Will and I decided to skip Summer Camp and put the kids in Momma Camp. This means I am engaged and busy keeping the children engaged and busy… all day… every day for the rest of the summer. Except for every other Friday. That is my free day.  The cherished me, myself and I day. 
The first free-me Friday of this summer was spent catching up with work and running errands.  Not good. To stay productive and generally pleasant to be around, I quickly realized it is best to use this precious time doing something I enjoy and find nurturing.  
What to do? What to do….?  
In the past this would have meant time at a salon, getting a massage, taking in a movie or a few hours in a bookstore.  But currently, trying new foods or getting in an awesome workout hits the enjoyment/nurturing spot for me. 
Friday, I did both.
It was Baton Rouge Fitness Crawl week, an annual event where select studios open their doors to the public to sample their offerings.  It is a no cost/no commitment way to explore unique and specialized forms of group exercise available in our city. I was excited to get into a session at TREAD BR, a boutique fitness studio that offers an interesting variety of classes including TREAD, (a treadmill based interval training class), ShockWave, TRX Suspension Training, Bike, and BootyBarre.  
image source: treadbr.com
I took a TRX class.  While not new, this method was new to me and quite intriguing. Basically you hook your hands or feet in loops on these nylon straps hanging from the ceiling, then perform a variety of exercises.  Gravity and your bodyweight team up and kick your butt.
image source trxtraining.com
Here is a more precise description from the TRX® Suspension Training website:
Born in the Navy SEALs, Suspension Training bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. It requires the use of the TRX Suspension Trainer, a highly portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to complete hundreds of exercises.
The first few moments of the class were warm up and stretching moves. The extensions made possible by the straps felt so good and looked so elegant. I smiled at myself a few times in the mirror.  The rest of the class went from a bit challenging, to hard, to hecka hard. The class was small and all but one of us were new to this form, and thus knew not what we were doing. Our instructor Stacey expertly guided us through sets that alternated strength and balance exercises with lengthening stretches. Her cuing, attention to form and the students was on fleek. She even caught me when I lost balance and started to spin out.  I got a glimpse of this in the mirror – it was a I Love Lucy-esque moment.  
The class was wonderful. No jumping or jarring cardio moves, but the strength exercises got my heart pumping, and I was dripping wet at the end.  The strength portions can be as intense as you want or need them to be based on where you position your body in relation to the strap attachment point. I was good-sore for the next 2 days.
What I remember most is that the class was challenging but doable – and there was a lot of smiling because we were having fun. Fun and effective is a great combo. 
This was a fantastic workout at a fantastic studio.  A definite repeat.

Post class, I was starvin like Marvin, so a quick trip down the street to Trader Joes followed for one of their prepackaged salads.  Trader Joe’s has a spread of delicious and different salads, ready to go for only $3-$6. This is my kind of fast food. Working my way through the offerings, I tried the Trader Joe’s Roasted Butternut Squash Red Quinoa and Wheat Berry Salad with Baby Arugula, Cranberries, Toasted Almonds, Goat Cheese and Honey Sesame Vinaigrette.  I kid you not, that is the name of the salad.  You might think that name is also the full list of ingredients, but I spied some golden raisins and roasted red pepper in the mix and on the ingredient list, and wondered why they didn’t make the name. 
While I had no clue what a wheat berry was, I liked all the other listed ingredients and thought the combination would be tasty.  It was.  The key for me is the combination.  The salad is assembled in a Cobb-like fashion with each ingredient in its own little area.
The first few bites, I went from section to section getting forkfuls of just one or two of the gazillion ingredients in the salad.  That was kinda blah.  But when I unprettied it by tossing well, the interplay of flavors did their thing and it was scrumptious.  Ex. soft, slightly sweet squash with nutty, chewy wheatberries – yum. Spicy arugula with tangy goat cheese and sweet cranberries – joyful. Each combo bite was a treat. The salad was also very filling. I couldn’t eat it all.  
Another definite repeat.
BTW – I googled wheatberries.  They are the whole grain form of wheat before it has undergone any processing.
So on this second free-me Friday of the summer, I tried a few new things, learned a few new things, and enjoyed some active, adult only time. Then I went home, showered and took a sweet afternoon NAP. 

It was a good day.

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