Sweating Buckets, and Loving It: Minnesotans and Their Saunas

link: www.nytimes.com/2024/02/17/us/minnesota-sauna-boom.html

This article was printed on the front page of the New York Times. I found it to be really exciting, because it features my friend Darin Mays and his Urban Wing NorthUp saunas that I just got. I love this:

Darin Mays had never thought much of saunas until he moved into a house across the street from Mr. Auerbach, the SaunaTimes editor, who invited him over. The conversations the two had, dripping in sweat, felt singularly profound, said Mr. Mays.

“As we’ve become more technology-based, we’ve really lost that special aspect of having that human connection with people,” said Mr. Mays, 40. “Once people experience it, it fills their cup in a way they didn’t realize could be filled.”

The many hours he spent in saunas were cathartic and clarifying, Mr. Mays said, spurring him to stop taking a psychiatric drug for anxiety. After leaving a corporate job at a health care company in late 2020, Mr. Mays began building lightweight, translucent saunas — a venture that has fulfilled a childhood dream of “being an inventor.”

The passion for saunas has led him to make many new friends, Mr. Mays said, including Jen Gilhoi, an event organizer and workplace culture consultant in Minneapolis who last year co-founded a social group called Sauna and Sobriety. Ms. Gilhoi, 51, began hosting small gatherings in Mr. Mays’s backyard and soon found that they were a hit among others who struggled with substance use in the past.

“You can show up on your own and soon you’re in this very intimate environment with eight other people,” she said. “You can never do that in a bar.”

Also, can you imagine finding yourself being featured on the front page of the New York Times? What an achievement, what an affirmation!

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