How to Be Your Best Self in 2019
Take a class, learn a language, find your people
January 10, 2019
We're two weeks into 2019 and – no judgment! – there's a decent chance your New Year's resolutions have already flopped. Perhaps you made them too ... punishing? Let's try something different.
How about instead of that dour, abstemious, dreary life you dutifully pictured – one that stripped out so many things that bring you comfort and pleasure – you focus on expanding, not contracting? On making your life fuller, not more restricted? Just imagine the possibilities ...
The World of Sweat Is Wide and Varied
You're at the gym, clocking your usual 60 minutes on the treadmill, imagining which exact circle of hell the guy who changed the channel to Fox News deserves to spend eternity in. It's no wonder you're not motivated. What you need is a new way to work out. Goals help: a 5K, a half-marathon, a trail run across the Grand Canyon. Local outfit Rogue Running provides various training programs for whatever your goal is, including step one: Learn how to run (look, a lot of us were too busy being bookworms to get in on the ground floor of this running thing).
Maybe you want to try something a little less pedestrian? The aerial arts are a big deal in Austin; local shops like Blue Lapis Light, Brass Ovaries, Four Elements Aerial & Creative Movement, and Sky Candy offer a variety of classes ranging from relatively low-to-the-ground pole dancing to the dizzying heights of trapeze swings and aerial silks. If you prefer to do your dancing on the floor, you could step up to the barre at Ballet Austin for one of their many adult classes, which range from beginner's ballet to hula to West African dance and drums. If all this sounds great but what your workout really needs is more cuteness, then you're in luck: The team behind pop-up sensation GOGA Goat Yoga has just opened a full-time studio in the Hill Country Galleria and will offer (in addition to regular yoga classes) goat yoga two weekends every month.
Want to start a veg garden but not sure how? The Sustainable Food Center can help. The SFC offers training for newbie gardeners, as well as cooking and kitchen skills classes that teach you what to do with all that glorious new plant bounty. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a great resource for plant upkeep, with upcoming classes in fruit tree planting and winter care for native plants. Or, if you just want to watch the animal kingdom do its thing, the Travis Audubon can introduce you to the joys of birding.
Making new friends as an adult can be hard, so why not move backward? Let your interests guide you to your people. Passionate about gaming? So are the folks who flock to Juegos Rancheros, an indie gaming collective that meets monthly at the North Door. Card-carrying Mensa member? Try Nerd Nite (also monthly at the North Door), which hosts an array of smarty-pants talks and even offers speed dating with fellow eggheads. Budding writer? Submit your sex-specific anonymous stories to BedPost Confessions (a live storytelling show), or preview a work-in-progress at One Page Salon (both held – you got it – at the North Door). Want to explore French culture or brush up on your parlez-vous? The Alliance Française d'Austin hosts regular meetups, film series, and pétanque games. Got your head above the clouds? Check out the UT Astronomy Department's free star parties on top of Robert Lee Moore Hall, held most Wednesdays when school is in session.
Arts and Crafts
Who says kids get to be the only ones nurturing their creative side? Besides, blowtorches are better fits for grownup hands. The casual crafter can combine easy DIY projects with adult beverages at Downtown's Upstairs Circus, while CRAFT studio offers training workshops in crafts like soapmaking, calligraphy, and floral arrangements, as well as just a real chill space (tools and materials included) for you to come craft to your heart's content. But back to those blowtorches. Blue Moon Glassworks is all about harnessing fire to make your own jewelry, glass mosaics, stained glass, and more. And "metalheads" will want to make a beeline for Greg Wenderski, aka the Sword Casting Guy, who teaches workshops on how to forge bronze or aluminum swords. If nothing else, you can make 2019 the year you win your office's Game of Thrones costume contest.
Looking for more classes and enriching opportunities in 2019? Find hundreds of listings online at austinchronicle.com/events.
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1023 Springdale Rd., Building 14A Austin, TX 78721, 512-600-8378