Bookmark This: The Philly Fitness Lover’s Ultimate Spring Bucket List

We talked to 17 Philly fitness pros to find out what they hope to cross off of their bucket lists this spring.

Despite our recent complete immersion in snow and ice with Stella, or maybe because of it, we are now excited about the start of spring more than ever. There are a slew of new healthy eateries popping up around the city, and we can’t wait to go explore trails, try out new spring races, and generally be outside without our fingers feeling like they are about to freeze off. To expand on this excitement, we chatted with 17 Philly fitness pros to find out what’s on their spring fitness bucket lists once the city thaws out. Soak up some inspiration for your own must-do list below.

1. Jon Lyons, founder of Run215, says, “I want to do more trail running. I do 99 percent of my running through the Philly Streets, but this spring I want to dedicate (hopefully) half of my time getting lost in the city and local area trails. I mean, the Wissahickon has over 50 miles of trails, and it’s right in our backyard! Hawk Mountain has been on my must-do list for YEARS, and honestly I don’t have too many good excuses why I haven’t been there yet. I don’t know if this necessarily falls into the local category on the Philly level, but I think it’s so important to get away from the concrete for a minute. It’s a life goal to hike the Appalachian Trail someday, so for now I’ll have to accept the little snippet that runs along Hawk Mountain (Ya know, along with the breathtaking panoramic mountain views and epic trails).”

2. Katie Costalas, co-owner of RippedPHL, says, “I’d like to participate in the Big Climb Philly Challenge in May, which is climbing 900 steps to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I also would like to make it into Vedge, since I have yet to go.”

3. Wylie Belasik, owner of CrossFit Center City and founder of UliftU, a nonprofit organization that helps the unemployed, formerly incarcerated and homeless with job training and assistance paired with physical fitness, says, “I want to get out and chasing some of our athletes around Valley Forge on my bike. I always forget how beautiful it is out there when cooped up in the city all winter. Also, I want to drag my lazy bulldog out to Washington Square more often (he’ll be the one trying to eat a sprinkler!).”

4. Takia McClendon, cofounder of City Fit Girls, says, “I’m looking forward to trying a class at the new SoulCycle in Rittenhouse, running in the Run for Clean Air in April, and outdoor yoga on the Schuylkill River Banks.

5. Amanda Collett, manager of Community Partnerships at Students Run Philly Style, says, “Try a rowing class: Rowzone has classes from beginner to boot camp to row and flow. I want to try row and flow, but I’ve never rowed on an ERG, so a beginner’s class would probably be good, too! I also want to try the GoalsFit five-week burn off program. It’s a five-week intensive for a small group of people trying to burn off fat. Lots of HIIT/boot camp, small-group training, and a suggested nutrition plan. Kasey Manwaring is incredible, so the time to train with her makes it worth it. Last, I would like to run at least part, if not all, of the four corners of the Wissahickon Creek Park. The run is approximately 20 miles in total, but can be broken up into smaller pieces.”

6. Charbel Sarkis, co-owner of RippedPHL, says, “I’d like to hike Pinnacle and Pulpit Rock. I’d also like to try Charlie Was a Sinner, because who doesn’t like a ‘healthy’ cocktail?”

7. Jen Wendowski, owner of Yoga Habit in Fairmount, says, “I want to check out the new Stripp’d Juice in Fishtown and try all the yummy food on their expanded menu. (And slso give Khoran, the owner, a high five and hug for opening his second location!) I’d also like to hit up Mama’s Wellness Joint’s Baby Bump Boot Camp, since my new baby bump is starting to pop and I want to stay fit with the support of other moms and moms-to-be.”

8. Leanne Weiner, founder of free fitness group the Liberators, says, “For fun and fitness, my bucket list includes *resuming* aerial classes at Secret Circus Philly to get my core, arms, and shoulders summer- ready and spending a day hiking the eight-mile Tohickon Gorge trail at Ralph Stover State Park to unwind with nature.”

