Fun fact: I don’t like running. I want to like it, but I’m not good at it. When I try to do it on my own, I tend to give up as soon as I start feeling out of breath. I even coined a term, “wogging,” to describe my runs, which by definition is what one does when they set out with the intention to go jogging and ends up walking instead. Spin for 45 minutes straight? Hell yeah! Do strength training until I can’t feel my legs? Sure, why not? Hike a mountain, or hit golf balls until my arms fall off? I’m down! Yet for some reason, the motivation to commit and follow through on a solo run eludes me.
Enter: SYB Run Club. I was hesitant to try it out (due to that whole not liking to run thing), but since I live so close to the meeting spot I couldn’t think of a good enough excuse not to. I had already been texting one of the other #SYBabes, so both “I overslept” and “my phone died” were out. That is how I found myself lacing up my kicks early last Wednesday morning and letting Justin Bieber’s melodious voice coming through my earphones soothe me into thinking I might not collapse somewhere along the West Side Highway.
Despite my apartment’s proximity, I still managed to be the last one to the meeting spot, where the group was stretching and looking suspiciously happy given the time of day. I generally don’t like to be spoken to or interact with humans until I’ve caffeinated properly, but Mantas was smiling and cracking bad jokes, which then made everyone else smile, too. Even me, pre-coffee.
We started running and I quickly realized it was not going to be easy. That being said, there’s something about running in a pack of people that makes you want to keep up with them when you would normally stop. It helped that my fellow runner, Molly, was regaling me with stories that were making me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe. Laughter is absolutely the best way to begin the day.
We ran slowly, we ran sprints, we ran sideways, we ran backwards. But don’t let the name “Run Club” fool you—it was a mash-up of that and SYB’s signature booty-kicking bootcamp moves. Lunges, situps, squats, pushups—no muscle was left unattended to. I exercise almost daily, but I’m still sore three days later from that particular run. And, as always, it was a judgement-free zone, which meant I could run at a snail’s pace if necessary without worrying about looking like a fool.
A challenging workout, plus getting to hang out and goof around with some of my favorite people—all before kicking off my work day? I think I just fell back in like with running—sign me up.
If you’re looking for a way to get moving, check out some beautiful cityscapes by foot and grow your social network, you can sign up for either a summer membership or just give Run Club a test run with a single session. Here’s the scoop:
WHO: Whether you run like Usain Bolt or a sloth, all are welcome!—the workout is challenging but modifiable for all levels
WHAT: 1 hour of running (distance and sprints to improve both stamina and speed) + strength training (no weights required—you’ll use your bodyweight), followed by happy hour or breakfast
- WHERE: Meet at The Chester in Meatpacking (subject to change, so check for updates!) and run/work your butt, legs, arms and abs for 2-3 miles north along the West Side Highway and back
- WHEN: Bi-weekly through summer, every Monday @ 7pm and Wednesday @ 7am
- WHY: Not only will you get a great workout in—you’ll have fun doing it (and make even more fun friendships along the way)
- HOW: Peep the official schedule and sign up here
A beach bum at heart, Kirsten Robinson is a writer and editor living, working and playing in NYC.