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Like in many West Coast metros, the phrase “rush hour” in San Diego doesn’t quite cut it, because traffic actually spans many hours, and it takes a whole lot of local savviness to get ahead of it (or behind or around or over or under).
Weaving your way through the madness can feel like a triumph, but what if you could get home from work without feeling like pulling your hair out?
Believe it or not, that dream is possible. Here are some tips to help you handle just about anything San Diego rush hour has to throw at you (minus the road rage).
It’s no secret that working out is one of the best ways to keep stress at bay. Stop off your route for a fitness class! Not only will you get rid of all that “I-hate-traffic-and-everyone-on-this-freeway” energy, but you’ll also have a rush of endorphins elevating your mood.
Finding a class that fits your schedule, daily route, and workout preferences may seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. Take a look at the *tons* of studios on the Mindbody app for classes based on time, location, and fitness category so you can choose the best one for you. To make it even easier, we did some research (and tried some classes) for you! Check it out.
If you live up in North County...
Try a class at Lagree Fit & Versa Fit in South Oceanside right at the end of the 78. Their Versa Fit classes are only 30-minutes, and trust us, they’ll whip you into shape in the morning. Or if you like to work out on your way home, meet some friends for a Dollhouse Fitness pole dancing class or Pilates at Pilates Republic, both off the 5 in Encinitas.
If you work in the Carmel Valley/Sorrento Valley business district...
There’s plenty of great fitness studios you can hit right after work to kill some time before jumping in the heavy traffic going both north and south. There’s an F45 Training right off the 56 with 45-minute long cardio and strength training classes and a BARRE + bay wreath just above the 5-805 split (with barre, flowers, and coffee?!). Heading home towards PB? Infinite Fitness has got it all (bootcamp, Pilates, interval training, + more) right off the 5 in Bay Ho.
If you take the 805...
If you stick on the 805 during your commute, hop off for a quick Pilates class at Beyond Pilates in Normal Heights. Want to take out that pent-up road rage in a healthy way? Try BoxFit in North Park for a fun and challenging class. Maybe you’re more into bootcamp and strength training... try Renegade Fitcamp on University Ave to feel the burn.
If your office is downtown...
And at the very end of the 163 in Cortez Hill, there’s a great little yoga studio called (you guessed it) The Little Yoga Studio. Stop here for a post-work Vinyasa to calm yourself down before jumping on the road. On the way up the 5 in Bankers Hill, Saffron & Sage also has yoga, and they offer tons of wellness treatments as well if you’re feeling a little more adventurous. Want to sweat? belle + barre has a heart-pumping heated barre class off the 163 in Hillcrest. Don’t like the heat? Try Studio Barre right down the street (you don’t have to be a barre pro to try it)!
More of a passive listener than a daily exerciser? No problem—there’s more than one way to keep your cool when you hit that 5-805 Split. Rather than getting caught up in the relentless bobbing and weaving of other impatient drivers, or the stop-and-go flow of the cars in general, simply put on a podcast to keep you entertained (and grounded)!
If rush hour has you feeling especially frazzled, try playing The Mindful Podcast. This features short episodes that help you practice—you guessed it—mindfulness. You’ll be amazed how much a quick bout of meditation transforms your attitude toward the traffic.
Or maybe you’re more interested in something that will help you regain a positive perspective. The Happiness Lab podcast is full of impactful episodes on the science of happiness and tools to increase your overall positivity.
If you practice yoga or meditation regularly basis, you know how much breathing can transform your physical and mental responses to a situation. Instead of wracking yourself with tension as you try to make your way west on the 52, try out this simple breathing exercise:
1. Inhale through your nose slowly, trying to fill your lower lungs first before moving into
2. Hold the breath for three seconds.
3. Exhale slowly through your mouth, all while relaxing areas that commonly hold tension
such as your jaw and shoulders.
If you could use a little help relaxing, stop for a massage, facial, or body service (think peels, scrubs, and wine therapy) after work downtown at Alleviating Whispering Waters Day Spa. Then, turn on The Complete Rush Hour Chill Out Experience playlist, and you’ll be able to breathe through rush hour like a pro.
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.
If your location isn't listed above, browse Mindbody to see if they are available in your city.