Bliss On The Bay

22 Sep

Bliss On The Bay #GOTBLISSWe are one week away from Baltimore’s inaugural standup paddleboard event. Bliss On The Bay, “Baltmore’s premier land and sea wellness event” is taking place next Saturday, September 28th at Ultimate Watersports.

This event has been in the works for many months and I am proud to say that I have been involved since its inception. I remember the chilly day back in March when myself, Chris Steer, Jon Cardin and Hal Ashman stood on Hammerman Beach in our winter coats and gloves. In that first meeting we threw around dozens of ideas about how this event would unfold. We weren’t exactly sure what the event would look like but we did know one thing…we wanted to bring the areas first SUP race to Baltimore and we wanted it to be unlike any other SUP event in the country. And rest assured, after months of planning and preparation, Bliss On The Bay is Baltimore’s first SUP race and it is indeed unlike any other SUP event out there.

So, what makes Bliss On The Bay different than the hundreds of races that are popping up all over the country?

PF6For starters, this event is MUCH more than just an SUP race. Although the initial idea developed from the concept of hosting a race, the event has evolved into much more. Once we partnered with our beneficiary, the HopeWell Cancer Support Center, the event planning committee decided we wanted to create an event that was more in line with the mission of this non-profit.  HopeWell strives to provide support to families going through a cancer diagnosis, they provide a sense of hope to the patient and their family. We wanted to create a day on the bay where families could let go of the stress of their every day lives and could let loose and have a fun filled day out by the water. Among HopeWell’s many offerings is yoga for families undergoing cancer treatment. This got us thinking… when you think about the feeling associated with “walking on water” AKA standup paddle boarding and the feeling you receive when fully immersed in your yoga practice, one common feeling that came up over and over again was BLISS.  Bliss is defined as extreme happiness or ecstasy. So, why not create an event which encouraged families to tap in to that happiness and feeling of pure bliss.

Now I know where the name came from, but what can I expect if I come to Bliss On The Bay?

The day will kick off with a SUP race. And rest assured, you do not, I repeat, DO NOT have to have ANY prior paddling experience to participate in the 2.5 rec race. In fact, we encourage beginners to come out for this event. This is all about having a good time out on the water. If you do have a couple of races under you belt and are looking for a challenging race course, we will have that for you as well. The elite 5 mile race will challenge the hard core paddlers.


Directly after the race will be a FloYo™, paddleboard yoga class. The hope is that all the racers will stick around, on the water, and enjoy a gentle FloYo™ practice to help them stretch those tired muscles. The class is open to anyone who wants to try the ultimate core challenge and we will have boards available for rent.

Following the FloYo™ class will be a community yoga class. This class is taught by four amazing instructors from some of Baltimore’s top yoga studios. The instructors will lead an all levels class with a theme of hope.

Throughout the day there will be kids activities taking place. These include sand castle building, face painting, family yoga workshops and a kids SUP obstacle race. There will also be a wellness village with vendors and fitness demonstrations (including a SB Barre demo at 1pm!) and live music.


What if I have never tried SUP and don’t really have any desire to?

It’s ok! You do not have to have any prior standup paddleboard experience and you don’t even have to get on the water to attend the event. There will be plenty of other activities going on. Plus, it is a great way to support an amazing, local, non profit and spend the day outside on the beautiful Chesapeake bay!outdoor kids yoga

This sounds like fun, sign me up!

There is an online registration for all components of the event. Pre-registration is open until Wednesday, September 25th at midnight. We will also be accepting walk-up registrations. Although we will be taking credit cards on site, we highly encourage day-of registrations to bring cash or check to speed up the registration process.

Still have questions?
Email me!


A free hour of POWER!

6 Aug

As you may know, for many years I have had a love/hate relationship with yoga. Since high school I have tried to work yoga in to my regular fitness routine. I have known that both my mind and body need a regular practice of yoga, but yet it was never enjoyable to me and thus not something I made an effort to fit into my busy schedule.

