One of my dear friends told me she went in one of those salt water pod things and I made her tell me all about it – and she was telling me and I was wheezing with laughter and I almost peed. So I made her write it up for me so I could share it with you. Thanks Katie!
Take the weight off your feet. Great in theory, but in reality when I sit down the weight of the day and the tension in my rounded shoulders just shifts from my feet to a pain in my butt. So when my mate raves about a new treatment where you become weightless in a special pool I was in. Well I was for a fleeting second at least.
Life happened, but then a discount appeared on Treat Me. This time I was in. I had visions of holiday brochures for the picturesque Dead Sea where it’s impossible to sink. The water gently lapping at your skin as the sun warms your face.
By the day before the float this thing was going to reprogramme the way I respond to stress and transform life as we know it. Let’s just say I was bloody ready for a day off.
The morning should have gone well. I had an extra hour to get out of the house with my 3 year old. Of course this meant we were running late. My partner was out of the house at 5.30am and of course I couldn’t get back to sleep on the one day I could. The 3 year old slept in.
I shaved my legs. This was a special occasion after all. Then I read the leaflet saying I shouldn’t shave just before floating. Bugger. I thought up random reasons why my legs were so smooth in case of interrogation. I spent time thinking about how ridiculous this speech writing exercise was. I thought about how I wouldn’t need to write speeches such as these once I had floated into my new serene state.
Now it was really late. Forty minutes to get my son ready, get out of the house, to daycare and then across the other side of town to an hour of bliss.
I won the battle of the clothes. I managed to pick out an outfit that he was happy to wear first time. Score. I made toast to go. Rookie mistake. According to my son breakfast is not allowed in the car and can only be eaten at the table.
It turns out there was time for him to eat his toast at the table. Or at least there would have been. There definitely isn’t now. I calculate how long it will take me to get to daycare and across town. I recalculate to allow for the fact I now only have 25 minutes.
Somehow we are in the car. He’s still not eating. I realise I have no idea where the spa is and whether there is parking. We negotiate watching Ice Age when he gets home and finally he is eating and we’re there.
I shove the last bit in before we get through the daycare door and I smile and pause for just long enough not to look like I am throwing him in and doing a runner.
A quick Google and the spa has no parking. It’s pouring. I’m nowhere near the bus stop.
Uber. Of course. It’s a treat day after all. I’ve got 10 minutes. I might even be on time. ‘Uber is currently experiencing high volumes. Do you accept the 3.1x fee?’ ‘The what?!!’
You’re kidding me. I smile at the daycare teacher as I constantly refresh the Uber app. Three minutes later I give in to the inevitable and am pissed off that I will be even later for being tight.
Finally I’m there. Only 5 minutes late. I deserve a medal. I get a $34 Uber receipt.
Someone takes my coat, offers me a drink and asks how my morning has been. I manage a smile and say ‘I’m hoping it’s going to get better’. After quickly filling in a form with my whole life history I am taken through to the float room.
I’m not sure what to expect. But I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a giant toilet. Someone had left the seat up and inside the water was green, no, blue, no, pink. Oh I see- mood lighting. I had to shower and then the toilet would magically tell me when to get in and out by playing music. Clever toilet.
The music starts and I step inside the toilet basin with my earplugs in (to keep the salt out of my ears). I lay back and float.
I wait. Serenity is just around the corner and all I need to do is close my eyes and wait.
Right at this moment serenity is being a bit of a bitch so I look around and try to ignore the fact that the toilet lid doesn’t quite close on the right-hand side. Ok- I try opening and closing it 7 times before I accept this fact.
But now I am ready. Deep breaths. Calm. The music stops to allow me to enjoy the silence of this toilet coffin. I am not ready.
I open my eyes and the salty condensation drips down from the ceiling into one of them. I use the water spray left outside the toilet door for exactly this purpose. They think of everything.
I’m back and so determined that I will not get in the way of my own relaxation. Too determined. I tell myself that this is the only bloody chance I have to relax, that I am bloody privileged to be able to do this, that there are so many mums who would bloody love to be floating right now instead of changing shitty nappies.
This precious time becomes pressured time. My mind wanders.
My shoulder bumps into the side of the toilet. I push off and slowly glide to the other side. I spend the next 5 minutes working out how I can push myself off with just the right force to stop in the middle. I fail.
I’m hot. The water is body temperature, but it’s stuffy in here. I break the rules and prop the toilet lid open. That’s better. But sitting up I’m dizzy. I think back to breakfast and realise in all the fuss I didn’t have any.
I climb out and find a packet of crisps in the depths of my handbag. My hands slip on the packet as I stand naked, dripping wet. The salt starts to crystallise around my mouth and adds nothing to the bbq flavour rice crackers.
I’m back in. I’m not giving up on the one chance I will ever have to relax. Well, the one chance I have scheduled in my calendar and paid good (some) money for at least.
I wonder how many other bodies have floated in this toilet coffin. I wonder what possessed me to search for serenity down a toilet.
I can’t relax. I wiggle about and stretch. I haven’t made it to a yoga class in a while. I lift my legs up in the air and then all of a sudden I’m arse over tit.
I’m upside down underwater. Upside down and naked in my saltwater coffin. I remember the red button to press in an emergency. Is this an emergency? I picture needing to be rescued from my predicament. I decide that this is not an emergency.
It turns out gravity doesn’t work quite the same way when you’re floating. I manage to get up. I’m spluttering. I have the special chemical salt water down my throat, up my nose, in my eyes, my ears. It turns out I took the earplugs out when I ate my crisps.
I stagger out of the toilet and dry retch for a while. I am feeling some feelings. Serene is not one of them.
I manage to shower and pull my dressing gown on by the time the music starts again and I sheepishly head back to reception.
‘How was it? Do you feel lovely and relaxed?’