Let’s get this party started!

Leading off with 3 things:

  • Current song in my head: “Everybody wants to rule the world” – Tears for Fears (I have no idea why or how this got in my head this afternoon, but now it’s yours. You’re welcome.)
  • Recent CBus adventure: Sunday afternoon, the Huz and I went to Pins Mechanical Co. downtown. He’d been there already with friends, and some other friends had told me I needed to get there. It was hipster-rific and very cool. Lots of pinball machines, duckpin bowling, ping-pong, giant Jenga and lots beers on tap, along with of different spaces to sit, stand and hang out. They don’t have a food menu, but they have rotating food trucks to serve up snacks. During our visit, they seemed busy (several families there – I always take note when fun places are niece and nephew-friendly) but Steve said when he was there Thursday night it was too crowded to move.
  • West Virginia fun fact: The Shoney’s restaurant chain was started as a drive-in restaurant in Charleston, WV in 1947. It became known as the “Big Boy Restaurant” chain 5 years later, but that name only lasted 3 years until it returned to the Shoney’s name – a nod to its founder Founder Alex Schoenbaum.

Hi, everybody! I’m closing in on two weeks of funemployment in the great metro area of Columbus, OH, and if you know me at all, you know I’m honest to a fault. So I’m here to tell you … it’s been really enjoyable so far. I promised my dear friend Steve Hicks I’d start a blog to force myself to keep writing, so here we are. I may be singing a different tune next week, but it’s been a peaceful change of pace for my main priority to be which gym class I’m doing that day.

My gym families were a big part of my life in Charleston, WV (Brickhouse Cardio Club for HIIT classes 2-3 times a week and Grind Time Training for weight training and conditioning 3x/week) so finding a new gym routine was really important to me. I tried an Orangetheory class for the first time last week, and it was HARD! You strap on a heart rate monitor under your sports bra (when you join, you get a brand-new monitor of your very own) and the goal is to get 12 minutes in the orange zone to hit peak fat burning. You can see your color and your “score” on a giant monitor at the front of the room the entire class. We cycled through a rowing machine, treadmill, and body-weight floor moves (mountain climbers, burpees, push-ups, etc.) to ratchet up the heart rate, then take a breather. I’m going back tomorrow but I don’t think I’ll be joining or doing it regularly. It’s a little farther from home than I want to be traveling every day, and even though your workout changes each time, I think I want more variety.

I did join Lifetime Fitness, and I’d never heard of this franchise before my Columbus-area gym search, but if you’re into gyms and you get a chance to try one out, do it. I joined the Pickerington gym, which I believe is a “Bronze” level gym – that means it doesn’t have the super-extra features like a salon or rock-climbing wall. But it is convenient, clean and friendly. I’ve done yoga (it wasn’t even hot yoga, and I was SWEATY!), barbell fitness (a lot like Les Mills Bodypump but slower, more deliberate lifts), cardio kickboxing (like Zumba mixed with Tae-Bo!) and a few other classes so far. It’s given me exactly what I wanted – variety, routine and a reason to leave the apartment every day. And on my way back home each day, I’ve tried to run an errand or take a detour so I learn something new about my area. Granted, one of those lessons was how you can get an extra % off the Gold Star Clearance at Kohl’s, but, honestly, what’s wrong with that? 🙂


Author: AskAnnAli

I'm a former journalist and political commentator learning to love living in the Columbus, OH area after spending my entire life in West Virginia. I'm a wife, a cat mom, Rotarian, Type A Pittsburgh enthusiast.

12 thoughts on “Let’s get this party started!”

  1. I am super excited about your blog! I miss doing mine. But I don’t Tweet or Insta, so I will have to catch it on FB. Is there a way to subscribe to your blog so I am sure to get it every time?


    1. Thanks so much, Christa!! My goal is to write every Wednesday, and I know there’s a way to “subscribe” but you may have to have your own WordPress account to do it. I’m still learning!


  2. I love this!! Maybe you’ll inspire to rehabilitate my own blog (or blogs… I may have more than one unfinished blog floating out there.)


