5 things I wish my gym did online

For a few years before 2012, I had convinced myself that the best workouts would come from outdoor activities. To this regard, I shunned all gyms and indoor pools for bike rides, pilates, long walks, the weekly “nature” walk with the dogs, and the occasional tennis/basketball games. Moving from Beirut to nearby suburbs really had me reevaluate all outings. Optimally, you want your designated hamster-wheel to be nearby. But if it’s not, then it needs to have an edge- and that’s exactly what gyms in Beirut lacked. The only ones that you might consider joining all basically offered the same programs, machines, and sometimes pool. They had pretty much the same clientele, and often failed to deliver what they promised in terms of hygiene, atmosphere, and comfort.

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Last year, I discovered Fitness Zone had taken up the old Racket Club locale in Baabda- proximity, an “edge”. So while I’m overall very satisfied with my membership there, here’s what I wish they’d do online:

  1. Post updates: whoever is managing their Facebook page and Twitter account is already doing a good job of posting cool updates every now and then. I’d suggest varying the nature of the updates. While they already use SMS for most of their updates on opening hours and classes, they could consider pairing those with updates on their different social media channels. Let us know what’s happening.
  2. Be consistent: posting at random frequencies can deter your audience from engaging and make it seem as though you’re not really interested in connecting with your community of gym-goers. Make it a habit to Continue reading

The Old Man and the Sea

When I was a child, my Mother would take me every Sunday morning for a walk on the shore of Ramlet el Baida. She’d say that it was our way of “returning back to the source”. We sometimes took Mana2ish with us, and tea, and enjoyed what, as Lebanese citizens, we can sadly no longer claim as ours. Our dog would make sure we’d all get some good exercise, and we’d often come back so full of sand and salt we’d even have some in our teeth.

And it is exactly like that that I first met the Man. It must have been around 7:00 AM – we rarely ever stayed until after 8:30 – when I saw him walk into the rabid sea. I don’t remember what month we were in, but I knew that I was startled as I knew the Sea to be way too cold for a swim – God knows I had already tried it myself. But the Man walked, and walked, until he was waist high into the water. There, he stopped, and proceeded to rub his arms, his neck, his beard, and so on. Realizing I had spent the last few minutes staring, and staring at someone who probably needed some intimacy, I turned back and, like any child would do, bragged to my Mother about what I had just seen; a Man braving ice-cold water (and its surprises) to bathe! We walked on, enjoying the bit of calm before the others would arrive and crowd up the area above the shore.

As we made our way up the stairs, we noticed him leaving as well. If you had ever seen this Man, Ali, when you were younger too, Continue reading

What’s Up

StephanieNour  Hey everyone, if you’ve tried to reach stephanienour.com before, you probably noticed that the site was under maintenance. I recently switched hosting solutions and went with GoDaddy – and I’m very happy there. Now, you’ll notice some posts are missing, and others have broken images, I’m working on fixing that. Meanwhile, make sure you send your comments and suggestions my way!

 

Au revoir, Lola

I guess it’s time to talk about someone I have not mentioned much yet on my blog. My Grandmother.

Fulvia Gherardi

I’m still looking for my favorite picture of her.

Fulvia, of her real name, is my maternal grandmother, straight from Toscana, Italy. When she moved to France, she preferred the name Lola, as Fulvia – she was named after a famous Roman noblewoman – was a little tough to pronounce. The last time that I remember meeting with her while she was still lucid was at an upscale restaurant in Beirut. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and the last time I saw her, I had to remind her of who I was every 2, 3 minutes. Continue reading

L’Histoire de la Petite Fille

Lately, I’ve been struggling with writing. For the past week, I have been stuck on three articles and a play. Now, the articles have finally gone out of my system and onto “virtual” paper. But the play…

The play was a different story. I had the characters, I had some scenes already written, but I just really didn’t seem to be able to pull them all together into one play that would treat an idea I wanted to get through. The last few days have been a bit rough, I must admit. And so, because of that, my creativity just seemed to have gone to a much nicer place to be, but one always springs back, right? :)

Then, tonight, out of nowhere, my Mother came to sit with me and showed me a Continue reading

Commanding Respect

Last Sunday, I went to the beach. And even though I absolutely hate going to the beach on weekends, we found a quiet, simple little place where only others, like us, go for some peace and quiet; sun, sea, and sand.

Lebanese shore

As we were making our way back from Jiye (south of Beirut), we were expecting to see the regular vendors of ears of corn, watermelons, and whatever is planted in the vicinity. We sometimes stop by and buy really beautiful ears of corn – you know, the kind you don’t find in even the most prominent supermarkets – before heading home. However, as we drove through the area where they usually set up their little stands, I was shocked to see the first three stands empty, with a few ears of corn laying on the floor. The next three stands seemed to have been the object of a massacre.

Continue reading