Taking a Barre Class in Panama

Last week I wrote a post about keeping in shape while traveling, and this week I took my own advice.

My friend Kelly moved to Panama City, Panama for work. Over Columbus Day Weekend I popped down to the narrow waistband of the Americas to pay her a visit, butcher the beautiful Spanish language and do some exploring.

Kelly and a few of her coworkers (all expats) bought the equivalent of a Groupon deal to a Panamanian boutique fitness operation called The Daily Barre. They had plans to take the 6:15am class and I decided to join. At 6:05am we left Kelly’s apartment and hopped in a cab and headed to a shopping center called Punta Pacifica.

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Mission Ride a Bike: Lesson 1

As advertised, I am learning to ride a bike.

Bike riding 101 took place in Riverside Park. For non-New Yorkers, it’s the park where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meet at the end of You’ve Got Mail.

What’s not pictured in the culminating scene of the film is Tom Hanks’ ferocious beast of a golden retriever whizzing around, taunting me as I wobble precariously on Matt’s mom’s bike.

But I’ll back up.

I was really nervous for my first lesson. A good chunk of the nerves stemmed from the fact Matt was teaching me and I didn’t want to throw the same hissy fit I threw in the early 90’s that got me out of bike riding in the first place.  And my concern was: did I have enough material for an entirely new hissy fit about biking?

But seriously.  I wasn’t sure I could handle failure graciously. I was worried I’d have a hard time learning and that I’d get really embarrassed and frustrated at my failed attempts. But that didn’t stop me from trying.

I met Matt at the park and coincidentally we wore matching outfits. #YOLO

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Going to Barry’s Bootcamp for the first time (in drawings)

So while I’m learning how to ride a bike, I’m also you know, doing other things.

My office is on the same block as Barry’s Bootcamp but since I pay 1.5 million human dollars a month for Equinox, I hadn’t been. I kept hearing that Barry’s is the absolute best body-improving, calorie-depleting workout. So you know, sold. I wanted to try it.

I signed up and went right after work. I entered the studio and gave $34 to a man with a 40 pack and arms the size of Malm 6-drawer Ikea dresser.

Barry's Bootcamp Check-In Guy

Barry’s Bootcamp Check-In Guy

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Bikes and Crips

Ever since mankind ceased being nomadic, political and religious factions have fought over land. It’s a tale as old as time, even since before West Side Story.

But there is an untold tale of tribal land grab happening in a zip code close to home. Even though NY1 isn’t covering it, Central Park is home to a conflict. The groups involved are so fundamentally different in their desires, I don’t see how we can ever live in harmony.

Every Saturday morning, three factions set out to the Central Park loop armed with cameras, bicycles or just a sweat-heavy singlet. This land war is between tourists, bikers and runners. View Post