the best free workouts in nashville

This is a copy of a guest post I wrote for The Nashville Guide’s blog. You can view the original post here

One of my favorite things about living in Nashville are all of the free community fitness activities available. When I moved here, I was able to participate in as many activities as possible. I learned new skills and made new friends without having to break the bank to do it.

Below are what I consider to be the top three workouts offered in town. The great thing about all of these workouts –  besides being completely free – are that they welcome all stages of fitness, age, and experience. Their welcoming environments encourage improvement and foster positivity among all of the participants.

Photos: @eastnasty4life

The East Nasties
If you’re hanging around Five Points on a Wednesday evening, you’ll no doubt bear witness to the horde of East Nasty runners. This free running club has been hosted every Wednesday evening for nearly ten years (regardless of weather conditions).

The group has run routes through all of the best areas east of the Cumberland River since 2008 (think Shelby Park, Lockeland Springs, Nissan Stadium) – earning the name “The East Nasty Running Club,” or simply, “The East Nasties,” for short.

Wednesday runs yield anywhere from 30-100+ runners. Members are welcome to bring their dogs, their children, or their friends. There is also a “Lasty Nasties” group for slower runners that leaves at 5:45pm before the main group.

Their mission statement meshes the physical fitness aspect of the activity with the friendliness of the neighborhood: “We exist to make East Nashville a great place to live and run, and to make running accessible to everyone in our community.”

There are no shortage of opportunities to make new friends running with East Nasty. Prior to the start of each run, the organizers ask everyone in the crowd to introduce themselves to someone new. And, for those who like their workouts to yield a reward, the group congregates at 3 Crow Bar post-run to enjoy 2-for-1 specials on beers.

You can learn more about the East Nasties here. Or, just show up at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Holly Street on Wednesday at 6pm.

Photos: @jamescrumlin

The Capitol Steps Workout
Five years ago in 2012, James Crumlin was training for the Country Music Marathon. He’d been running that marathon since 2003, but always found himself training for it at the eleventh hour. That year, he trained with a friend on the steps of the Nashville Capitol.

For those unfamiliar with the Nashville Capitol, the building sits atop a the tallest hill in the central city and features several staircases on all sides. It also faces the 19-acre Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park which has a walking/jogging path stretching between James Robertson Parkway and Jefferson Street.

Impressed with James’ progress, some of his friends joined him in running the steps. Then their friends. Word continued to spread, and the Capitol Steps workout was born.

On Mondays at Thursdays at 6pm, weather permitting, you can join James and his friends on the steps of the Capitol. James will arrange a series of exercises similar to a boot camp for the group to accomplish individually – uphill sprints, lunges, burpees, planks, and of course, stair runs.

While the group has grown over the past five years, James still keeps the workout free as a way to give back to the community. He shares his motivational spirit, encouraging others to succeed. The generosity is palpable, as seasoned members pass that spirit and encouragement onto newer participants, and so on.

When I asked James what the Capitol Steps was all about, he told me, “It’s an awesome workout where everyone encourages each other. Everyone of all fitness levels is welcome. Capitol Steps is an avenue for people to create a healthier lifestyle for themselves.”

Find out more about James at here. Follow him on Instagram @jamescrumlin.

Photos: @smallworldyoga

Small World Yoga
The physical and mental health benefits of yoga have long been revered. Improved strength, balance, and posture are some of the more obvious benefits, but yoga is also known to contribute to stress management and lower blood pressure. The teachings of yoga encourage practitioners to go at their own pace, making it an acceptable form of exercise for nearly everyone.

Though the practice of yoga is beneficial for almost anyone, not everyone has access to it. Costs of classes can add up, and studios often have limited space.

Small World Yoga aims to bring yoga to all types of communities by offering completely free classes. The locations and instructors vary, making the many benefits of yoga accessible to anyone and everyone in Nashville.