9. Suzanne Allaire, co-founder of November Project Philadelphia and event marketing at Runner’s World, says, “The Broad Street Run is number one on my bucket list every spring! Whether running, cheering, or party hopping after, it is surely one of my favorite days in Philadelphia! This spring, I’m looking forward to taking my fitness up a notch with some more cross training and I’m really interested in the F.I.T. classes at Roots Athletics. I’m hoping to make them a spring regular for me. I took my first as a free Be Well Philly class and I’m hooked! Looks like Fit Academy is going to start their outdoor classes at the Art Museum steps again soon, too, and I’m excited to get out and push myself a bit more with that crew too. Their training always pushes me out of my comfort zone in a positive, fun way and with the spring temps coming soon, being outside while doing so is a must for me!”

10. Rebecca Barber, creator of the original Rocky 50K, says, “I’m really eager to try Wiz Kid when the new location opens in Rittenhouse. Maybe it’s not totally healthy, but veganized versions of things like cheesesteaks sounds awesome to me! I’m also eager to try the new Orangetheory Fitness studio that opened up here. I like the idea of mixing cardio and weight lifting, especially when there’s a heart-rate monitor component so I can see really how much I’m burning.”

11. Beth Blendell, co-leader of November Project Philadelphia, lists what’s on her bucket list, saying, “The new location of Stripp’d Juice in Fishtown. I love their juice (yummm, Woodermelon) and acai bowls and I can’t wait to try their new hot foods! I want to do the Run for Clean Air 5K. This was one of my first races three years ago and my first 5K breaking 20 minutes. Fast and flat along the river, and I’m going to drag my family, who are visiting from out of town, along!”

12. Kiera Smalls, cofounder of City Fit Girls, says, “I’m planning on Indego bike rides along Kelly Drive and MLK Drive, and playing in the Wissahickon!”

13. Elizabeth McHale, program coordinator, Back on My Feet Philadelphia, says she’s going to “Make homemade almond milk, bike from Philly to Valley Forge via the Schuylkill River Trail and back on a nice spring day, and take an outdoor yoga class.”

14. John Combs, co-leader of November Project Philadelphia, says, “I want to PR in the Broad Street Run. Although I’m a very active person, I haven’t set a goal for a run in a long time. So, for the first time in a few years, I am following a relatively strict training regimen. I want to go to Yoga Habit; I’ve gone to yoga just a handful of times in my life and every time I leave, I ask myself, ‘Why don’t I do that more often?’ because I always leave feeling ache-free and with a clear mind! So, I need to make it a habit to get to Yoga Habit’s new studio on a regular basis. I also want to get to CrossFit University City. I took one CrossFit class before and loved the competitive nature of it. Cross training has always been a part of my workout routine and getting involved in group activities like this would make those boring workouts at the gym much more enjoyable and rewarding.”

15. Liz Pagonis of Philadelphia Runner, says, “I want to check out a Thrive class at City Fitness, do a Swim Happy Hour in South Philly, and go to the Be Well Philly Boot Camp. I also want to run a new-to-me 5K and take a class at Yoga Habit.”

16. Gary Brown, of trail-running group Chasing Trail, says, “Now that we live back in Roxborough, one of the things I am looking forward to are long walks (or runs) out in the Wissahickon, followed by some cool treats at the Custard Stand, the ice cream place off Ridge Avenue. The best is if you can catch it just before sunset. I can’t wait to race the 17.75 with my sweetie. Over two years ago, I could snag a bib and she was not able to. Last year she got in and I didn’t. This year we are there together!”

17. Daphne Lyon, yoga and meditation teacher, says, “Stripp’d Juice just opened their Fishtown location and the entire menu looks amazing, so I’ll have one of everything, please. I want to try Aqua Vida’s HIIT workout class called AquaFit on the paddleboard with Jenny Lofaro. Jenny is extremely motivating while her workouts are killer, so with the added challenge of balance on the water, this might be the best workout to ever exist.”

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