YMCA, end of the confinement – Days 13 & 14 – Two weeks in the Minneapolis Skyway

If this is your first “Two weeks in the Skyway” post, you might like to start here.

YMCA: Though I’ve walked past it at least 20 times, my brain never registered the fact that the downtown YMCA has a very prominent Skyway entrance. It couldn’t be more obvious. But that’s how it goes when you’re walking through the Skyway (at least that’s how it goes for me). All concentration is devoted to getting your destination without getting lost, so even a huge entrance and a giant sign can go unnoticed – for years. Taking advantage of a friend’s generous guest pass offer, I toured the Y’s facilities and made lavish use of the pool and whirlpool.

The Y is impressively outfitted. In addition to the pool and whirlpool area, they have a sauna, steam room, basketball courts, racquetball courts, a running track, spin classes and the full arsenal of free weights and state-of-the-art weight machines. A month-to-month membership is only $62, which can be dropped to $42 if your insurance provider offers a heath club credit. What with the meager “fitness center” in my condo group, and my long lost love for racquetball, I’m very tempted to join.

End of the confinement: This will be my last post on my Skyway confinement. My two-week interval expires at 7:20 tonight. Like most Sundays, there’s not much going on within the confines of the Skyway and so I don’t have much planned. I’ll plunge into the system when the doors open at noon, do one last bit of aimless wandering, stop at Target for groceries and hoof it back home in time for the Celtics/Lakers game.

At 7:21pm, I suppose I’ll step outside for a few cleansing breaths, but quite frankly I don’t really want to do anything, at least not right away. There’s nothing that I feel like I’ve been denied during the past two weeks. Indeed, the confinement and research kept me surprisingly occupied, trying new eating options, assessing happy hours and investigating tips by a variety of other Skyway users. The whole experience has left me in more reverent awe of the system than ever. And I was already kind of a scary Skyway enthusiast before this little stunt began.

Last night, my final full night of confinement, in a bit of perfect timing I watched the film “Waydowntown,” a dark comedy about four people who live and work in downtown Calgary, who bet each other a month’s salary to see who can go the longest without going outside the extensive Plus 15 skyway system. The film opens on their 27th day of confinement and they’re all starting to come unwound to varying degrees. By the end of the movie, which largely takes place during the lunch hour, all but one of the characters suffer moderate psychotic breaks and race outside.

I can’t speak for the mental challenges of a competitive confinement, but these two weeks zapped by so fast, with an utter lack of hardship, that I barely noticed that I was confined at all. A surprisingly full life can be enjoyed within the confines of the Skyway. It feels as if I could easily go three, four or eight weeks or more. Apart from my social life taking a serious hit, I don’t see why not. But that, of course would be crazy – at least in summer.

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Two weeks in the Skyway | 30.01.2011 11:59 | Comments Off on YMCA, end of the confinement – Days 13 & 14 – Two weeks in the Minneapolis Skyway

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