Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Kayla in the City has moved from blogger to word press!
visit me there!
Kayla in the City 2.0

Friday, February 3, 2012

perfect thursday

Some days everything just lines up perfectly

I've been working on this trick for far longer than I would like to admit, and finally tonight was the night I was given the okay to catch it.
I caught my layout during the first attempt-- you can hear me legit squeal with delight. added bonus? the theme tonight was summery beach party, so I am rocking a bikini while catching my layout.

incredible end to what was already a great thursday, I'm still shaking from the shock and adrenaline of actually catching this trick !
I attended a convention hosted by Equinox for current and future personal trainers. I am deeply considering attending one of their academies for either personal training or group fitness, and on either the east coast or west coast.

My personality has a tendency to be obsessive. I go through phases with hobbies, boys, interests, clothing, tv shows, broadway shows .... and then lose interest or get what I want and move on.

I still love trapeze, especially after nights like tonight where hard work pays off, but when I first started I was head over heels in love with the sport and talked about it every chance I got, watched youtube videos every spare moment and felt like a crack addict waiting for my fix from each trapeze class.

This happened with American Idiot after the first time I saw it, this happened with Green Day, this happened with the TV show Roseanne, this happened with In the Heights, this happened with Rent, and this happened with every boy I ever had a crush on. It fills my mind and it is all I can think about while the obsession is fresh, and then I find the next and move on.

I fear that my current obsession with exercise, fitness, and healthy living will fizzle out in a similar fashion to those other obsessions. While working out will most likely always be a big part of my life, I won't want to talk about it and discuss it as much as I currently do.
This makes me worried that if I do decide to pursue a career in training others, I will get over this obsession and lose interest in changing the world one work out at a time?

I expressed this concern to my mom-- what if I lose interest? She, being the incredible and supportive mama that she is, said "so what, you find your next passion"
Granted this obsession didn't just start--- I always love dancing, I used to have a whole ab regimen that I did every night in high school and I always loved the medical fields. But this current state of obsession-- following various blogs religiously, planning out my work out week, trying to eat better, and spreading my love of sweating with everyone who is willing to talk about it, might fizzle out.

how do you know when it is more than just "lust", more than a "crush". its similar to when you have a crush on a guy, and he finally likes you back, and you then simply lose interest. will I lose interest? or is this the path I've secretly been heading towards.

... and more importantly, how does theater fit into this? I've spent my whole life in love with musical theater, and more passionate about it than anything else I have ever encountered. When do you know though that it is time to give up those dreams that you've had since you were 5 and move onto something that makes more sense?
Can I have both?

well thats my mini senior freak out of the day. I like to think this is what all 21 years feel like on the verge of graduating college.

despite all of this wondering, still a pretty perfect thursday. now I just have to figure out how to come down from this adrenaline high and get some sleep before my 8:30AM dance class

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

getting my 7AM Sweat on: Things I never thought I'd say

6:15 AM my alarm goes off.
Is this an accident? a terrible mistake when I was setting my alarm?
Nooooope. I sorta wish.
This is my "time to sweat" alarm. I am actually going to get up and go to the gym while it is still dark out. When did I become this crazy?????
One day over winter break, I had the brilliant idea to become a morning exerciser. In the various fitness blogs I read, bloggers always talk about waking up super early, working out and feeling fabulous for the rest of the day. So I decided, hey, I can do that too. and o-m-g, crunch offers some classes at that god awful hour.
Winter break was the baby steps to this brilliant idea-- if I can wake up at 8:30AM every single day all break to drive 20 minutes away to the gym when those were my only plans for the day, I can totes wake up at 6:15AM, walk 2 blocks, and work out before an action packed college day.
Have I been successful in these first 2 weeks of school? Yes, and well no.
But I HAVE made it to one 9:30AM Cardio Groove, one 7AM conditioning, and TWO (YES TWO) 7AM yoga classes. Thats like, more yoga that I've done like ever, and all at 7 AM.
Do I feel fabulous after waking up super early and working out? I'm gettin' there! I am surprised at the fact that I don't feel tired considering I woke up while it was still dark, and while some college kids are still procrastinating on facebook. I am shocked at how much I have enjoyed the early morning yoga class-- I generally detest yoga, but this teacher and his style really work for me, and cause me a minimal amount of wrist and joint pain. I leave there feeling awesome, and oh so ready for starbucks chai and 9AM dance class.

