Happy Gym

It was time for a day of group bonding. And what better place to do this, than at the gym.  Yes you heard correctly, at the gym.  As it happens I like the gym.  I know it is odd to hear, but I like feeling better when I am done, it makes the food and wine enjoyed after a good workout that much more enjoyable (yeah, I know it is supposed to be skinless chicken breasts and protein shakes, but that is not going to happen).

When I say at the gym, I should clarify and say this was going to be at any ole gym – we were going to Equinox. I had never been to an “uber gym”, I was used to the “people’s” gym, with the masses.  You know the place I am sure, it is where the crazy, loud and smelly people gather to share far too much about themselves. Where you are as likely to see a pool of sweat on a machine as you are to hear some horrific song ringing at deafening volumes from the earphones of the person running next to you.  And we can’t forget about my favorite gym phenomenon, the guy that works the room, hitting on the girls while talking trash with the guys and generally driving everyone crazy (all while wearing something straight from 1986).

Well, in the world of Equinox these things do not exist.  It is a magical place.  More spa, meets gym, meets W hotel.  I was in heaven.  Towel service, polite gym goers, every product you could imagine in the locker room (and no off brand labels here – they carry Kielh’s instead of that toxic neon pink substance those others try to pass off as soap).

I took classes, sat in the steam, lifted a few heavy things and finished each session with a delectable bite from the café. If they offered rooms for rent, I would likely get one.  I never knew that going to the gym could make me this happy.

But now I am sad, the gym is too far from my house and I am back at that other place now. The one with the old men who refuse to wear towels in the locker room.  The place wear smells are not those of the eucalyptus infused towels that Equinox offers.  Yes, I am sad. All that I can do is continue to go and dream of the day I can return to Equinox.


Counting Calories

It would appear that we have returned to following our good friend the calorie.  Gone are the days of carb counting and fat checking (well at least that is what I am seeing).  I have been tracking my calories on an iPhone app called LOSE IT.  I love it.  I have learned a shocking amount about what it is I shove in my mouth with reckless abandon.  I was the guy that would feast on almonds because they are “healthy” and yes they are in fact very healthy when consumed in moderation.  Moderation, what a nasty little word.  It’s true, it wasn’t uncommon for me to sit with a bag of almonds and devour 1000 calories in 30 minute (and in case you are wondering, that is too many calories unless you happen to be training for an upcoming Ironman such as Mark or Skylar).

A few other nasty surprises showed up in the form of calories from alcohol.  Good lord, I was adding 1000’s of additional calories a week to my diet.  Did you know that an ounce of gin has 107 calories. AN OUNCE.

The best part of this experience is that it has shown me how much I should be eating.  I still eat the fun stuff and cocktails still play a wonderful role in my life, but I am now able to look at the entire picture of my eating day with a better understanding of what i am doing.

Happy Eating


A Recounting of the LB Triathlon Experience

I’ve learned that the easiest part of doing a triathlon is signing up for the triathlon.  At that point, time is on your side; the calendar promises a glut of training days waiting patiently ahead of you. You tell yourself, “I have time…I will get to the pool. I will run. I will bike.”

Easier said than done. In the end, some of Team Saatchi took advantage of these precious training days and some of us did not (names omitted to protect the lazy).

Cut to dawn on race day. 450 athletes anxiously fidget as they wait in line for 10 porta potties. Hearts race, and minds struggle to remember exactly who talked them into doing a triathlon. A voice over the loudspeaker notifies competitors to get to the start line.

Anxiety turns to fear.

I run from the bathrooms and into the transition area – panic consumes me as I face a sea of bicycles.  I race in circles trying to find my equipment.  I find it.  No more excuses. It’s time.

I stand at the start line, shivering in the dark as waves of swimmers pile into the water in front of me.  I can do this.  We can do this. We feel like a team and frighteningly lonely all at the same time.

I thrash my way through the swim and make it safely back to dry land, only to discover what looks like a sandy five-mile run separates me and my bike. I hate the bike. The overpass that always seemed flat in my car may as well be Everest on a bike.  Oh, and what better way to finish a 12 mile bike ride than with a 3 mile run.

As I approach the finish line, I hear the roar of the Saatchi crowd on the sidelines cheering me on (please note that they were able to stand on the sidelines and cheer me on because I was in fact last, yes last, of the Saatchi team to finish. They had dried off, had a snack and I was still running).  But I finished.  We all finished.  And team Saatchi kicked some ass.  And while simply finishing was the real objective, we do have one member of Team Saatchi that took it to the extreme and managed to finish first – Daniel Brienza was the winner of the Long Beach Triathlon (he celebrated by going running later that day, I had 7 cocktails).

Headed to the GYM

I am not sure how it happened, but the strat-planning group is headed to the gym. As a group. All at the same time. Reward or punishment? That all depends on who you ask in the group.

Let’s back up a minute and all get on the same page. Caryn W got a two month membership to Equinox and during a recent trip thought how great it would be for everyone to get to try out the fancy new gym in the South Bay so she asked and they agreed to let our team come in for a morning and do whatever we would like (how nice of them btw). I for one can’t wait. I intend to try some new classes including getting my yoga on and finishing with a nice steam. Rumor has it that Evan plans to order a smoothie from the juice bar and park himself in front of the largest TV in the place. We shall see about that – if we tag team him, I think we can get him in a class or two ; )

So stay tuned as everyone in the group shares their day at the gym and once the reports have been logged we will truly know the answer to reward or punishment.

Eating and Exercise – Do they really go together?

As it turns out I like food. A lot. The great thing is that I do in fact like healthy items and when I do indulge I try my best to make my ice cream organic and my bread sprouted grain and my coffee fair trade (wait, coffee is not an indulgence, what was I thinking).

My big conundrum is that I strive to lose those last few pounds – while they may not be visible in my work attire they definitely appear at the beach and yes I realize how vain that sounds – I can’t help it. That all being said I go through phases of being great about going to the gym and often I will go twice a day and get in cardio and weights and when I do this I fee AMAZING. I sleep better, I am more focused at work, everything is better. What happens though is that I become ravenously hungry – we’re talking I could eat an 11 egg omelet (egg whites of course) with a half loaf of bread of toast and a bowl of oats for good measure. Conversely I can control the diet when I am not exercising but the weight never changes.

I guess I could try that thing that is called moderation, but I am not very good at that. Advice is always welcome of course.