“Get The Point? Good, Let’s Dance”

Growing up I always considered myself to be a pretty good dancer. I took ballet, I can do It’s Raining Men and Cotton Eyed Joe with the best of them, I mean… I can do the worm for Christ’s sake.  But with choreographed dances seemingly only existing at weddings now-a-days, I had lost my panache for the old dance floor. Thankfully, in doing this blog, we’ve met so many people with seriously awesome talents and let’s just say I met a dance instructor who can WORK.

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A few weeks ago Nicholas and I had the chance to judge a friend’s brunch competition. Besides the AHMAZINGGG food and drinks we were so graciously served, we also met some exceptional individuals. One being Areis, an instructor at Soul Rooster Dance & Fitness. Located in Britton Plaza the studio is a little hard to find but once you get inside you’ll feel right at home. With a friendly staff, bright lights and pumpin’ music it’s like walking into your favorite club on a Saturday night. Lucky for me, tonight was the Janet Jackson World Tour Class. Every few weeks, Areis’ Soul Fusion class turns into a “World Tour” class designed to make you feel like a straight up backup dancer. While I was super upset to have missed the Madonna MDNA class, I was definitely not going to miss out on Miss Jackson (if you’re nasty).

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Going in I was a little nervous after seeing a Facebook notification pop up on my phone stating “2 hours left do not eat anything from this point on please” (so the Evo’s Steakburger and Fries I just ordered should be returned?) Lucky for me I was OK but it’s not to say I didn’t have my ass handed to me in that class. It took me a little bit to warm up and get into the rhythm of things but after a few minutes I was ready to shake it. One thing I loved about the class was that not only did we do choreography, but it also had cardio intertwined. We danced, we did squats, we danced, we did step ups, we danced… you get the picture.

 

The great thing about the class was that everyone was on different levels, so you never felt like you were out of place or holding anyone back. Areis was so upbeat and encouraging that it didn’t feel like working out at all, it was just fun. I swear I had a smile on my face the entire time- and let me tell you, I do NOT have a smile on my face the entire time when I work out at the gym. When things started to wind down I was not ready for it to end, so I went ahead and bought a package to come back for more! Next up: BRITNEY! My 14 year old self is freaking out.

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If you’re looking to mix up your workout, enjoy a fun class with some girlfriends or just try something different, make sure to check out Soul Rooster. Not only do they have their World Tour classes, but they also offer Pound classes, Salsa, Zumba and so much more. Planning a dance party for your closest friends or a birthday party for your young one?  Soul Rooster is the perfect place. They’ll have you feeling like a superstar in no time!

 

Wake Up Your Soul- Allison

Outeraction Awesome-ness

Being that 2 out of the 3 of us are University of Tampa Alumni, we are always pumped to see someone from UT doing big things. So when Matt Rutkovitz decided to start Outeraction we were thrilled that he asked us to come out to his very first “experience”. Outeraction puts on “microexperiences” for millenials in an effort to get them to meet new people, create community involvement and more or less just have an awesome time with like minded individuals. Each experience is no more than 3 hours, no more than $30 and for ages 30 and under. Besides just focusing on individuals, Outeraction offers these experiences to businesses as well as a form of teambuilding. I’m currently trying to coerce my company into hopping on the Outeraction train after our experience, so let me tell you why…

On a rainy Wednesday night Ryan, Nicholas and I headed into Ybor and sprinted the two blocks from the parking garage to Tampa Bay Brewing Company.  And let me tell you, the only thing that was going to make me feel better about the water in my shoes was a cold brew, which thankfully was handed to me upon arrival (already off to a good start). We mingled with some millenials as the rest of the crowd filed in and  about 10 minutes later we were ready to get started. Each experience starts off with ice breakers which Rutkovitz likes to call “energy openers” in an effort to get everyone feeling comfortable and create connections among the individuals at the experience. We all circled up and were confused when he pulled out a roll of toilet paper. (a brewery seems like an odd place to bring your own TP but hey, to each his own) we were told to pass it around and take as many sheets as we normally use (talk about getting personal; this may not be something you want to do with someone on a first date, just sayin’) Once everyone had awkwardly grabbed their toilet paper we were told that for every sheet, you would have to share a fact about yourself. Besides being a little awkward at first, it was a really good way to get to know the people around us and we were able to build on those facts for future conversation later in the evening.

