Monday, May 23, 2011

Self Magazine's Workout in the Park

I have been in my new city, Chicago, for just over a week now.  I have started making and understanding a map of the city in my head, but there are just so many things here it that it still is growing.  I have been doing lots of walking, busing, and L-ing (the city train) through the city.  I am still on the job hunt, but it looks like some things are going to come through this week, so I am staying positive.  Hopefully I will have good news to share soon though!

One of the great things about living in a big city is that there is access to cool events.  One of those cool events happened this weekend in Grant Park.  Self Magazine tweeted about their Workout in the Park event happening in Chicago, so I clicked to check what it was all about.  Essentially it is a day full of workout classes, giveaways, music, and swag that takes place in the park.  It sounded interesting to me so I asked my roommate and friend, Kristin, if she wanted to join me.  She was game so we bought our $20 tickets to the event.  (The price included a year's subscription to Self Magazine and the other half was donated to Cancer and Careers and Susan G. Komen For the Cure.)  

The weather forecast called for cloudy weather and possible rain, but the event would go on anyway so we headed over to Grant Park.  Part of the park was blocked off with tents from all the sponsors around the edges, a big main stage area, and two smaller workout zones.  There were over 600 people in attendance and the energy for the whole day was really upbeat, with lots of power music blasting through the speakers.  As we walked in we were given a Self reusable shopping bag to collect all of our swag.  

Kristin and I headed over to the Quiet Zone to start the morning with Sunrise Salutations.  Lovely orange Self yoga mats were organized in the field for us to use (we did see them clean everyone after each class).  This was a simple 20 minute yoga class that really stretched out our muscles and got us ready for the rest of the day.  The session was sponsored by lucy Activewear and everyone in the class walked away with a great fitness tote bag!

We decided to walk around the booths and check out what all of the sponsors had to offer.  There were tons of free samples and giveaways to enter so we stopped at everyone!  Garnier had a wheel with twelve spots where you could spin to win a Garnier branded gift, Garnier product, or an iTunes card.  
Kristin spun first and grabbed some styling mousse.  I was up next and was lucky enough to land on one of the two giftcard spots and won myself $10 iTunes cash.  I was pretty excited!  

We browsed the activewear at the lucy, Asics, Athleta, and Jockey tents as well.  Soon our bags were pretty full of free samples of Popchips, Coconut Water, Luna Bars, lotions, perfumes, and coupons.  
Check out all the swag!
Next we got wristbands for the Core Strength class in the Reebok Toning Zone.  It began to drizzle just a tad, but thankfully the rain stayed away.  This was an intense 20 minute class. We did lots of standing crunches, planks, leg lifts, and squats.  I had really had to power through the last circuits of some of those!  

Then back to the Quiet Zone we went to try BodyART.  It was a fusion class of cardio, yoga, dance, and Tai Chi moves.  I was a bit unsure about it to begin with, but my body felt good doing all of the moves and poses.  The instructor told us that the class was designed to do just that.  We really got some great cardio and stretching done.  
Wristbands for the day
After a quick snack of popchips (which were really tasty) and an orange I brought from home, we joined the Retro-Robics workout happening on the mainstage.  This was a classic aerobics style class, but with great 80s music.  I am not the best at picking up some of those moves right away, but had a good time working up a sweat to the music.  
After that heart-pumping class we stopped back at the Garnier tents for a free facial.  I had never had one before and although this wasn't the full deal it was both relaxing and refreshing.  We got to lay back in comfy chairs while someone massaged our faces with moisturizer. 
Fresh faces post facial!
As the event was coming to an end the MC came onstage to announce some of the giveaway winners.  Kristin and I both listened intently to catch our names.  And guess what?  I won something!!  I won a $100 giftcard for lucy Activewear- how cool is that?!  I had never heard of the company before Saturday, but after seeing some of their clothes at their tent I am excited to have some myself!   

Finally it was time for the last class of the day - Glee Club!  Kristin and I are big Glee fans and were excited about this class.  It did not disappoint!  We rocked out to seven or eight Glee songs with the four fitness/dance instructors.  I was singing loud, dancing crazy, and smiling like a fool, I'm sure.  It was great end to such a fun day in the park.  

I am so glad we had the opportunity to check out Workout in the Park.  The event was really well organized with great fitness instructors, sponsors, and volunteers.  We had an awesome day!

Have you ever been to a big fitness event like Workout in the Park?