are you in or are you out?


Even when you are running the most fabulous of studios, summer can be slow. That’s why I try new things in the summer. That, and I look better doing anything -- especially things that are new and I might not do well -- with a tan.

First, got the tan. I rented a house in the Rockaways for 3 weeks. I have always wanted to have a beach house. It’s a 20-year dream that I terrorized everyone about every summer until hello, this year I realized, I could just do it.

I love summer barbecues at Amagansett and picnics on the sprawling lawns of ‘Sconset like the rest of them but give me the overly-tattoed, weird and wonderful array of Rockaway characters any day of the week. Those be my peeps. I am in.

Biked by this en route to the Rockaways. Spinsters apparently welcome.

Biked by this en route to the Rockaways. Spinsters apparently welcome.

Second, I took a Barre class. One Henry Street Pilates client recommended it wholeheartedly and another swears she was injured by it. Exactly the kind of possibly great, but potentially dangerous, stuff I like to try. Kind of like online dating. Truly amazing, or scary psychotic.

I am not one to knock other kinds of exercise. You should move, period. With Barre, I moved for two classes and then I moved on. File classes under “professional development” and charge those puppies to the business. I am a fan of cross-training so I can see the appeal and the teachers were great. That said, I am out.

Third, I took my first surf lesson. And my last. I texted with the instructor and gave a description of myself so he could find me. “I am 6’ and blond.” Then, after further thought, “Don’t get excited, I am sure I am older than you by decades.” He was appropriately under-excited.

I got up my first two times because well, Pilates. And on the swim back to my next wave, I was already composing my dining out story, “I know surfing is supposed to be really hard, but I just kicked it. Beginners luck I guess. Or I just may be that gifted.” I was so deep in my surfing retell that I failed to notice I was getting worse and worse each time out. On the tenth fall, I twerked my arthritic, meniscus-torn knees, and it dawned on me: I sucked. There would be no tales of my prowess. Maybe I’d keep the whole two hours a secret. My resulting 10-day limp could be explained in a myriad ways. Surfing? I am out.

Fourth, I took a Bikram class. I thought I signed up for hot Vinyasa flow. I really cannot sit, stand, pose, or do anything still or listen to anyone else talk, so I have avoided Bikram like the plague. But I was already at the studio, and going back to the beach house meant being with four teenage boys, staring at their screens, seemingly incapable of coming up with a dinner plan (all "gifted and talented" attendees by the by). 

My knees did not hurt because the Warrior poses were mostly absent. We did everything once and just when I was thinking, “If I have to do this series more than a second time, I am out” pouf, we were done. Bliss. I said my usual “Namaste, Mother Fucker” with genuine affection. I am in. 


Fifth, I cupped. A fabulous masseuse in the Rockaways suggested it. She did it without the alcohol and fire and I think she used a kind of plastic one in an up and down motion. Keep in mind I know nothing about cupping and I was ass up.

It left a remarkable welt down my back that I never felt nor saw, but my friend screamed over it when I took my shirt off at the beach later. The cupping had a weird second life. I cupped and later that day had the best spin class of my life. Felt like my bike had wings. Along the lines of: “Move to the side, instructor she-devil, I got this.” I am in.

My beach vacation is over and I am inappropriately and irresponsibly tan. I had my Barre experience and it was much better than all my other bar experiences, my surfer chic dream is crushed, my red welt is gone, I am in search of a Bikram place in Brooklyn (got any recommendations?), spin is impossible again, and all I can think about is Pilates. How much I want to do it, how much my body craves it. 

I realize that makes me a special kind of geek. A full-on Pilates geek actually. But you want what you want, and I want my Pilates routine back. And perhaps another tattoo.