Summer Equinox*

Just an FYI, this isn’t a paid review of Equinox (although if they *WANTED* to pay me–or let me work there–I’d be totally cool with it. Like, really cool with working there. Please hire me? 

From the moment I walked into (okay, ran into) the Equinox gym on 92nd Street, it was love at first sight. The gym was only one mile from my apartment (so I could add two mile runs into fitness plan for the day), and easily one of the most breathtaking gyms I’ve every had the pleasure to train in. If you’ve never seen (or heard of) Equinox, I urge you to get your butt in gear if only to go sightseeing. Luxury barely even begins to describe it. State-of-the-art equipment; rooms for physical therapy and Pilates reformer classes; group fitness classes that start national fitness trends; eucalyptus-scented towels…You name it, they had it.

Eucalyptus towels: Necessary? No. Appreciated? Yes.

They also had the kind of personal trainers that I aspired to be: fit, rippling with lean muscle, and knowledgable in everything from self-myofascial release to functional training.

This place was (and is), in my mind, the very definition of fitness.

To be fair, even my dream gym is not without controversy–Equinox featured some pretty racy/controversial ads a few years back (Click the picture to read more).

On the day I came in to apply for the free trial, I had to sit down with a membership counselor to discuss my options post-free-trial. As I had during my other free-trial sessions, I played dumb. Of course I nodded my head and tossed him a nonchalant smile while he threw ridiculously exorbitant numbers back at me (seriously, how can people afford monthly gym fees that were almost as high as my rent?). Sure, I’d be signing up for a membership. Sure, I’d be using the gym even though I had one on campus. Sure, I’d be happy to discuss my options once I’d found a job.

That week became one of the happiest in my fitness career thus far.

At the end of the week, I spoke to the counselor again. He noticed how stoked I was on becoming a member–he had run into me several times during the week while giving tours to other potential members and knew how serious I was about my fitness–and he sympathized with my poor-student’s sorrows. He offered to extend my free trial another week.

I was so happy, I baked the man cookies.

After that week, my free-trial membership card found itself on auto-renew. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but that man saved my sanity and my bank account, at least temporarily. I also started to get to know several of the trainers there, and one even said he’d recommend me once I had my Personal Trainer certification.

Equinox had become my bliss.

During this time, I also got myself a workstudy job with the Arts Initiative on campus. The pay was lousy, but then again, it was a workstudy, so I didn’t expect much. At least I had a job, and a fairly good one at that. It was only a short subway ride to 125th street from my apartment, and I was able to gain some good experience working in office administration, social media management, and arts blogging.

With a 9-to-5, however, I had to prep my meals in advance. I spent hours on Saturday and Sunday shopping for food, prepping veggies, cooking and freezing large batches of turkey and chicken breast, and packing and planning for the week. I ate my Eat-Clean-approved six meals per day every three hours on the hour, with snacks of apples and almond butter or berries and cottage cheese interspersed between the monotony of egg-whites and tuna.

Every night, after my post-work meal, I would study for my NASM certification, and dream of someday working at an amazing luxury gym as a master trainer. It was so close I could taste it. (And it certainly tasted better than boiled chicken breast.)


*Yes, I realize that the proper word I’m looking for here is “solstice.” Equinoxes are in the summer/fall; however, while factually incorrect, “Summer Equinox” suits my blog’s purposes for today.

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