Friday, January 02, 2009

Steel Fitness

When we first moved to the Lehigh Valley, the area was abuzz with anticipation about Riverport. We had just moved from an apartment in DC so we weren't interested in condo living, so even though the units looked pretty awesome, we passed in favor of a high-maintenance older home. Joke was on us I guess.

In addition to the Riverport Condos, there was to be a gym and another Starter's. Fries and treadmills just paces from one another!

I joined Steel Fitness (15 West Second Street, South Bethlehem) pretty soon after they opened, on the recommendation of my high school friend Jon, who is a member of 5 or 6 different gyms I think. It features everything LA Fitness and many other gyms have: fitness classes (including lotsa spinning and yoga - yay!), cardio equipment with TVs, weights and nautilus equipment.

What it doesn't have is free parking. So in addition to my monthly fee, I pay $0.50 for an hour at the attached metered parking garage. When I'm motivated, I ride my bike, and that's free, but I'm kind of afraid it will get stolen. Oh yeah, that's another 'con' - the neighborhood is ok, but there have been a number of petty thefts and break-ins in the parking lot. So far I haven't had any problems, but I also lock my purse in the trunk when I go in.

All that aside, what it DOES have is a great environment to get fit. The trainers are not scary bodybuilder types. The equipment is clean and accessible. The fitness instructors are real people who have jobs or are in school. And they're damn good, too - the yoga instructor, Edit, is every bit as good as studio instructors I've practiced with. A spin instructor, Scott, is a friend of our friends Kim & Josh's and we ran into him at their wedding this summer. The cardio equipment is always available - no waiting lists. And the clientele is great: a good mix of Lehigh students, Riverport residents, young people, older people, all levels of fitness. Very welcoming and not at all judgmental or meat-markety. (Did I really just write meat-markety? yeesh.) They offer towel service, tanning, and smoothies too, though I've never actually taken advantage of them.

Courtney and I walked into spin class today at 9:30 a.m. and said hello to Mike Gausling. The class was about half-full and was a good balance of men and women, with a variety of ages and fitness levels. I hadn't taken a class with this instructor so we were hoping it would be a good class, and it was. She was very funny and really pushed us to have a great workout. It's the new year, so a lot of people are resolving to work out more. I guess I am too - if for no other reason than I want to look hottt in the gorgeous bridesmaid dress I'll be wearing in Courtney's wedding in September.

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