Holiday burn

’Tis the season for getting fit; plus, a few farewells.

As I write this, pain is idling in my thighs. Any movement, however slight, revives it and reminds me of the 100-plus squats I did two nights ago. And all of them with weight. What was I thinking? I don’t do squats (though I probably should). Heck, my idea of a good workout is 20 minutes on a stationary bike (while reading), followed by some light weightlifting, maybe some situps.

But, workout classes are fun. They get me pumped to exercise. So when Romie Steffenson called me up a week or so ago and invited me to try out a class at her new gym, Crossfit Rack It, I said I’d give it a try. I’d of course heard of crossfit—but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. I was about to find out.

For my introduction, I found myself inside a large, open shop space along the Skyway (by Italian Cottage), flanked by almost a dozen other people in workout clothes talking casually as everyone assembled.

Trainer Kyle walked us through the evening. First: 10 minutes or so of stretches. Standard enough. Then came 15 minutes of front squats—with a long weight bar held across our shoulder blades at the throat. I didn’t push myself past 25 pounds. The more seasoned among the group, though, worked their way up to 100, 200-plus. A competition of sorts, Kyle recorded our highest numbers on the white board.

Then came the big push. We split into groups of three and rotated among three stations: row machine, jump rope and medicine ball squats. Oh, boy. Here’s where I did the bulk of those squats—100, to be exact (yes, we kept count). My team didn’t “win,” but Steffenson assured me crossfit is more about competing with yourself than with others. That certainly felt like the vibe.

Steffenson started Crossfit Rack It after retiring from the legal world, and the background of her partner and fellow trainer, Corinne Carter, is in payroll for Chico Unified School District. They’re hoping to foster a nurturing environment at their new gym. For more info, find Crossfit Rack It (2520 Dominican Drive) on Facebook or call 636-4038.

Farewell … Businesses come and go ’round these parts. This week, I learned of two closings, though both will maintain a presence in town. The first, Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies, was located in that strip mall at the northwest corner of Mangrove and Vallombrosa avenues. Decent smoothies, but I never saw much action happening in that spot. Too bad. The good news: Maui Wowi’s Facebook page says the local franchisee will continue offering catering and running a cart at local events.

The second restaurant closing I came across was downtown’s Bulldog Taqueria. The eatery was based on the flagship taco stand in Oroville and expanded into Chico, first on Nord Avenue and then downtown on Second Street (next to Brooklyn Bridge Bagel Works). Back in May, the downtown location was bought by veteran employee Mayra Becerra. Check out Chico’s original Bulldog at 995 Nord Ave.