Spreading Seeds of Light in the City of Oaks

Team S.O.L takes on Raleigh’s health and fitness community, One chatarunga/dead lift/sprint/jog/and mountain climber at a time

Recently my coworkers and I embarked on a 10 day challenge to get out into the health, wellness, balance community and take it by storm. My direct teammate for the “race” was Maria Peterson, a local firefighter and kick-arse crossfitter. The goal was to spend as many hours as possible taking classes (especially those outside of our comfort zone), joining run clubs, hanging with peeps at local diggs and basically living a healthy, balanced, and fun life. Here are our notes on many of our adventures around this big, beautiful, balanced community. Most of the notes are a melding of our thoughts so just imagine them coming from one person instead of two 😉


Monday Oct. 3

Lunch at Neomonde’s (12-1)

“Creativity is maximized when you’re living in the moment”

Greet and meet while chowing down on some awesome food! ( If you haven’t had their sample platter you are missing out. Their wraps are pretty mouth watering too. Healthy, local, full of flavor). A little brainstorming and  inspiration also in the mix for the start up of the Inspiration Race and our strategic plan for Team S.O.L.

S.O.L means Seeds of Light as we are spreading our inspirational “seeds” around the city of Oaks in our efforts to a)get to know the community in ways we previously didn’t and b)inspiring people to live healthier and more FUN lives!

Pure Barre with Ami (4:15-5:15)

“A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself,and offset stress.”

WOW! Talk about totally challenging .  I couldn’t make this class because I had a meeting but it was Maria’s first pure barre experience and she “loved Ami’s energy and passion for this class.”  Just squeeze and tuck! This class gets your muscles working to the point of SHAKING. Think ballet inspired movements at a rapid pace set to uptempo music. It’s a trip we’ll be taking again 🙂

Nog Run (6-7)

“The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind.  Do it Now, Do it Now, Do it Now!”

There is no better way to enjoy downtown Raleigh then running a 5k through historic neighborhoods and commercial high rises with a large group of active athletes who are enrolling themselves in a voluntary event that promotes health and community. And while my hips are still not a fan of running it didn’t really matter. We ran, we walked, we jogged, and no matter the pace there were always people cheering us on and keeping us motivated.

After the run we highly recommend staying for Trivia and grub at Tir-na-nOg. It’s a really fun and laid back social scene.


Wednesday Oct. 5:

HEAT with Mike (7-7:45)

“Drink fresh water and as much water as you can.  Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.”

Maria says “Mike’s morning class definitely requires a sharp brain and lots of water, no slacking!  Great class that works your muscles to the max.  Potential for soreness within the next 24 hours: HIGH. Don’t let this scare you though. Mike, for his young age, is extremely knowledgeable about form and function and will keep you safe, and his youthful exuberance will keep you motivated.” I concur! The class is geared for all fitness levels and any and all can participate at their maximum level for a fist-pumpin’ workout 😉

Blue Lotus with Jill (9:30-11)

“Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.”

The whole experience from the moment you enter until the moment you leave Blue Lotus is really fantastic. As a yoga instructor Jill is my teacher but Maria is new to yoga so I wanted her to experience the pure sweaty bliss that Jill’s class has to offer. Maria’s words say it all –> “Jill is hands down an amazingly talented instructor, her class was literally mat to mat!  I knew this would be a fit for me when I walked in and Jill’s dog was chilling in the studio, just another day in paradise!”

If you are interested in getting into yoga let me know and you can come to one of my classes or i’ll join you at Blue Lotus and we can sweat together!

Crossfit Foundations with Meaghan (2:30-3:30)

Do one thing a day that scares you.

Maria is a seasoned Crossfiter so I felt strongly that I needed to support her by getting involved. Our friend Meaghan just received her Level 1 Crossfit certification and was offering a 3 day foundations course so I decided to partake. I was extremely nervous…i’m used to sanskrit and flow after all, not grunts and sprints, but I was pleasantly surprised. We learned how to safely do deadlifts, power cleans, rows, and pull-ups the first day in the crossfit style and I was pleasantly surprised to find that my yoga practice helped me a lot with alignment and body mechanic awarness.