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Once the energy openers were done it was time to get to the brewery tour. Now I don’t know too much about beer besides that I like to drink it, so listening to the process and how the different beers are brewed was actually really interesting. We learned about everything from their Iron Rat Imperial Stout to their True Blonde and after the tour was done, it was on to our favorite part, the tasting. We headed back to our meeting area and were treated to some delicious snacks before getting our sampling on. We were lucky enough to try 8 different beers and in the end it was “One Night Stand Pale Ale” that came out on top for me. During the sampling it was great to converse with the other attendees and make connections for the future.

All in all it was a great first experience and since then, Outeraction has not slowed down one bit. You may have seen articles in the Tampa Bay Business Journal and 83 Degrees Media regarding the company and it’s CEO. Besides our brewery tour, experiences have included rock climbing and even a give back experience (because who doesn’t love having a great time while giving back?!) and there are way more to come. The next experience will be a Gin Cocktail Class this Wednesday (7/23) at Ciro’s Speakeasy where you will get to learn how to make drinks and of course, taste the creations. If you’re looking to get a little more physical with your experience, Laser Tag this Sunday (7/27) might be more your speed. Sponsored by the University of Tampa and featuring Brew Bus beers, it will be the perfect end to your Sunday Funday!

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For even more upcoming events from Outeraction, be sure to check out their Facebook page!

-Allison

Total Knockout

With beach days and pool parties in full force this summer, I knew I needed to get my butt to the gym and start something new to get beach ready. Cue….Title Boxing Club, newly opened in South Tampa. We met the girls from Title back at the Taste of South Tampa and immediately began planning our trip to check them out once they opened. Now that they have been up and running for a little over a month, I called and scheduled my free training class and made my way over ready to hook, jab and cross my way through the class!

Title One Boxing South Tampa

I was a bit nervous about taking a full hour class as my first time in since I hadn’t been exercising in quite a while. Either way, I conjured up the courage to try it out and all I can say is…WOW! What a workout!! A “Power Hour” class as they call it,  consists of a 15 minute cardio warmup, followed by 30 minutes working the punching bag with different combinations broken down into 8- 3 minute rounds (just like a standard boxing match) and finishing up with a 15-minute cool down which is all core and ab work.

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After signing in, sharing some information and suiting up with wraps and gloves (FYI…if you want wraps for your free class, they are $10 for a variety of colors which I highly recommend to protect your knuckles), I grabbed a locker to stow away my stuff and chose my bag for class. The class was challenging, but what was great was the varying levels of experience each person in the class had. I never felt uncomfortable and never felt like everyone was watching me or I didn’t know what to do. The trainer was easy to follow, challenged each of us, but made the movements and combinations easy to understand and maneuver.  The hour flew by and the music that was playing to keep us moving was a great distraction to the fact that I was getting my butt kicked (in the best way possible).

Title One Boxing South Tampa

I finished class feeling empowered and really wanting to come back and try again. As I headed out, I asked about any promotions that were being offered and was in luck to hear that there is a “New Teacher Promo” going on RIGHT NOW! I was instantly sold and set up my membership. I have been going now for a few weeks and have LOVED every second of it! The teacher promo basically breaks down to getting 1/2 off enrollment (a $50 savings) and a free kit of gear (a $100 savings). Membership rates will be increasing August 1st, but by joining now, teachers will be locked into the low rate of  only $59/month! This gets members UNLIMITED access to not only the South Tampa location, but any Title Boxing Club nationwide. There are 133 active clubs currently, and that is increasing to 500 in the next 2 years.

Title Boxing Club South Tampa

 

Title also offers classes to accommodate any schedule, as early as 5:30AM and starting as late as 7:30PM on weekdays. They also offer classes both Saturdays and Sundays. The trainers and staff have been great and have made each class challenging. In fact, they actually have a challenge during each class in which you can be dubbed the “Power Hour Champ”. Earning this title  means you stood out among the crowd and pushed through the pain. I won champ last week and here is my pic with trainer, Keith and the champion belt. As they say, “THE CHAMP IS HERE!”