That all changed about 3 years ago when I went to a free yoga class inside the lululemon show room in Fells Point. The instructor was Marcus Lee and it was not until that hour-long class that I knew how yoga was truly supposed to feel. I left the showroom feeling empowered, energized and with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Gratitude towards lululemon for finally introducing me to a practice that fit for me, gratitude towards my body for moving in ways I did not know possible, gratitude towards Marcus for helping me achieve a state of mind that let me truly disconnect from my day and reconnect with my body. I think what stood out about this class was the power the surrounded the hour. The power in Marcus’ voice, the power in the movements we flowed through, the power in the breath that filled the small showroom.  It was unlike any yoga class I had ever attended (and believe me I had attended dozens of classes in cities all over the world).

When I looked up the schedule where Marcus taught (Sid Yoga, which was then called Lifeline Power Yoga), I saw Sid McNairy’s name on the schedule next to class called Hour Of Power. It suddenly clicked, that sense of power I knew and loved from Marcus’s class was the essence behind Power Yoga and after trying pretty much every style out there, Power Yoga was what fit for me. Now even within the realm of power yoga, there were some teachers and classes I loved, and others I could do without. But it was the Baptiste Inspired power yoga class that spoke to me the most. This style is based on ashtanga yoga, which is fast-paced and intense. It includes constant movement that flows from one pose to the next, and the series of poses is set and unvarying with each session. I love the intensity of each class and I love that I leave not only with a clear mind but with sore abs and drenched in sweat.


If you are anything like me and have been searching for the right style of yoga for your 

life, don’t give up yet! Keep trying different styles and instructors until you find one that clicks. Be open minded when you try different studios and try not to feel overwhelmed with the wide selection of studios and styles of yoga. If you are patient you will find what works for you, and it will be life changing!

If you are interested in trying power yoga, this week Sid will be offering free classes at Sid Yoga in Towson. There are a variety of classes offered for free this week and there are always community classes available for anyone to come try. Check out the schedule here. And, to all my city friends…get excited because the latest Sid Yoga studio is opening in Federal Hill later this summer!






FloYo™ Preview

23 Jul

Check out a preview of a FloYo™ fitness class! Classes are offered every weekend in Middle River, MD. Check out the FloYo™ Facebook Page for more information!

Summer SUP’in!

22 Jul

Can you believe August is almost here? Why is it that summer always seems to fly by? 

I must say that my first summer working out on the water and not in an office has been quite enjoyable! The past few weeks have been filled with lots of time on the water with both FloYo™ classes and SUP races. I have loved every second of it!

If you have not made it to a FloYo™ class yet, take out your calendar and schedule it now before it is too late! Classes are offered every Saturday morning at 10:30 am and Sunday’s at noon at Ultimate Watersports. If you would like to schedule a private session or a private class with friends, let me know!

Take a peak at a few of the photos that Andy Herbick Photography got a few weeks ago. More photos will be available on the new FloYo™ website, which is coming soon!



FloYo™ Begins June 9

5 Jun
FloYo Begins June 9

Are you ready to get your FloYo™ on?? Classes begin this Sunday, June 9th at Ultimate Watersports!! Click on the picture for more details and class times!

FloYo™ Facebook Page!!

14 May


Well, it’s official. FloYo™ finally has it’s own Facebook page! FloYo™ is a standup paddleboard fitness class that I developed last year. I have been working hard to fine tune the class and develop a curriculum and manual so I can begin training other instructors to teach FloYo™ classes. I have a video in the works to show you first hand what a FLoYo™ class consists of. In the meantime, please check out (and LIKE!) my page.


Preakness Playlist

14 May

Ask and you shall receive! I had a few people ask me for this week’s playlist after last nights spin class at Merritt Fort Ave. All the artists in the playlist will be performing this weekend at Pimlico for the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes. I tried to play a decent variety of the artists who will be in town this weekend (Afrojack, Chevelle, Florida Georgia Line, Rodney Atkins, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and of course Pitbull), but not surprising it turned into a primarily Pitbull mix. You know how much I love Pitbull! 


You can find the full playlist here:

And don’t forget to follow me on Spotify for my weekly playlists! 


Workout Partners

26 Apr

For me, finding a workout partner has been one of the best ways to stay motivated while working towards my fitness goals. At the moment I have two main workout partners: Nicole my running partner and Trey my gym partner.