Thursday Oct. 6:

Robin at HEAT “Beach Body” (9:30-10:30)

“SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin”

I love HEAT…I love Robin…even when i’m deliberately sending her hate vibes after the 10th sprint on the treadmill and 40th pushup 😉 In all seriousness though, Robin is amazing. She is an ambassador for motivation, positive energy, and transformation. I can’t get enough of this spunky woman and her kick booty classes!

Blue Lotus with Jill (5:30-6:30)

“Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment.  Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.”

Jill’s stretch and restore class is essential to mind and body balance.  I really enjoyed the combination of both in this slow-paced class.  I definitely felt renewed with energy when I left and will be back for more!

Crossfit Foundations with Meaghan (2:30-3:30)
Round two of Crossfit foundations. We worked on core strategy, more lifting, and pushups. Fun and great community at Crossfit Raleigh! Christmas Abbot is so adorable and deceptively hard core.


Friday Oct. 7:

Pure Barre with Emily (6-7)

“The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time.  Choose a positive thought.”

I had a meeting so Maria took the reigns with some other friends–> “Had quite a crowd of lulu’s here to start up the day on a positive note!  Emily definitely brought the mojo for the morning class.  She was so energetic and motivating, a killer combo at 6am! If you need to vamp up your ab workout, look no further, no mercy here..”

Burn at Heat with Robin and Brandon (6:00-7:30)

“Successful people replace the words “wish”, “should” and “try” with “I will”.”

90 minutes of heart pounding, muscle burning, mind blowing intervals in a super high energy community inspired environment followed by a bottle of water and a rarely enjoyed ice cold local brew from Natty Green’s. Pain, pleasure, positivity! We will be back.

Saturday Oct. 8:

Ballet Burn with Margot (1:30-2:30)

Dance, sing, floss and travel.

This class is one I love to hate. Margot is energetic, sweet and funny as H-E-Double hockey sticks. I can’t get enough of her energy! I’m sure it helps the way this class structure “looks” if you are flexible, but honestly it doesn’t matter, it’s a lot of strength work, cardiovascular work, and giggles all around. This class is arguably one of the hardest at HEAT. I think more men need to come. Get past the name. Ballet Burn is NOT for the faint of heart boys.

Stroll around Lake Johnson

“What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.”

After an hour of intense Ballet BURNOUT 😉 Maria and I went for a stroll around Lake Johnson. I love this place. Such a beautiful representation of our athletically driven community on the weekends. People jogging or walking their dogs, bikers coasting along the water way, mom’s walking their strollers around the hilly path, children running around and playing. It was especially beautiful today with the crisp fall air and hint of coziness that comes with the fall change-over. If there was space I would have laid out my yoga mat and done an impromptu practice on the dock, but too many people and puppies so we just took it all in 🙂


Tuesday October 11

Cycle and Core with Christine (5:30-6:30 am)

I teach at Sync Studio Downtown Durham every Tuesday and i’m trying to make it a practice to get there an hour early to take Christine Wall’s Cycle and Core class. I love core exercises but Cycle is one of my areas of physical weakness so it is great for me to push myself if only for 30 minutes. If you are interested in trying Sync Cycle ( a super fun, fast paced, energetic, dance inspired cycle class) but are scared as I was of the 60 minute class a combo class like this is just the ticket! Stay after and get your power flow on with me for an amazing start to your Tuesday!

Wednesday October 12

Jill at Blue Lotus (9:30-11:00)

Stress is related to 99% of all illness.

Back for more of the good stuff with Jill. I think Maria is becoming a convert to this class!

Pure Barre with Emily (4:15-5:15)

Revisiting our friend Emily. She kicked our booties today. No seriously this was a glute intensive session. I wonder if Maria and I will fit into our bootilicous wonder unders soon?  😉 Haha totally joshin’

Dinner at Midtown Grill

“You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.”

Closing out our day and our race we had a lovely dinner at Midtown Grill. If you are looking for quality, clean tastes, healthy choices, and serious presentation, check them out. Totally worth the price. I’m bringing the fiancé here soon!

So that is it for now folks. We’ll continue to spread our light out in the community so let us know if you have a class you think needs to be checked out, an event we should attend, a hot-spot we should visit, etc. We’re fired up and ready to go!

Check out some of the pictures from our journey here:

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1 Comment

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One response to “Spreading Seeds of Light in the City of Oaks

  1. Running in Mommyland

    You guys are awesome!

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