I never thought being frugal would lead me to one of the most eventful and challenging months of my life.
It all started when I heard my friends were using a service called ClassPass to book fitness classes. My friends were trying out cycling classes, hip hop dance classes, and even acroyoga. “That sounds like fun!,” I thought. But my next thought was “How much is it?“. To my delight, I found out that the classes were practically free through a major promotion of 30 classes for $30 for 30 days!
I am often on the lookout for ways to save money and am no stranger to using free trial memberships strategically. I signed up for the Amazon Prime trial when I knew I’d be buying a ton of items, and I signed up for the Spotify Premium trial right before a long road trip.
Even though this trial membership wasn’t free, I justified the expense: 30 classes for the price of one? That’s a good deal!
The catch was that all the classes had to be used in 30 days. That’s roughly one class per day. Bring it on!, I thought. This was the perfect opportunity to try any class without having to worry about the high price tag.
That month I made it my mission to take all 30 classes and make the most of the promotion.
I started my plan of action by booking classes for the upcoming week through the ClassPass app.
When choosing classes, I gravitated toward activities I couldn’t easily do at home, like trampoline class, pole dancing, and boxing. In a big city like San Francisco, there was no shortage of unusual activities to try! 30 days later and I had taken everything from Muay Thai to Hot Yoga to Aerial Silks.
Fitness classes were new to me. I had done pilates and yoga before, but all of my teachers were on YouTube. Attending my first class felt like gym class all over again, with one instructor and lots of students.
Here’s what I learned during this 30 day challenge.
1. Schedule it and you will do it
I had been thinking about trying out classes for a while but it wasn’t until this challenge that I got around to it. Once I signed up for a class, it was on my schedule and I was locked in. I even showed up to a couple early 7am classes. Even when I thought about skipping out, I remembered the no-show fee, and that gave me enough motivation to make sure I attended every class I signed up for!
It couldn’t get deprioritized because by scheduling it, I made it a priority.
2. There really is time after (and before) work for activities
Working from 9am-5pm, it seemed difficult to fit anything in after work outside of eating dinner and spending time with the housemates, especially when I stay late at work. During this challenge, I proved to myself that I had plenty of time outside of work. In my craziest day, I packed my last four classes into the last day of the free trial, going to Hot Yoga at 6am before work and Pole, Lyra (aerial hoop), and K-Pop dance class after work.
Scheduling fitness classes after work encouraged me to leave work on time and made me feel super accomplished and productive. This, in turn, led to other good habits, like eating healthier.
3. You find muscles you never knew existed
Even though I exercised regularly before trying fitness classes, it didn’t prepare me for the new range of activities I tried. I found muscles I didn’t know I had and was sore frequently throughout the month. After aerial silks, it hurt to close my hands into a fist from gripping the fabric throughout class. After trampoline class, my calves and neck were sore from jumping and doing backdrops. I thought I was strong before, but the classes tested my limits and showed how far I still have to go.
4. Fitness classes are a good place for meeting new people
Seeing people outside of work was refreshing! The overwhelming demographic of the classes were young people that I felt I had a lot in common with, or at least one commonality I could be sure of — they were crazy enough to show up for the same activity I was interested in. I was a bit weary to face a group of strangers, sometimes having to pair up during boxing or spar together in jiu jitsu, but I was glad after making friendly conversation! Someone I met in one class even recognized me the other day at the ice skating rink! If you want to make a new friend, a fitness class is a great way to do it.
5. Try new activities, you never know what you will love
I had dreamed of trying circus skills classes back in high school, so when I saw a class called All Levels Flying Trapeze, I knew I had to try it! I got hooked on flying trapeze and found a new hobby that I love — I’ve been to more than 10 classes so far and counting. Although not every town has a Circus Center, with fitness classes, you don’t need to travel far from home to try out new activities.
If this sounds like fun to you, you can do the same through a ClassPass free trial! Though the current offering might be just a few free classes instead of 30, it’s enough to try something new and mix up your routine.
Also, many gyms and studios offer free first classes or introductory rates — it’s just a bit of extra work to seek them out.After completing this originally unplanned 30 day journey, I’ve opened the door to trying out other challenges in the future and incorporating them into my day to day life. After all, if I’m not challenging myself every day, what am I doing?