Hey-O! Did everyone enjoy the Oscars? I didn’t make it to the end, but I heard good things. I was really excited to hear that Common and John Legend won Best Original Song for Glory. I mean OBVIOUSLY it was the best, but you never know. They are two of my favorites (John Legend’s EVOLVER got me through a very difficult time in 2011, and Common’s BE is probably my favorite album of all time). So, yay!

Before I fell asleep mid-Oscars though, I had the world’s chillest weekend. It was awesome. On Saturday, I took the bus out to PA to get snowed in with my mom.

Yup. It's still winter.
Yup. It’s still winter.

Now, I don’t know what “snowed-in” means in your family, but in mine it means you do an indoor “brick” workout for an hour and a half. Mom and I put a meal in the crockpot and hit the “gym”. I ran for a half hour on the treadmill, while Mom rocked the bike trainer, and then we swapped so I could do an hour on the bike and Mom could walk on the treadmill. Did I mention that my mom was in a car accident last month and BROKE her sternum? Yup. She’s UNSTOPPABLE. She’s not allowed to run yet, but she’s still logging serious workouts – it’s impressive. After we worked it out, we put a fire in the fireplace and decided to make some dessert…

FiresWelp – nobody told us that angel food cake does some serious rising while cooking, sooooo we accidentally set the cake and the oven on fire. Oops. Don’t worry though, we salvaged that shit and had some fantastic strawberry shortcake after dinner. #nailedit

After dinner, we were just chillin, catching up on The Mindy Project (aka the best show on television), when my Mom decided – at 11pm – that we should shovel the 4 inches of snow off the driveway for my Dad. I told you – she is UNSTOPPABLE.

After church on Sunday, the whole fam went up to visit my Grandpop, and while he wasn’t thrilled to hang with us, he was pretty into the pizza we brought up, so we can call it a win. I caught an afternoon bus back to the city, and got to watch this awesome sunset along the way. The weekend literally couldn’t have been better.

On the training front, I’m slowly building yardage in the pool and mileage on the bike. My running’s about the same, as it’s something I do year round. In all, I’ve gone from working out about 3.5 hours a week to 6.5, and I’m still building. Not surprisingly, my body is thrilled. It requires a little more TLC – time spent stretching, foam rolling, and giving myself tennis ball and golf ball massages – but I feel goooooood.

But here’s the real news: I’ve jerry-rigged a solution that will allow me to get in the training volume I need, at a price I can afford. Many thanks to the New York City Recreational Centers. They are NOT fancy, but for $75 for 6 months ($150 for the whole year), you have access to all the indoor pools across the city, all of the fitness centers, and more. I now have access to pools and spin bikes seven days a week – and there’s one near my office. Parks and Rec for the win! I’m keeping my Planet Fitness membership so I have a gym near my apartment (and let’s be real – I can spare the $10 a month with all the money I’m saving by NOT joining the YMCA or Equinox).

I’m feeling pretty fit and frugal. How do you save money on your fitness? What do you splurge on?

About the Author Aubrie Fennecken

Aubrie Fennecken is the Chief Alchemist at Opportunity Kitchen | work + wellness strategist | nonprofit fundraising expert | providing productivity and self-care support for mission-driven humans

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