Last weekend I spent a couple of days with a group of CrossFit friends in Prague. It was an all-girls trip, full of extraordinary shenanigans. You’d think 8 girls being together 24/7 at close quarters would bring much drama, but all there was was plenty of laughter, good times and crazy fun.
I’ve still got to go through some of the pictures I took, but since there wasn’t much sightseeing (in favor of working out and SPA treatments) involved, there won’t be that many to follow.
As my memories are fresh though, here’s a brief recap of our lovely weekend.
We’d decided to drive by car on Friday afternoon, as soon as we got out of the office. We split up into two cars with the first group of girls leaving a bit earlier and then the second car heading out around 4:30 pm’ish. I still had a client meeting from 2 to 3, so I was glad for the second option and my lovely friend Sylvie offering to drive.
There was a bit of a traffic jam as we left Munich and later on the highway around a giant construction site, but we passed the time just fine. We had good conversation and Haribo gummibears to get us through. Around 10 pm we finally arrived at the apartment, which was located in the district of Praha 2. Gabi and the three other girls, who had left earlier in the afternoon, had already arrived and had thankfully taken care of getting the keys to the apartment and doing some grocery shopping. Much needed! By the time Sylvie, myself, Julia and Julia got there, dinner places had closed. We were very grateful that there was some kind of food in the house.
We spent the evening chatting, drinking wine, cracking jokes, drinking more wine, cracking even sillier jokes until it turned into the kind of full-blown ridiculousness that doesn’t make any sense the next morning once you sober up, but is the best thing ever as blood alcohol is high. It was absolutely wonderful. I haven’t laughed this much and hard in a really long time.
My head was spinning a bit as I lay down to sleep, but it was totally worth it.
I do have to admit that I felt a little queasy upon getting up on Saturday morning. Since I’ve started working out regularly and am constantly on the quest to lose weight, I don’t drink much anymore. So there, you get what you deserve, eh?
To start the day, we had a proper breakfast together: full of eggs, bacon, fruit and veggies, some quark. And the voodoocado. Once we were invigorated, we headed to CrossFit Hometown for a private lesson. Jakub, our super friendly (and handsome!) coach, greeted us and then spent an hour working with us on our snatching technique and then finally guided us through a partner WOD. I really enjoyed Jakub’s coaching. He had a good eye, explained a movement as complicated as the snatch really well and gave great cues and feedback. We had all practiced snatches before, but sometimes, it helps to have a new, neutral person to give you a piece of advice in a way that your regular coaches maybe haven’t. That doesn’t mean any coach is better than the other. Just different in explaining things.
The partner WOD was a lot of fun. At first he said something that sounded like Murph, making everybody gulp and give him the deer-in-headlights look. Thankfully he was joking and our WOD consisted of a 500m run, 50 thrusters @ 30 kg (as a team), 500m run, 30 thrusters @ 35 kg, 500m run and 20 thrusters @ 40 kg. For time. Phew. Julia and I split the first thrusters in 10s each, after that, we went 5 each until we had reached the required amount of reps. 40 kg thrusters are heavy for me, so I was glad when we were done.
After the class, we went ahead and bought pretty much all the shirts the box had, sitting in front of a pile of shirts like lionesses in front of a dead zebra. It must’ve been pretty hilarious for an outsider to see. CrossFit girls go shopping. 😉
After the CrossFit class we drove to Aquapalace, a large water park and SPA in Prague. We had lunch and coffee there before we headed over to the sauna area to relax and wait for the deep tissue massages we had booked for later in the day. Heavenly!
I’m rather picky when it comes to massages. I like it when they apply pressure. Like, a lot of it. I like it when they dig in because the moment when they finally work out the little knots and spots of tension, it feels amazing. My massage therapist was wonderful. A small-framed woman with a good, firm grip. It hurt. It hurt so good. I hadn’t felt this good in a really long time.