conditioning at 7AM was a bit more of a struggle and shock to my body, but I still got a good work out. Since I had woken up so early, it also gave me loads of time to take a shower, actually look like a functional person for class, AND go food shopping at Whole Foods when the line was short--- all before a full day of classes followed by a broadway show at night
Conclusion? It is early in the semester still, but I'm lovin' this early morning sweating. It is a great way to kick start my day, and it free up my night. If i have rehearsal, or tickets to see a show, or life gets in the way at night, its all good-- cuz I already sweated it out in the morning.

A bonus? its rather peaceful and lovely to see manhattan eerily quiet, and motivating to see Union Square Crunch bustling with energy from other crazies like me

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Senior Spring

senior spring: a quest for happiness, avoiding senioritis, attempting to eat healthy, striving to stay active... and most importantly figuring out what do you do with a BFA in theater

it's absolutely crazy, Monday was my last first day of school. Aspects of college have gone by so fast, yet other parts feel so long ago-- almost like it wasn't my life because I'm so far removed from it. While a part of me is terrified of the "real world" I have been told horror stories about, this other part of me is so very ready to graduate and be done with college.

All break I answered the dreaded question about what's next. I always feel so self conscious answering that question as if people are judging my dreams and aspirations on the spot. There are a lot of paths and ideas that I currently have and frequently discuss with my parents to make sure I'm not crazy. There are a million things I want to do with my life-- live in a state that is not new york, live somewhere warm, travel, become a certified group fitness trainer, work for a gym, make my broadway debut, get paid to act, get a masters degree.
I am only 21 and honestly, i think I can accomplish a decent amount of the above. At this moment I am just unsure of the order to go about it.

It's the beginning of a new semester, and my last semester and I've set up some goals for myself and things I want to change in my last semester-- habits I want to instill before the "real world", and things that will hopefully make me far more functional

become one of those people that exercises in the morning
The reasoning behind this is more than just being cruel to myself. No one can schedule a rehearsal or a meeting at 7AM. If i can get one work out in before school, then its okay if something gets in the way after.

So far I am trying super super hard. Monday I don't start class until later, so taking "cardio groove" at 9:30 wasn't a struggle. Tuesday my bed was far too warm and cozy to think of leaving it at 6:15AM. Today I shocked myself and got out of my warm bed at 6:15AM for YOGA... yoga of all exercises. I hate yoga! i hate waking up early! but the combo actually worked-- after taking the hour long yoga class I was super warmed up and ready for my 9AM dance class. I've also felt really awake all day which is shocking considering I left my apartment before the sun was up. It's a start!

keep my apartment stocked with healthy foods
if there are fresh, healthy options for snacks, then I will eat these healthy options. I'm starting off small-- stocked my fridge with apples, hummus, baby spinach, strawberries and yummy salad dressings. I've accepted that I will never feel comfortable cooking, and especially not in my teeny tiny kitchen, but there are simple things I can prepare for myself that are also good for me.

