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After circling for an hour, I landed in the most torrential rain the UAE had seen in 23 years. My ride from the airport should have been on a pontoon boat. Cars were abandoned and submerged in water, and crypto bros’ Lamborghinis were drowning. From the back seat of the Sprinter, Dubai felt like a combination of Las Vegas, Miami, and Los Angeles, but with a lot more poolside hookah.

Vacation has always been challenging for me. I get bored unless I’m in a major city I love, like London or Stockholm. Going to the beach every day just isn’t for me. Flying halfway across the world to exercise and get professionally stretched might sound insane, but for those of us who need action it’s the perfect holiday. (Especially when it’s free. Siro—full disclosure—covered my travel and the stay.) It’s a focused and amped-up version of my regular life, which I love and don’t feel compelled to escape.

I flew 14 hours from JFK on Emirates to exercise for a week. Siro is a new 122-room hotel in the One Za’abeel development focused not on day drinking but on fitness and recovery. It covers all the main pillars of feeling good: nutrition, fitness, sleep, and recovery. On the 35th floor, my room was one of six “Fitness Suites” with a set of dumbbells, a treadmill, and a stationary bike in the living room. It also had a feature that I want every hotel to install: a built-in filtered-water spigot. Nothing brings me more pleasure than filling my glass in-room and not having to venture out to the nearest gas station to stock up on giant bottles of Fiji.

Upon arrival, I felt a little fucked up from the flight, but I had to power through. I was working with limited time. My meals were all planned by the in-house nutritionist with whom I had a pre-trip Zoom call to review my diet specifications. I had a little breakfast, napped, and woke up feeling pretty good. The first order of business was cryotherapy, something I had never done before. I changed into the suggested disposable men’s briefs—quite humbling—and put on some North Face booties, gloves, and a headband before jumping into the freezer. It was big enough to move around in, so my spa handler led me through a series of equally humbling, sometimes downright embarrassing stretches. I emerged refreshed and invigorated. I returned to 3511 and did some light cardio on the in-room machines. After 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 on the bike, I went down to the “Fitness Lab” to meet one of the trainers. The facilities are world-class, and once again, I was lucky enough to cosplay as a professional athlete. The trainer took me through an excellent full-body workout, I got a smoothie, and because of the eight-hour time difference, I finally had some shit to look at on Twitter.

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