PlayDate Arrives in Memphis: Wanna Play?

“Put your ass on red!”

Lord knows I tried, but to no avail, I failed miserably and landed on the floor, on top of some guy I didn’t even know. In front of a large crowd of people I probably had never even seen before.

How did I get here? Let’s go back…

Last week was a work week straight from hell. By the time Friday rolled around, I was physically and mentally exhausted. Driving home that evening, I longed to be in kindergarten again for two reasons only : naptime and my favorite part of the day, recess.

Every day in elementary school, we would get 30 minutes to an hour to run, jump, play–basically wild out to relieve stress and practice fitness activity. If a 5-year-old needs naps and recess, don’t adults need them, too? Well,  unless I walk two blocks to the parking garage to take a nap in my car (yes, I’ve done it before.), I won’t get nap time, but recess I can do something about, thanks to PlayDate. 

PlayDate was finally launching in Memphis, according to a tweet I saw circulating a few weeks ago. I was so excited, as I’d always heard about how fun the monthly events were from friends in nearby cities like Atlanta and Nashville.  Finally, we would get to experience it, like every other major city. Thank God because I’ve been burnt out on the club scene here. The need for something out of the norm in Memphis is great.

PlayDate is an alternative to the everyday club scene. The concept was developed to bring diverse groups of people together to interact in a social setting based on playing games. PlayDate provides a unique platform that allows individuals to just have fun and interact with those who have the same goal.”

Let’s get back to the night in question. Imagine walking into a room to find full-grown adults Hula-hooping, playing Simon Says and Twister to “No Hands.”  Or how about competing in sing-offs to Tupac’s “I Get Around” or Jay-Z “Empire State of Mind” to win prizes? That’s what was going on inside Stop 345, the launch event location.

The best thing about PlayDate? I didn’t feel restricted or guarded like I can sometimes feel in a “club” atmosphere. Though I could’ve hit the bar, no libations were needed to hype me up. We were all having good ol’ fashioned fun. Check it out:

      This is what I walked in on.    

DJ 007 was spinning.

PlayDate founder and TEC, Inc. CEO, Imari Harvard, showing us how Hula-hooping is done.

Twister…Big Fun!

                   

 

PlayDate founders and team. Great guys!

Overall, PlayDate definitely brings something new to the Bluff City: diversity, a relaxed environment (no speed-dating here) and plain fun. If you missed the launch, check PlayDate Memphis out on Facebook or Twitter for next month’s event details and pictures.

 

 

Like A Virgin: My First Yoga Experience

If I haven’t said it before (and I have), I’m out of shape. After my shameful encounter with the Wii Fit, I decided to actually do something about my pitiful health. I pegged attending a yoga class for something different. How late am I, right? Yoga is so passe’, but I’d never tried so it’s brand new to me. Several days earlier, I went online and found a chic little yoga center that offered beginner’s classes on Saturdays for only $10. I could definitely afford that.

Before I knew it, it was 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. My drapes served as a tight lid on the sunshine and cold air outside my window. It was dark in my bedroom, warm and comfy in bed. The last thing I wanted to do was get out of it, but there was no time for procrastination. It’s Yoga Day. I felt like it was the first day of school.

Fast forward to the arrival. Dressed in my stretch pants and old dance top, I walked in and was almost knocked out cold by the aromatherapy in that piece! There were small statues of Buddha, candles and relaxing music playing in the background. You know, the kind they put on when you get a professional massage.

The hostess, who was as perky as all get-out, greeted me quickly, as other patrons rolled up their yoga mats, sipped mocha lattes and pulled their blonde and brunette bobs out of ponytail holders. I was just about to give everyone in there my infamous side-eye, but instead I put on a smile and said, “Hi, I’m here for the beginner’s class…This is my first time.” The hostess gave me a look like as if to say, “You don’t say, huh?”

I was a yoga virgin about to be touched for the very first time.

To seal the deal on my thoughts about this experience before it even started, a box of gourmet candies was setting on the front desk. Women, left and right, were digging in with their bare hands, devouring the stuff, all while saying, “Oh God! Aren’t these fabulous??”

Now I know yoga is of Indian origin, but….this scene that I was in? This was some white shit. I would know because I was the only black person there. Maybe the only one who’d been there ever.

Anywhoo, let the yoga begin! The studio was packed. While everyone else was lying on mats, meditating, I was still trying to figure out what the blankets were for. The instructor, a petite, wiry lady with short hair entered the room and immediately started talking with her eyes closed. I just fell into the groove, I guess. I wanted to be a good little yoga student, so I mirrored the instructor to perfection. I stretched every part of my body. Shit, I thought this was for beginners!

That pic is hilarious to me, btw!! I can do that and don’t ask me how I know.

A few things I learned from one hour and fifteen minutes of yoga:

1. I can’t listen well with my eyes closed. Is that crazy or what? I actually need to see the person who’s talking. Doesn’t make sense because I talk on the phone with my eyes closed all the time. I guess that’s usually when I’m about to doze off though. Doesn’t count.

2. Breathing shouldn’t be that hard. I mean, it’s only a means in which you stay alive. That inhale-exhale thing had me a little confused.

3. I have absolutely no balance on my left side. Thank God for the “tree stance” against the wall.

4. I have terrible posture, sitting down.

The moral of the story is: Always try something new or out of the box for you. I actually enjoyed the class, but I admit I’ll need a few more beginner classes to really get into it. I don’t even mind being the only brown person there—as long as they don’t ask me where they can take hip-hop aerobics classes.