So far I've been on top of thinking about all my meals and making good decisions-- not just resorting to carb heaven for every single meal. Have lots of fruits and hummus in my fridge has made snacking much easier and guilt free.

stop eating peanut butter out of the jar
it's simple, but a thoughtful way to change the way I eat. I can eat peanut butter in a sandwich or with veggies all I want, but no more sticking a spoon in there. So far, so good.

actually stay on top of my work
like all college students, I love to procrastinate, and I particularly love to procrastinate by treating myself to broadway shows and spending the night at the gym taking every fitness class offered. I will do everything in my power to do work before it is done, and memorize things well in advanced for class

read more
the stack of New York Magazine currently littering my kitchen counter needs to be read. Also, the growing list of books I've wanted to read

and lastly blog
I don't know why I'm fascinated by blogs, but I have been for awhile. Over winter break I got addicted to following various fitness and food related blogs. Am I particularly oh so brilliant and fascinating that people need to read about my life? Meh.
but at the very least I want to track my senior spring and my plunge into "the real world". In addition to my self centered reasoning there are other people out there- people who are terrified of their kitchen and raw chicken, people who are obsessed with group fitness class,  people who are addicted to peanut butter, college students trying to stay healthy, and of course musical theater lovers.

to the beginning of the end
end of the beginning.
whatever that means.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kayla in the Suburbs: What I learned from Winter Break

1. The art of a "staycation"
I heard the words "Oh yeah, we met him at the hot tub the other night" come out of my mouth one night at zumba while I was being introduced to someone. It was then that I realized this winter vacation had truly become a vacation-- despite the frigid new york temperature, lack of palm tree, and sleeping in my childhood bedroom.
I spent the break making the most of the amenities my gym had to offer with my good friends. We swam in the pool, relaxed in the hot tub, sweated in the sauna, and danced to latin music in zumba. Because of this I felt like I was on a staycation. It didn't matter that I was stuck in Wesctchester instead of frying in the sun at Club Med Cancun. I had found that same state of relaxation mixed with activity at my gym.

2. Just Freaken Do It
During the school year it is easy to come up with excuses for why I can't go food shopping-- too tired, I'm holding too many books, its raining, blah blah blah. The same goes for returning phone calls, unpacking, etc.
This break I adopted the philosophy to just freaking do it. If i thought about a task and had time to accomplish it, I had to do it.
Despite how sweaty and tired I was post working out, if I needed to go to the mall, I went to the mall on the way home. If i thought about an email i needed to reply to, instead of marking it as unread I had to reply right then and there.
I hope to keep this going during the school year and put an end to avoiding food shopping and doing laundry 

3. have an overall goal for break, and accomplish it
It is really easy to get in the habit of doing nothing over winter break. Sometimes that is LOVELY, I've definitely spent my previous winter breaks home from college staying up until the sunrise in a friend's basement and then sleeping until 4pm. There is nothing wrong with this, but that is not the kind of break I wanted to have.
I decided to join a gym in Westchester one, because I DO enjoy working out and two, because it would give me purpose. I made it my goal to go to the gym basically every day unless I was out of town (AMERICAN IDIOT UTICA!) or fully booked all day. I even kept this vow while I was in the city and utilized both gym memberships a decent amount this break.
I never have this kind of free time during the school year to take every kind of gym class, and go to the gym consistently, so I am glad that I made working out my absolute priority this break.

4. Make the transition to school easier
I have avoided at all costs reverting to my natural nocturnal state-- staying up all night and sleeping all day, by forcing myself to go to early morning gym classes, and making plans earlier in the day than I normally would have. A year ago I never ever ever would have imagined waking up at 7:30AM to attend aqua zumba ON THE WEEKEND, but because I kept to this go to bed early, wake up early schedule, going back to my early morning schedule at college will be easy peasy. 

