Customer Story: DeAnna Christensen
Freeplay’s mission is to bring people and exercise together in as fun a setting as possible.
To do this, we’re spotlighting our fantastic Freeplayers and their recommendations for the best gyms in Utah. This week’s list includes a self-care facility with hot rooms, the go-to spot for some zen yoga or pilates, an awesome gym for group classes, and a top-notch studio that offers exercise-focused childcare, so make sure to check out the bottom of the post!
DeAnna Christensen - A Tree-Huggi, Weight-Lugging Mom of Four
Our most recent customer spotlight focuses on DeAnna, a stay-at-home mom who has her hands full with her 4 children. But she doesn’t let that stop her from being active! She spends her time painting with watercolors, taking her kids hiking, reading, exercising and traveling.
Originally from Pennsylvania, she has spent time in places all over the world, and particularly loves anywhere sporting a landscape full of beautiful trees. Her favorites state-side destinations include North Carolina, Virginia, and California, while abroad she’s loved Spain and Cancun. Due to the craziness COVID-19 has brought to the world, she recently cancelled a trip to Italy, but doesn’t let that get her down. Check out her insta for some awesome pics: @princesspineapple10, and her awesome Etsy store pineappleartdesign to check out her amazing artwork!
A Freeplay member since October 2018, DeAnna makes sure to point out during our interview how much the recent focus on social-distancing has her missing all the closed gyms. “It makes me realize even more how much I am grateful for Freeplay! Love it!”
‘Stay-at-home’ is a relative term for what DeAnna does on a regular basis. She loves being outside with her kids and often takes them to museums and waterparks. “And with Freeplay,” she adds, “we like to go to the trampoline parks. Before Freeplay, I wouldn’t usually jump with the kids, but now that I’m free, I get to jump, too.”
And remember the tag-line next to her name above? “In the summer,” she says, “I like to hike in the mountains, it’s where the trees are in Utah.”
But DeAnna doesn’t limit her activities to when the children are around. “I probably exercise 5 days a week,” she says. “I use Freeplay 3-4 of those days. Walking is my other form of exercise. And with Freeplay, I learned that I really love group classes. I hadn’t really done those before.”
So what keeps DeAnna motivated to hit the gym?
A Focus on Health
“My goal in general is to just be healthier. I like to exercise for my mental health and so I don’t have to stress as much about what I eat. It’s not about weight loss for me, though that’s a byproduct.”
“I also like to remind myself that I like to try new things because I may find something I didn’t know I liked.”
“And,” she laughs, “this may sound weird, but everyone gets old. So when I have grandkids and great-grandkids, I want to be able to play with them and go on hikes and run around museums with them. And I want to be able to travel with my husband when I’m older. I want to be able to walk the whole way around Rome. If I’m not healthy and active now, my body won’t be strong enough to do those things later.”
Does Freeplay Help Keep People Active?
“Freeplay helps tremendously!” Deanna says emphatically. “I had twins a few years ago and fell out of my exercise routine. I tried to pick it back up again by running and walking but then it got cold, so I stopped, and I hate working out in my house. But then I heard about Freeplay and how I could go to all these different places and get access to better classes, so a group of friends and I decided to give it a shot.”
“We loved it. It’s fun, it’s new, and if I get bored I can just find a new class. Freeplay has also added new venues for date nights and for my kids, which I use a lot. And I’ve definitely found new exercises that I love because of Freeplay. I had never done anything in a hot room before or Pilates, and now Pilates is my favorite.”
DeAnna continues, “Also, I exercise by time frame, so at 6 a.m. every morning, I’m able to go through and pick classes that are nearby in my available time frame and try new things.”
And though DeAnna doesn’t mind working out alone, she loves working out with others. “I was working out with a friend when I first started Freeplay before she got pregnant. Then I found a new friend to exercise with, but she also got pregnant. So,” she says with a laugh, “if you become my exercise partner, you may become pregnant, too.”
“And last month we did a girl’s night at Social Axe,” she adds. “There were about 16 of us, and because there were 5 of 6 of us with Freeplay memberships, we were able to get everyone in with our buddy passes. It’s actually why we chose to go to that specific place.”
So, Why Recommend Freeplay?
DeAnna has her answer ready: “I feel like as I’ve become a mom, I’ve lost lots of things that I’m interested in. Freeplay has definitely reminded me that I can have interests all my own that are separate from motherhood and has helped me find things I’m interested in. It’s helped me achieve my goals and stay active.”
Best Gyms in Utah
DeAnna’s recommended list of favorite Freeplay gyms:
A self-care and wellness facility in Lehi, Utah and has everything you need to care for yourself and become the best that you can be.
A yoga studio in Saratoga Springs with a highly-recommended Pilates Reformer class, as well as many other types of classes including aerial yoga and pilates.
A studio in Lehi, Utah that boasts the welcome: “Come as you are, leave strong mentally and phsyically!” and offers a variety of group classes, including High Fitness, Yoga, and Barre.
Evolve Fitness is a studio in Lehi, Utah that prides itself on being a place to connect, push yourself, get stronger, gain confidence, and feel your best. It also offers fitness-focused childcare.