39 More Days: Shrink Session

(Note: A version of this story first appeared on April 21, 2014. I have included some updates.)

I am healthy and whole.

I am powerful and wise.

I let go of the old

so the new can rise.

I am never giving in.

I am never giving up.

Because it’s my time.


I met Hayley in 2006. We were both cast in a production of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very a bad Day.” We looked like this.


Funny story, those costumes never actually appeared on stage. We loaded them into the van after tech rehearsals. Or so we thought. They were stolen from the sidewalk next to the van. Someone must have been very confused and disappointed when they opened up their stolen treasure. Unless they were doing a children’s production about Australia. But if they were, then- JACKPOT!

We became Facebook friends and promised to stay in touch. I joked that the next time we saw each other I would be a Mom. (I knew we were ready to start “trying” soon.)

I was right. The next time I saw her I was a Mom. Because that next time was Friday night. New Yorkers get busy.

About a year ago Hayley started talking about a class she’d been taking called Shrink Session. Right away I was interested because a I think clever names should be rewarded. But the more I learned about it, the clearer it became that this class needed to be my first Project 40 Adventure.

Shrink Session is a combination of kickboxing, yoga, dance, and affirmations. AKA the perfect Mindy Smith workout. From the moment I walked in the door I was obsessed.

We walked through that door a little late, as we were coming from CT and the class was in midtown. (For those of you outside the NYC area, it’s about a 40 minute train ride and maybe 20 minute walk. Unless it’s 7 PM on a Friday and every tourist in the city is wandering to their Broadway show. Hence, the tardiness. Didn’t think that one through. I should know better. And when I say “we” I am referring to my friend Erin and I. More on that later.) So we walk in late to a class I know little about. The class had maybe eight students who were all sitting on the floor. Hayley welcomed Erin and I, and I realized we hadn’t missed the beginning of the workout after all. Whew.

I am happy to say that I was in the moment for a good part of the class, so I cannot offer a blow-by-blow. But I can report on general feelings, both emotional and physical. I felt powerful and strong. I felt like anyone who claimed I was in the 28th percentile of 39-year-old Americans for physical fitness could kiss my ass. I felt like I was pretty good at this. I felt sweaty. I felt tired. And I was happy. It was really, really fun.

But even as I said the affirmations (seen at the top of this post- a perfect representation of Project 40 as whole.) and felt generally great, something nagged at me. I am a horrible friend.

Let me back up a bit.

I had invited Erin to join me at this class. We worked together on “Little Shop of Horrors” and I thought this would be a great way to wrap up our Spring Break and spend some fun time together. I suggested she come early and we could wander down Greenwich Avenue on our way. (The Rodeo Drive of the East Coast.) At risk of having stalkers- please don’t stalk me I’m not that interesting. (Not to mention we moved since this was originally posted) – Greenwich Ave, or “The Avenue” lies between our apartment and the train station. It’s beautiful and I figured we could take our time and hang out.

Except. I left out the part where hanging out on The Avenue was ALSO our walk to the train. So about a half hour before we’re headed into the city, Erin asks me if we’re going back to my apartment before getting on the train. All of her workout stuff is in her car.

Whoops. I suck.

There is now not enough time to make it all the way to my apartment and back down Greenwich Ave.

No problem, she’ll buy something to wear in the city.

Crisis averted.

So we walk into class a few minutes late with Erin in her new gear purchased at Modell’s. And she can just be barefoot because it’s, like, yoga and stuff right?

Which is basically how I described it when I invited her. I hadn’t read the description in a while. Just remembered I had wanted to go.

I glanced around the room and everyone was in sneakers. (Midwesterners, that’s East Coast for “tennis shoes.” They talk weird out here.) I sheepishly put mine on and gave Erin an apologetic glance.

We started the workout in a semi-dark room which was awesome and non-threatening and helpful with letting go. But I kept wondering about Erin and whether she would ever forgive me for the fact that she was now kickboxing in ballet flats.

As the workout intensified, so did both my sweat and my guilt. “Not yoga” she joked during a water break. I focused inward for an impressive amount of time. But the occasional “she is never going to hang out with me ever again. Ever.” still popped into my mind.

Class ended, I caught up with Hayley (who is getting married!), and we hit the streets of Times Square in desperate search of water. We found a coffee shop with bottled water, so OK, great, perfect. Except…. they also had these.


Workout. Voided.

But we were celebrating my birthday. So fair game.

We got on the train back to CT just like I’ve done a million times. And… it was an express train that took us right…. past… Greenwich.

I totally suck.

I ride this train all the time and have never gotten on an express train past my stop before.

Boo. Worst friend ever.

No problem, we could take the train from Stamford going the other way.

It left in about an hour.

Nope. Not these girls. Not this exhausted.

We’ll take a cab!

Which is what we did. I sent Ryan a text to see if he has cash he can run out to me on arrival.

He did not.

So I asked the driver to take me to a Chase. It’s right around the corner. I ran up to the ATM. But the deposit we made that day wasn’t available yet. Another sheepish look at Erin, who took out her debit card, got some cash, and paid the now totally annoyed driver.


I share all of this not because it’s the zaniest adventure I’ve ever had, or because I actually think I’m the worst friend ever. (Even though that occurred to me LOTS) I share it to point out how hard we are on ourselves. I almost let a series of mundane errors be the prevailing thoughts about a pretty great girls day. This is the opposite of what shrink session represents. There will hopefully be lots of lessons learned this year as I work on Project 40. This was the first.

I let go of the old, so the new can rise

Because it’s my time.

Thanks Erin and Hayley for helping me learn these lessons, and for making my time on Friday special 🙂

Update: I invited Erin to join me for a trampoline class a few weeks ago. I figured it would make up for the chaos that was our last fitness date.

The teacher was in a fender-bender on the way, and the class was canceled. Erin is never going to hang out with me again…

Except that she’s awesome. So she probably will. But I might have to buy her a pony or something.

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