Liz Veyhl, Small World Yoga’s founder, describes the organization as follows: 

Small World Yoga meets many critical needs in this community. One of the most important is, we are creating access for people who otherwise don’t have the ability to find yoga. What yoga has the ability to do is to inspire hope and change. And, it gives people the opportunity to think that they too can create whatever they want in their life.”

You can view their available community classes here*. As the site indicates, all ages and ability levels are welcome!

*All classes are free, but donations to the organization can be made at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr.

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it’s fall, y’all

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Knit: Rag & Bone. Jeans: Citizens of Humanity. Belt: Gucci. Bag: Dior. Boots: BC Footwear.

Finally, it’s beginning to feel like fall in Nashville. The temperatures are cooler and the air is drier, but the leaves have only just begun to turn.

While I love the changing weather, my home decor doesn’t really tend to change. I still like to keep things minimal, but I still do not want to let the season pass me by without a little celebration. Today, I’ve rounded up some of the best places in town to get subtly festive fall accessories for your home.

Amelia’s Flower Truck

 

Nashville’s favorite florist-on-the-go has seasonal blooms to match the hues of autumn – plus, I just found out that they deliver! (ameliasflowertruck.com)

Pumpkin Stands

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Cute pumpkins, squash, and mums in all sizes and colors can be shopped for in 12 South (on the corner of Beechwood Ave next to Frothy Monkey) and on the lawn of Hillsboro High School in Green Hills.

Apple & Oak

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For those who don’t have the greenest thumb, this lovely vintage/new home store has these cute fuzzy grey felt pumpkins (pictured above). (appleandoaknash.com)

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SOR’s guide to a fall weekend in nantucket

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Nantucket is a small island that resides of the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was discovered and incorporated in the 17th century and served as a whaling hub. Since it’s redevelopment in the 1950s, it is now the premier summertime destination for the perennially preppy.

Since the island in its entirety is protected as a historical district, all residential and commercial areas adhere to strict building codes, protecting the colonial east coast appearance islandwide. This gives Nantucket its fairy tale charm.

I was lucky enough to spend this past Columbus Day Weekend on island. I have been to Nantucket a few times prior, but always during the summer months. Nantucket’s most attractive season is summer, but it was exciting to experience the island in October.

Below, I’m sharing some of my favorite autumnal Nantucket experiences to take with you on your next trip.

Getting There

Since this is the offseason, travel and lodging tends to be much cheaper. You can fly directly onto the island from New York or Boston via Cape Air, or take a bus to Hyannis and a ferry to Nantucket for a cheaper option. October is wedding season there, so as always, be sure to book travel in advance.

Stay

IMG_6691The Vanessa Noel Hotel, proprietered by the shoe designer of the same name, is right in the middle of town.

If you’re traveling alone, the Carlisle House Hotel is also a short walk to town and features some communal areas for meeting other Nantucket-goers.

Eat & Drink

For breakfast, head to Fog Island Café, a fail-safe greasy spoon with cheap good eats, right near the water. Or, grab a coffee from artisan roasters The Bean.

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If you seek to get out of town for a spell, take the bus to Cisco Brewers to try some local craft ales.

Dinner options are endless, but from my latest trip, I will recommend The Met on Main or Ventuno. Fresh seafood is still fair game come harvest time – fall is actually scallop season (if interested, you can go harvest your own on the beach).

My absolute favorite restaurant is straight wharf – and yes, I got the scallops.

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Shop

Current Vintage had always charmed me with its selection of elegant vintage clothing, but they recently have moved into retailing wine as well, giving me more and more reasons to keep coming back.

Townpool’s new location on Main St still boasts an eclectic selection of preppy attire (think, American flag print blazers for men), but the real treat is in their basement with an inexpensive candy store and a ‘zero-gravity’ room for your next Instagram.

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Do

I came to Nantucket on Columbus Day Weekend to run their half marathon, but if that’s not your speed (no pun intended), check out the cranberry festival & bogs on Saturday of that same weekend.

