My son Roan and his colleague-in-secret-mission-hood, Sachin, were good enough to allow me to follow and document their adventure after being summoned to Botania. Where? Oh….you haven’t heard? It is “a distant planet where gentle plant people are relying on you to stop the ebb of Xi energy that has sustained them since antiquity…”. The secret mission started in TriBeCa, of all places. In an unassuming (but beautiful and spacious) place called ExerBlast.
Those who aren’t connected into the story may call this place a dream-obstacle-course. Those (like you, reader!) who are in-the-know, understand that while it may be hugely fun to scale rotating rock walls, climb big spider-webby light-sensored jungle-gym things, and bounce in a roomful of Pilates-balls, it is also serious work to save the Botanians!
So my two serious secret agents got to work. They put on their sensors which tracked the energy they were collecting, and donned their earphones which kept them on-track for their mission.
After a quick warm-up, Sachin and Roan got moving. They were challenged by the mission-givers to get up to 2,500 steps (or Xi energy) each. I’m just saying that these two guys threw themselves into this challenge so entirely that they each collected 4,000, each. That’s right. They were entirely sweaty and mostly exhausted by the end, but proud as could be. And without them knowing, each boy had completed an amazing workout, using their arms, legs, core and lots of cardio. I do not think they would have signed up for that purpose, but it snuck itself in. How many places can you say that about?
But did they have fun? Um, duh. Not once did someone tell them to slow down, be careful, or be quiet. Nor did they ever lose sight of their mission. Had I not been hobbled by whatever force of nature wonked my achilles out a few weeks ago, I would have been right there with them. These courses are designed for families to use together, ages 5 – 105. (Sorry for those who are 106. You’re just too old. Get over it.) The missions are also cooperative rather than competitive.
After going through all manner of awesomely lit and thoroughly challenging experiences, the boys were led in a Yoga-inspired cool down. I do believe it is the first time I have ever seen Secret Agent Roan and Secret Agent Sachin hold still for that long. Truly amazing.
This is the gorgeous thing of living in NYC. Amazing times to be had, with the coolest of ideas being actually available, just a subway ride away. ExerBlast has after-school programs, birthday party availability and Fall Family programs. And the staff just couldn’t be nicer. Founder Kate Gyllenhaal walked me around the space, describing visions of programs for the future, as well as plans for toddlers (yes. Please. Please.) to be included soon. For prices and more information, check their website, or you can even call them (888-898-9797) and talk to a real person. Maybe from Botania. But still real.