Tag Archives: bentonville

My new gym made me cry

IMG_9927‘I think I might be too tall for CrossFit,’ I said in despair to the CrossFit instructor. (It was that or crying, but I considered myself too old for that.)
‘Nah, I don’t think so, look at them,’ said the coach – while pointing at huge men lifting weights as if they were balloons.
‘But those are men! That’s totally different!’ I replied.
It was day two at my new CrossFit gym and instead of lifting weights, I only lifted the stick that normally holds the weights.

How did I end up doing CrossFit?
Well, after the unexpected closure of my old gym, I tried another. It was okay, it provided a much needed routine and after four weeks I wanted to renew my membership. It was impossible, however, as this gym was about to close down too! Gyms seem to pass out when I arrive.

That’s how I ended up in the biggest and longest existing CrossFit box in Bentonville. The other CrossFitters asked me what I thought about it and I replied (again) that it was great, but that I’m most likely too tall. I told EVERYONE that I might be too tall. When I’m convinced of something I sometimes overshare. I think I do that to clear my head (I would like to give a less selfish reason, but I can’t think of one).
Nobody confirmed my beliefs, but instead started sharing their own handicaps:
– Oh funny, I always think that I’m too short!
– Oh funny, I always think that I’m not fast enough!
– Oh funny, I always think I’m not fit enough!
In the end we were empowering each other and figured that we all looked great and that I might not be too tall after all! We concluded that I should give it some time as things might change.

Things did change. After two weeks the summer vacation kicked in and I decided to bring my girls along. It made me nervous as I was afraid they would be too shy to stay in the designated children’s room.
They had a ball. They loved it, played with the other children and ran around when the class was done. Lucie, my shy middle one, even wanted to try CrossFit for kids.

IMG_9854We went on a Saturday and she had been looking forward to it the whole morning. She
was wearing new shoes, she smiled but then she had to line up. She turned to me and whispered with a very, very pale face: ‘Mom, I think I changed my mind.’
At that point the coach stepped in, grabbed her hand only to let it go when she was smiling and running and was confident enough to do it on her own. It made me grateful and proud and it brought tears to my eyes. Again.

This gym is a keeper.

I need a new gym!

On Monday afternoon the 23rd of March I swam in the World Gym pool in Lowell with my daughters. That evening I attended a kickboxing class in the same gym with Esti Corcoran. Esti is one of my favorite trainers. The people in the class are great too. We’re not close friends, but we kind of know each other and laugh and work out. Oh boy, do we work out; Esti is a very strict coach. I left 10 minutes before the class finished. I’m sorry I did because that night the gym closed down.

Last year in January, my husband, three children and I moved to Bentonville. We are originally Dutch and lived in South Africa for three years. We looked at a few gyms and decided on the World Gym of NWA. They offered fabulous classes, the employees were friendly and the kids could even take swimming lessons. So far, so good.

I never even thought of checking whether this gym was reliable. I assumed people would notify you when things don’t go according plan. But they didn’t. Having lived in Africa makes you believe you’ve seen it all. But we never, ever experienced anything like this. It’s disturbing and I feel betrayed. How come nobody notified me when I renewed my membership a month ago? What will happen to all the employees?

I also notice that I miss going to the gym. I don’t function like I used to; my routine is disturbed and the girls can’t take swimming lessons. I got angry and it didn’t really help. I run outside and I cycle, but I miss my classes. I miss my gym-buddies. Already.

That’s why I decided to take action:
1. I’d like my money back. I’m sure there’s reasons for this, but members are not the ones to blame. I emailed and phoned but without success…
2. I called gyms to check if they are looking for new employees and I recommended my favorite instructors. (Esti and Jamie are great; gym managers and owners, take note!)
3. I’m of course looking for a new gym. It’s almost summer, hello; I need a hot bikini bod!

