I've been ClassPassing hard lately (thank you for noticing, wow) and I really have been feeling stronger. Or at least I've been making conspicuous grunting noises whenever I get up from my desk chair to refill my coffee so that coworkers will ask "What's wrong?" and I can say "Just had a pretty intense workout, leg day, you know how it goes!" I'm fun! We have fun!
I've also been spending an alarming amount of money on athleisure wear, but I think that's less about committing to the gym-rat lifestyle and more about the fact I have to stare at myself in the mirror through most of these workouts and the daily sight of my sweaty student newspaper T-shirt (what up, The Peak?) was an alarming daily reminder that I graduated 10 years ago and time slips by faster than any of us can fathom. Where did those newspapers go? Where will I go? Does any of this matter? How do I know what I see in the mirror is a reflection of today when it's also the reflection of my yesterdays?
...Anyways! The point is, when I got invited to go check out the new downtown location of Turf last week (Turf Dwtn), I felt prepared: New muscles, check! Overpriced sweat-wicking crop-top to tug on throughout class, check! Much like the Kitsilano location of the modern-boho fitness studio, there's a beautiful in-house cafe (Turf's motto is "Work out, hang out, take out), so I was already picking out my post-workout breakfast as I strolled through the door.
Photo by Jordan Gardner.
In the end, my confidence had been misplaced: I was practically too sore to lift my avocado toast. Turf's "The Class" was intense, even for an enthusiastic nouveau fitness buff who now claims to have a preferred brand of spin bike. It was also completely full: Turf's popularity clearly extends from Kits and over the bridge. We were packed yoga-mat to yoga-mat in the room, and instructor-GM Ange turned what I thought would be some basic early morning strength training (followed by a very Instagrammable coffee moment) into something vaguely spiritual and entrancing. It was also incredibly physically challenging, don't get me wrong: The Class focuses on building endurance on both a physical and mental level. It's billed as "a transformative workout of both the body and mind," which means that yes, it's the kind of class where there are a lot of inspiring speeches about the power of pain, but there are also burpees that cause it. Ange is magnetic and passionate and encouraging. I am glad she chose fitness instruction over, say, running a cult.
The repetition of jumping jacks and planks and free-form dancing (accompanied by free-form cathartic yelping) to booming, sensual EDM was a strangely hypnotic and psychedelic experience for 7 a.m. Imagine that you are at a barre class at Shambalah, and then you have to go work.
The Class is described as "an expansive, heart-clearing and body-strengthening release...you will learn tools to empower your life." Personally I am not looking for this sort of spiritual guidance during my sweat sesh, perhaps because I am only in phase one (crop-top obsession) of my Fitness Enlightenment Journey—but I do see why people love it, and why Turf has done so well as a brand to build community and connection along with core strength.
So if you can squeeze your yoga mat in and experience it yourself, do. Even if you don't necessarily expand and clear that heart, you'll a least squeeze in some serious squats, and can take advantage of the nice herbal shampoo in the showers. And then come find me in the Turf Bistro afterwards because I am too sore to move and am still stuck here, help.
100-1281 W Georgia
Photo by Jordan Gardner.