NYC Blogger Playdate + Kettlebells !!

I am sore today.  Ask me why.  (Why are you sore, Meredith?)  Because I had a kick-butt workout yesterday at Anderson's Martial Arts Academy!

Let me back up, though, because this was part of something majorly momentous:  my first blogger meet-up, a group fitness class and lunch, organized by Keelie at Sweat=Success, who brought a dozen NYC health & fitness gals together on a Saturday afternoon.

Keelie's recap

It started at Anderson's Martial Arts, where stellar instructor Dasha and her team generously treated us to an hour-long runthrough of their signature Kettlebell Kickboxing class.  What are kettlebells, you ask?  They're those funny-looking weights in the photo above, and they come in all shapes and sizes!

Kettlebells

The Academy provides a nice description of their unique workout:

Kettlebell Kickboxing is a one-of-a-kind FEMALE only method
developed by fitness & martial art expert Dasha Libin, MS, NASM-PES, NASE.
Kettlebell Kickboxing redefines the body by combining the sleek and deadly motions of Muay Thai
with the power and strength of Russian Kettlebell training, 
creating a NON-impact 60 minute total body scorching class.
Burn 1,000 calories - getting Long & Lean at the same time. 


Sound intense?  It was.


Not only were we swinging around weights...


... but we also were punching, kicking, and doing things that made burpees look easy!



Every minute brought on a new interval, a new move, a new muscle being worked.  Some of the motions were easy enough for me, since I have enough experience in group fitness classes (including kickboxing) to catch on quickly.  Other moves, though... I felt. I felt deep down.  I think it was the leg moves that got me the most.  Sometimes it was tricky figuring out how to best comfortably grasp the Kettlebell, itself.  These are things that, of course, would become more natural the more practice and experience I get with the Kettlebells.  The instructors were so great, though, about coming around and checking our posture, our swing, our motions, and demonstrating the correct way to perform each move.  They wanted us to keep moving, but to get it right, too.  And of course, seeing their impressively toned physiques, I listened.

I was sweating, I was breathing, I was working.  It was a lot of fun learning new moves, being made a beginner again, being in a room with a dozen other girls who, like me, enjoy this process of getting and staying fit, of testing our limits, of making ourselves better.  Girls who want to be there!

That's me. Courtesy of Keelie.

We tested our stamina, our strength, our balance, and more.  When the class was over, we applauded Dasha and her assistants.  They earned it.  Not only did they carefully show us each move and help us adjust our own forms, but they also spent a lot of time explaining the reasoning behind the moves, the philosophy behind the class, the reason we were doing what we were doing.  It's nice to know why I'm twisting this way, why I'm out of breath, why I'm currently in a state of happy pain.  Dasha even went to great lengths explaining the principles behind stretching: how, for how long, and why.  It was more than a workout; it was a lesson that I will take with me and continue to use not only in my kettlebell workouts, but in all my training.  


That's Dasha. Isn't she inspiring?

They gave us passes to come and try their martial arts classes, which I will definitely be checking out!  Although I had a blast with kettlebells and look forward to trying it again in the future, I also can't wait to see what else they've got to offer.  They've got a new DVD coming out soon, so keep an eye out for that!  I know I will...




Thank you, Anderson Martial Arts 


After working up a sweat and an appetite, a bunch of us set out to Chinatown for a late lunch.  It ended up being an adventure to get to our chosen restaurant, because of the Chinese New Year celebrations in the streets!


We squeezed our way through the crowds, admiring the festivities and parades passing by.


The colors and sounds were almost overwhelming.  Confetti in the popping in the air with a bang, then settling on the ground.



Finally, we made it to our destination: Buddha Bodai, Vegetarian Cuisine

  

We sat at a nice round table near the front, admiring the chandeliers and lazy susans in the room. ;)


We drank our tea while dissecting the menu, carefully making our choices from their endless selection.  After much consideration and back-and-forth, I settled on the steamed dumplings (vegetable, of course) and a sesame-roll and seaweed salad.  It sounded intriguing and the sesame was appealing to my tastebuds at the moment. I wanted to try something different, so I went for it.  It was all marvelous.




The food was delish, so satisfying after our intense afternoon workout. Still, the company was even better!  It was such a pleasure to meet and get to know these ladies behind the blogs, peers who share my interests and passion for spreading knowledge.  We talked, we laughed, we joked, we told stories.  Coming from all different backgrounds, there was always a new perspective on something.  It was so much fun, and I can't wait to see these gals again!

Keelie, Toni, Ashley, Aubrie, Colleen, Me, and Erika 


Many thanks to Keelie for organizing this fun afternoon!  Again, you can check out her blog and recap here.

Until the next NYC Blogger Playdate...

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