Realizing my resolution |

Realizing my resolution

Photo for The Union by John Hart
John R. Hart |

With the conclusion of 2012, so closes the wildest, most trying athletic year of my life.

In an attempt to meet my New Year’s resolution of getting in shape, I embarked on a voyage through the Nevada County fitness scene, docking at a different workout facility each month of the past year.

Despite not meeting my goal of being able to dunk a basketball by 2013 (A lofty goal to say the least), I did lose 24 pounds, dropping from 257 to 233, I ran in two Gold Country Grand Prix 5K races (taking second-place in my age group in the Hunger 5K), and managed to stay active throughout the entire year.

I feel healthier than I have in years, and the effects from my year of working out in Nevada County are being felt in all aspects of my life. I am able to keep up with my two rambunctious daughters, my rec-league softball skills were at an all time high, and now I feel confident that I can do anything athletically that I put my mind to.

And from my year-long fitness journey new goals have sprouted, inspired by the people and places I have visited. So, even though my 2012 resolution is over, the journey continues with new goals and higher expectations from myself.

In 2013, I have made the resolution to run a sprint triathlon. I’m not sure which one yet. I still have quite a bit of training to do.

As for 2012, I want to thank the many people that took me in for a month and put me to the test, showing me what Nevada County has to offer in the way of fitness.

Her is a quick recap of the people, places and things I encountered in my effort to realize my resolution.


Bikram Yoga Grass Valley/Nevada City

What a way to kick off the new year. Bikram Yoga not only puts your body to the test, but your mind as well. Yoga was a difficult enough idea for me to wrap my mind around, but set in a100 degree environment was almost too much. But, I soldiered through, and by the end of the month I was looking forward to my sessions. I lost weight and gained flexibility in just one month, and the staff at Bikram Yoga Grass Valley/ Nevada City is great about encouraging beginners and helping them acclimate to the conditions.

Details: 900 Golden Gate Terrace #D, Grass Valley; (530) 273-2030;


Powerhouse MMA Training Center

What a workout. A great way to release stress, learn how to throw a proper jab and lose weight.

The training center ran by MMA fighter Lisa Jeanson, is a welcoming place for those interested in the sport, but be prepared to put the work in and catch a few kicks and punches along the way.

Details: 11310 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley; (530) 559-7422;


Rhythms Fitness Studio

One of the best times I had during the past year was at a Rhythms Zumba class. I danced, spun and sauntered around for about an hour with 25 other women. Could anyone ask for anything more in a workout. Rhythms also offers R.I.P.P.E.D, Piloxing and Geri’s Fit Chix as workout options. This is a fun and easy going place that can whip you into shape if you have the drive.

Details: 13479 Colfax Highway, Grass Valley; (530) 273-6844;


South Yuba Club

SYC is one of the county’s most respected and popular workout facilities, and for good reason. The knowledgeable and friendly staff are just part of the facility that offers everything from treadmill’s and free weights to cutting edge classes that feature new and exciting takes on fitness and how to achieve fitness.

Details: 555 Searls Avenue, Nevada City; (530) 470-9100;


Fit Culture Studio

Joey Bratton’s Fit Culture Studio is great for those looking for small group training at an affordable price. Bratton runs all his classes and is always integrating new and interesting exercises that keep the workouts from getting dull. Bratton’s youth and passion are his assets, and his drive to be a healthier person is contagious.

Details: 75 Bost Avenue Unit 6, Nevada City; (530) 265-5342;


Pilates Place

One of the most interesting and trying workouts for me. Pilates is a focused workout that takes discipline and body awareness. This core-centric workout is good for building a stronger body as well as getting the right body parts in the right places. After just one visit I found out that I was all out of whack. Roxanna Cohen and company helped me lower my shoulders raise my chin and hopefully prevent future ailments due to bad posture. Pilates Place is clean, serene place that offers an alternative to traditional gym workouts.

Details: 131 Richardson Street, Grass Valley; (530) 477-5167;


Scott Jackson’s Real Life Fitness

I was sad to hear that just a few months after I worked out at Real Life Fitness that they had closed their doors. Scott Jackson, a Nevada County fitness staple, and his wife Barbi are two of the most knowledgeable trainers I came across in my 12 months. I was happy to hear that Scott is still doing personal training, and is still local.




This was one of those month’s where I could have used some better planning. Running in Nevada County in August was a wake up call for me concerning conditioning and hydrating. It also reminded me that simply running, lacks the zest I usually yearn for in a sport. But, I forged through running trails at Empire Mine and Hirschman’s Trail, leading up to my triumphant second-place (in my age group) finish at the Hunger 5K.


Form is Function (Kettlebell training)

Eric Kenyon, trainer and owner of form is function, is one of the most passionate and knowledgable people you will ever meet concerning Kettlebells. Kenyon works with all walks of life and has developed a program that gets immediate results no matter what your athletic background is. If Kettlebells seem interesting to you, I suggest you talk and train with Kenyon and Form is Function.

Details: (510) 393-2568;


IronWorks Athletic Club

For a guy like me who works late hours and has a hard time fitting the gym into his daily routine, having a gym that is open 24 hours a day is great. Ironworks has all the essentials, treadmills, stationary bikes, free weights, and a room in the back for cross training. Owner Steve Matthews, a decorated power lifter, is usually roaming around and offers a wealth of personal knowledge and experience.

Details: 153 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley; (530) 272-9462;


Club Sierra

A little bit of everything under one roof. Club Sierra has Zumba, Yoga, a pool, free weights, treadmills, tennis, cross training with Brandon Bergeron and much more. This welcoming place has a friendly staff, large locker rooms and a list of classes and options that will keep any workout from getting mundane.

Details: 130 West Berryhill Drive, Grass Valley; (530) 477-8800;


Real Wheels Bicycle Studio

What better way to end a year-long cycle of workouts than on a bicycle. After spending a month busting my rump on a bike, I have a new found respect for cyclists and the strength of mind and body it takes to be a compete. Real Wheels offers a simulator class that can help any rider, novice or professional, reach their goals. It’s a laid back place that anyone, rider or not, can feel comfortable at.

Details: 121 Argall Way, Nevada City; (530) 478-5888;

Now that 2012 is complete, I will continue to work out in efforts of reaching my goal of competing in a triathlon as well as my quest to once again dunk. Only this time I won’t be writing about it monthly. But, if anyone has a workout or fitness program that they think the community should know about, let me know and I will give it a whirl and report back.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call (530) 477-4232 or email him at

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