Posts Tagged ‘NYC’


Posted: November 30, 2014 in ADVENTURE STORIES!, In My Backpack, TRAVEL
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I booked my holiday flight (London Gatwick-JFK) with Norwegian for 280$usd. A bargain, right? Even though it’s bare minimum service, I’ll take it.

When they wanted to charge extra for checked bags, I clicked on the link of “carry-on rules” and found that my main bag had to be 10kg.

Pfft. No problem!

Except it kinda was.

When I flew from Cape Town to Qatar I weighed in at 13kg.


Since I was visiting my brother, josh, in London, I asked if he had extra space in his “coming over” bag. “Yea- no problem” he said.

So I gave him my beloved bottle cap collection, sea shells, sleeping bag and a few other things I wouldn’t need for the brutal winter that the east coast was going to greet me with back home- but I wasn’t sure if this was enough.

I arrive at Gatwick.
I check in. No bag weigh.
I go through security. No bag weigh.
I go through the gate- and that’s when I see the dreaded scale!

I quickly run out of line, looking like a lunatic, and go to the bathroom.

I put on every single article of clothing I had.

Every. Single. Piece.

As I write this, I’m currently wearing 6 pairs of underware, my bathing suit, 2 sports bras, 1 normal bra, a tank top, 2 sports-tops, dress top, a snap-up shirt, jeans, pjs, cargo pants, wrap-around sweater, hoodie, down jacket, balaclava, scarf, shoes, socks and a bear hat.

(I’ll write a whole blog about this bear hat later)

The girl in front of me wheels her bag up to the counter. The woman asks her to put her bag on the scale and its’s weighed: 10.12.

“Ma’am? You’re going to have to throw things away, or rearrange. Or, (smiles and with a super cheesy voice) you could pay a little extra and we can check that for you!”

The woman, distraught, takes some things out of her bag and throws then away.

“Thanks, ma’am. You’re all checked in….. Can I help you?” She motions to me.

I smile at the woman who’s checking us in and ask how her day is going. She smiles at me and says “fine”- then makes a comment about how #adorbs my hat is.

Yes. It is hashtag adorbs.

She goes back to checking me in. This is the part I’m waiting for. I’m acutely aware of everyone behind me standing in line. This isn’t like Tiger Airlines where I can simply go to the side and discard/rearrange my belongings. I begin to sweat in very uncomfortable places. If my bag is over 10kgs, it’s a 50$ charge to check it. Not a huge deal- but if you’re traveling on budgets- like I am- that’s 2-3 days of living! She purses her lips as she looks at the screen. She looks back at my passport photo and at the screen.

An eternity goes by.

I practice meditation. I keep telling myself to think positive thoughts. I think of my kitten who I will get to see in a few weeks(!!!) I focus all my energy on her saying “alright, you’re all checked in”. I practice Jedi-mind tricks…. And that’s when she says:

“Alright. You’re all checked in! Have a nice flight.”

2 things could have happened:

1) Norwegian airlines weighs bags randomly and I got lucky. Or!
2) I’m a mother-effin’ Jedi!

I’m going with the obvious answer here.

I was walking around aimlessly in NY with 3 hours to kill– when I stumbled upon Reebok 5th Ave. From the outside, it looks like a Reebok Crossfit retail store. Shoes, socks, shirts, jackets, etc litter the inside of the shop– but if you go downstairs you start to see and hear the familiar sounds of blood/sweat and tears.

I asked a lot of people what makes 5th ave different than all the other boxes in NYC… Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) said “the trainers are the best in the world”(end quote). Of course, I’m skeptical. I informed them that I have been traveling around the world and, no offense, but the world is big… I mean, how can one even make such a claim? So I asked Bobby– the head coach.

“We’re the best in the world and we work hard to be the best.”

From what I gathered, all the trainers meet every week and we go over a principal. A lift/stretch/mobility exercise/something. Then they break it down, analyze the anatomy of the body when doing the principal, the muscles that are actually being used vs what we (humans/athletes) THINK are being used, what words should and shouldn’t be used when describing what is being done, scaling options, everything. This takes several hours. All the trainers contribute and they talk about the best way to teach this to athletes.

Because Reebok 5th Ave has anywhere from 10-40+ people per class, they have multiple coaches teaching each class so it’s necessary to have uniformity between all of the coaches.

This weekly coach-breakdown helps get that and helps them all grow significantly every week/month.

“If you don’t grow as a coach- you are a bad coach. That’s my opinion, anyway.”-Bobby.

In addition to having cool coaches (one dressed up as Rafael (from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) during their explanation) they also hold Civilian Military Combine competitions and offer up their box for training for anyone who is signed up for tough-mudder/spartan runs, etc.

I should also note that, for downtown NYC, this box is HUGE! I can’t imagine what their rent is. Luckily for them, they have 450+ monthly members and have only continued to grow since opening up 9 months ago.

I was there on Wednesday– which means “partner wod” day.

Before the wod, though, we did a Split-Jerk skill for 20 minutes. Even though there were a lot of people, it was a great opportunity to practice muscle memory or PR (depending on where you grouped yourself). The coaches, like they promised, broke the exercise down into great “muscle-memory steps” that everyone (from beginner to advanced) could benefit from. The description of how to do the split-jerk (shown on PVC) was spot-on and thorough, which this (hopefully someday) trainer appreciated.

After 20 minutes of work, we got into the WOD. I found an awesome athlete (Jacqualine) who kept me excited and feeling accomplished the whole time— which just added to my overall “bad-ass/welcome feeling” of this box.

hand-release pushups

I should note that the following day I had to get on a plane and sit for 24 hours while I make my way to Australia– so lunges were a terrible idea… BUT! I’m so glad that I went and I’m sad that I can’t stay longer and hang out with this crew more often. I will definitely be returning when I’m back in NYC– and highly recommend it to anyone who is visiting/living there.

On my 30th birthday I decided to (attempt) to walk 30-miles around Manhattan and across all the Manhattan bridges. (15 of them).

So I started by catching a subway to City Hall Park (in manhattan) and ran/walked the following:

  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Manhattan Bridge
  • Williamsburg Bridge
  • Queensboro Bridge
  • Ward’s Island Bridge
  • Randall Island footbridge
  • Triboro (RFK) bridge
  • Willis Ave Bridge (notĀ accessibleĀ at this time by foot)
  • 3rd ave Bridge
  • Madison ave Bridge
  • 145th Bridge
  • George Washington Bridge
  • Marine Parkway Bridge (by subway)

Full Album isĀ here

I didn’t quite run/walk 30 miles, but it ended up being 19 miles- which is 30K! šŸ™‚ So I’ll take that.