Yes. The answer is always yes.