5. make it the break you want it to be
so I arguably did nothing this break except hang out at club fit, go to the diner, and other local restaurants, but that is exactly what I wanted this break to be.
I also did a few other things like 
--road trip with my boyfriend to Utica to witness the first ever performance of American Idiot on Tour (and introduce my boyfriend to my true love-- Idiot).
--I made HUGE strides in my newest trapeze trick-- the layout, which is SO CLOSE to being catchable
-- try out pound at crunch!
-- saw Lin Manuel Miranda's newest creation "the alexander hamilton mix tapes" 
-- learned how to solve a rubiks cube (SERIOUSLY!)
-- finally made a work resume (hire me!)
-- started planning out things for fall 2012- researching options and applying to programs

Winter break easily could have become a waste of time and a month of being a slug, but by being productive and having simple goals and aspirations for things to accomplish this break, it turned out to be an awesome, fitness filled month.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kayla in the Suburbs: Socializing while you Sweat

me and my super tall, wonderful and pink clad gym buddies Sarah & Annica

I'm used to working out alone. As much as I love going to the gym and get obsessed with certain trainers and classes at Crunch, its hard to feel motivated to sweat when I just wanna sit around and watch Modern Family. 

Over this break I experienced for the first time true gym-buddies. Almost every day the three of us pictured above in obnoxious pink, would coordinate what classes we wanted to take (basically zumba, zumba and more zumba). Afterwards we would go out for lunch or dinner, and then sit down for an extremely long time at someone's house, exhausted from our gym-tivs.

I've never had gym buddies before, but I must say it's pretty awesome and I recommend it.

Perks of having gym buddies:

-- Going to the gym can feel like a hassle, and like I'm missing out on plans with my friends. By going to the gym with two of my closest friends, I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.
-- I'm a bit terrified of swimming and avoid the water at the gym. If i had to pass the deep water class at day camp, I'd probably fail miserably. However, my two gym buddies are certified life guards and enjoy water classes. Going with them encouraged me to go to Aqua Zumba-- a hilarious and awesome variation of my beloved dance class.... And I felt super safe with even more life guards near by.....
-- I'm not a morning person, at all, but making plans to work out at 9AM with friends makes it worthwhile to wake up. There was someone to hold me accountable because I let them down if i decided to sleep in. It was nice when I felt like the only college student awake that early to get text messages from the other two while we got ready for super early morning aqua zumba
-- we soon made all our plans revolve around our favorite gym classes. during the summer we used to go out for dinner with all our friends every wednesday, but our favorite zumba class was on wednesday nights so we had dinner on tuesday instead.
-- we also knew when to split up, we loved taking group fitness classes together, but also knew when to do our own thing. Sometimes they would swim in the lap pool, and i would pretend I could swim in the shallow pool. We worked on different things in the weight room, but generally met up again to go in the hot tub or out to eat after.
-- because we were a mini group, we met other people as well. The first day of zumba we didn't know anyone, but now we've met a bunch of people who are as obsessed as we are.
-- the instructors started to recognize us and give us feedback since we travelled in a pack and were younger than most regulars. 

Sadly, Annica already went back to college in Pennsylvania, and I only have one more day of gym-tivs with Sarah, but we will be back at club fit, making friends with everyone, and being obnoxious soon enough.

I'm surprised actually how awesome of a winter break I've had when it's been pretty low-key and I've barely left New York State. I kept on track with my fitness goals, utilized both my gym memberships, and enjoyed mixing sweating with socializing.
I'm gonna miss having gym buddies and allowing my social life to revolve around Club Fit

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kayla in the 'Burbs: Part one- Gym shopping

How to Gym Shop

I am currently home, in the burbs, for my month long winter break. It's funny, after an exhausting semester at college, I didn't want to come home and sleep until noon every day.
No, I decided to join a gym. well actually another gym.
While it sounds like I have gym ADD, since this is my 4th gym in a year, I learn a little bit more about what I want from a gym, and how it fits into my schedule.

I joined David Barton Gym in Manhattan by accident. My friend and I went in for a tour and were very easily distracted by the pretty lights and club-like feeling. We joined on the spot in May 2010 and froze our memberships until we came back to the city for school in September.
Sadly my friend got mono and never went to the gym, but I tried out everything at this strange strange gym that felt more like a gay club than a place to work out.
I got really into pilates during fall semester. My schedule that semester at college allowed for me to take pilates 3 mornings a week, and I was obsessed. I mixed it in with a bit of cardio here and there.
Spring semester I was back to being a super stressed out drama major and needed my work out to be pounding and stress relieving. I liked to feel badass with all the macho men taking weight training classes like "six pack attack". I also remembered how much I loved dancing for fun in a cardio dance class. I grew to dislike the one dance class offered there though because it felt competitive and show-offy. I get enough of that at theater school. I also have always hated doing hip-hop dances.

