Heading out with this month's leading lady, Gwyn Eggestein (Gwyspiration for Weight Loss), our prestigious Explorer of the Month, 4-Star Explorer geared up for a night that was true to all first experiences: frightening, slightly painful and absolutely exhilarating. For our month centering around New Beginnings we consulted with the social worker turned Weight Watchers success story on just how we could unlock the weight loss warrior in all us and what we had to try at least once. Offering her own brand of "fun fitness", her response on cultivating a fun but health driven evening out was a word I wasn't sure was a real language or not: Zumba. With a start that wasn't so new to me, speeding tardily along the streets and just being an overall bumbling mess dropping clothes and items along my path, my excursion found me meeting a beaming face within the cosmically lit space of Pulse Dance Studio.
Pulse Dance Studio
6800 Cermak Rd
Berwyn, IL 60402
The Real Deal: This hardwood paneled dance studio is the ultimate in venue versatility. Serving as the home base for a multitude of fitness themed classes, Pulse Dance Studio takes an average joe approach to offering varying activities that don't house fancy equipment but work none the less. Straying away from the often pricey antics of most one-note gyms, Pulse does a good job of fostering a shared sense of community that elevates the goal of weight loss as not just getting rid of the pounds but gaining and giving off feelings of confidence. 4-Star Explorer got the chance to chat with owner, Angie Willis, and it's no wonder that sense of support is so prevalent in the studio. Being a former educator, Angie noticed the dwindling funds for physical activity in school and sought out to create an affordable option for residents in the surrounding area. It's most memorable features are fun and high energy classes that shrink your waist and not your wallet. While venturing out with Gwyn, I loved the vigorous but enticing rhythmic movements. I joked between rest periods that the dark lights and booming sounds took me back to my clubbing days, you know before I kicked that awful habit....pause for effect. An area that could use more development could be the lack of dressing facilities in the business. For girls, seeking to make the transformation from mere mortal to after the workout chic would have a time trying to do it within the single sectioned bathing facilities.
What to Bring: Water! lots and lots of it, standard workout clothes and comfortable shoes,
Explorer Type: Health Conscious, Ballers on a Budget
Notable Event: Zumba Monthly Dance Party, Latin Dance
The evening's next stop...
1805 West Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
The Real Deal: I am making a prediction...sushi bars will make a strong comeback in popularity this year. Not that I ever knew there to be a sushi bar decline, I'm just saying. I know when it comes to reviewing local business I tend to be agreeable bordering on pushover but I've got to say, if there were a hall of fame of 4-Star exploration Bob San would be one of the city's crowning achievements. After all the moving and thrusting from our previous event, the Gwyspirational weight loss blogger and myself sat down for a metaphoric trip to the far east. Imagine our surprise when the charismatic server we made light chit chat with was none other than owner, Bob Bee. In a series of events that you'd have to be there to appreciate, we talked about everything from kicking smoking habits, running marathons, the subtlety of sushi selections to how to find eligible suitors. We shared our personal morsels of experience between mouthfuls of the restaurants tasty and filling portions, all averaging between 200-500 calories for every six pieces. No ups or downs here, only pros and more pros. Great price, beautiful decor, excellent service and did we mention it's connected to Bob San Karaoke? The greatest karaoke bar mentioned in a previous article. Come out and visit Bob San asap-ually and experience Bob's mantra of "there is no special celebrity treatment, all of my customers are celebrities." Finally...I've been trying to get Rahm Emmanuel to sanction a parade for me.
What to Bring: Your appetite, Money for drinks, and the Courage to sing in front of strangers
Explorer Type: Foodie, Nightlife
Notable Menu Item: The California Roll and Spicy Tuna Crunch serve as a shared pleasantry for both the sushi novice and officiant alike.
What places/ideas have you found offer the best fun, exciting and affordable activities for the calories counters among us?
For more pictures from this and other events around the city, check out our facebook page at Facebook.com/4StarExplorer and don't forget to hit the "like" button! Have somewhere for us to venture out next? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.