I’ve been thinking this through and I’m going to try out different classes in Bentonville, Lowell and Rogers’ gyms, taking pictures, describing the atmosphere. My goal is to find a new, friendly, reliable and affordable place – although it will be more expensive than World Gym which might be one of the reasons etc….
It will hopefully inspire other ex-World-Gym-lovers to find a new good place. Let’s spread the word for the fantastic gyms out there!

The first class will be at Define Fitness Studio. Happy to hear other good stories too!

Eva in Gym

Crystal Bridges is Love

Crystal Bridges is amazing. I wrote about their drop-in-art-classes before and they keep amazing me. I’m also blown away by the light and the beautiful pictures you can take there! Go and bring your camera, or just use your phone and capture special moments. This Sunday was busy, but it never feels busy – as you can see. Yesterday it was packed! We had to park in the overflow parking and used the museum trolley (bus? golf cart?)
Anyway, the kids loved it!

Crystal Bridges is Love. No more words, just pictures :)


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Snow and a bird feeder

On Friday it started snowing, again. Snow looks nice and you can sled and you can make a bird feeder. A beautiful looking, easy to make, DIY bird feeder project. Right.

The idea of a snow day is that it’s cozy and fun and that you will be able do things you normally wouldn’t have time for. In reality you’re waiting for the snow to melt. I discussed it with the husband and we think that the biggest problem is uncertainty.
Uncertainty as to when the snow will melt and until that time, you wait. It’s the same as waiting for the bus, a delayed plane or when you’re waiting for food in a restaurant that doesn’t come and you’re really, really hungry. In the meanwhile you start saying things like:

‘When do you think it’s gone?’
‘I haven’t seen someone to clear the roads, when will they come?’
‘I think it will be gone soon, hey, it stops, oh no, it it still snows.’
‘Do you think schools will be open on Monday?’

Saturday morning we made a plan. We would clean and tidy up and I would make a bird feeder with the kids. I googled ‘DIY bird feeders’ and found several recipes. They looked complicated,  you needed gelatine and in the description the word ‘messy’ popped up several times. I googled some more and found a wooden thing that you had to glue together. We had the wooden sticks they mentioned and I figured that I could totally do that with my glue gun!

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The girls sat down and we made it exactly as described. When it was finished we added the birdseeds. Of course the seeds were tiny and they fell through. So I glued the sides of the bird feeder to stop the seeds from falling out. It didn’t work and I thus added wooden sticks on the sides AND extra glue – seriously, the stress. After that there was a fight who could fill it up and then we FINALLY went outside.


The bird feeder attracted some birds and we all loved that. On Monday morning it looked like the birds either had a party, or big bird had made an emergency landing in the feeder.


My snow-DIY-conclusion so far: Snow is especially nice when you’re on vacation and a DIY project is especially nice on pictures.




Organic Manic Monday



Monday will be Organic Manic Monday from now on. I’m trying to live a more organically driven life and you will part of it ;) I will share my ideas and thoughts and the hidden organic gems in Northwest Arkansas I will discover.

Fayetteville Farmers Market

Last Saturday we visited the Fayetteville Farmers Market on the square for the first time. It was such a great experience. Loads of farmers with tulips, daffodils and veggies. The music was fabulous as well; there were people singing, little bands performing, the atmosphere was impressive. The espresso was not the best, but we’re real espresso drinking people and those dogs… So many dogs, it looked like dog celebration day and my kids are not too fond of them. So that made our visit somewhat shorter than expected.

Would I recommend a visit?

Overall it definitely was a worthwhile visit. We bought lots of things – look at the flowers in that vase, lovely composition isn’t it – and I will definitely go again. I might go alone though to be able to wander around without kids.

About the Market

Since 1973, the market has offered the finest in locally produced vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants, meats, baked goods, honey, eggs, jams, juried crafts, and fine art from the four-county area. Open Tuesday, Thursday (7 a.m. – 1 p.m.) and Saturday (7 a.m. – 2 p.m.) around the Historic Fayetteville Square, each market day is a feast for the eyes, ears and palate. Known as the “Crown Jewel of Fayetteville,”

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