27 Mar 2012

Nantucket Fitness


Living on a tiny island 22 miles out to sea has countless perks and benefits, but it doesn’t come without its challenges…particularly when it comes to everyday life. You can’t just swing through the McDonald’s drive-thru for a quick burger. You can’t pop into Target or BJ’s to load up on household supplies. There isn’t a Gold’s Gym on every corner should you decide to keep that New Year’s resolution and begin a new physical fitness routine. These challenges, by the way, are all the same reasons the residents and visitors of this island love it here. We’re removed from the fast paced, high energy hustle bustle of the mainland. But it takes a little creativity and extra effort to live on an island.


Late last fall I began looking ahead to my New Year’s resolution and wondering what I might do all winter should I decide to embrace a new Nantucket fitness routine. A friend introduced me to a local fitness studio called Define Nantucket. Among other things, their website advertises “definitions” classes…a combination of light weight training and body sculpting. I’m a beginner when it comes to weight training and it’s been awhile since I engaged in any structured cardio classes, so I was a little skeptical if this was the place for me. My friend assured me this studio offered just what I was looking for.


I have to confess, the first class or 2 felt like a comedy of errors. There was no time to talk myself out of my decision as my fellow classmates gathered their free weights and yoga blocks and took their places around the room. I followed suit…grabbed some weights and pretended I do this sort of thing all the time. The music started and away we went. For an out of shape, middle aged woman, I was able to follow along fairly well. Although there were a couple points mid-class when I thought it might be all over. “20 Burpies,” quipped Jamie, our enthusiastic instructor. “What’s a Burpie?” said my brain…while my body attempted to peel itself up off the floor and jump in the air alongside the seasoned fitness buffs. 19 more of these…really?


The next morning, as I ever so slowly navigated our office stairs and flinched as I lowered myself into my desk chair, I wondered what I had been thinking. “I’m getting too old for this,” I reported to the friend who recommended the studio. She laughed and instructed me to march right back into class the next day…assuring me the soreness would eventually work itself out. It did and I stuck with it all winter. I found myself grateful that our little island offers something so unique and beneficial. The class times are convenient, the workouts are always fresh and challenging (sometimes still painful for an old woman) and the group of women who attend is diverse, always expanding and we have a lot of fun. The studio now also offers the same type of classes for guys…who also report being very challenged.


If Nantucket fitness is on your mind the next time you’re on Nantucket, check out the wide array of options the island has to offer. The Nantucket Health Club, The Westmoor Club and the Great Harbor Yacht Club offer memberships featuring a variety of fitness options. There are private studios like CORE Nantucket and The Yoga Room that specialize in Pilates, Yoga and personal training. Define Nantucket offers a selection of fitness options including yoga and definitions classes. Of course, you can always look to Mother Nature to be your guide as you embark on a power walk through the bogs or take a jog along one of Nantucket’s beautiful beaches. Ride a bike to Sconset or roller-blade to Surfside. Whatever your fitness pleasure, come let Nantucket motivate you to embrace it.


Define yourself!

Shellie Dunlap


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