Spring, Sacrifice and Sarcasm

I’m training for the MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon next month. I’m focusing on work with an important client, and I’m trying to stay mentally alert.

As someone who values exploration, indulging, and who suffers from a case of FOMO so severe that I’m certain that I’ve broken the world record for most birthday parties attended in one day (which might have been five), saying no to fun is not easy for me.

I’ll never be on a long-term diet. I don’t do laundry every Saturday morning. I don’t go to sleep or wake up at the same time. Routines bore me. But I know that you need discipline to be successful, and I want to be successful in reaching my goals this spring.

I already train for races. Training and completing races brings me joy. I have one coming up. As I started prepping for it, I felt the desire to do what enlightened women do – teach myself a lesson.

I decided that I would not drink a sip of alcohol for two months. I don’t drink a lot these days, anyway, but it’s always enjoyable to have a cocktail during a social occasion, and I knew it would be hard to turn down. It would be difficult, but achievable.

I’ve been on track for two weeks, and it’s going well. It’s kind of like lent, but a little longer and with a touch of Jewish neuroticism. What if this doesn’t work? What will my friends think of me? What if I eat more bagels to overcompensate for not drinking wine?

I already went down a jeans size. I wore something fashion-forward the other day, and a friend compared me to Carrie Bradshaw! I’m convinced that I owe the compliment to this new energy I’m radiating as a result of my personal experiment, which I’ll call PE because it’s easier to say, and an abbreviation makes it sound official.

To kick off PE, I chose to entertain myself by reading Lena Dunham’s “Not That Kind of Girl,” a book about her life and perspectives. She covers a lot from love to body image to family to awkwardness to death.

Not That Kind of Girl

I enjoyed it and was pleased to learn that we share common interests, such as napping, talking to strangers and trying to figure people out. I love her honesty. I love her HBO show, “Girls.” I love the way she writes, with the meticulousness of someone performing bypass surgery and the coolness of a former international DJ who gave up that lifestyle to have more “balance” and opened a yoga studio.

In her book, she compiles lists that never failed to make me laugh out loud, such as “13 Things I’ve Learned Are Not Okay to Say to Friends,” which includes “She’s chubby in a different way than we are” and, “Come on, please let me pay for lunch. You don’t have a job!”

When I told people about my PE, I received a ton of hilarious responses, which I’ve attempted to compile into a Dunhamian-style list. Here it goes:

8 Things Your Friends Say When You Tell Them You’re Not Drinking For 2 Months

  1. “Wait. Just not on the weekdays, right?”
  2. “Giving up food or sleep sounds easier.”
  3. “What? Why?”
  4. “You mean, you’re just not drinking hard liquor?”
  5. “How are you going to interact with other people?”
  6. “I tried that once. It lasted for a few days.”
  7. “Are you sure you’re not pregnant?”
  8. “See you May 1st.”

Doonya or Don’t Ya? NYC’s New Bollywood Dance Studio

It’s time to get Swappy. Swappy equals sweaty and happy, according to the co-founders of Doonya.

Doonya is a Bollywood-inspired dance workout developed by founders Priya and Kajal. doonya

It is trademarked, so you won’t find it anywhere else.

They just opened a beautiful studio in Flatiron. This coordinated dance class is taught to the tune of Indian music you may not have heard before (I had not) from artists such as Manj Musik and Sukhwinder Singh. Hits from American pop stars like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande are mixed in with the Indian tunes.

Doonya is a unique experience, as many of the instructors, songs and moves are purely Indian. You may be taking the class in New York, but feel as though you are participating — maybe even starring — in a Bollywood film. The newly renovated studio provides a beautiful ambiance to learn something new about Indian culture, and get a great workout while doing it.

Doonya offers a lot of classes at different times and paces, so you have options. A single class is $22. The ten-pack comes out to $17.90 a class.

Doonya courtesyPhoto above is courtesy of Doonya 

 

If You Love Booty-Shaking, This Is Your Workout Class

You enter a dance studio. Clusters of young women crowd outside the room. They’re chatting, taking pre-workout selfies and providing their names to be checked in via an iPhone. The scene resembles waiting for a high school gym class, but only at first.

Once you step inside, you’re on Vixen Army turf. The room is dim and the instructor takes you through a serious of dance moves, the “twerk” and “booty drop”–starting with the $1 version and getting more “expensive” from there. The energy level is high. There is thigh-slapping and floor-pounding. We all chant a mantra and assume sexy poses that reinforce just how fearless and sassy we are. The class is called the Vixen Workout.

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Photo courtesy of Vixen Workout, cred. David Alvarez, Trick Productions

For inspiration, it begins and ends with music from the bootylicious goddess and star of this year’s MTV VMA’s, Beyonce. The dance mix tape also features other classic club hits. Britney tells us “you better work,” and we do.

The classes originated in the resort club-scene capital, Miami. Meliza Fernandez, a native New Yorker, dancer and actress, became the first Manhattan instructor last year. She emphasizes fitness and empowerment.

“The Vixen Workout is more about instilling confidence and working up a sweat than perfecting an extremely well-coordinated routine,” she says.

Women flock to her class, and she received a well-deserved nomination as one of NYC’s hottest trainers by Racked just last week.

Coordinated dance classes can seem intimidating for beginners, but I can assure you that this hour-long class is easy and fun to follow. You’re guaranteed a great workout. I walked out feeling fierce! Grab your girls, and go join the Vixen Army!

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NYC Gyms and Blowout Bars That Are Ridiculous​ly Close Together

crunchdrybar

It is so fabulous when gym and blowout chains are located near each other. What could be better than a post-workout blow-dry? Your hair needs to stay in great shape, too. Here’s a list of some that are especially close together, as well as centrally located, for all your exercising and beautifying needs. The convenience will blow you away!

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MURRAY HILL:

  • DryBar and Crunch are literally on top of each other at the same address, 222 E 34th St.
  • The local Equinox (1 Park Ave) and New York Sports Club (614 Second Ave) are just a few blocks away.

FLATIRON:

  • DreamDry (35 W 21st St) is close to Equinox (897 Broadway), New York Health & Racquet Club (60 W 23rd St) and New York Sports Club (113 East 23rd).

MIDTOWN EAST:

  • Equinox (250 East 54th St) and DryBar (141 E 56th St) are minutes apart.