Latest Indulgence.

I can still picture pulling a shrunken shirt out of the dryer or griping about the pages falling out of a cheap spiral notebook, and my mom saying, "Sweetie, you get what you pay for".
I don't always subscribe to this old, wise saying.
For example:
when you're traveling, sometimes it's the unassuming, cheap guest house that ends up being the most amazing. Proof: I randomly found Miller's Guest House when I was in Tobago in April, and for about $20 per night, we got to stay at a wonderful, friendly place with this view:
And maybe more importantly, met some wonderful, life-long friends in Winston, the owner (to the right of me), Leo, the chef (far left with thumb up), and Phil, our jaded yet incredibly generous Canadian "neighbor" at the guest house (far right). I simply never would have met these guys if I'd been staying at the W (although the thread count surely would have been higher).
I also subscribe to "cheaper can be better" when it comes to SOME restaurants. But I'll be writing more about that in an upcoming post, so stay tuned & I'll leave my argument on that one hanging for the moment....

However, one thing that has converted me to the "more is more" way of life, is the world of working out & gyms. I have been a disgruntled, complaining member of a certain gym which will remain nameless ever since I moved to the city. Some of my complaints have included but not been limited to:
* machines are too close together
* it smells funny
*there are lines for the machines? (keep in mind, this only applies when I visit their Upper East Side locations)
*the mats are always taken up by clients "training" (aka stretching and flirting with their trainers)
*my classes sometimes feels more like an R&B dirty dancing session than a workout (and not always in a good way)

So why do I remain a member? Well, it's cheaper than my other options, and up until this past week, I've stuck with it in fear that converting would expose me to a new, beautiful lifestyle of lovely smelling free lotion and rosewater that I simply couldn't sustain on a teacher's salary.
However, on Sunday when my friend Jessica asked me if I would go to her "gym" and do a couple classes with her so we could catch up, I said, "sure". This was when I was first exposed to what I will simply refer to as heaven.
Jessica is a member of Exhale Spa. Yes, it is a spa, not technically a gym. However, they offer a variety of offerings including classes like core fusion, boot-camp, and fusion sport (think pre-season conditioning). They got me with the "unlimited classes for a week for $40", which seemed like something I could handle. No, you're not bopping around doing jumping jacks or squat thrusts, but the instructors really know what they're talking about and I was amazed with how efficiently they capitalize on your own weight resistance (with some help from a bar, free weights and an exercise strap). They're also really great with transitions so you never really take a break, and you're in a constant cycle of pushing different muscle groups.
It's sort of like Pilates on crack. Now I usually prefer a good old fashioned sweat via some cardio/weights combo, but I was blown away by how much I was challenged in these classes!
And they also offer completely superior yoga classes (to anything I've experienced), of all styles. So far I've tried yin yoga (a very slow, relaxing form) and flow yoga (which had me panicked, while hanging upside down that the 60 year old woman next to me was noticing my panting & the sweat beads dripping onto my mat). Both classes were incredibly professionally run (although quite different) and I got a ton of personal attention. At their Gansevoort location in the Meatpacking District, they even offer outdoor yoga on the roof on Tuesday and Thursday mornings! How great does this look?
With the combination of unlimited hot water to make green tea, plenty of complimentary shower caps and beautiful locker rooms complete with saunas and steam rooms, Exhale has captured my shamelessly indulgent heart. My week trial as a member has made this cheap bastard(ette) never want to leave and actually consider re-budgeting my life to make it happen. If going to work out can make feel so pampered and satisfied, why would I ever go back to the sweat-stained, smelly carpets of my current sport club? I still haven't decided if I can actually make the jump to become a full-time member of Exhale, but one thing I know for sure?
Mom was right, sometimes you do get what you pay for.

Have a great weekend everyone, and I hope you do something special in the next couple days that makes you feel pampered and at peace--you're worth it!

1 comment:

  1. An EXHALE membership is an indulgence in many ways. However, after the ass kicking work out you get in each class, you will feel entitled to the chilled cucmuber water, and perhaps a steam. They offer different membership that might make for a smarter financial investment. I made this membership a priority and rebudgeted to accommodate. I can say with out a doubt that I have never felt healthier in my life and I am more confident than ever. Can you put a price on that?