This past weekend I had the pleasure of trying a new-to-REI class, TrailCross, at Discovery Park and let me be the first to tell you… this sport ROCKS!

Well, sport is a loose definition of it since there are no competitions (that I know of) yet, so really it could still be in the “activity” group.  Either way that it is classified, TrailCross allows you to take your running to the trails (which come to find out is a great way for those with Plantar Fasciitis to still find your stride) but then adding the integration of core exercises such as yoga, Pilates and strength training, this is certainly going to become a sport soon.  And what better way to enjoy the outdoors MORE, than to take your training routine into nature!

I signed up for the class on the REI Outdoor School website and received an email of a equipment list ahead of class to prepare.  We met our instructor and group members in the parking lot and after briefly discussing our backgrounds and an overview of the class, we were off and trail-crossing!

Since each class adjusts to the participants, we all enjoyed a more relaxed session and asked many questions of our instructor the whole time.  In fact, during this class I was assured once again that REI picks some of the most well-versed and active outdoor enthusiasts for its Instructors.  I have taken a hand-full of classes this year at multiple locations and for multiple sports and every, single, time the Instructor is the BEST!  I’ve completely come to the realization that REI staff is literally some of the top professionals in outdoor world hands-down and I’m not going to ever question this fact again.  If you want to learn a sport, definitely take a class through REI’s Outdoor School!  You will never be disappointed.

After getting out and stretching our legs for a bit, we stopped at a paved area and started our first of 5 different cross-training intervals.  These intervals were everything from upper, lower or core body conditioning to push and pull ups on tree trunks to Pilates in the field and our Instructor rounded it all off nicely with some animal-walking techniques.  Never did I realize how much trying to walk like an Alligator would take so much concentration and coordination!  But don’t fear, if you don’t want to do any of these exercises you don’t have to; not everybody wants to know how a crab crawls (but it is pretty interesting).

At the end of the two-hour class I felt more secure in my body’s ability to handle multiple outdoor situations; and with the connection to nature, the diversity of the skills this sport offered, and my ability to give my weary heels a rest from pavement, I know TrailCross is staying in my training routine now.

If you have a TrailCross class listed in your area, I highly recommend learning it; and while you’re at it, give yourself another reason to get outdoors and enjoy the world around you!

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