I was hankering for a sauna, this last leg of a long trip.
At first I thought I’d have time to get to Chicago Sweatlodge, the iconic Russian style banya sauna in Chicago. But as my flight kept getting delayed, I set a more modest goal of a few rounds at the Hilton Chicago O’hare airport sauna (closes 10 pm).
We all know that sauna is the best way to get rid of airplane juice, and so I was pleased to check in, dump my bags and make it to the lower level fitness center by 9 pm. One hour for a power sauna: not ideal but will have to do.
What happened? My rounds were super short.
Do you find yourself short of breath during sauna and tired after sauna? Odds are you could be suffering from sauna – de – oxygen – itis.
The Hilton Chicago O’hare airport sauna has no vents. The hot room door closes too tightly.
I could list other shortcomings (knots on benches, screws on top face of benches, bench heights wrong, bench widths too narrow, no fresh air, etc.) but at 9 pm on a weekday night, hungry for sauna, I was just thankful that the good folks at Hilton even offer a sauna. Oh, and tossing water on the rocks IS permitted. Phew!
Yet as I sat on the bench, I calculated how little it would cost to spruce up this sauna to present an experience such that a Finn leaving the hot room could do so with a smile.
Shall we quit our day job, buy a van, load in our tools and drive from public sauna to public sauna and fix these saunas?
In the United States, 90% of the (public) saunas are bad, and the other 10% are worse (Mikkel Aaland).
If anyone does want to quit their day job and travel from sauna to sauna and fix these saunas, please let me know. I am on your team!