  3. I love it!! Maybe you’ll inspire me to rehabilitate my old blog… or blogs (there might be one or two floating around out there in InternetLand). It turns out I have four draft topics saved from five years ago hahaha. Oh, this is Amy Boggs, btw. 🙂


  4. So, the song in my head is Borderline by Madonna.
    And I’ll share a Shoney’s story with you. My dad is a retired State Policeman. Back in the day, they didn’t make a lot of money. Mr. Shoenbaum started a secret shopper program and asked some of the troops to help. We would go to dinner and we would take notes on how long it took to be seated, how long it took to get our food, quality of the food, etc. We filled out a form evaluating our visit along with our receipt and we were reimbursed for our meal. It was his way of showing appreciation for the troops, without outright giving them a free meal, which made many (like my dad) uncomfortable. In return, the Shoney’s folks got regular feedback on how they were doing. As a kid, I thought we were something special getting to go to Shoney’s to eat out like that once a month!


    1. oh my gosh, Kathy, what a great story! – You always have the best stories. Steve and I drove by a Shoney’s on the way to Ikea Monday, so Shoney’s was on my brain this week and I thought it would be fun to include a WV fun fact with each blog. I’ve got to spread the gospel everywhere, you know? 🙂


  5. Your blog is a great idea. Love the new gym sounds fantastic. We miss you. Are you checking the accuracy of the fitbit verse the heart monitor? I had to put that in there. Excited to hear from you soon with an update.


    1. Thank you, Sherry!! So Orangetheory emails you after the workout, and it said I burned about 382 calories in my hour this morning. Fitbit says I burned 470, and I’m honestly not sure which one is more accurate. I’m guessing most people would say the Orangetheory monitor is more accurate because you wear it around your chest? I’ve been loving trying all these different classes, but I definitely miss you! 🙂


  6. Love the new blog idea! I have been thinking of trying it as well. Maybe I’ll give it a shot and we can learn together!

    Fun fact about Shoney’s: my parents met at the Shoney’s drive-in on the Boulevard, where the Big Boy statue stands now near Drug Emporium. Safe to say I’m grateful to Mr. Schoenbaum for unknowingly bringing them together!

    Finally, here’s my ask Ann question: how did you get so motivated to want to work out every day? I hate exercising so much. I’ve had a free membership to Planet Fitness since March and can’t bring myself to even try it because I hate everything about working out. Thoughts on what might help me get over the hump and attempt a workout here and there?


    1. Emily, you should definitely blog, you have a much more fun cast of characters than I do, and that is such a sweet Shoney’s story! 🙂 I LOVE you for asking a question, thank you!!
      So here’s the thing about working out – The cliche is true. I very rarely want to do it. But I always, always, always feel so much better after I do it. Here are a few of my observations from my lifetime love-hate relationship with working out and advice that may help you. #1, any workout is better than no workout. I just listened to the Jillian Michaels podcast on the treadmill this afternoon, and she told someone to focus on moving in the right direction rather than a finish line. Because you’re never “done.” This is an ongoing process. Find something (anything!) that you like about working out and figure out what you like to do to workout. It sounds like that’s your biggest hurdle, and I don’t know if Planet Fitness has many classes that let you try lots of things, but I like changing it up a lot. I like classes because I don’t have to think and I get feedback so I know I’m doing it right. Maybe you only listen to your favorite podcast on the treadmill? Or only watch your favorite tv show on the treadmill? I’ve done both of those tricks.
      I like mornings because I can’t be trusted to get in a workout any other time. Try to find ways to keep yourself accountable. Just knowing I pre-paid for training sessions was enough to get me out of bed to go to them most days. Knowing someone would miss me if you wasn’t in class to suffer with them is a huge motivator. If your instructor is kind of hot and that makes you come back regularly, no judgment from me. (Have you seen my brother JLew at Grind Time? hahaha) Maybe you like videos you can do at home in peace. Buy yourself a new workout outfit after a month-long session or make a goal you can work toward. Maybe a non-food reward like a pedicure if you get in 20 workouts in the month? These days, my diet is my HUGE issue, but working out just makes me feel better. And right now it gives me a reason to leave my apartment and talk to people!! 🙂
      Let me know what you try and what works!!


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