Revive Your Life

(This article was originally published in the July 19, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)


Instagram is quickly becoming my for industry connections. I can look up a location or hashtag, and I’m instantly viewing countless options of potential suitors for my next IndyFit story. An image saying a thousand words equates Instagram profiles to a novelesque picture book.

Typing in #HamptonsFitness led me to discover a company named REVIVE Hamptons Wellness. After several weeks of placing the direct messages on the back burner, while at the Wellness Foundation’s summer benefit on June 24 I met a couple who introduced themselves as “partners in life and in business.” It was Jessica M. Bailey and Mateusz Mostek, the co-founders of my Insta-interest. It was bashert, as the Yiddish would say (meant to be).

REVIVE Hamptons has been running for over four years, a concierge wellness business serving clients in their homes, offices, hotels, and seaworthy yachts. Their company offers a plethora of services such as massage therapy, acupuncture, pilates, yoga, personal training, farm-to-table cooking, and even an integrative health coaching with a six-month program.

What makes this business unique is how its growth has remained purely organic, relying primarily on word of mouth advertising. I was situational proof that a simple search can lead to discovering the unknown. Ironically, Instagram was the initial force behind this couple as well.

Bailey and Mostek met at the Blue Parrot in East Hampton at the summer launch party of The Free Ride. Mateo was providing therapeutic massages, advertised on Instagram, which intrigued Jessica to join the event. Initially, the two exchanged cards for business. Nine patiently-awaited months later they went on their first date.

“[He was] so carefree, original, and one of those nights you will never forget,” Bailey remembered. “We had drinks at B Smith’s in Sag Harbor and then created our own vintage dress-up fashion show at Around Again on the wharf, and finished off at Superica’s with Kenny for his amazing margaritas. I knew that night that I was going to be standing next to this man for the long haul.”

Within a month’s time of dating, a business plan was drafted. Bailey explained, “Having the same interests, passions in life, work ethic, and love of health and wellness allows us to remain on the same wavelength throughout our life and business.”

Through their empowerment together grew the goal of helping clients to take control of their well-being. Inspire others and you will be inspired yourself.

“When a vertical of our life is out of balance, our higher vibrational self draws attention to it. At this moment, we have the opportunity to shift our perspectives, actions, and habits. This can occur several times throughout our wellness journeys, a chance to revive who and what we are,” Bailey said. This mentality influenced the company motto, “Revive Your Life.”

The “REVIVE Tribe” is comprised of 15 healers, teachers, and chefs. Their days are atypical at best; seeing back-to-back clients, running a wellness series at 14 hotel locations, organizing farm to table events, and seeking out new business collaborations with an open mind.

“Who they [the tribe] are at their core — their honesty, integrity and dedication — is what sets them apart from the rest,” Bailey emphasized what makes her company stand out amid the bustling competition. “Perspective can shift the competitor to the partner. It’s much healthier and beneficial to our community if we lock arms with fellow businesses.”

Integrating fitness and wellness is easier said than done, and oftentimes overlooked. It’s important not to stick to only one end of the spectrum but to interconnect the two. Working out doesn’t guarantee a healthy body and eating right is only part of the equation. Though I hold true to being a #fitnessfoodie, eating hard and working out harder, I assert moderation rather than cutting out any specific food or exercise.

Bailey and Mostek aim to achieve both. “It is truly difficult to be well without a fitness practice. Just because you hit the gym five days a week does not guarantee that you feel a sense of happiness, fulfillment, and balance. We allow our clients to intuitively listen to their bodies on the cellular level to discover what it is that their bodies are craving.”

Within the next few weeks REVIVE Hamptons Wellness will be partnering with Pop In Pilates, an LA based company, to open a location in Southampton. The space will allow teachers to rent a fully equipped, private studio space for $25 an hour to train their own clients and grow their individual brand. Part of the “locking arms” mentality.

For the future, they are hoping to expand spaces to include health coaches, acupuncturists, yoga teachers, and massage therapists.

In addition, you can join the REVIVE Tribe in Rincon, Puerto Rico, from February 27 to March 3, 2018, for a Full Moon Retreat of yoga, Pilates, surfing, SUP, gourmet meals, aromatherapy, and luxury accommodations.

How’s that for some #InstaGood?

