Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Subway tests

Bra top: Missguided, Cardigan: I stole it from a friend, Shoes: ROC, Skirt: Choies, Belt: Vintage, Hat: Al et Clar

Here's the thing about wearing full skirts in Winter. It works in theory but it doesn't in reality, when the freezing air seeks any bared or available skin like a homing missile. I have a feeling that this Winter, my concept of what is cold and what is acceptable clothing is going to be turned on its head. Apparently it's snowing this weekend - which fills me with a mixture of excitement and cold fear. I have never seen snow, I have never felt sub-zero temperatures and this is the first time I've had to learn weird American-winter survival terms like snow boots and portable glove warmers and heat tech socks. The concept of carrying a second set of clothes to put on once you enter any heated building baffles the mind, and since everyone can barely fit on the subway at the moment, it's going to be verrrrry interesting to see what the room to breathe will be like once everyone takes up five times more space from all the misc winter clothes they're carrying/wearing.

I've never missed Australia's moderate weather so much. It doesn't help that all my peers back home are sending photos of beaches in what could possibly be every digital platform that exists. Snapchat, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram - the phantom of beaches past is assaulting me at every internet corner I turn into. I've reconciled myself to the fact that living here means giving up moderate sunshine and being a pro at stripping/putting on layers on the subway/off the subway. It's kind of exciting  - some days I don't even need to listen to a podcast on my way to work because I'm so preoccupied taking my clothes off.

I read somewhere (it was probably Man Repeller), that you TRULY live in New York once you've ridden a subway, had your groceries break on you on the way home from the store, walk to work in the snow. I'll raise you with: ridden a subway on Halloween when you're neck to neck with three Hulk Hogans, a jellyfish umbrella and a man puking at your feet, carried your groceries home while it's 500 degrees and then you forget them on the train, walking to work in mildly cold temperatures as an Australian in inappropriately sparse clothing. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bonds Girl

I'm a terrible fashion blogger. Catch me on any given day and I'll most likely be wandering around in gym clothes that I just sweat in profusely, hair askew and makeup melted. It's not that I don't array an extra set of clothes around with me or anything, it's just that I feel at most in my element in stretchy pants and a sports bra. It's like being constantly ready to sprint - for trains; when you're late meeting someone; away from a robber.

All gear from Bonds

Specifically sports bras - I'm definitely nowhere near tummy-baring status just yet, but there's something empowering about giving your bellybutton some air when you're working out. I feel so much more powerful. 

On Sunday, I put on some Bonds activewear to do some errands in (when the package came to my doorstep, I basically had a little moment where I missed the shit out of Australia), and some stair sprints - which is the quickest way I fit in exercise when I'm strapped for time. Stair sprints are especially cruel, but it gets the job done. I'll do 15 minutes of 30 seconds rest, 30 seconds work of full-speed sprints and call it a day as I collapse into a sweaty heap. Throwing a jacket on and zipping it up makes no one the wiser that I'm not actually wearing clothes underneath. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The best things in life are (almost) free

Jacket: Zara, Shoes: Customized converse, Shorts: American Apparel, Bra-top: H&M, Rings: Wanderlust + Co

The best things in life are simple (but not always free). A great jacket with a million zips and the perfect shade of pale pink. The same H&M bra-top that does nothing for my lack of a chest but works with every single high-waisted piece of clothing I own. The joy of getting over my 16 year old conscious nagging at me that wearing high-top sneakers makes my legs look short/stubby. 

I'm finding that as I'm getting sloooooowly older, I'm learning to appreciate the simpler things. A random friend on Facebook posted a status the other day from Australia, where he lamented the downpour that Sydney was experiencing, and that the whole day was just torrential rain and wetness - but that it was also bookended by rainbows and his ability to narrowly avoid stepping on a snail. "You make your own happiness."

I'm a big believer in making your own happiness, and I definitely haven't yet mastered this skill. I'll still swear internally when a girl backs her ass up (in the worst possible way) into my face on the subway in her way of bullying me out of a seat, or when a guy spins the revolving turnstile door too hard and it smacks you in the face on your way out of the subway (it turns out that all my #firstworldproblems are rooted in taking the subway). Even if I'm having a bout of heavier stress from work or life in general, it's alarmingly easy to forget that I'm in New York, this is the best time of my life, and the best things in life are as simple as buying some green tea mochi and getting over it.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Photo from my Instagram

I woke up dreading Tone House. The first time I went was at 7AM on a Monday morning, bleary-eyed and stumbling my way through Union Square - not really ready for life or the homeless man yelling at me "OOO IT'S A JAPANESE GIRL - SHE BUILT LIKE A BLACK SISTER", let alone an hour of what would be one of the toughest workouts I've gone through. I figured that if a workout had taken me hostage and made me giddy with fear, I should definitely go back - and so I rescheduled on Classpass.

But as the day went by, and the clock inched closer and closer to my 7.30PM class, my anxiety grew. Walking through the door and waiting for the class to start is an experience all on its own - the Midtown studio greets you with "CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR. IT'S GAME TIME", the room is tinged red and barely has any light, and something akin to the Inception soundtrack is humming in the background - casting a very Hunger Games esque vibe to the whole experience.

Photo from Tone House NYC

After glancing around at the insanely high amount of fit people per square metre in the room, it was time to warm up. Fifteen minutes of hurdle drills, facing each way, and then burpees between each hurdle, multiple times. This is not cross country warm-up at your Primary School. The warm-up ALONE grabs you by the neck and grunts in your ear that you are not ready, and you are not worthy.

I've trained with Alonzo, the founder of ToneHouse NYC and also Yusuf, the head coach. Both had an unwavering disposition of ex-athletes who are UNBELIEVABLY BUFF, and each have their own styles. Both were tough - Yusuf yelled more.

After regrouping from mini workout #1 (the warm-up), everyone gets into a circle and jumps and yells and puts their hands in the middle. What then follows is a blur of harness sprints, normal sprints, and circuits of exercises dependent on what body parts they're targeting - I've been to both lower body and upper body days, and both have a variety of exercises that are half fun and half (mostly) excruciating, including jumping on an ab dolly and scooting around the room using your legs, box jumps, TRX rows and bicep curls and a lot of harness sprinting. The hour goes by quickly though, and each circuit or stage is split up with high fives all around.

One of the stages that was particularly fun/terrifying was circle drills - essentially standing in a circle and reacting as quickly as you can to the instructions of the trainer - whether that be to drop to the ground and do a burpee, hold a squat, jump high in the air, jump around or squat-press with a sandbag. When someone is yelling at you to do something before you've finished the previous movement, shit gets real.

Another portion I had never come across was wearing a harness attached to a long stringy bungee rope, that applies resistance when you run beyond the length of the rope - we were told to sprint, do bear crawls and get on a table top position and walk like a crab. My lack of coordination proved to be too strong, and I was dragged back by the rope multiple times. Another star example of my lack of coordination is during a sprint drill, when a portion was running backwards - I decided to run backwards at a completely random time, confusing everyone and myself in the process.

Tone House is challenging. And if you are ever in the situation where you can work out to cinematic theme music, have war cries and incredibly confused muscles, it probably works and you should definitely go back.