Hartford Has It: Fitness in the Park

Do you think exercising in an air conditioned gym is for wimps? Me too. That’s why I’m thankful Riverfront Recapture has brought fitness classes to Mortensen Riverfront Plaza. Whether you’re into yoga, or something a bit more strenuous, I highly suggest skipping happy hour and getting your jiggly ass (I’m just guessing…) down to the park to partake in what Hartford has to offer.


Last week we started by putting ourselves to the test with a WIP fitness workout. (Apparently, WIP stands for Work in Progress.) Basically it’s a bootcamp style workout, where you’ll be forced to do burpees, jumping jacks, and all the things that will make you hurt (in a good way) the next day. As I was walking to the park, I started to suspect I might die during the workout. The combination of humidity and the nearby highway made for poor air quality, but I made it through…sweaty and red-faced, but alive.

I was ready to head back to WIP this week, but the 90 degree weather was just too much for me. The idea of exerting myself so strenuously in that kind of heat was just too damn much…I’m just not strong enough. I stayed home, ate dairy-free ice cream, and mowed the lawn.

funny1However, I did manage to motivate myself to get to yoga in the park on Wednesday…and so did everyone else. WIP was well attended by a few dozen people. But the yogis turned out in droves. If you show up late to yoga good luck finding a spot on the grass that isn’t also kind of a hill, therefore throwing your chi (or some such shit) off.

My car claimed it was 92 degrees as I was on my way to class, but Hartford was still teeming with (mostly) women and their yoga mats. Luckily, the grass area is shaded, otherwise there would have been at least one case of heat stroke. As it was, class was a bit Bikram-y.

IMG_1956Generally, the Tuesday and Wednesday night classes happen no matter what. Hail has occasionally driven fitness enthusiasts running from the park, but a simple heatwave won’t stop them. And they’ll be there until the end of the summer, so get out there while you still can. If you won’t do it to support Hartford, or to make your ass less jiggly, do it because you will see a parade of humanity rivaled only by the subway platform.

Here’s a list of the people I saw during yoga class:

  • A juggler with a handlebar mustache
  • A very skilled roller-dancer
  • A man playing a wooden flute

Yes, Hartford has all of those too.