Title Boxing South Tampa

The first class is always FREE, so call to schedule your appointment TODAY! 813-289-5420. Remember to tell them Nicholas from NHIE Tampa Bay sent you. Also, they offer some really exciting and unique events throughout the month as well. There are networking events to meet like-minded people after a class like the Boxing and Beers event THIS FRIDAY NIGHT and the upcoming self-defense course as well (exclusively for the ladies) happening on September 27th so keep an eye out for more info soon..  Last but certainly not least, who doesn’t love a good giveaway?!! Title Boxing Club is so awesome that they have provided YOU the opportunity to begin your quest to success by giving us a free set of gear and a 2 weeks unlimited pass to test the boxing waters. Just apply now for the Title Boxing Club South Tampa Rafflecopter giveaway. The kit includes gloves, wraps, a gym bag and the membership. The contest will close on Tuesday, July 22nd and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 23rd. GOOD LUCK!!

Title Boxing Club South Tampa

Title Boxing Club South Tampa

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

-Nicholas

‘Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky

After turning 21, I’ve found that birthday celebrations usually consist of a bar crawl, or meeting up at a bar, or a dinner-followed up by a night out at the bar. Well personally, it’s a bit “been there, done that” for my taste and that’s why this year, for my 26th ( insert shocked face emoji here) we decided to get out of our comfort zone and check out Treeumph located in Bradenton. I had been hearing about this magical place high above the ground that combines an obstacle course with ziplines for months now from friends. We thought it would be the perfect place to celebrate my birthday weekend while actually getting some physical activity.

Sunday morning we drove the short 15 minutes from our campground at Lake Manatee State Park to Treeumph! located right off State Road 70. We had checked out the website and talked to friends about the “adventure course”prior to our visit but we really had no idea what to expect until we got there. Right when you pull into the parking lot you are able to see people up in the trees working their way through the course. You see the 10-year-old boys overhead and think, “I got this- no problem.” Let me tell you, this place is NO JOKE. Let’s begin our journey shall we…

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Before heading to Treeumph be sure to make a reservation. We suggest going on a weekday morning to avoid the crowds and the heat, but we didn’t find that we had to wait too long as they make sure to space out the groups throughout the day. They do request you arrive 30 minutes before your reservation and once you’ve checked in an experienced guide will get you set up in your harness. For an extra $3 you can get unlimited water and gloves. This is something we definitely suggest. This is physical activity, and you will need to keep yourself hydrated! Before they let you loose to roam the sky like some kind of flying squirrel its movie time. I know what you’re thinking, movie time = nap time circa 9th grade health class. False! You will need to pay attention- this is your life in their hands you fools. They go over important safety procedures such as always staying hooked up to the course, keeping your fingers away from the zipline apparatus, and much more. After the video its pop quiz time as we headed over to the harness course.

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Once you’re all geared up, you’ve watched the video and passed the harness courses it’s off to the races. There are 5 different courses in the park, and each one gets higher and more difficult. We crossed bridges, climbed through tubes, scaled cargo nets, and ziplined high above the ground as we made our way through the park. Our favorite aspects of the park included the rock climbing wall, rope swings and the skateboard portion where we Silver Surfer styled it from one platform to another. Portions of the course we could have lived without include the toad stool ladder and the rings.

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While the boys breezed through this section with all the ease of a spider monkey, Steph decided to cut her journey short while I unfortunately had to bow out with only 4 sections left. (I’ll be back!) One thing I was super impressed with was their system for “rescuing” the climbers (yes, I had to be rescued- Damsel in distress style, complete with 2 princes coming to my rescue on a John Deere Gator) But that’s neither here nor there. If you’re having difficulty, just yell “Guide Guide Guide” and someone will be there to help you shortly. I was very impressed with their system and their owner Kathy even sat with me to make sure I was okay.