Nicole and I first met when I was her “New Triathlete Mentor”. We were randomly paired together when Nicole was first getting in to triathlons. When I was first assigned as her mentor I was nervous! Although I had a few tri’s under my belt, I by no means was an expert triathlete. We started running together last April and through the many miles we have run together have become very good friends. Having a running partner who runs at a similar pace and has similar running goals has been the key to keeping me running. As I mentioned in my Music City post, I am not a big fan of running so meeting Nicole on a weekly basis for runs has helped me get through the training and kept me motivated to continue running. When we run together the miles fly by whereas when I run alone they drag on and on. We have not yet done a race together, but seem to always be training for similar distance races.


Trey introduced himself to me when we were both doing our own workouts in a group ex studio at Merritt. He was curious about some of the towel moves I was doing so introduced himself and asked if he could join me. After that first workout together it was clear that we made a great workout pair. His perfectly toned body helped motivate me to up my reps and push myself a bit harder in each workout. We tend to do a lot of bootcamp classes together and I have found that when he is next to me in class I push myself  much harder- I do my burpees and mountain climbers a bit faster and use heavier weights on my lunges and squats. Plus, Trey’s unbelievable six pack has inspired me to get my core a bit more toned and bikini ready by Memorial Day. He keeps me accountable for my workouts and diet by doing weekly progress check-in’s on Tuesdays. And we have even teamed up as partners for Merritt’s Mission42 challenge.

Here are the few reasons why I highly recommend finding yourself a workout partner!


Having an exercise partner will help keep you motivated. When working out alone it is easy to quit early, keep your weight low or simply not give 100% effort. However, having your partner along side of your for your workout will keep you motivated to push harder and give your all.  Plus, your partner can give you verbal encouragement, both during your workout and in between sessions (pre/post workout motivational text messages or Facebook messages are great!).


Knowing that your workout partner will be waiting for you at the gym at the crack of dawn will hold you accountable to show up. Knowing someone else is relying on you will help keep you accountable for each and every workout. Plus, scheduling your workouts will lead to a more consistent, regimented and disciplined workout schedule.


Working out with a partner will help you stay on track and avoid distractions during your workout. It is easy to lower your intensity or get sidetracked when working out solo, but when with a partner you will be more efficient with your workout getting right to work the second you step into the gym with your partner.


Your workout partner will help enhance the quality of each workout session by helping increase the intensity of your workouts. By pushing each other you will notice that you are enhancing your workout experience and also avoid hitting those workout plateaus that are so common.

When choosing your workout partner there are some important things to keep in mind! One item to think about is the current level of athleticism and fitness of your partner AND yourself.  You should find a training partner that is reasonably close your current fitness levels (strength, endurance, overall athleticism, etc.) because if you and your partner are at completely different levels of physical fitness then you risk creating an environment where it is easy to get frustrated with one another. So, what else do you need to look for when selecting your workout partner? Below are a few pointers!

  • Prompt and dependable- you want a partner who you can rely on and will show up to planned workouts.
  • Discipline- a partner who is disciplined will help you stick with your own training plan.
  • Clear communication- your partner should be someone who you can clearly and comfortably communicate with (you don’t want to feel uncomfortable telling them that you need to back down or amp up a particular workout or exercise).
  • Complimentary- No, not someone who provides lots of compliments (although that might be a good plus!), but someone who complements your own strengths and weaknesses. This will help you use your strengths to your advantage and work on improving your areas of weakness. 


Watch Out Music City!

22 Apr

Back in January I spent two days in Orlando getting my PaddleFit certification (check out the post all about this certification here) and one of the best parts of those two days were the amazing friends I made in the process of getting certified. All of the participants had one thing in common- our love of SUP- and I knew that our passion for paddle boarding would be enough to form lasting friendships. And sure enough it has and in a few days I am headed to Nashville to visit and paddle with two of the amazing women I met during my certification, Liz and Margaret!

Liz is one of Nashville’s best power yoga instructors. Check out here website to see for yourself just how awesome she is! Margaret is a fantastic journalist and owner of Nashville Paddle Company.

