Friday, December 19, 2008

Beauty, Fitness & Best Friends

In second grade I started a tradition. Every June, I invited a few of my closest friends to come to Canyon Ranch for an End-of-the-School-Year Beauty Fitness Day. It was pretty uncommon to see a herd of eight-year olds roaming the Ranch, but we were pretty well-behaved and all my friends looked forward to our annual summer kick-off celebration.

Early on, we took step aerobics and dance cardio classes up in the Life Enhancement Center gym, where we were out of the way of the guests. When we got a little older, we participated in the fitness classes with guests in our matching T-shirts and had a blast. After lunch in the Dining Room, we would head to the Salon and Skin Care department for facials, complete with paraffin for our hands and feet, manis and pedis, and a fancy up-do to show off to our parents when we returned home.

My End-of-the-School-Year tradition continued until I made it through middle school. Every year the group would change slightly because friends would move away or new friends were made. By high school, Memaw (that’s what I still call my grandmother) and I decided it was time to retire the tradition, but we had great memories of the warm summer days running around the Ranch with the girls.

Before beginning my third and final year of law school, I thought it might be fun to gather a few of my girlfriends and spend a weekend at the Ranch. We had all survived our time as summer associates in L.A. and New York’s toughest law firms and thought we deserved a little TLC: a Beauty Fitness Weekend. Six of us flew in from L.A. in the middle of Tucson’s August heat. When we arrived at our casita, my friends were all blown away. Each of them had their favorite activity: Ellen loved funk aerobics on Sunday morning with the live DJ, Meredith savored the fresh veggies at the salad bar, and Elisa melted in her stone massage. The most memorable part of the trip was when my roommate, Audrey, and I were awakened at about 5:15 a.m. by our fellow classmate, Amy, who was getting ready for an early hike up Blackett’s Ridge. She was trying her hardest to be quiet while the rest of us were catching up on well-deserved sleep, but the long “crrrrrrrrrrrrr” noise coming from her hairspray bottle definitely interrupted our slumber. A girl’s gotta have her hairspray!

Before we returned to LA, we all dressed up in red shirts and lined up on my grandparents’ staircase to take a photo just like one I took with my friends at an End-of-the-School-Year Beauty Fitness Day (I think this one was 5th grade). We framed the two photos and gave them to Memaw as gift, just a small token of gratitude for such a fabulous weekend.

Of course my friends, lawyers who are now sprinkled across the country, can’t wait to come back to the Ranch. And now that Ken and I have moved back to Tucson they have a great excuse to do so!

To Your Good Health!

Nicole Zuckerman

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