The pièce de résistance is the Triumph zipline, a 650 ft. zipline 60 ft. in the air. And while I was unable to participate, I dutifully played videographer for the other’s rides back down to earth. After the day was over it was safe to say we were exhausted. It took us around 3 hours to go through our training and the courses and we had a blast the entire time. I was certainly not let down by the hype our friends had given to Treeumph and am looking forward to making my return and completing the course in its entirety!


Thanks to the whole Treeumph team for being such awesome hosts! – Allison

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Check out more videos on our Youtube Channel!

Muay Thai 101

Last night we took a trip into the unknown at Tampa Muay Thai’s Bangkok Bash. Going into the event we knew very little about the sport so we were eager to see what all the hoopla was about. We had been hearing about the event for weeks but last night our wait was over as we headed to Tampa Muay Thai on N. Howard Ave.

This event was the unveil of their new gym and let me tell you, they did it up big. We walked into a huge gym and were greeted by the Tampa Muay Thai girls. We checked in, grabbed tickets for food and drinks and walked past the step and repeat.  We decided to grab some food before the fights started and headed over towards the “concession area”. They had authentic Thai food from The Star Thai and Sushi in Sarasota that included chicken and basil with rice or chicken panang with rice. I opted for the chicken and basil while Rob had a little bit of both.  I’ve only had Thai food one other time but this was delicious. Definitely somewhere to try when in Sarasota.

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Around 6pm it was time for the fights to start. An announcer jumped in the middle of the ring to introduce the Bangkok Bash event and thank the sponsors. some of which included TUFMED and Irish 31. After that was over it was time to begin. Muay Thai is a very traditional sport that includes traditional Thai music while the fight is happening, but each fighter has their own walk out song just as any other sport. It was a great way to keep the audience upbeat and dancing in their seats. Seats that were totally full might I add. At the start of the fights it was standing room only. Each fight was comprised of three rounds, each three minutes long. The night included 7 Muay Thai fights, a pro exhibition, and a boxing match.

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In the middle of the first fight Ryan and Nicholas joined us as we all took in the event. Luckily for us, we had some friends in attendance as well, friends that knew a bit more about Muay Thai than us (not that it took much) They informed us that the sport is scored depending on the strikes each fighter has on their opponent. Punches are apparently the least amount of points. So if one fighter pummels the other with punches, yet gets struck by a knee or kick a few times, they could potentially lose. We also learned a few differences between amateur and professional fights. In an amateur fight fighters are required to wear head gear, professionals are not. As far as the fighting is concerned, amateurs are not allowed to kick or knee to the head while pros can. Check out some amateur action below:

At the end of the first fight we grabbed a Singha Beer (the original Thai beer) and walked around. I took the time to stop by the Rugaz Rescue table where I met Chloe. I was informed that a portion of the proceeds from last night’s event went towards their organization. Their mission is to rescue pitbulls and place them into loving families. Last night they had 2 pitbulls, the adorable Lilly and Justice available for adoption. What a great cause!

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The next few fights brought some great action and the crowd was really getting into it. In the beginning it was explained to us that Muay Thai is a very crowd involved sport. It was encouraged to yell Awayee (spellling?) when one opponent had a good strike against the other. We joined right in and were having a great time. In the middle of the fights we were treated to a demo by pro fighters Alex Berrios and Ben Mars. They were dressed in traditional Muay Thai garments including a “mongkol” which is a sort of headdress that is believed to keep the fighter safe and free from danger.

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Before the final two fights, which were said to be the co-main events, they did a few raffles. One of which included a free year to the Muay Thai gym. After the winners were announced it was time to wrap up the fights. The first one ended fine but the final event ended in a no contest. Since we had no idea what that meant, we asked our friend who let us know that the move the fighter did was illegal. After it was all said and done it was time to leave as the crowd was moving to Irish 31 for the official after party. For coming in with little to no knowledge of the sport we definitely left way more informed. We were told that Tampa Muay Thai is aiming to put at least 3 or 4 fight nights on each year and we strongly encourage you to come out for the next one, we had a blast!

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The NHIE crew with one of the winners of the night

Allison

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