One afternoon I got a call from Men’s Health Magazine wanting to interview me about living in Sarasota. It seems Men’s Health had gotten word that Sarasota was a pretty active community, and for some reason they thought I was the right guy to talk about it. Of course I was thrilled because 1) I’m an attention whore, and 2) Men’s Health obviously thought I had a six-pack (I don’t) because I work out all the time (I don’t) and I was the fittest man in Sarasota (I’m not). After the interview they named our sunny little town “the city in Florida designed for people who hate Florida.” That made me proud. Apparently Sarasota offers a wide variety of healthy activities and a decently fit population, so Men’s Health wanted to tell the world about us.
1) Foxy Flag Football (about 400 calories) — Starting on August 28, Sarasota’s going to have a new season of calorie-burning, sand-in-your-face, Foxy Flag Football fun. Now, before you go thinking this is a sexually-charged field of ladies running around, let me be the first to tell you that you’re wrong. This six-on-six game consists of hyper-badass, fun-loving ladies determined to kick ass and take names … plus they just happen to be sexy. Jessie Lee and Jay Haren are the founders of this group, and they have women of all walks of life coming out of the woodwork to sign up.
“Moms, teachers, bartenders and nurses are all part of our teams. They are all competitive, great athletes,” Jessie says. This is Sarasota’s first all-female adult flag football league, and there’s an open draft each season where new teams are formed. If your team wins the season, you can make a little extra cash too! Sign up by clicking here.
2) Men’s Roller Derby (540 to 960 calories, depending on how much you play) — I’ve never been a sports guy. I was always the kid who embarrassed his parents as he ran the wrong way around the bases and played with the grass and bugs in the outfield. I had a bloody lip for the entirety of baseball season because I would get scared the ball was going to hurt my hand and I’d move it at the last millisecond — and the ball would smash into my face (sad, but true). The rules of basketball baffled me, and nowadays I find the only good thing about going to a sports bar is to check out the men. With all that being said, it just turns out that I effin’ love Roller Derby. The girls are total badasses with their ripped fish nets and their sexually-driven, “lick my boots” names. They wear makeup that makes them look scary, and when I sit on the sidelines and wait for them to fall, I scream like I’m an aggressive parent at my kid’s soccer game.
I’ve always been jealous of the girls that get to play … until now. It turns out if you are a dude, we have a badass league of our own starting NOW. It’s called The Hitmen of Manatee, and if you are interested in playing you should sign up. The teams look amazing and the guy in the middle looks way more badass then me, even if his feet are adorned with eight colorful wheels, so I’m not going to sign up. I’ve already had too many bloody lips in my life.
3) Kite Surfing (about 950 calories an hour) — If you do this once, you are hooked for life. What’s better then taking the best elements of surfing, sailing and snowboarding, then combining them to actually fly on top of our crystal clear water at a fast speed? Nothing. Not one damn thing is better then that. As difficult as this sport looks it’s actually pretty easy with a few lessons. I suggest calling Island Style Watersports. Not only can they teach you Kite Surfing but they can teach you Wind Surfing, Paddleboarding and Kayaking.
4) TRX at Definition Fit (about 500 calories) — No one has time to hit every single class in Sarasota except for Cara Levitt. She goes to all of them and she’s kinda like my litmus test for group classes in the area. When Cara told me, and I quote, “Definition Fit’s TRX class is the best group fitness in town,” I had to try it out. The class is perfect and the concept is easy: There’s a room of straps dangling from beams and you’re assigned one. You use your own body weight (yes, some of us will be working harder then others) to complete a series of movements through resistance to build muscle. There’s no “beginner” or “expert” class because everyone goes at their own pace. The instructors are super friendly and make you feel like Adonis, so I’d have to agree with Cara. This is the best class for group fitness. Classes are daily; here’s a link to their schedule. Also, see that guy in the video below? His name is Dave Weiner and he lost the equivalent of a 4th grader after going to Definition Fit for six months. The gym’s got some crazy good mojo.
5) Pure Barre (about 500 calories per class) — So, Pure Barre is more of a ladies’ class, so I’ve never taken it, but I watched a YouTube video — and as a tight-jointed guy, I say this class looks like it would snap me in half. However, people keep saying “Pure Barre will change your life,” and it was the trendiest exercise of 2011, so it does deserve a bit of a shout-out on my list. Their website says, “Pure Barre utilizes the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music. Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body. Students see results in just 10 classes.” Sign up, try it out, see what happens and I’ll be curious to hear what you have to say.