I’m looking at my two best friends beaming and crying with joy. It is my wedding day. In a moment I will get in the red Mercedes that will take me to Central Park to meet the man I will call husband. Even with rain drops threatening I hug my friends and nothing else in the world matters. I’m getting Married! I will never forget that moment, or the fact that those girls flew across the country to surprise me day-of to help me get ready. They promised Cam to honor our wish to elope and not join us on Bow Bridge for the ceremony. They called themselves friend fairies there to pour campaign, ease my nerves and make sure every detail was perfect.
I don’t think I’m unique from any other bride. I had fears of not fitting into my dress. If it did fit would I be able to sit, would it rip, would I have back fat? I stressed about that dress ad-nauseum. I didn’t diet or do anything unnatural to prepare for the day, but I was careful and more strict than usual, and I stressed….A LOT! I also owe the humidity in New York and miles of walking to staying trim. In the end, it was a fairy tale come true, complete with my best friend fairies.
Cam and I arrived in New York City at 8am Wednesday morning after a red eye from Portland. Despite every effort to sleep, planes are not known for comfort and relaxation. We were exhausted but excited to be in the city. With two large suitcases, two carry-ons, a wedding dress and the bags under our eyes we went straight from the airport to the New York City County Clerk’s office to get our wedding license. I don’t know if this is the case in every state, but in New York you must obtain a marriage license 24 hours in advance. We didn’t know to expect from a government agency in NYC, and we weren’t about to risk spending they day waiting for our number to be called, so we wanted to get there early. To say we were impressed by the County Clerk’s Office would be an understatement. Everyone was so friendly and efficient, and the row of happy, in love couples also waiting to get married or get a license made the errand special. We were in and out of the County Clerk’s Office in 30 minutes and on our way to the hotel.
Still struggling to maneuver two large suitcases, two carry-ons and a wedding dress we giddily check in to The Chatwal Hotel, but we are early by hours and our room wasn’t ready yet. They stowed our belongings, and we are happy to get lunch and walk around Time’s Square for a while. We ate lunch just down the street from The Chatwal at a cute little place called Saju Bistro where they welcomed us and gave us a corner table at the window. I had a delicious caprese salads and a cup of vegetable minestrone soup. It was just the right healthy and satisfying meal I needed after a long flight and busy morning. We were still giddy with excitement, but now desperate for a map.
Traveling as much as I do has made me resilient and patient to the inevitable obstacles of travel, but it has also brought me to the end of my metaphorical exhaustion rope. It has on an occasion or two turned me into a kicking, screaming and tearful three year old, and on this perfect first day in New York City, the day before our wedding, was such an occasion. Our room still wasn’t ready when we got back to the hotel around 1:30. Cam had made dinner reservations at 6, and I was starting to panic that I wasn’t going to be able to both nap and workout. When I said I was stressing about fitting into my dress, I mean I was SERIOUSLY stressing about fitting into my dress, and the workout would trump the nap or the nap would trump dinner, but there was no way all three things would happen in the allotted amount of rapidly shrinking time. And, that’s when the tears started. The tears brought on more panic for now I’m the Bridezilla crying in the hotel lobby, which brought on the shame and more tears. Before I knew it the hotel manager was in front of us with news they had moved us to a different room that was ready, and they had reserved their hotel’s red Mercedes to take me to Central Park the next day. I’ve never used tears to manipulate or get what I want, and I still feel a little Bridezilla-esk for the meltdown, but in that moment I dried my tears, took a sip of my wine and pulled my shit together satisfied.
After a well-deserved and much needed 2-hour nap, Cam and I finally got to the hotel gym. Don’t let all the mirrors fool you. This gym is Tiny!! But, I had an hour, I had determination, and I was going to get it done. No excuses!
I’ve done a version of this workout many, many times. It’s great because it provides both cardio and weight training without a lot of equipment or weights; a winning combination for hotel gyms. To accomplish this workout you will alternate between 5 minutes on the treadmill, or cardio equipment of your choice, and the “weight room”. In 60 minutes you will have completed 45 minutes, approximately 4.5 miles, and 3 sets of 9 weighted exercises. Move from the treadmill to the weight circuit and back to the treadmill with little to no rest. It’s exhausting, but I think you’ll have a blast and reap results.
Cam and I decided to cancel our original reservations because he was feeling rushed as well. It all worked out because we were instead recommended to Aurole for dinner, which we loved! Aurole is an American restaurant just around the corner from the over-stimulating Time’s Square. Almost tucked away Aurole is romantic, contemporary and the food is insanely good!! I may have even declared my salmon, “The best I ever had!” And despite turning down dessert, our waitress was so excited about us getting married in Central Park that she brought us a beautiful dessert to celebrate. The dessert was too cute and too good to refuse!
The Big Day
The morning of the big day we walked over to 24 Hour Fitness. It was sunny and very humid, but we appreciated the walk and were too titillated too care. We were surprised that our all-club 24 Hour Fitness membership didn’t include clubs in Manhattan because they are considered “Ultra Sports”. Whatever. They allowed us to work out for free that morning, which is all we needed anyway.
My wedding dress was strapless so that morning’s workout was all about making my shoulders look round and beautiful for pictures. I warmed up with 20 minutes of intervals on the elliptical, followed by my Wedding Day Tabata workout and finished with a focus on lifting heavy for my shoulders.
The concept of Tabata is very similar to HIIT in that you have periods of intense work followed by periods of rest. The difference, typically, is that Tabata is done in short bouts of work and rest, and the workout overall is shorter, but they are guaranteed to get your heart pumping and you will sweat! *You can substitute the kettle bell and/or medicine ball with a dumbbell.
I’ve been to New York City half a dozen times but never to Central Park, and personally I can’t think of better way to tour central park than with my new husband for the very first time. Now every spot in the park hold a special memory in my heart.
By the time the Mercedes pulled up to Central Park West and & 72nd Street the rain had stopped. Hand in hand we were escorted to Bow Bridge where we were married by a good friend of Cameron’s with the city painting our backdrop. I struggle to find words that aren’t wedding clichés. Yes, I married my lover and my best friend, but that sounds so generic, which bias or not our love is anything but generic. Just over a year ago I watched a man walk up to me at a bar. I knew who he was from his picture, we met on Tinder, but I recognized him immediately as my partner. I never believed in love at first sight until I set sight on Cam. He is my best friend. He is my partner and my biggest fan. He encourages me, believes in me and challenges me. He brings joy, laughter and our daughter to my life. Here are some pictures from our wedding. I hope you like them as much as we do.