It was so lovely to have a friend in town! And hard to say goodbye. But into work I went, and on the way, I noticed that my subway stopped was all dressed up in ING Marathon wear. So stylish!
Work was a little hectic, and I almost forgot that I had an exciting night in store.
I was offered a tour of Chelsea Piers and a massage in honor of Marathon Mondays at the Spa at Chelsea Piers! How could one turn that down?
I walked from work to Chelsea Piers Sports Club—it really is fall out there….brisk!
It was funny to see the transition as I headed west on 20th street. From very residential and quaint:
To very industrial:
Something inside me loves the deserted, industrial areas of NY. I crave them and seek them out. They hearken to the fading and, in many instances, forgotten, NY. Like the heroin chic St. Marks, hooker filled Times Square, and the gritty East Village. I digress.
I arrived at the Sports Center:
I knew a little about Chelsea Piers, but really didn’t know what to expect from the sports center. I know Chelsea Piers for golf, ice skating and gymnastics, but that is about it.
Would it be an upscale gym? Personal training central? So I went in to find out.
Erica greeted me and took me for a full tour of the sports center facilities. If I could only pick one word to describe it, that word would be WOW!
I was kind of in my own fitness heaven. It was like fitness of the future. Everything was so expansive and so premium, and yet, it was not at all pretentious. So here are just a few things I saw on my tour—compliments of Google images:
A six lane 25 yard lap pool, with a whirl pool and one of two sundecks
A 1/4 mile indoor track with a 200 meter competition track—i wish i had workout clothes to calibrate my Garmin!
All the typical gym stuff, but bigger and more spacious:
–strength deck (i probably could have gotten lost it was so big)
–cardio deck (with a choice of views, tv or waterfront)
–pilates reformer studio
Plus two fitness studios offering 100+ classes a week, including yoga, pilates, dance, cardio, swimming, running, weight training and boxing—check out the boxing ring above.
And now the really special stuff:
There was an awesome indoor sand volley ball court for volley ball and sand training classes:
And there was the biggest rock climbing wall ever. I am actually taking the hall council I advise rock climbing for our retreat on Wednesday, and boy does the NYU rock climbing wall seem paltry in comparison to this:
Bluestreak Sports Training
This is also open to the public for sports specific training. They have treadmills that go 30 miles an hour. They have an amazing ice hockey treadmill that you can get harness into while they analyze your gait and crank up the elevation. They also offer small group sports training, so you can play soccer and do boot camps and drills even if you don’t have time for a team.
Erica recommended that I check out the Beast post-marathon.
It is a 3 day a week boot camp involving:
Participants get two days of squat thrusts, suicides, lunges, obstacle courses and 150,000 square feet of space for innovative, heart-pounding fitness fun. On the third day, BlueStreak serves as home base, where athletes train on Olympic-caliber equipment, taking advantage of Dartfish video analysis, Super Treadmills and the state-of-the-art Plyo Platform.
Okay, so here are my confessions:
One of the most exciting things about the tour was seeing Usher. Yeah.
I was definitely obsessed with Usher in the “You make me wanna” era. I am over it now, but as many people often ask me my type, Usher definitely qualifies as my type. And he is way shorter than expected in person! Anyways, he was playing basketball like absolutely anyone, I would have just thought it was a guy who looked like Usher and kept walking if Erica hadn’t pointed him out ever so nonchalantly.
Overall, I was definitely more than impressed with what Chelsea Piers offers it’s sports/health club members. You would never get bored and all the great indoor facilities (track, volleyball, pool) would be amazing for winter training. I didn’t ask about pricing, which is always a big determinate, but there are non-member options available for lots of the classes and boot camps, and fun events like Date Night, which is great. Location is definitely an asset and an obstacle, the location gives Chelsea Piers the ability to have an unbelievable vast facility, but getting to 10th avenue can be a hike when it’s cold. When I no longer have access to the NYU gyms in June, I will definitely be looking to invest in a gym membership, so that I have a Manhattan option in addition to my building’s gym, and Chelsea Piers will be on the list of Melissa’s perspective health and fitness meccas.
So after my tour, I headed to the spa, put on my robe and slippers and was greeted by Julie, my therapist.
It was a 50 minute massage, that was in a word, magical. Julie was incredible nice in answering all my questions beforehand, about how to utilize massage during training. She said that most professional athletes get massages after every game and practice, so getting a massage once a week during training season is incredibly beneficial to anyone putting stress on the body. I love massages with all my heart, so getting the green light on frequency was no problem for me.
She also explained that physically massage improves blood circulation, balances the body, repairs damaged tissues, gets rid of toxins and brings nutrients to the body.
On a more spiritual level, massage can help you put trust in the hands of another, which can bring you to a more confident and connected place in your training, you learn to depend on something other than yourself to get you to the finish.
I am always quick to encourage everyone doing any major race to schedule a marathon immediately after. This is because my massage after my first marathon literally ended every single ounce of pain and soreness I was feeling like magic. However, I had never really thought about them during training.
The massage was amazing. Julie used heat therapy as well as massage, which was great. The table was warmed and she used warm towels, I was in heaven. I have had half a dozen massages in the last two years, and this was by far the most precise and targeted massage. Julie went far deeper into each area of tension and really worked out the knots in my neck and back and applied significant pressure to all the main problem areas for runners. Despite a few moments of pain, I was practically asleep and totally blissed out by the end. I can’t wait to see how I feel tomorrow! The massage was definitely on par with Ohm, which has been my favorite massage place for years. Chelsea Piers offers a more spacious zen-lounge and Ohm offers more cookies and cakes
Definitely take advantage of the Marathon Monday discounts while it lasts!
I contemplated getting dinner at the Sports Club Cafe, since they have a sushi bar, but I have had sushi 4 times in the last week, so I figured I better not–I’m practically a cliche at this point. Instead, I hoped in a cab to 42nd and on my way, I passed the premiere of The Stepfather—red carpets, paps and all. No Penn Bradgley sightings though.
The day ended much the way it started, another ‘thon poster in the train and another shot of my subway stop at night.
Happy Monday everyone, I am going to do homework for as long as I can possible keep my eyes open.