On The Pursuit Of Food Rewards

Competition. It's often said to be one of the top drivers of success. In sports, in your profession, in the markets, having a goal to pursue and then one to overcome, particularly when facing an opponent or two is one of the most efficient ways to get results. This is true – I experience it myself all the time as a naturally competitive person. However, I have discovered, over the years, an even more powerful tool – food rewards.

Ever go to the gym and know you have a food reward waiting for you at the other end? Try it. Better yet, try this. Sign up for The Pursuit, the most competitive, interactive spin class now available at Equinox Sports Club on Avery Street. This class is a 45 minute journey, with each rider allotted a number and a fiery circle on a digital board at the front of the room. Your circle burns brighter the harder you ride and all the circles are together subjected to a series of tests or games, each challenging you to ride that extra bit harder.

Keep your circle in between the two lines, engage in a relay race with your assigned partner, and feel the burn of accountability and peer pressure, have the room split into two teams and play at tug of war based on total watts per side. Sounds intense right? It is, but it's not all one-sided competition, there is camaraderie, there is support and the whole purpose of the class is to cumulatively get to a massive caloric total – in our class, it was 10,400.

The magic of a food reward is that it actually fuels you all throughout your workout. I made sure to have a reservation at SIP Wine Bar and Kitchen, conveniently located just opposite Equinox in the Theater District. All throughout my workout – or at least, on the really hard drives, I was thinking of how triumphant that meal would taste. Seabass sushi rolls, spicy tuna and salmon, all beautifully presented like a trophy after a race.

One piece of advice, however, is to give yourself enough time to calm down before you start to gorge yourself. A period of 45 minutes to enjoy the showers and spa services at Equinox makes your food reward that much more tantalizing and enjoyable. The team at SIP has your back and will have you re-hydrated and relaxing in no time. Start your meal off with something light like their shaved Brussels sprouts and spinach salad (with bacon) and their edamole – like guacamole but made with protein rich edamame – a favorite of mine.

This is the kind of workout-food reward duo that challenges competitiveness. Head into the class with your date and you have the added bonus of still being together once The Pursuit class is over and you can sincerely high five one another as you cheers to your well-deserved food reward. The Pursuit runs three times a week, on Monday (7pm-7:50pm), Wednesday (6pm-6:50) and Thursdays (12:30-1:20). Guests can also sign into their Equinox app and under the cycling section, track their performance.