Dance Party Weekend

I kicked off the weekend with my company holiday party on Friday night. It was held at the Edison Ballroom in midtown, which turned out to be a pretty swanky spot! It was decorated to the nines and full of uniformed staff handing out hors d’oeuvres and drinks from silver trees – not too shabby at all.

Not having a “real” date and yet knowing from past company parties that it’s always impossible to find anyone I know (our holiday parties have more than 1,000 attendees), I decided to bring my best friend to keep me company. He works in financial services and their company isn’t allowed to have holiday parties (or any parties, really), and since he just got a big promotion, I thought it would be fun for him to get to celebrate :) My instincts turned out to be right – I could barely find any of my coworker friend’s, so instead, Mat and I just enjoyed some drinks and then headed out to the dance floor. Because really, what could be more appropriate behavior at a company holiday party than screaming along to “Raise Your Glass” as you fist pump and disco lights sweep the dance floor?

The next morning, though, when Mat and I reconvened for coffee… oooh boy. While I am usually pretty good at recovering from nights like that, I definitely needed my coffee + carbs (thank you, Starbucks multigrain bagel) to feel human again. However, once I had that, there was no stopping me! We headed back to Mat’s apartment to finish our coffee where we wouldn’t get accosted by crazed holiday shoppers on Super Saturday (or was it?), and decided to add a soundtrack to our gossipy catch up… in the form of YouTube videos. And when we threw on Jake Coco and Alex G’s incredible cover of “Jet Lag”, we couldn’t help but belt along. And that, of course, led to… DANCE PARTY! Beyond the various covers, our taste also ran to Lady Gaga, Glee, and even some Michael Jackson, with me bouncing around the room like a banshee.

But the dance party was not over yet! I had been invited to check out the opening day of Pedal NYC, a new boutique fitness studio in my neighborhood. When I got there, I found a small lobby with a friendly clerk waiting to check me in and sign the requisite waiver, and I was then ushered into… DANCE PARTY PART TWO. Okay, so maybe not quite, but the spinning room had the shades drawn and great music pumping. While I couldn’t quite dance while spinning like a maniac (seriously, you guys, the sweat was flying off me and I was getting mighty concerned about the co-owner of the studio who was taking opening day pics), I did manage to bob my head around like crazy as I gritted my teeth and powered up the “hills”. Because, you know, sweaty intense Laura wasn’t crazy enough without the extra dancing.

The class was incredibly awesome. I rarely do spinning (I think the last time was at Club H, when I classily tweeted about probably not being able to have sex for years), but the instructor, Ray, was very patient with helping me set up the bike (big improvement from other classes where they’ve just left me to struggle), and I loved the electronic monitor on the bike that told me exactly how fast I was going. To tailor the class to everyone’s abilities, Ray told us what range our RPMs should be in at different points, and we just adjusted the resistance accordingly until we could hit that. I found it so much easier to understand than the “make it medium-easy now… now make it a little tougher.” What does that even mean? As a numbers girl, I loved knowing exactly what I was shooting for – and then sweating my butt off to get it. Pedal, I will be back!

It was a good thing I had done all that spinning, though, because that night, I may have drank more than just a few cups of eggnog at my friend Pam’s holiday party. While the theme was ugly sweaters, I didn’t have one of those, so instead, took a cue from Theodora and picked up a set of antlers at Ricky’s – especially ugly in the fact that they had electronic LED lights that I could light up when I was feeling particularly festive. Pam’s party started at 8pm, so my original gameplan was to head home by 11pm or so to rest up for a group run in the morning. That did not so much happen.

Arriving home at 2am, I realized that if I wanted to make the 8am group run I had planned at JackRabbit, I’d only get 5 hours of sleep. Nope! I have gotten old enough smart enough to know that too little sleep doesn’t work for me these days, so I canceled my 7am wakeup call and instead set my alarm for 8:30am – meaning, I would skip the run and instead just head for Zumba at Athleta at 9:30am. Still more ambitious than most 2am party people, right?

Well, apparently my subconscious is even more ambitious than the rest of me – because I woke up at 7:15am, exhausted but somehow wide awake. I considered just staying in bed, but realized that I was going to be tired and yucky-feeling for a certain period of time (read: till noon) no matter what. Might as well go feel crappy while I run!

It was only after I made this decision and had already gotten fully up (face washed, teeth brushed) that I looked at the weather report and discovered it was 19 degrees out. NINETEEN DEGREES. (Yes, Fahrenheit). It figured that winter would sneak up on me the one day I was actually getting myself to go for a run outdoors instead of hitting the gym! But there was no turning back now, so I dutifully layered on some tights, windpants (normally overkill, but we were planning to hit the windy West Side Highway/Hudson River for our route), and a few layers on top.

I made it the first mile to JackRabbit without freezing, but the temptation was great to call it quits after that! Good thing there were other people in the group to make me feel self-conscious about quitting, especially when our leader took us up to the north part of Central Park for hill repeats. I didn’t look at the time on my watch as I went, but I felt awfully slow and out of shape, and certainly not up to chatting as we hit the long uphill. But later, looking at my times, I discovered I had been keeping an 8:50-9:05 pace throughout the entire 8 miles – even with the hills! Once I realized how much I had been pushing the pace, I felt a lot better about how yucky I felt doing it. Obviously there was a good reason for that, and it wasn’t just that I sucked! Hooray :)

But before my exercise was done for the weekend, it was time for one last dance party: Zumba at Athleta! I was totally wiped out from my long(ish) run, and I’m sure everyone else in the class was thrilled to have such a sweaty/stinky person there, but I didn’t care – Ellie is an awesome instructor, and those workouts always pump me up. Dance party, indeed!

All in all, a pretty stellar weekend, and I think I’ve hit on my new equation for life. Forget time-money-quality as the be-all, end-all; I’ve got you covered with my holiday trinity:

Bam. Perfect holiday weekend.

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