Life and Flexibility in Madrid

©Alexandra Tremblay-McGaw

I am a pretty flexible person. That is, a pretty physically flexible person. I trained and danced with the San Francisco Ballet for ten years and I love all kinds of sports and physical activities. Before coming to Spain I started doing yoga and meditating at school and at home. Because we get some money from the program to be able to participate in activities and cultural experiences, I was able to use some of my money to buy a gym membership that came with classes. As a result I have taken some yoga classes for the first time. Taking a class at a Spanish gym can be intimidating, especially when you are taking a crazy yoga class!
So supposedly this yoga class was for all levels, but let me tell you there were times when I was upside-down, with my feet tangled, and my arms through my legs when I was thinking: “What the f**k!!! I have never seen anything like this and I’m not even sure if this is good for my body”. I must have played it off like I knew what I was doing because the instructor didn’t ask me if I had ever taken a yoga class before (like he did to many other people, one of which was very offended). As they say, fake it until you make it!
As the class went on, the instructor kept pushing, “stretch your arms more,” “reach,” “put your left arm here so you feel it more”. As I smiled and nodded, in my head I was really thinking yes, I wasn’t putting my arm there because that f**king hurts! You sir, are a sadist, and I am not interested in tearing my hamstrings today. Of course I am being dramatic, but the class was extremely hard, partially because yoga is so new to me. I felt great after the class and was happy I went, but it was hard to walk up stairs the next few days!
This is not to discourage you. I love my gym (El Horno) and I am excited to try new and different classes. On days when I am not feeling adventurous, I cycle and run on the treadmill. The walk to the gym is a quick five minutes from my piso and I love walking on all of the side streets. I enjoy seeing the architecture, shops, people, and of course, dogs.

On a side note, do not send or receive packages from the U.S or anywhere outside of the European Union. My mom recently sent me a package with two pairs of old hiking pants because we thought it would be cheaper than buying a new pair and it was not. She obviously had to pay to send it, but I had to pay to receive it! I am not even going to tell you how much it was, but trust me; it was not worth it!

©Alexandra Tremblay-McGaw

Recommendations:
1. Push yourself in Madrid! Do things you’ve never done before.
2. Don’t send of receive packages from the U.S.A!!! It is crazy expensive and not worth it. I can’t stress this enough.
3. Don’t approach a person and randomly admire and pet their dog. Here, I have been told that they think that it is weird and from my personal experimentation, most people do.

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