A new art gallery with generous windows has opened up at 14 Easy Street, right across the street from the boat basin in town. No matter which way you’re looking, you’ll be seeing something lovely.

Nantucket’s history and preservation of the original buildings means the town offers an array of ghost tours, the perfect activity to do on a chilly October evening to set the mood for Halloween.

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5 Myths & Misconceptions About Starting a Capsule Wardrobe

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I started this blog and called it Serial Outfit Repeater for my love of simple, classic looks. Slowly over the years, I’ve been paring down my closet more and more in the hopes of achieving a capsule wardrobe. Simplicity entices me, and keeps my mind clutter-free, so I attempt to simplify and streamline my life in as many areas as possible.

For those unaware, a capsule wardrobe is one that consists of as few pieces as possible. These pieces are usually kept low-key and classic, share a similar palette, and are made easy to mix-and-match. It’s a great option for those who prefer simplicity and like to limit their options so as not to stress about what to wear. Plus, the lack of cycling through fast fashion trends is much more environmentally conscious.

Next month, I’m moving into a new apartment with a closet 1/3 the size of what I have now. Thus, the pressure to shrink my wardrobe has intensified. I’ve been learning a lot about how to properly curate a capsule wardrobe (I’ll save that how-to for a future blog post), and have run into some misconceptions along the way about what it actually entails. I wanted to cover the five biggest myths, below, about having a capsule wardrobe today in case you were on the fence about doing so yourself.

Capsule wardrobes are boring.

I quote Dwight K. Schrute: False. Your own capsule wardrobe can and should be unique to your personal style. Having your wardrobe perfectly align with your style preferences is more exciting than anything.

I can’t have a capsule wardrobe – I love all of the clothes in my huge closet!

Hey, if you love all of your clothes, and you wear all of them, there’s no reason why you need to get rid of them. A good rule to test if you truly wear your clothes – hang all of your clothes with the opening of the hanger facing out. When you take something out and replace it, hang it normally (facing in). After a few months, see what hasn’t been worn, and you’ll know those pieces will need purging.

You’re not supposed to shop when you have a capsule wardrobe.

If you’re the type of person that needs a new top for going out every weekend, you will be shopping less. But for the most part, shopping is not excluded from those with capsules. Shopping will be done more carefully and mindfully, which can be rewarding, as you know that you’ll be getting exactly what you like and need. And all of the money you’ll save from buying throwaway pieces can go towards one luxe item that you’ll have for a long time.

Starting a capsule wardrobe is expensive – you have to buy high-quality, luxury pieces to ensure they will last for years.

Any savvy shopper knows that high quality doesn’t have to mean expensive. I have a pair of leather Vans I got for about $60 a few years back which I wear about 3 times a week, and will continue to do so for a long time to come. Plus, you probably already have most of the contents of your perfect capsule already in your overstuffed closet.

If I start a capsule wardrobe, I’ll have to get rid of all these clothes I don’t wear. That’s wasteful.

While it is true that throwing clothes in a donation bin doesn’t help anyone (watch the ‘Adam Ruins Everything’ episode), there are other ways to recycle clothing. Find a younger sibling or cousin or coworker’s child who might be interested in taking the clothes. For anything unworn or barely worn, take them to your local consignment shop, Plato’s Closet, or start a Poshmark account to make a little extra cash too.

Follow me on Instagram for simple, classic style @SerialOutfitRepeater.

summer revival

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The first official day of fall is today, but I’ve been mulling over the looks on New York, London, and some Milan runways. While instantaneous runway-to-retail purchasing has taken hold of fashion weeks of the Instagram era, I still enjoy watching the dream of a future spring on fall runways.

