If I were to describe the summer of 2016 in one word, it would be “change.” Last August, my boyfriend’s job unexpectedly brought us to Dallas. Within 30 days, I packed up my San Francisco apartment, found a new job with a local marketing agency, and for the first time in my life moved outside of a two hour radius of my hometown in California. A new city, a new state, a new job, and a new home = a lot of change!

After settling in Dallas, I instantly started to search for a new community and routine. Car-less (owning a car is not always necessary in San Francisco), I wandered through Uptown in the heat trying to get a sense of the neighborhood. I was eager to find a go-to coffee shop, sushi restaurant, and of course, a place to workout.

My parents instilled the importance of exercise in me from an early age. In his twenties, my dad played professional baseball in Italy and my mom was a dancer and gymnast, so fitness has always been a part of my lifestyle. Back in the Bay Area, my workout routine consisted of running, lifting weights and playing touch football. While I could easily replicate my weight program, I was looking for a new challenge to replace the cardio, as running in this Texas heat wasn’t in the cards for me. (Fast forward 9 months later, you’ll now find me running on the Katy Trail every Monday night with the Surf and Turf crew …)

When I accidentally stumbled upon Whit’s Beach Body Bootcamp in Uptown, there happened to be an opening in the class. I was feeling spontaneous and Whit (and Brody) warmly invited me to join. I got my butt kicked! Not only did I have trouble balancing on the board, but I also felt my athleticism challenged in a new, fun way that went by crazy fast.

I don’t know if it was the new exposure to southern hospitality or the endorphins produced during the workout, but I felt the most positive energy in the studio. The other surfers in the class asked me about my move, how I was liking Dallas, and gave me their favorite recommendations for exploring the city. Over the next several weeks, I came back to try Pipeline, Big Kahuna and Circuits, and made an easy decision to become a member.

City Surf has directly impacted my Dallas experience. For the past 11 months, I’ve spent most of my mornings in the studio becoming stronger, faster, and toned while at the same time feeling challenged by a new move or variation. It’s an accessible, fun way to exercise for both serious athletes and for those new to working out. As a bonus, between the classes, volleyball tournaments, 5K races, and community events I’ve also met tons of people and made some great friendships.

Almost one year later, I am happy to say I am enjoying my new life in Texas and that the word “change” no longer describes my summer. City Surf has been an integral part of that. Peace and popups!