Broadway Avenue is going through some major construction this summer. The water and sewer mains were installed between 1908 and 1912 and while some replacement was done in 1956, the water mains at the intersections were not. Water main breaks have been becoming more common and so the old ones are finally being replaced. They expect construction to run from May until approximately October.
Broadway has always had a lot of foot traffic due to all the restaurants and shops, and they don’t want the construction to hinder that. They are having a number of block parties throughout the construction season in an effort to keep bringing people around. These are centering around art, physical activity and their annual street fair.
June 11th was their 3rd block party, Fit Fest. Ryde XYE, a spin studio located on Broadway, organized this event as a way to encourage healthy living and to get people moving. They used this event as a fundraiser for the Easter Seals Drop Zone (you can learn more about that here). A minimum $20 donation got you access to outdoor fitness classes that ran from 9am-5pm and each class is 35 minutes long. There was spin, yoga, boot camp and more. I was excited to try some new things and was more than happy to donate since Drop Zone is something I’m trying to raise money for too! In fact, you can follow this link here to sponsor me, should you so desire!
Since we only live a few blocks away, I walked down to Broadway at about 7:30 am. I was feeling pretty rough that morning from being at the Garth Brooks concert the night before and not getting to bed until about 3:30 in the morning. 8:00 was when registration started though and I wanted to make sure I got there early. There were a few classes I knew I wanted to try, plus the first 50 people got a free pair of Lululemon socks. Obviously, I needed some of those!
Popeye’s Saskatoon, a supplement store, and Orangetheory Fitness, my regular gym, were also there with booths set up. I even got to chat with Kelly, one of my favourite trainers, for a bit. That was great since I hadn’t seen her teaching for awhile!
I got registered fairly quick and had a bit of time to waste before getting started. I signed up for four classes, breaking it up by alternating more intense cardio with something a bit more relaxing.
The first class I booked in for was with Ryde XYE. They are a spin studio that’s still pretty new to Saskatoon and were the organizers of this event. I was pretty excited to see all of the bikes set up outside, I knew it was going to be a fun class! The weather was perfect for it too. It was a bit cooler and mostly cloudy. We had been having some hot and humid weather earlier in the week and I don’t think I would have survived if it was like that!
This was my second time taking a spin class. Ryde has a promo where you can try one class for free, so I had done that a couple of months ago. I had forgotten how much I hated spin. I don’t mean an actual full hatred, I mean the kind of hatred when during the class you can’t wait for it to finish, but when it ends you’re feeling good and are totally thinking that you would do that again.
It was a full class and everyone was really pushing themselves. There were hills, racing and even weights included in this workout. I will say, it felt much longer than 35 minutes, though not necessarily in a bad way. It was fun and felt light-hearted, even with everyone working hard.
Next up on my schedule was Acro Yoga. I’ve seen them out at festivals and events in the past, as well as by the river on weekends a few times. I’m always amazed at what they are able to do! I could seriously watch it for hours. I was excited to get a little intro to it, and I have to say that this was probably my favourite class of the day. We started out with a few basic moves but then amped it up a bit. A couple of the moves, like laying hip to hip and twisting to switch sides, seemed pretty basic. As we progressed I started thinking “they seriously want us, beginners, to do this?!”.
Well, we beginners could do it. I was actually pretty amazed. We were able to do things in just a few short tries that I thought would take multiple classes to learn, which was definitely time we didn’t have in this 35-minute class. We broke off into groups and took turns being the spotter, base and flyer. I was amazed that I could actually do any of this. I never thought I would have the strength or balance for it. The spotter definitely helps a lot, but just being in the right position and distributing the weight properly makes such a huge difference.
We even went over a move where a person is launched and carried from one person to another. I was happy to stand on the sidelines and just observe this one.
I had Ian grab an extra picture at the end of a move he had missed earlier. I did the move with the instructor and thought she was CRAZY when she said to release hands, I mean that’s half my balance right there! Well, somehow I still managed to stay balanced.
This is definitely something I’m interested in exploring further. They meet at Rotary Park on Thursday’s for a jam session, and that’s free for anyone to join. That’s usually the night I go to Orangetheory Fitness, but I’ve been looking at switching that to the morning time. I might just have to plan to check out Acro Yoga one of these weeks!
Next up was a 35-minute boot camp with JB Performance. This is something that I’m a bit more used to just because of doing circuits at OTF. While this was a bit more in my realm, it was still a very different experience.
We started with a warm-up and went into the first circuit. This consisted of 20 seconds with the rope, a bear crawl and 15 medicine ball throw. I was definitely feeling tired after round one, and we went through it three times.
After that, we went right into the second circuit. 8-10 pull-ups on the TRX straps, 8-10 squats, a squat walk (no idea the technical term) and then 8-10 push-ups, repeat twice. This round wasn’t as bad, but definitely still tiring. I’ve used TRX straps at OTF, but those are attached to the wall. It’s a very different feel to be right underneath them, it definitely took more strength. I do need to take a brag moment though and state that I was told I had perfect form while doing the squats with a kettlebell. I’ve been doing a lot of squats since joining OTF, plus they were part of the warm up while I was doing Aerial Hoop. I’ve had a lot of practice! It also feels great to get told that when you’re busting your butt and *slightly* dying from exhaustion.
I don’t know if boot camp is something I’d ever want to do on a regular basis, but it would definitely have me seeing some results. The guys leading it were great as well, they were encouraging and really focused in on proper form.
Next up on the schedule, and the last class I signed up for, was yoga with Ground Yoga. I still have a lot of mixed feelings towards yoga. There are two yoga studios on Broadway that do free yoga classes in Rotary Park during the weekend. I went once last year, though I can’t remember which studio it was with. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t love it. I find that my body just really doesn’t move the way that it needs to, and I get a bit bored as well.
Our instructor, Chad, definitely knew his stuff. I’ve never been into the whole spiritual aspect of yoga but it was neat to listen to him talk because you could just hear his passion for it. He led us through the class, and also took some time to walk around and give people tips.
It was nice to stretch and relax a bit after doing boot camp, I’m sure my body needed that! I haven’t decided yet if I will follow through with my plan of going to yoga on the weekends. It’s free, which is a draw, but since I’m unsure how much I actually like it, I might be better off investing my time in a class I will actually enjoy. I don’t doubt that my body would benefit from doing yoga on a regular basis though.
When we registered for the day we were given a yellow wristband. With this band we could get 25% off at Booster Juice, 10% off pizza at Una, 15% off at Lululemon and $5 sangria’s at Nosh. I decided at this point to grab some Booster Juice and head on home. Just as I was walking home it started to rain a tiny bit, man did that ever feel nice!
I didn’t get a chance to try out every class but definitely got a good taste.
Ascension Martial Arts, Sask Run Club, and Summit Boot Camp were all there as well. I would have loved to try them out, but I just didn’t have it in me! I hope that they do this again next year so I can try out a few more classes.
This was such a great event. I loved trying out some new types of fitness and checking out companies that I likely wouldn’t have tried otherwise. It was also a great way to raise money for Camp Easter Seals. Kudos go out to Ryde YXE for organizing it and raising the money for such a great cause.