Learning by Doing: Lunar New Year at NP Oakland

It’s been a minute since we last blogged.

But today felt worth reflecting on. We’re well on our way into 2019, we’re well over a year into this #FreeFitness thing in Oakland, and today was yet another example of us Californians pretending we’re as #weatherproof as the rest of the country. (IT’S KIND OF COLD HERE, OKAY.)

And, we celebrated Lunar New Year this week. Which inspired us to get a little creative with our workout today. Well. More creative than usual. Hopefully.

We LOVE our spot by Lake Merritt. The lake is a runner’s paradise: nice and flat, not too big, well lit, filled with green spaces, accessible in every way. It’s the beating heart of the City of Oakland, especially if you’re looking to get in some steps and some sunshine. The Boating Center is a welcome home. We get to watch the sunrise over the water every Wednesday morning (well, at least the mornings Karl the Fog doesn’t commute over from the West Bay).

But without any wide open fields, tracks, stairs, or real hills, the *one* problem with our spot is that it can be hard to mix the workouts up, work different muscle groups, and give each Wednesday it’s own vibe. No one has complained about this, but we (Rebecca and Alex) want to push ourselves to make our workouts as fun and fresh as possible.

So this morning, in honor of Lunar New Year, we tried Dragon Sprints: long stretches of single-file jogging while the runner in the back sprints to the front. And, cards on the table: we know it didn’t quite work. The lines were a little too long, the route was a little too meandering, and the sprinting was a little too tight on some of those paths.

We don’t say this to stick our tail between our legs or to make excuses. We both thought it was a fun, challenging workout that kept everyone moving in the frigid (low 40s) cold. No, we’re bringing this up for a much more positive reason:

Learning by doing.

We show up every week and we spend time coming up with new workouts and figure out how we’re going to lead them, how we’re going to make sure NP Oakland is respecting the public spaces we share with our community, and how to make Wednesday mornings as fun, tough, and inclusive as possible. But we don’t do or learn a single thing without this tribe. We’ve learned so much about how to put together a good workout over the past year+ and it’s because you all show up every Wednesday and throw yourselves in the deep end of, honestly, the type of workout that few have every done before. Sometimes they’re amazing. Sometimes they’re less than amazing. We aim for the former. But we learn from the latter.

Today was a great workout, if not a perfect one. And that’s kind of exciting in a different way. You can be sure that we’ll be doing Dragon Sprints again sometime soon, just perhaps not quite how we did them this morning.



  • HAPPY HOUR TONIGHT. Meet at 7th West at 6pm for some drinks and good times. New location for us!
  • RECRUITMENT MONTH: Keep bringing your friends! Track your recruiting here.
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One Reply to “Learning by Doing: Lunar New Year at NP Oakland”

  1. Keep on keeping on. We all enjoy being part of this community. I wish I could be there more but life circumstances change but will be back when I can.

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