Fitbit Local

Day 9: Coastal Sweat

Aug 29, 2018 · 7 min read

Background: Fitbit local is always free, always fun, and for all levels of exercise. It is a series of monthly workouts hosted by Fitbit and led by Fitbit ambassadors. The San Diego chapter launched in 2015 and was the first Fitbit Local. Since its start, Sheri Matthews Kimmel and Mike Sherbakov have co-led the sessions. Learn more about Fitbit Local San Diego here.

The breeze is on my face. It is a San Diego summer evening. I know I’m not supposed to open my eyes, but I can’t help myself. Why? We are at the Cape Rey Resort in the middle of a sunset yoga flow. My eyes are only peering open, and the view is still gorgeous.

How did I get to this blissful moment?

Good fortune.

I was first introduced to Fitbit Local in June after a last minute decision to attend a USD event. It was there where I met Sheri, who is a fellow USD alum and the co-leader of Fitbit Local in San Diego. We got to chatting and I told her about what we were working on at Vizer. She urged me give Fitbit Local a try. I wasn’t sure what to expect (this was far before our 100 Day challenge and my fitness level was at an all time low). But after enlisting my friends for moral support, we were all committed.

And wow, am I happy for that.

It was everything you would imagine a trendy fitness party to be. Hosted at Alexan ALX, it was like a Coachella-style pop-up for health and wellness. Free tacos. Free Perfect Bars. Free Suja. Free ZICO Coconut Waters. Even some free Fitbits. There was a live DJ and over 100 people dancing. It was like an exclusive party you think you would need an “in” to attend.

But that’s the best part. You don’t need anything. It is completely open to the public and free. Beyond that, it is such a welcoming environment that people make a noticeable effort to introduce themselves. Our workout consisted of a deck of cards and a The Voice style competition.

What’s not to love about that?

First Fitbit Local Event (We’re Front and Center) — pc: @sherimatthewskimmel

So flash-forward three months to when I was creating our list of classes for this project. Fitbit Local was first on that list.

Something important to note is that each Fitbit Local event is different. The co-leaders, Sheri and Mike, are now in their third year of running the San Diego chapter and like to keep each workout fresh. Some of the events are walks or yoga, but some are high intensity circuits and bootcamps. You never know quite what you are going to get until you show up. Except burpees — I’ve only been twice and I can already tell Mike likes to throw those in whenever possible!

For this event we knew it would be a cardio bootcamp and a yoga flow. One thing for Dylan and one thing for me — a perfect compromise. We arrived right before the event began, and it was an impressive turnout for a Sunday night. People of all ages were in attendance, hinting the last days of summer are upon us. Everyone was talking with one another and it was pretty clear how many of them knew each other. We’re only on Day 9, but it is crazy to see how close the fitness community is and how many overlapping connections we’ve made already.

Local health and wellness companies throughout San Diego fuel the events. Just like last time, we walked in to see tons of ZICO, Suja, and Perfect Bars ripe for consumption. We grabbed one of each (or two or three) and headed to the crowd.

ZICO Coconut Water Set Up a Meditation Lounge Powered by Headspace

Once Sheri and Mike got everyone corralled, we all gathered in a giant circle. The bootcamp was beginning. We moved through jumping jacks, jump squats, bicycle crunches, burpees, and even dance parties! A group of elementary schoolers were killing it in the center of the circle with their moves. Instead of rest periods, we would break up our exercises with high fives for our neighbors.

As fun as it was — it was a workout! My heart rate was pumping. I took a “water” break so I could walk around during one of the sets. Dylan hit the jump squats hard and his legs still hurt two days later. And that was only half the workout. What’s nice is they offer several modifications and you can go at your own pace. The workouts are truly for all levels.

Then we moved into the second (ahem my favorite) part.

Yoga. Flow.

Yoga Flow Led by Mike — pc: @sherimatthewskimmel

Mike led the yoga session and it was as if we transported to Bali. He reminded us:

  1. There is no such thing as being bad at yoga.
  2. It’s not how often we fall out of balance, but how quickly we fall back in that matters.
  3. This moment was for us to be what we made it.

And that we did.

We flowed through the motions gaining strength in our bodies and our lungs. As Dylan laid on his towel before savasana (we still need to get him a mat) he admitted, “Wow, this yoga thing is nice.”

When I imagine a perfect way to end a Sunday, it is sitting on that mat, in the Cape Rey Resort lawn, listening to the ocean. You can be sure we will be at Fitbit Local’s next event celebrating Yoga Month. Check out the details here!

We had such a great time and met so many amazing people. Like Natalie who is going to join us on one of our 100 Days of Fitness! We left the event feeling blessed to be bringing this project to life in San Diego. Fitbit local is a great example of what makes San Diego so unique. It is a tight-knit community that values health, fitness, collaboration, and creativity.

Meet the Instructors:

Mike Sherbakov: @mikesherbakov

Sheri Matthews Kimmel: @sherimatthewskimmel

How did you become involved with the Fitbit Local events?

MS: So Fitbit actually reached out to us. Sheri first! Both of us were Lululemon ambassadors. We’ve been a part of the fitness and health and wellness community in San Diego for a long time. Fitbit had this idea to bring their large international brand down to the community level. They asked us to pilot this program here in San Diego, and if it went well, they would spread it to cities across the country. Our first event was a huge success. The entire Fitbit team was down here. We had over 600 people and amazing sponsors. It went so well, and we are still going strong three years later.

SMK: We also had a DJ! The idea behind Fitbit Local is that it is always free and always fun. You don’t even need a fitbit. It’s just to get people to feel welcome to move, no matter what their ability is. When we remember why we do it, we always lead with meeting great people. These events attract people who are open to feeling good by moving, and that is really rewarding for us.

What kind of workouts can people expect when they come to a Fitbit local event?

SMK: Each month we pick a different location in the San Diego area to showcase different ways to move. We’ve done everything from runs along the harbor and the bay, to hikes in beach areas. We’ve done Cowles Mountain, Torrey Pines, and Mt. Woodson. Sometimes we do an all level bootcamp. Now we are incorporating all ages since Fitbit has the Ace tracker. No matter what the activity is, it is for all levels and all abilities. If you show up, you will be able to do what you can. So we’ve done it all. You name it, and we’ve done it. Even dance parties!

Speaking of dance parties, what’s your favorite pump up workout song?

MS: I know hers! Justin Timberlake.

SMK: Okay yes. But what song??

MS: *sings and snaps* “I’ve got this feeling, inside my bones!”

SMK: Yes! That’s a great one. I’m a JT girl. *looks at Mike* What about you, what’s your at bat song? Like if you were a Padre?

MS: Hmm… I get down with some super heavy dubstep!

SMK: You can take the guy out of NorCal but you can’t take the NorCal out of the guy.

Share your experience with the hashtag #100VizerDays or meet us at the studio to join in on the fun! Up next is Renegade Fitness in Hillcrest!


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