March 10, 2016
Cliff notes: This is a positive review. If you are a weightlifter, I recommend you go try a float session out to see if it works for you like it does for me. I mean you already waste your money on supplements that do nothing, fitness soda, 2 pairs of weightlifting shoes, compression pants and various overpriced copies of straps, wraps and sleeves. Why not give a float session a try in an effort to relax your overtaxed CNS and at least challenge yourself to being alone with your thoughts for an hour. In the age of narcissism, it’s harder than you think but it pays dividends on and off the platform.
So I’m going to preface this with a resounding:
I just plain do not buy into most of the bullshit that the fitness industry tries to shove down my throat.
Yes, there are new innovations that come along that don’t necessarily fall into the bullshit category; Take for instance meal prep companies like the one I work with, Forklifter. Lean meat and veggies is an objectively “good” thing. It always has been and always will. So if you got a few extra bones to spend and want someone to prep your food for you, I’d recommend it. But most trends that come and go within the fitness industry are exactly that: trends. Some may serve up more utility or style than others but these trends have and will be recycled as long as people long to feel good about themselves and their bodies.
Now that I got that out of the way, I can talk about this new hip thing I’ve been doing for the past week. It’s called float therapy. Some call it sensory deprivation therapy but honestly that is a pretty extreme way of describing what this is. During a float session, the only thing you’re really depriving yourself from is a) light and b) outside distractions that we fill our personal void with on a daily basis.
So here’s how it went down. Capital Floats opened up on Broadway in the now bustling Oak Park district (my old hood) 2 weeks ago. A friend of mine bought me a session as a gift and it just so happens that I (potentially) am competing in a meet this weekend. It also just so happens that I suffered a mild injury last week and that I’m in a constant state of mild anxiety due to being a small business owner. So a float session seemed like a good idea.
I checked in. The facility was clean and inviting. I know I’m into the whole “dungeon” look for a training hall. That’s what feels like “home” to me. I immediately get turned off when I see super polished and sterile weightlifting warehouses that lack personality. But when I look at any sort of shared public water facility, the FIRST thing I’m going to do is determine if it seems sanitary or not. This place passed with flying colors. You are assigned your own room where you rinse off and then hop in a tank of salt water for an hour. A dim blue light lines the floor until you’re ready to turn it off. And I DO recommend turning it off.
Stare into the void. Look into yourself. Be alone. Be okay with that. Relax, your phone is just outside the door. You get to return and check your social media soon enough.
This exercise in itself is more than worth it for me. Alone time is like gold. Being truly cut off with a valid excuse for being unavailable is sacred time. It’s church. And yes, I’m sure there are some physical benefits too. Am I going to go look at what the peer reviewed research says before I form an opinion? No. I feel relaxed afterwards and thats enough for me. And as far as research goes, I haven’t done my homework lately but relaxation is pretty much unanimously considered “good” for the competitive athlete (at least that’s what I learned in college). I’ve only tried floating on my off day and in the evening after my sessions. But I’d be curious to see how my body responds to a float session in between heavy workouts on my primary training days.
Capital Floats on Broadway. Give it a shot. If it’s not you’re thing, no biggie. But whether you’re a weightlifter or a small business owner or a dad or somebody’s boss, I’m sure you could use some sacred time. Make it a priority once every few months.
March 9, 2016
A lot has happened in the past 6 months.