Weather-wise this week has been the pits. We've had fog, cloud, fog and cloud, brief glimpses of sun, rain, drizzle, and then cloud again. So imagine my surprise when I leave the house this morning and (by comparison at least) it is HOT! Naturally I was not dressed for it, decked out as I was in gym gear with a long-sleeved top. Granted I had a sleeveless top on underneath but I wasn't quite ready to show New York my arms yet. I certainly hadn't had enough coffee for that display!
Walking to the Pilates studio, I was quite nervous about how I'd go in Boot Camp today. Anything had to be better than my last class there, and so I took special effort to drink a lot of water, and eat a decent meal beforehand. I outsourced this responsibility to the Cosi store on Park Avenue. Their mango smoothies are delicious, in case you needed to know.
I think other students are starting to twig that this class is a killer, because only one other student turned up today. Everyone else was "sick", they said. Yeah right. They were either steering clear of the torturous class, or they decided that it made much better sense to be outside in the sunshine. Either way, I envied them immediately.
But anyway, I had made it and the class pressed on. Fast forward to about 45 minutes into it, when I had to excuse myself briefly to splash water on my face. I had to switch an extra fan on too because there was just no air circulation today and I was totally overheating. Other than those vastly unflattering consequences, I feel like I kept up with the routine. But you know what? I don't enjoy it. I don't derive the same feeling of satisfaction from these boot camp classes that I do from regular Pilates. I don't think it's just because I'm struggling a lot more with the speed of the cardio parts of the class. I also think it's because these boot camp classes are the same every week - I know the routine now, and I get stressed by the harder exercises that I know are coming. When I do normal Pilates, 9 times out of 10 I have a new instructor, so the exercises are different or the focus of each hourly class varies. And I walk away from those diverse classes MUCH less sweaty and defeated, but still feeling like I worked and actually did something good for myself. I don't know whether I mention all this to say that I want to bail on Pilates boot camp, but I am not sure I want to continue doing something that a) I feel crap at; and b) I don't really enjoy all that much.
After the class, feeling a bit sorry for myself, I walked around the corner to Madison Square Park, intending to cool off under the shade of a big tree, and enjoy a cup of freshly-cut pineapple and an ice-cold Diet Coke. Good therapy, no? I was indulging in all that when I saw on Facebook that my friend Fitzy was of a similar mind and was at that very moment holed up on the other side of the Park, flicking through old copies of Vanity Fair. A quick series of texts and we met up on the grass, under a tree, to lay very still and chat about life. Before long, Bolts joined us and we were a happy trio just aimlessly whiling away the hours on a sunny Saturday.
When Bolts casually mentioned she had a craving for fish and chips, suddenly I did too and so I got out my Google-machine and (as luck would have it) identified a fantastic southern place right opposite the Park, on West 23rd Street, celebrated on Yelp for its Louisiana seafood dishes. Live Bait is an unassuming place, with lino tables and those plastic, coloured chairs that you might remember from primary & high school. But the beer is icy cold, and the menu is so good that I hope to get back there again soon. Bolts got her cornflake-crusted catfish & chips; Fitzy enjoyed a Jamaican jerk chicken sandwich; and I wolfed down a pulled pork sandwich (ever on a quest to find the best one in the city - except for my own, of course). We washed down our meals with a delicious New Orleans beer called Dixie and it was very refreshing.
Everything that happened to me today (after Pilates boot camp) was totally restorative. I got my fix of some sun, some shade, some food, and some friends. And really, when 99% of those plans happened entirely by accident, you've got to feel good about what the rest of the weekend might bring.