Contact Revive Hamptons Wellness at 631-740-6523 or Or, as I did, on Instagram @revivehamptons

Daily Fitness: Paddle Like a Diva

(This article first appeared in the July 12, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)


It’s noon on a windy, sunless Saturday as I arrive at Shagwong Marina in Springs to meet the Paddle Diva team. After receiving an email that morning that read “We never cancel,” I should have been tipped off that I’d be in for a rough introduction to paddle boarding. It was time for SUP FUN: Tour and Fitness! Bathing suit on and sized up with my paddle and board (see the connection there?), after a brief tutorial I was aquatic where it all started.

“The inspiration for Paddle Diva came in this harbor,” Gina Bradley, founder of Paddle Diva explained. “My husband [Scott Bradley] and I had the first two paddleboards ever made on Long Island and I would load those big, huge heavy things in the back of my girl friends’ pick-up truck. I sort of taught myself and taught my friends how to paddle, because I was always the lead.”

Paddling into the wind, to avoid being taken adrift, I kept my legs steady, core tight, and arms in a continuous motion with the paddle deep in the water. It was all a rhythm. Despite the adversity of conditions I was relaxed through the help of my fellow “divas.”

Diva is the name of the board used and the name for Bradley’s company. Back in 2009 it started with only two boards while teaming up with a board maker to manufacture “divas” — those small enough for women.

During a meal at Babette’s in East Hampton, “I was like, ‘I’m going to start a business,’ and Scott was chuckling at me. ‘Women don’t belong on those boards. Those are ocean boards.’ Nobody knew how this sport was going to bang out,” remembered Bradley. But she knew better, realizing the potential for the female enthusiast if only properly built and marketed.

Initially, boards were up to 11-12 feet and would take three persons to pick it up. Bradley, a true pioneer in the sport of stand-up paddle boarding, envisioned a handle for hassle-free carry, in addition to smaller dimensions. While men typically do well on a board 11’6 – 12 feet, 32 inches wide, most women perform best on a 10’6 board between 28 to 30 inches wide.

But what’s a business without a catchy name? Scott Bradley had the answer.

“He said, ‘Why don’t you just call it Paddle Diva because with you everything is diva, parking and getting a diva table.'” Bradley admitted,

“You’re right. I live for diva parking, it’s the best parking around,” pointing to the first spot in the parking lot where her pick-up truck was.

While the activity is a great way to keep fit, it’s also an appreciation for a certain lifestyle. Bradley has a second year-round brick and mortar location for her company in Rincon, the famed tropical surfers’ paradise in Puerto Rico. Since 1998 the Bradley family — Gina, Scott and their two children — has vacationed there, and built a home. Wanting others to experience the same beauty she’s soaked in for years, the company offers retreats to the area. As an escape from the cold, the retreats provide more than yoga or SUP lessons. Guests have the option to participate in as much or as little as desired with other activities such as waterfall adventures, exploring the island, and more.

“This sport is constantly evolving and people are getting more and more skills,” Bradley explained. “In my core, I want people to like it, I want them to have the most seamless experience and love the sport,” she admitted. “[I plan for] no accidents because I’ve done them all so I know what they all are.”

Locally, Paddle Diva rents out boards at $50/hour with $10 each additional hour to those who are skilled enough and are familiar with the water, even offering offsite rentals for an extra $10 pickup and delivery charge. Want to go all out? Rent for an entire day, from 9 AM to 6 PM. Aside from their East Hampton location, Paddle Diva paddles out of Gurney’s and The Surf Lodge in Montauk.

As I finished my lesson, after a brief fall in while attempting to Instagram (a product of my generation, but I’ll blame it on the wind), I couldn’t wait to return and try again. But with all the other SUP companies out there it’s a testament to Bradley’s expertise that she stays afloat.

Without worry, Bradley confidently expressed, “I love it [the competition]. It makes me put my head down and work harder, work smarter and innovate and get ahead of it. So that people are copying you versus getting ahead of you. Every day I wake up, it’s kind of corny, and I pretty much say ‘It’s a brand new day.’ It’s the only thing you get, guaranteed, new and shiny and bright every day, every time you open your eyes…What’s going to happen?”

Perhaps the policy of “We never cancel” goes beyond just her company. A special thank you to my official instructor, Steve Tavolilla, for unleashing my inner Diva!