During the summer I was home in Westchester and decided to join New York Sports Club. It was conveniently located near the day camp I worked at and near where I got my afternoon starbucks refueling. It was perfect post-camp to take total body conditioning classes at night. This was also where I forced myself to like running and "trained" for my 5k at the end of summer. I went from hating running the mile in high school, to jogging 3.1 miles in yankee stadium at the end of summer.

Back in Manhattan, I was getting sick and tired of the gimmick and attitude at David Barton. While the facility is gorgeous, clean and uncrowded, I disliked the mentality of the clients and workers there. I felt like people treated me like shit and looked down on me, even though I am young and physically fit. Its a pretentious gym. They changed the schedule around so I couldn't take classes with my favorite trainer, and that was the last straw for me.

So I joined Crunch Gym, which has been a great fit for me. As a female obsessed with fitness classes, this is the place to go. there's every kind of class from yoga, spinning, weight training and dancing, offered at all times of the day. The trainers are more down to earth and  "real people", unlike the body builder men at David Barton. I have loved trying out every single class, and taking classes at multiple locations in the city. I do not regret joining this gym. While its more crowded and less glamorous than my previous membership at David Barton, there are significantly more classes being offered that are appealing to me and the clientele and workers are lovely. As a 21 year old female, this is a good work out environment for me, and I look forward to going to various crunch locations and know I will always leave content with the classes I took.

and now, I am home for the holidays, and want to keep up my fitness level.
I shopped around gyms in Northern Westchester, already missing being in manhattan and having 2 crunch gyms 2 blocks away from my apartment.
I decided on Club Fit, while the farther away and more expensive than my previous time at NYSC, it fits what I need for this break. NYSC was great for after camp, offering night classes and convenience to cram into my busy summer schedule of work and hanging out with friends after work.
This break however I was interesting in classes and when I could take them. Instead of working at camp all day and hitting the gym at night, I wanted to work out in the late morning, early afternoon and have the rest of the day to see friends and do whatever I needed to do.
After all my other gym experiences (and also my experience working out at the gym facilities NYU offers me) I have learned that I love work out classes. I recently learned that I love zumba, and I now know that it is a good idea to balance cardio with strength training and mix in some yoga (even though I hate yoga).
while comparing schedules at all the nearby gyms I realized Club Fit was the obvious choice for right now. They offer lots of zumba classes with different teachers, even aqua zumba, and other unique classes for strength training, yoga and spinning during the hours I am looking to work out. and this gym came with the added bonus that my best friend is already a member and looking to work out at the same times I am.

I am very happy with my decision to join Club Fit while I'm home. It has been so much fun to work out with my friends in the morning, and have the whole day to hang out after. and i get to take zumba every day.

So here are my tips when gym shopping
- How far are you willing to drive, walk, travel, take the subway? If it is inconvenient to get to, will you go?
- Does the more expensive gym offer more of what you want?
- All gyms have weights and cardio machines, but are you looking for something special not offered every where? Zumba? a pool? a certain class?
- What time of day will you be working out-- do they offer classes at that time?
- Do you know people who go there and will motivate you to go?
- is there clientele similar to you with similar fitness goals? will you feel intimidated?
- are there new things to try out, like pilates or dancing, that you would never try elsewhere

Joining a gym is expensive and feels impulsive, but if you join knowing you will go and excited for the things your new membership have to offer, its well worth it.
going to the gym should be an exciting break from the rest of life, a place where stress and responsibility take a vacation. with the right gym, and right approach, it feels like that.