I have this saying, “I work on myself when it suits me.” And ever since 2020, when the world shut down and there was nothing to do, I’ve been dabbling in exercising. A long walk here, a hike through Stanky Creek there, PopSugar YouTube videos sprinkled throughout the week — I’ve done a little bit of everything. Through virtual classes offered by Fit4Mom and Downtown Yoga, and outdoor exercise classes offered by Wolf River Conservatory, I was able to keep the Covid 15, a weight gain of 15 lbs., to a respectable Covid 10. But the way my body is set up, any weight gain was inevitable.
So at the beginning of 2022, I decided I wanted to switch up my workout routine. I spent most of January doing Zumba on my Nintendo Switch. But I found myself shortening the workouts. A 30-minute Zumba session turned to 15, and then quickly to 10. In February, my job had a steps challenge. So I was at least motivated to move more throughout the day so I wouldn’t “look bad” in front of my peers. It worked … mostly. But I was still in a fitness rut. Then a co-worker mentioned wanting to sign up for an adult yoga class at The Collage Dance Collective. I knew that they had an amazing reputation for nurturing kids into incredible dancers, but I didn’t know that they extended their talent to adults too. So I checked out their website and behold — dance classes.
Even though I love to dance, I didn’t want to engage in this new activity by myself. So I reached out to my best friend, my buddy, my forever date … my husband! His response came quickly and unstrained, “Immediately, no. No, babe. Not at all.” But I didn’t let the first “no” stop me. I asked a few more times throughout the week and surprisingly got the same answer. (A solid “no” if you weren’t sure.)
Not one to be thwarted, I decided to make it a Girls’ Date Night. So I reached out to a few of my girls and explained what I’d discovered. So, on a Wednesday, my sister and I arrived just in time for the Zumba workout. Here’s what I learned about myself:
So now that I have an awesome exercise routine and can soon be called a ballerina, I needed an awesome reward to match it. There are three ways I reward myself: books, food, and experiences. And if I could mesh all three together — golden! With my TBR list being over 50 books and dancing at The Collage being an experience within itself, the only choice left was food. But I wanted my food to compliment my new workouts, not hinder everything I’d done. I’m also not a lettuce type of girl. I need something flavorful and filling while being healthy at the same time. I found just the place right across the street.
Inspire Community Cafe serves some deliciously healthy foods. Coffee, tea, breakfast served all day, quesadillas, rice or quinoa bowls, chili, barbecue nachos, and smoothies! And that’s just the short version. I love their egg scrambles. Although, after a hard workout, there’s only one way to treat my inner child. That’s right — Choco-Monkey Pancakes! These pancakes are so delicious; they’re made from a gluten-free batter with chocolate chips sprinkled generously throughout the batter and topped with thickly sliced bananas. Usually, gluten free bread items have this gritty taste to them, but I had honestly eaten these pancakes three or four times before I looked closely at the menu. All of their pancakes are gluten free.
But if you’re not a pancake person, I would recommend an Egg-cellent. It’s scrambled eggs topped with your choice of veggies and meat. I ask for everything and the kitchen sink in mine. Pro-Tip: Get it with a side of toast and jelly. Oh, and an extra slice of bacon. The Breakfast Quesadilla is also delicious. But if you decide to go that route, be warned … It's huge!
While Inspire Community Cafe serves breakfast all day, their lunch menu is not to be ignored either. The Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken Quesadilla does not disappoint.
Both of these amazing places, The Collage Dance Collective and Inspire Community Cafe, can be found in Binghampton, at the corner of Tillman and Sam Cooper. The adult dance classes can range from $6-8 per class. A delicious meal at Inspire Community Cafe can range from $5 on up, depending on your appetite. But your experience at both places … priceless.
Gotta love it, mane!
In which hip hop cardio is completed, calories are burned, and chocolate pancakes make for an “Egg-cellent” reward.
The Collage Dance Collective 901-800-1873 IG: @collagedance; Inspire Community Cafe 901-509-8640 IG: @inspirecommunitycafe