Models are traipsing by smartphone lenses in airy, breezy, movable fabrics. I wonder if this has anything to do with all of the videos that surface from the front rows of shows – Snapchat-worthy movement may now be an imperative element in clothing construction. Palettes featured mostly pastel (for spring, groundbreaking), and plenty of millennial pink, which I love. Silhouettes have been simple, save for the occasional punchy word on a sweater or bag. I’m really looking forward to the styles to come.

Outfit credits:

Jeans – Levi’s (featured in my post on Spring 2017 Shopping)

Top – Amelia Styles boutique in Nashville

Wedges – Steve Madden

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the pre-fall transition

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Part of being an SOR is having pieces and looks that work for multiple seasons and their almost akward in-between temperatures. This look can be (and has been) worn for summer’s transition into fall.

Outfit credits:

Cami – J.Crew

Jeans – Seven for All Mankind (distressing done by me)

Pumps – Diane von Furstenberg

Bag – vintage Gucci

Trench – Zara

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monochromatic chambray

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This week’s outfit post is one of my favorite looks I’ve been wearing, obviously, on repeat this late summer. Soft chambray in a looser silhouette feels like I’ve wearing pajamas (seriously, I’ve slept in these jeans before), but is still appropriate for work dressed up with ladylike shoes and gargantuan bohemian earrings.

It was fun shooting this look at WELD studio rather than my usual outside backdrop to really enhance the neutrality and simplicity of the outfit. (Photography by Hannah Russel of Hannah Meredith Photo.)

Credits for the look are below:

Blouse – Scotch & Soda Spring 2017, purchased from MODA boutique in Nashville’s 12 South neighborhood.

Jeans – Caslon (a Nordstrom brand, I believe). These are super soft and cozy, and I love the trendy released hem. Link in sidebar.

Shoes – Steve Madden Ireene, a classic.

Earrings – From local boutique Shop Amelia Styles in East Nashville.

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solar eclipse tips & a floral jumpsuit

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This is a GREAT time to be in Nashville. And I’m not talking about the usual reasons millenials have been flocking here in recent years. As if we need another reason, Nashville is the largest city host to the path of Monday’s solar eclipse.

For those who do not live in the Nashville area, the entire city will be at a complete standstill for 2 minutes on Monday. Every day, I hear about numerous eclipse viewing parties, I drive by Department of Transportation signs on the highway warning people not to stop in the road, see billboards advertising the event, etc. And for good reason: this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not one to be missed.

To help you prepare, I’ve summed up some tips for viewing the solar eclipse comfortably and safely:

  1. Get your eclipse viewing glasses if you haven’t already. You can view a total solar eclipse without them, but you can’t stare directly at all the other cool stages of the process. Keep your eyes protected.
  2. Stay out of the road for some time before and after the solar eclipse (about 1:28pm CT). Even if you are a safe driver and have heeded the warnings not to stop, other drivers may stop in the middle of the road to watch. The uncertainty leaves too much up to chance, and it’s better to avoid the roads altogether methinks.
  3. If you are driving to an eclipse viewing party, make sure to leave with plenty of extra time. Since Nashville is directly in the path of the eclipse, tourism – and therefore, traffic – on Monday will be even higher than usual.

Not only am I nerding out about the solar eclipse, but I’m also nerding out about this SheIn jumpsuit, above. Flattering, comfortable, and affordable – the trifecta that defines a good find for a Serial Outfit Repeater.

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the classics & nordstrom anniversary sale

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Its finally August and with that comes a resignation of preparing for the fall. For me, that means slowing things down and getting back to basics. And what could be more comfortingly basic than a pair of jeans and a t-shirt?

I’ve credited what I’m wearing above as well as linking to some of my other favorite brands and products to achieve this simple, classic, no-fuss look. There are only a few days left of the Nordstrom anniversary sale, so take advantage while you still can!SJ

T-shirts:

Topshop

Jeans:

CKShoes:

Click here to shop the full Nordstrom anniversary sale.

Special thanks to Hannah Meredith Photo for photography and Three Brothers Coffee in Nashville for location.

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