Drive the District Chicago

Last weekend I was approached by General Motors to give the new 2014 Impala a spin. Being a resident of downtown Chicago I have survived without a car for over six years. I walk, run, or take the train just about everywhere. I know, I’m very glam. 

There are many perks to this car-less situation:

  • No car related expenses (insurance, parking, gas, tickets, etc)
  • No parking related worries of any kind (jealous?!)
  • Reduction of my carbon footprint
  • Earning hella crazy Nike+ Fuel points

However there are two big CONS to not having a car which I encounter on a weekly and monthly basis:

  • Grocery shopping (only purchase what you can carry home, of you’re SOL)
  • I am limited to destinations/activities in my general proximity

Luckily, I live two blocks from Ohio Street Beach so when I want to step outside and get a dose of the great outdoors I need look no further than my own back yard. However, there are so many fun places to workout just outside the city that you really need a car to take advantage of. When GM asked me if I was interested in participating in their Drive the District campaign my immediate answer was, “OBVI(OUSLY)!” Drive the District is an awesome project curated by GM to inspire creativity through four categories: eco, tech, travel and culture. I was so excited that Chicago was included, and thrilled to be asked to participate!

Behold: Me and my Pimpala Impala

2014 Impala

My first stop: Swallow Cliff
11918 S Lagrange Rd
Palos Park, IL 60464

Swallow Cliff

This place, while beautiful, is brutal. There are acres of tree lined trails, but my main interest for driving out to the south side of Chicago was for the 125 set stair case, ascending at nearly a 90-degree grade. I will be honest and admit, I completely underestimated this. I was prepared to completely own this…but my first time up had me in minor hysterics. Practicing what I preach I got my mind right and pushed myself to finish the workout below. By the end my legs felt like jello and even applying pressure to the gas pedal on the way home was a struggle. I have to say I was very inspired by the other stair climbers. People of all walks of life, shapes, sizes, and levels of fitness were making their way up and down this climb. Shout out to the little old man hauling a** with a loaded backpack on. You go!!

Workout: Up and down the stairs TEN times (up and down = 1 time). At the top: 20 push ups. At the bottom: 40 squats. Ya heard, that’s a total of 400 squats and 200 push ups in total.

My second stop: Salt Creek
8400 W 31st St
Brookfield, IL 60513

A very scenic run through wooded trails along the creek – including several deer spottings – so I was DEFINITELY in the thick of nature (ha).

Workout: 6 mile run. YOU try running more than 6 miles immediately following those stairs from hell! I know, I brought this pain upon myself, and while it was a tad harsh, it was worth it. I felt great come Monday morning.

Swallow Creek













My third stop: Whole Foods (and Sephora…and Jcrew)
1550 N Kingsbury St
Chicago, IL 60642

When I plan my trip to the grocery store I am really conservative. I have a budget in mind,  I remember that I’m cooking for one, and I only purchase what I can carry home. I live about 4 blocks away from my Whole Foods so while it doesn’t take that long to commute those city blocks add up real fast with heavy grocery bags! With my new whip I treated myself to a shopping trip at the NICE Whole Foods in Lincoln Park and loaded up my cart without a second thought. If you’re wondering, yes you DO need two of everything “just in case you’re extra hungry this week.”

mean girls gif






Thank you, GM and the MSL Group for hooking me up with such a fun weekend. To see more of the Drive the District Campaign clicky here.

Fine print: While this loan was sponsored by GM all opinions are my own.


  1. Those stairs look BA! Legs were gooey I’m sure. Good Work!

  2. Loved reading about your road-trip… And that last GIF is so on-point. Happy 10th Anniversary of Mean Girls! 😉

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