My muscles now have PTSD in clothing stores

I worked out in a clothing store again. Not on my own because I would have probably been arrested, but at a free class that Athleta offers during the week.


I tried a Total Core Body workout class that they have in their store after hours and it was harrrrd. So hard that I’m not confident I’ll be able to go shopping for exercise apparel without my muscles dropping and giving 20 without my permission. 

I recently discovered that most yoga apparel stores in Portland offer free exercise classes to the public in between business hours. Athleta is now the second store I’ve sweat in (read about the first one here). I walked in just as they were closing up the store and browsed the racks (dammit smart retailer strategy. You win again!) as I waited for the class to start.

When the instructor arrived she took us up to Athleta’s “studio” which is actually just the second floor of their store with clothing racks pushed to the side. The class that I took was taught by Mallory, an instructor who teaches at The Art of Personal Training during the day.

Mallory’s class was focused around interval training and comprised of a lot of boot-camp-ish moves including planks, jumping jacks, squats, burpees and “bear crawls.” Before the class at Athleta, I had never even heard of a bear crawl but the instructor explained how they are meant to mimic how toddlers move about.


Apparently, the ways that children learn how to walk makes for excellent exercises so everyone should take a cue from their kids and play Simon Says the reverse way. So, we spent a good chunk of time crawling around on our hands and feet–knees bent, but not quite touching the ground–doing laps across the store… which, was only weird when I looked up and realized that there were mannequins watching me.

A lot of sweating happened that night. I am really glad I witnessed the Athleta team clean the floors because I left a shvitzy mess. After class, I decided to snap a photo of myself with some of the Athleta clothing for posterity. We went through a lot together in that hour and I wanted to keep it for old time’s sake.


It looks like Athleta is offering the Total Core Body class once more tonight and then switching it up with a bunch of other free classes this month including some Barre3. I’ve been aggregating all of the free exercise classes Portland offers here so be sure to check that out and get your free fitness on.

And, if you see some lady doing burpees at a cash register looking surprised, it’s probably me and I’m really sorry about that. Please don’t call the cops.

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