Paddle Diva is located at 219 Three Mile Harbor HC Road, at Shagwong Marina. For more information visit or call 631-329-2999.

Daily Fitness: East End Row

(This article first appeared in the May 17, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)


Stationary bikes are yesterday’s news as a new wave of rowing machines are occupying the East End. Making its debut in May 2016 with a location at 33 Hill Street in Southampton, East End Row conducts low impact training on The GX WaterRower. The machine is a water-filled flywheel that adds natural resistance and a tranquil “swoosh” sound that emulates the sound of rowing in nature. It’s a workout that can burn up to 1000 calories in a single class, so sign up fast!

Arriving on a rainy Saturday morning for my debut 50-minute class with instructor Albee Rogers, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Rowing seemed to be a straightforward workout only for back and shoulder muscles, with a preppy connotation to it. I imagine scenes out of Dead Poets Society or The Skulls.

After receiving my complimentary water and fresh towel, as instructed, I prepared a mat, medium weights, and resistance band next to my row machine for weight-based strengthening in between our “waves.”

Similar to sprints in a cycling class, “waves” are high intensity row intervals to heart pumping music at your own pace. After several minutes of adjusting to the motion, which Rogers so kindly helped me with, the first wave hit.

“Legs, abs, chest. Chest, abs, legs.” Repetition became second nature as I envisioned myself in one of those movies rowing with my team towards the finish line. The waves began. 300 meters. 200 meters. 100 meters. How far can you get in 45 seconds? Now 20 seconds. Go! By the last wave I had won my imaginary race against the Winklevoss twins.

Teaching with East End Row since its opening, Rogers has been a professional health and wellness coach for almost ten years. As a dietician, the transition from observing her clients progress, to taking an active role in their lifestyle, seemed natural.

“Rowing is definitely a new trend,” Rogers explained. “I had already been rowing at Crossfit . . . when East End Row opened . . . I thought what better way to lean out your body . . . but still work on the cardio portion that everyone sort of hates.

It’s a fun setting that’s choreographed to music so the beat keeps you going throughout the entire class and you never want to stop because once that beat goes you want to go even faster for it.”

Rogers made training off the WaterRower as interestingly self-competitive as on it. While playing “Roxanne” by The Police the class was told to do a single burpee (you know, those wonderful full body jump, pushups) every time the name Roxanne was said. To be clear, it’s said roughly 26 times. At another point, the song “Flower” by Moby was used for squats. Fittingly so, as the lyrics say “lift and squat.”

Each time Moby brought “Sally down” the class squatted in unison, nearly 30 times. Finally, we used the weights for additional arm and shoulder toning in pulsating movements.

What I enjoyed most about this workout was the surprising full body benefit. Every row motion targeted lower glutes, along with arms and abs. Using the row handles and foot straps, there were added oblique techniques and core training. Of course, the next day I mostly felt a soreness in my back and shoulder muscles, but I recommend this class to all levels and all fitness types.

“Trust your trainer,” Rogers explained a common misconception seen quite often. “Know that they’re correcting your form or modifying your workout for a reason to benefit you most. Sometimes the best workout is very slow, but proper movements.”

Hilaria Baldwin: Illuminating a Pathway for Wellness

(This article first appeared in the June 21, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)


Hilaria Thomas Baldwin is a supermom of three, wife of SNL’s undoubtedly favorite Trump impersonator, Alec Baldwin, and career woman taking over the wellness industry in full force.

Her Instagram account reaches over 250,000 people, each family photo somehow more adorable than the last (what can we say, she has some cute kids!). But being a mom is much more than what’s perceived on the outside. Rather, like beauty, raising happy and healthy children is about what’s inside.

“I’m very careful not to talk about weight issues with my children,” Baldwin explains. “I don’t feel like that’s appropriate at this age. I talk about being strong, and your hair growing long, being able to run really fast, sleeping well, and being in a good mood.”

Her attitude and lifestyle are what make this woman a perfect fit for this year’s Illumination Award at the Wellness Foundation’s 6th annual summer benefit being held Saturday. She co-founded Yoga Vida, a yoga studio located in Manhattan and Brooklyn and wrote The Living Clearly Method, accomplishments worthy of the Illumination Award, which is given to those lighting the wellness pathway for others.

