Growing up in Kansas, land and space were more than ample. Gas-guzzling SUVs race up and down the endless network of roads and highways while McMansions dot the flat-as-a-pancake prairie. Land is cheap and there is plenty of space for developers to add on swimming pools, tennis courts, or whatever their fitness inclined hearts desire. I took all of this for granted until I moved to New York in 2009.
Ahh, the concrete jungle...New York is quite possibly the opposite of Kansas in terms of geographic landscapes. Manhattan is a tiny island overflowing with buildings, people, and traffic. Ungodly real estate prices make the average parking space more expensive than most homes in other parts of the county. This drastic difference was most noticeable for me when looking at available aquatic real estate. I had the hardest time finding a place to swim, let alone finding people to swim with.
I started looking for pools all across the island, but things proved more difficult that I could have imagined. There are fewer than 3 olympic-sized swimming pools in Manhattan, so I had to open my search up to smaller 25-yard pools. I don’t think of myself as too picky, but did find that some pools were just too small, too dirty, or too crowded to get any work done. There I was, six months into my search and in desperate need of some aquatic therapy. I turned my search into the digital space and finally started to gain some traction.
Chelsea Piers was the first, and most affordable option out there. I went on a tour of the facilities, finally finding my workout Mecca. I joined the men’s master team in early 2010 and haven’t looked back since. While the majority of the workout takes place underwater, I was thrilled to find out that we use everything the space has to offer. The pool, the weight rooms, the tennis courts, the track, the list of amazing spaces goes on and on. Finally after 8 months of searching, I had found my happy place. The swimming community in New York may be small, but we are close-knit and almost an extension of my family. Working out is my therapy, and I am glad that I was able to find that last piece to my New York puzzle.
While a speedo, goggles, and a swim cap is all I need in the pool, outside on dry land presented a whole over issue. Luckily, I found out about OnlyAtoms. This lightweight athletic wear keeps me cool and stylish while I strut around Chelsea Piers. I have tried other athletic gear in the past but couldn’t find a fit that works well with the environment and with my rigorous workout routine. If you are a swimmer or an athlete, feel free to join in the fun every morning during the week over on the westside at my wonderful gym in Chelsea.