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While it might seem like Thanksgiving is all about the delicious food, it’s also a time to practice an attitude of gratitude. From the best studios to classes and types of workouts they can’t live without, check out what our favorite fitness influencers are grateful for this season—and all year long!
Bootcamp made me feel like I belonged somewhere for the first time since my high school basketball days. I’m so thankful I found it when I did. It changed my body and my mindset on fitness and health, not to mention the post-workout feeling is incredible.
I'm so grateful for Yoga Vida and their incredible roster of teachers. Last summer, I enrolled in Yoga Vida's Intensive 200-hour teacher training, which was one of the best decisions I've ever made. After 30 days of non-stop learning and practice, I left with a new sense of confidence, amazing friends, and a fiery passion for sharing yoga with as many people as possible. Although I don't go to the Yoga Vida studios as frequently as I used to, it will always hold a very special place in my heart, and I'm so blessed to be part of their community.
I'm so grateful I discovered boxing, my current workout of choice! It makes me feel so strong, and my coaching sessions leave me feeling invigorated, with the added satisfaction knowing I can defend myself if I ever needed to. I'm actually training for my first fight at the moment!
Barre3 Henderson has truly become my safe place to explore, learn and grow into a stronger and more confident person. I have created such strong friendships with everyone that has walked through our studio door—thankful for my b3 tribe!
I'm thankful for yoga and the peace it brought into my life. After each class, I leave feeling completely renewed and refreshed. It's my workout of choice when I'm looking for more than just a sweat but rather a mind, body, and soul connection.
About four years ago, I was looking for a change and wanted to try something outside of my comfort zone. I went to my first pole fitness class and at first wasn’t sure, but I stuck with it, and it’s now one of my favourite past times. It taught me to value grace as well as strength, be creative and not take myself too seriously. I can’t recommend it enough!
I'm grateful for Megan Roup's class at Studio B in NYC. She really helped me look at fitness as a fun activity and not as a task or something I "have to do." Her classes are full of energy, hard work and always a good time. Another OG studio I love is Physique57, one of the first places I tried in my area! Not only am I thankful for their attentive instructors and intimate classes, but their new Chelsea location is also stunning.
Earlier this year I became a yoga instructor at one of my favourite studios in Covent Garden. Since it opened two years ago, I’ve taken various classes and immediately felt like part of the family. Now, I’m honoured to lay down my mat four times a week and teach. Thanks to this practice, the people I come into contact with have a daily positive impact on my life, and it's taught me to be kinder to myself—on and off the mat— something that I struggled with up until now.
For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.
This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal.
You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.
As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
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