You know the movie Country Strong where Goop tells Blair Waldorf to "Just fall in love with as many things as possible"? Well, since I obviously take advice from movies seriously, ever since that dramatic scene, I've done so by falling head over heels for Asheville North Carolina, Jimmy Johns, Skype, Tory Burch ballet flats, SoulCycle, Malibu, champagne, Vampire Weekend and soy lattes, to name a few. Last night, I fell in love (with a venue) again, after trying Shape House.
Here's how my experience went:
Friday night I ordered takeout and housed it. Like, it was gone in eleven seconds. Saturday morning I felt disgusting, even after working out. Shape House came up, so I decided to make an appointment.
Wednesday night, I drove to Larchmont, and since L.A. traffic is more unpredictable than what time I wake up on Sunday morning, I got there pretty early. The girl at the front was super sweet about answering all of my questions, even "What happens if I pass out or have a heart attack and die?" and gave me the total run-down of what to expect. She even agreed to walk outside with me to take a picture because "an urban sweat" made me laugh out loud, although I didn't tell her that.
After filling out the paperwork, I went to the bathroom to change. They offer you clothes to borrow, but I am way too OCD for that, so I brought my own. They tell you to bring long-sleeves, long pants and socks, so basically I was a walking SoulCycle advertisement. Once dressed, they take you to your bed and show you where your fancy water and call button are. After you lay down in the bed, the receptionist wraps you in the heated sleeping bag (I don't think that's the technical term, but that's what it is) and cranks it up. Then, she gives you a remote and headphones, and you can select from movies, TV or music. But the coolest part is that it's any kind of movies, TV or music you want -- Netflix, HBO, Hulu, they even had all of the Oscar best pic noms available (although, never in my life will I lay in a hot sleeping bag for three hours, so it's kind of a tease).
They tell you that the first twenty minutes is easy, which for me was true, and then holy shit. After twenty minutes, the sweat starts to pour. Like, all over your face, your neck, your back (enter dirty 90s song lyrics). The good thing is that at the twenty minute mark, someone brings you a cold washcloth. She recommended I put it around the back of my neck, so I did and it was lovely. For about ten seconds.
They warn you that after the first twenty minutes, the parts that are pushing hardest against the bed are the parts that will get the hottest. It's noticeable, but not painful. They also let you know that it's likely your heartbeat will speed, which it did, but it didn't last long -- it felt like the reaction to an intense five minutes of cardio.
At forty minutes, she came back with another washcloth and to check in. At this point, I'm drenched, and I know I have makeup all over my face and that I'm probably bright red. My hands are feeling asleep, or tingly, or something which was a little nerve-wracking, but I just took my arms out of the hot sleeping bag so I didn't die. Also, with my luck, the time she checks in happens to also be during a lesbian sex scene on the episode of Orange Is the New Black I chose to watch.
At forty-three minutes (I paused the episode to see how long I'd been in there) I was ready to get out, but I can't tell you if that's because I was uncomfortable with the heat, or because I was starting to feel super gross sweating so profusely in clothing and a hot sleeping bag with no breathing room.
At fifty-five minutes, the receptionist came to get me. She asked if I wanted to go to the bathroom or the relaxation room first. I said bathroom, because I needed to wash my face immediately. My hands were still a little funky, and it was hard to pick up my cell phone (which I clearly kept out) but that went away pretty quickly. I washed my face, took a few selfies, some snapchats, laughed at the Insta comments, and then went out to the relaxation room.
In the relaxation room, there was another young (late twenties is still young, duh) woman, so she and I started to talk about our experience and (what else, we're in L.A.) where we work out. The receptionist brought in water, orange slices, hot tea and a cold towel. I hung out in there for probably twenty minutes, changed my clothes and checked out. I was given a 20 percent discount because I follow them on Twitter.
When I got in my car, and all night, I felt super zenned out and calm. I took a shower when I got home, and when I went to watch TV, I lasted about fifteen minutes (that's what he said) before I got up to go to bed. I had an incredible night's sleep and when I woke up this morning, I still felt great. And, I'm having an amazing hair day, in case you were wondering.
Although there were a few times I was uncomfortable, I am satisfied overall and can't wait to go back.