Y’all, Austin is still Austin. Thank god.
This has been my longest return home since I lived in Austin full-time, and I’m startled, relieved, thrilled to find out that fundamentally Austin is still Austin. I thought I didn’t know it, but I do. I know the people, the friendly waves, the gravelly sands of Town Lake, the grungy floors of gyms and the airiness of yoga studios. I know Hula Hut and Picnik (which is new) and dirty, west, and east sixth. Make no mistake, the “town” is huge, swollen even, stuffed to the gills with people who have their own Austins, but the city is still herself: nimble, quirky, friendly, and above all, welcoming. Even with frigid temperatures and some odd snow-like precipitation.
I had a chance to more leisurely reconnect with friends—and I still missed some dear ones—and spend amazing time with my brother and parents. I got to explore regular life in Austin in a way I don’t usually get the chance to, and that was grounding.
I’m so grateful to discover that my beloved hometown is, despite my own belief and that of all the California-immigrant-rueing locals, still Austin.
Thankful for a fun NYE at basically a bad wedding which was hilarious, for high school friends reconnecting in a really neat way at a friend’s show, and for—of all things—bumble reconnecting me to some great people. Thankful for family, friends, and Austin. And these fitness spots:
- Austin Bouldering Project – badass bouldering gym, badass weightroom setup with Rogue barbells and tons of open space (they must secretly love CrossFit-style workouts), and coworking space to boot!
- Hyde Park Gym – I must confess, I was intimidated by this “bodybuilding gym” the entire time I lived here, so I was thrilled to feel confident enough to saunter in. No one should feel intimidated—this grungy, grimy, fully-stocked gym has the sweat of a thousand souls before you and 100% feels like home.
- Black Swan – Not historically my favorite studio, JJ’s class was incredible and I had a blast.
- BFree Yoga – Two out of three classes I loved, one I absolutely hated. If I lived here, I’d need to try a few more teachers before I committed, but it’s a neat little studio off Guadalupe.
- Efficient Exercise – scoped out this personal training studio for mom, and signed her up for a month with (studly) personal trainer Jason Smith.
- CrossFit Central Downtown – the og gym in a beautiful new spot.