The Cathedral Hill YWCA and the Muddy Pig
I know this seems like two things that do not go together: a place where people work out and a place where people sit around and drink and eat. Let me explain.
For a few years, the Muddy Pig was just a bar in my neighborhood. I did like it, and its good beer list, and it’s dark yet friendly vibe, but at the end of the day, it was just a bar. When I first joined the YWCA in the middle of winter because running outside was not cutting it, it was just a place to work out. It was convenient, but that was about it, and I frequently wondered why I even bothered being a member during the warmer months.
A few summers back, I started swimming with the Master’s group. I wrote extensively about swimming here, but in short: this group and the people I met turned the Y-dub into much more than just a gym. It was a place where I connected with people, a place where a workout could be combined with social time, which made it much more rewarding to go in the first place.
In the same week I joined Master’s, I went to the Muddy Pig and one of the bartenders was a guy I just met in class. He still works there, and the Pig is a hangout for many of the swimmers I know. We either go there together after practice or I just run into them there. That’s one thing I’ve liked about the Muddy Pig - the high probability of seeing someone I know always made my neighborhood seem smaller, and cozy.
Tonight I stopped by my apartment (still cleaning, but almost done) and went to swimming (for what may be the last time at that location?) and then to the Pig. Even though I am not sleeping in St. Paul and haven’t for two weeks, part of it still feels like home, even if that thread is quickly unraveling.
[Don’t get me wrong! I am really enjoying my new neighborhood so far, though I haven’t had a ton of time to just explore.]