A Matter of Balance: A Woman's Quest for Health, Harmony & Kick-ass Heels

Monday, March 05, 2012

Celebrating my Birthday in my Birthday suit

No cameras allowed, so this image comes from blog.shopnastygal.com

The NY Spa Castle proved to hold a lot more than just a day of relaxation.

When I received the email from Annie suggesting a spa day for a few of the Yale gals I was very excited. The prospect of spending the day with these wonderful women coupled with spa fun, well what could be more right up my alley. As plans unfolded it was made more perfect when the date we agreed upon was the week of my birthday. Excellent, that will be my birthday treat to myself.

When one of the follow up emails arrived indicating that one option at the Spa Castle was the nude area, well I won't say my excitement waned, but there could be nothing LESS up my alley now. This was not a bathing suit optional pool, but bathing suit prohibited.

You might think that someone who works in the fitness industry and has spent most of the last twenty two years clad in spandex on stage in front of people that this would not be an issue.

Not so.

Not only do I have the usual body insecurities, I'm just plain shy about that stuff. Take the Loehman's communal dressing room for example. I have developed quite a repertoire of physical contortions to be able to try on clothes without full disrobing, wiggling into a prospective dress before taking off the top and pants I came in wearing. The list of people who have seen me 'nekid' in my adult life is limited to the men I've slept with, and no, I won't be revealing that number.

We arrive at the Spa Castle and nothing really prepared me for what was ahead. Your basic admission gets you into a wide variety of pools, jacuzzis, saunas, rooms for napping with heated floors, ice huts, infrared relaxation areas, you name it.

Nory and I arrived early and decided to treat ourselves to pedicures (fully clothed I should add). Additionally, it gavel us some time to settle in to the concept.

While I would have been perfectly content heading up to the "bathing suit" pools, Annie was ready to kick things off at her favorite nudie pools.

Deep breath.

I disrobed, with a deer in the headlights look in my eyes, trying to be careful not to gawk or stare (I never realized the Brazilian was such the rage). I focused on making eye contact, but then there was the matter of my arms. Cover above, below, a combination or just let them swing freely at my sides? Uh no, not ready or that.

What I did see when I allowed my gaze to wander were women of ALL shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of cellulite and undoubtedly body issues of their own. They were scrubbing, soaking, relaxing seemingly without judgement of themselves or those around them.

There were plenty of kids at the Spa Castle, most were enjoying the bathing suit pools, but at some point were skipping through the locker room where women wandered. I couldn't help but wonder if these girls may just grow up with a tad less body baggage being exposed to such freedom and confidence.

As I prepare to ring in my 46lth year this Friday, I both proud, and frankly quite surprised, that I took this plunge. Pun intended.

I'm thank for the women who made it possible, both those I was with, but all of the women who surrounded me.

There was beauty everywhere.

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