[Even though I felt into a spiral of negative thinking as I was lying on the bench, relaxing and having time to second-guess myself and my existence. It did affect me some into the evening, but I’d managed to snap out of it by Sunday, feeling only just a little bit overly self-conscious.]
After we got pampered and ready, we rushed back to the apartment before it was time for dinner. Gabi had made a reservation at Čestr, a spectacular steakhouse nearby. (I had found the place through Foodspotting, one of my most favorite food/restaurant apps.) The interior was very lovely and service was quick, attentive and very friendly. The entire experience was great, starting with the menu cards, which showed great attention to detail, to the food, which was some of the best we had.
The great thing about Prague is that compared to Munich, it’s very cheap. A dinner like this in a comparable restaurant in Munich would have easily cost tripple the amount. In Prague, we had wine, beer, soft drinks, appetizers, steaks with sides, digestives, dessert and coffee. And none of us had to sell our soul or any organs. It was all very affordable.
It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
Sunday morning. Oh boy. The biggest challenge was yet to come after breakfast. Pole dancing. Yes, you read that right. Pole. Dancing. Let me preface this with saying I have horrible coordination and very little sense of rhythm. I’m not a good dancer. But I was ready to take one for the team and make a total fool out of myself for everybody’s amusement. I think I succeeded.
Before we headed to class, we drove into the city center to squeeze in some sightseeing. We parked at a big mall and then walked over to Old Town Square, where the Town Hall and famous Astronomical Clock are located. It was crazy busy and challenging not to lose a person along the way as we walked to the crowded Charles Bridge. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time for sightseeing, something I would’ve liked to do a bit more and not quite so rushed. Next time!
The reason for our hurry was said, infamous pole dancing class which started at 1 PM. Our coach was a stunning Polish woman named Bonnie. Damn, that lady was beautiful. If I could swap my body for anybody’s, I’d ask for hers. Beautiful face, gorgeous tattoos all over. I might’ve fallen in love! 😉 And the lady could move.
I was really nervous as we got there because I felt self-conscious about my body, my inability to move said body in any fashion that’s not clumsy. Or the fact that the more naked at pole dancing you are, the better. The giant mirrors didn’t help. Bonnie was a lovely coach though. She showed us a couple of moves and kept encouraging us, giving praise despite our probably funny-looking efforts (we all lacked proper pole dancing skills, though Gabi did a pretty mean job!)
Yes, there are pictures. No, you’re not going to see them. This is the part where what happened in Prague stays in Prague.
The class turned out to be a lot of fun nonetheless. One thing it taught me is that everybody should have a hell lot of respect for pole dancers. I’d say everybody who came on this trip is somewhat athletic. Most, if not all, the girls crossfit several times a week. We’re not weak by any means. And this was hard. You need strength, coordination, rhythm and a high tolerance for pain. I don’t think I’ve ever been in this much pain in my life before! Running two marathons and having several tattoos included.
The key to pole dancing and not slipping off the pole is making sure you have as much contact to it with your skin as possible. Then you squeeze as tight as you can. Even as you spin around and your skin is rubbing against the metal pole. It feels a bit like being skinned alive and is so unimaginably painful. You have no idea. Bonnie mentioned you don’t really get used to it and that it still hurts her, even as she’s been doing this for over two years. This is when I realized that even if I wanted to, I could never be a pole dancer. I just have no desire to train something that’s always going to hurt me. Mad respect.
I do have another take away though:
After class we had Bonnie show us some of her moves. This is how you do it.
We rounded off a spectacularly fun trip with a final lunch together at a burger place that happened to be nearby. It reminded me a lot of Five Napkins in New York and was the perfect end to this trip. We then split up into our two cars again and drove home. Drive itself was mostly quiet and uneventful, save for some traffic jams just shortly before Munich.
This whole experience was extraordinary. From Prague as a beautiful city to visit, the fun activities we did, the fantastic energy within the group and everybody getting along so well. I can’t wait for our next trip together!