On a Saturday afternoon in mid-March, I finished a terrible 3-mile run. It was one of many terrible recent runs.

I don’t have a sports agent. Speaking frankly, only one person would care if I quit running. I am married to him. So I called him. He answered from a chair lift in Beaver Creek. I got right to the point.

Me: Matt, I want you to be the first to know. I’m taking a break from running.

Matt: Does this mean you’re not running the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler?

Me: Correct. No more questions.

Matt: And you’re not running the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in June?

Me: Exactly right. This interview is over. It’s my turn to order at Muffins Cafe. Love you.

I hung up the phone and I didn’t run for a month. I still found myself in DC the weekend of the Cherry Blossom race since Matt was running and I love our yearly trip. I used to live in DC and coming back for a weekend is always a delight.

One of my closest friends, Tricia, lives in DC and is the chief of staff in a congressional office. Tricia had convinced her entire team to sign up for the race with her. Then she didn’t train for it. A natural born leader, she planned to run the race anyway. The day before the race, we had the following exchange:

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“Feel free to lose your shit!” bellows the instructor over a throaty Decemberist song.

My classmates scream, grunt and shake in response.

“The Class” by Taryn Toomey is a sweaty body weight workout in Tribeca right next to the Four Seasons. The vibe is upscale hipster and the studio looks like someone at Goop designed it. But the beautiful people in the class move as if they’ve caught the Holy Spirit in a mega church.

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Note: I received this massage for free in exchange for writing an honest review.

I first met the lovely folks of FitClub NY when they hosted a pop-up event at the flagship Lululemon on Fifth Avenue. Camped out in the lower level of the shop, in a space called Hub Seventeen, they offered sports massages and physical therapy assessments. At that event, I won a 60-minute sports massage at their studio, located at 153 W 27th Street.

Who turns down a free massage? Not me. So a few weeks later I showed up at their studio, conveniently located by the 28th Street 1 train stop. I made an appointment first, of course. You gotta make an appointment. Write that down.

FitClub NY reminds me of a start-upy version on my old favorite, Finish Line Physical Therapy. I switched health insurance plans. Under the new policy, PT sessions have increased in price by 300%.  So I’m exploring other, possibly more affordable, PT options and I was excited to check out FitClub.

fitclub ny

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I love planning trips. Gone are the days when I buy a guidebook in advance of booking a flight. Nowadays I scour the internet to read travel blogs and websites for hotel recommendations, must-do activities and inside tips. To that end, I’ve found others’ itineraries and recommendations so helpful so I wanted to share a great long weekend Matt and I spent in Maine last summer in an easy-to-copy format.

Who should go on this trip: Active east coasters who want to go to a national park without flying west
When to go: Maine gets cold and windy, so this depends on your personal constitution. We went in July and I thought that was perfect
Is it expensive?: It doesn’t have to be. JetBlue offers relatively low fare flights from JFK to Portland. You could stay in a luxury hotel/B&B right in Bar Harbor or find something smaller further afield.

Here’s a 5 day/4 night plan for enjoying Acadia National Park.

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Matt and I spent three nights in Queenstown, New Zealand during our honeymoon. We loved every second of this restaurant-packed, lakefront little city.

Queenstown is adventure capital of the world. You can famously bungy jump at the first commercial bungy site (Matt did!), mountain bike down steep trails, go white water rafting and find countless other thrills.

But mostly, we wanted to hike.

We spent hours googling trails but in retrospect, the good stuff was obvious.  I’m sure you could find other day hikes in the area, but in my humble opinion (and the opinion of all the Queenstown locals we polled) these three experiences are must-dos for those spending just a few days near Lake Wakatipu.

Queenstown Hill

Queenstown Hill

Matt at the “basket of dreams” on Queenstown Hill

This hike takes about two hours (roundtrip). It starts right outside of the center of Queenstown, and you can absolutely walk there. (I don’t think there is parking closer to the trail head anyway). The hike is steep, but short and the trail is packed dirt and well marked. You’re rewarded with incredible views of Lake Wakatipu below.

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