Both Liz and Margaret live in the heart of Music City.  And considering the fact that Nashville has been on my list of “Places to Visit” for several years now I decided there is no time like the present. Plus, I get to combine 3 of my favorite things while visiting good friends both old (I will be staying with several of my good friends from Rollins College!) and new!


So, what are those 3 favorite things you ask? Read below…

1. FloYo!

By now you know all about my sincere love of FloYo and I have made it my goal to take this class all over the country (and world!) so wherever I travel, FloYo comes with me! I have teamed up with Nashville Paddle Company to co-teach a FloYo class with Liz. We will be offering a special 90 minute edition of FloYo on Sunday at 1pm at Smith Springs Recreation Area. To sign up for the class visit


2. Trying new races! (Hello, Country Music ½ Marathon!)

I have a love-hate relationship with running. I do it regularly. I am not really sure why I do it, because about 75% of the time I am running I am thinking about how much I hate running. However, something about completing races keeps me coming back. The sense of camaraderie and accomplishment is enough to keep me coming back for more, race after race. I have done 5k’s, 10k’s, ½ marathons, sprint triathlons, Olympic triathlons and even a ½ Ironman triathlon but I have yet to complete a Rock N ‘Roll Music Marathon event. I always thought this would be a good race series for me to try, after all the more distractions to keep my mind off of the actual task of running the better! Having a band to look forward to every mile along the way seems like a fantastic motivation. Also, I have always been a big country music fan so what better place to try a Rock N Roll event than in the heart of country music itself!

3. Jimmy Buffett!

If you know me or anyone in my immediate family you know I am a HUGE parrothead. I have been going to Buffett concerts since I can remember. The first concert I have a clear memory was when I was about 12 years old and my Dad won front row tickets to the concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion. I got to shake Jimmy’s hand and he signed my “Jolly Mon” book after giving me the night’s set list. Since that day I have been hooked and have been to at least one concert every single year. When I saw that Rock N Roll marathon participants got exclusive access to Buffett tickets I knew it was meant to be. I immediately signed up for the ½ marathon, contacted Liz and Margaret and made this trip a reality. So, I guess you could say it was Buffett that ultimately led me to this fantastic Nashville adventure that is about to unfold! 

Two other very exciting parts of this Nashville Adventure….

1) This will be the first time my sister and I have ever gone on a vacation together- just the two of us! Michelle is an avid runner, and one of those crazy people that actually loves running. It is mind-boggling to me, she is happy and has a smile on her face the ENTIRE 13.1 miles- who does that!?! It also happens to be Michelle’s 34th birthday weekend. So, she is leaving her girls for the weekend (for the 1st time ever!) and heading to Nashville with me. She will also be trying my FloYo class for the 1st time ever while in Nashville. I am so excited to get some quality sister time, even though I know she will leave me in the dust about 2 miles into the race!!  

2) I am finally going to get to meet my long lost fitness twin! A few months ago I stumbled upon a blog called AshleyBensonFitness. The second I saw her last name I was hooked. The more I researched the blog the more I realized that this was not just a random finding, this was somehow meant to be. Ashley Benson is a mom, a fitness trainer and a healthy living advocate who lives in Tennessee. Not only do we share the same last name, we also share the same passion for fitness and healthy living. She even leads fitness vacations, just like me! I am stoked that Ashley is going to come take my FloYo class on Sunday and we will finally get to meet in person! More to come on Ashley Benson Fitness in future blog posts!!

Stay tuned here on my blog and on my Instagram account (follow me! @CulturallyFit) for Nashville updates! I plan to Instagram and tweet photos throughout the race and the entire weekend!

New Indoor FloYo Class!

19 Apr


Are you still hesitant about trying FloYo, my paddleboard yoga class?? Well, you have another opportunity to try out the class from the comfort of an indoor, heated pool! I am currently teaching at the Bel Air Athletic Club in Harford County, MD. This is the perfect opportunity to test out the waters and get comfortable on the board before heading outside with me in May!

Classes are being offered on Sunday’s and Thursday’s from 10:15-11:15am. The drop in cost is only $25 per class!!

See the flier above and contact Lori Berry ( to register for an upcoming class!