“It’s such an incredible foundation. It’s right up my alley. Bringing awareness to health and health with children. I’m extremely honored that they thought of me,” Baldwin said.

The Wellness Foundation is dedicated to empowering children and adults with the tools needed to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Their programs are guided by scientific information to optimize nutrition, exercise and stress management.

“We love to go to Mary’s Marvelous and get the little carrot muffin,” Baldwin admitted. “I look at their entire day and I think where are we going to have the treat portion. It’s not ‘oh, here’s a lollipop.’ Because what does that do to their body in terms of their behavior? And how does that affect my life later?”

Aside from Mary’s, Baldwin and her family can be seen frequenting Provisions in Sag Harbor or the Second Nature markets in East Hampton and Southampton. Like the Wellness Foundation, she aims to cut time out of her day to help educate not only herself, but her children, about the importance of health.

“People have the best intentions … it comes from exhaustion and lack of education,” Baldwin offered, theorizing why some people don’t adopt healthy habits.

Education comes from all sorts of outlets, thanks to social media. As an expert in the field, Baldwin is proud to see the continued presence of healthy lifestyle motivation on Instagram but is weary on self-proclaimed gurus.

“It’s really about changing the world … being an influencer on Instagram is very much trying to pull people up and creating a community,” she said. “I would always tell my students ‘My job is to have you outgrow me so you won’t need me anymore.'”

Baldwin takes part in what she calls “sound moments,” anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes to do squats, walk around, anything to keep herself moving. Staying active for several moments throughout the day can sometimes be better than a single energy burst after hours of staying sedentary.

“I can’t create time … but I can teach you how to be active while doing your day,” she explained. During the telephone interview, she confessed to walking back and forth just to keep in motion.

Daily Fitness: Aerial Silks

(This article first appeared in the June 14, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)


Aerial silks have captivated millions in the form of productions like Cirque du Soleil. Watching performers climb to the sky with such agility, flexibility, and strength is awe-inspiring; so inspiring, in fact, that I decided to go from spectator to participant. Suddenly, I found myself hanging upside down trying my first silks class.

Aerial Fitness and Hot Yoga Studio, founded by April Yakaboski, is located on 38 and 40 West Main Street in Riverhead. They hold their aerial silk tricks and conditioning class at CrossFit Impervious, located on 121 Main Road, due to 20-25 foot ceilings that provide an ideal setting for such “high” expectations.

Oftentimes confused with aerial yoga, which is a hammock, aerial silks are two separate nylon silks attached atop. With two sets of these silks, one for the more experienced participants and one for the newbies, instructor Candyce Paparo began to teach me the basics. Splits, potato tuck, pencil, pike, climb, and the much-anticipated straddle inversion.

Expectation versus reality?

I expected myself to be fearless. After all, what’s a few feet off the ground? I expected it to be mostly leg work. That’s where the silks seem to hold on. I expected to be contorting above with the greatest of ease. No.

Wrapping the dual silks around my wrists, lifting myself up, I wished I didn’t skip that gym class where they made you climb rope. Steadying between the swaying cloths, doing my best to stiffen my body for sturdiness, my arms and abdominals did all the work. From climbing a few feet into the air to inverting mere inches off the ground, the entire hour-long class targeted my core. Also, I quickly realized flipping upside down at any height is mildly nerve-wracking. Don’t try that at home, kids!

“You target core the most, which is hard with other classes. Climbing is typically hard for people to do their first few times. And to be able to get height takes several classes,” Paparo explained. Silk training for seven years, with four as an instructor, she recommends four to six classes as a gauge to see progression.

Beyond eye-catching, aerial fitness benefits both physically and mentally since it doesn’t feel like a workout. Being so preoccupied by the excitement of what I could do next left little room to think about if I was getting in a good sweat.

Nora Catlin, one of experienced participants in my class, has been practicing for seven years. “I took other classes so I could get stronger so I could do more stuff on the silks. It’s a moving target, because you do one trick and then you aim for another.”

Newer to the group, Kaitlin Watkins has been attending weekly for about six months. “Every class there’s an improvement,” she said.

Before the class let out, Paparo allowed for one more trick of my choice. A few inches higher, I thought, for a few seconds longer. Straddle inversion. My new favorite way to hang out!

Though it may take a while before I audition for the next Cirque du Soleil, for an hour I felt like a star.