Recovery means something different for everyone. It could be that you’re recovering from an injury or simply that you’re taking care of yourself after a workout. In this series, we talk to people in our community about how they recover—plus, what their fitness routine looks like, when they feel most alive, and more. Next up, Aly Giampolo, co-founder of The Ness in New York City.

On dancing since childhood: 

By the time I was seven, I had made the decision. I told my mom, “I want to be a dancer, this is what I want to do with my life.” I danced every possible minute that I wasn’t in school and when I graduated from high school, I moved to New York and found someone’s couch that I could rent. 

At 17, I booked a job with a company called Vissi Dance Theater and have been dancing with them ever since. I had never done dance that was so athletic. We were throwing our bodies around and I never moved faster in my whole life. It’s amazing to be pushed like that. As a dancer, that’s what you really want. You want to be challenged in a way that makes you feel hungry for more rather than frustrated.

On the repercussions of the sport: 

Dancing—often on hollow floors and sometimes in platform shoes—really does take a toll on your body, which is where all of my injuries stem from. In my late 20s, I settled into a routine of small things that I could do to take care of myself outside of the studio like properly warming up and cooling down, stretching, soaking my body, taking a turmeric supplement, and foam rolling every night. 

I was not really educating myself on all of the possible things that I could have been doing. If I had something like Mab & Stoke in my life with a Recovery Cream and an herbal supplement that would cure all my ailments then I’m sure that it would have been a lot different.

On transitioning into fitness: 

I met Colette [Dong; co-founder of The Ness] around that time—we were doing a circus show together—and started side hustling as a fitness trainer. 

We were on the pursuit for a low-impact good sweat and the high you feel from really pushing yourself that wouldn’t conflict with dance: Jumping on a trampoline fit the bill. The elastic cords on the trampolines keep the mat really soft and supple so that when you’re landing, the mat is absorbing the weight of your landing rather than your joints. Colette and I started carrying trampolines around Tribeca, training people in their homes. 

On the injury:

In the summer of 2018, my husband and I got into a motorcycle accident. I suffered from compartment syndrome on my left side, which is usually caused by a trauma or an impact and your body responds with very rapid inflammation causing your muscles to swell to the point where you could potentially have to cut open your muscles. Thankfully, I never got to the point but I had a lot of soft tissue damage and had to walk and teach with a cane for several months. There was a lot of compensating for my left side on my right side and that—compounded with the fact that I went right back to dancing on platform heels on hollow floors—resulted in a torn meniscus on my right side.

On finding relief: 

I went through intense physical therapy after the accident and after surgery. I still go to physical therapy once a month and I do a lot of the smaller exercises on my own. I try to stretch every morning when I wake up while I’m waiting for my coffee. And at night after I get out of the shower, when I’m nice and warm, that’s when I use my Recovery Cream. I tried using some CBD creams without much success before I found the Recovery Cream. I was really excited because I like the way that it smells and I found myself being like, “Oh, wow, this actually feels really good.”

The first time I used it, I rubbed it on my knee when it was really swollen, then put a heating pad over it. It felt amazing and after three or four days I noticed not only did the swelling go down a lot faster than it had in the past when I’d use other creams or tried a different remedy, but it felt almost a little bit more normal, like my knee before it was injured. 

On looking forward: 

Today, it’s unlikely you’ll spot us running around Tribeca with our trampolines as we have our own studio and digital fitness platform, The Ness. 

Ness is a suffix which means quality or state of being. Something that we have always been really adamant about is that fitness doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. It does not need to be poking and prodding at people’s areas of insecurity and sensitivity. It doesn’t have to be about weight loss or calorie burn or trimming down or toning up or any of that stuff. We wanted it to be about enjoying movement and focusing on your quality or state of being and how you feel in the moment. How does fitness make you feel afterwards? What kind of energy does it give you? How does it amplify you in your life outside of those physical benefits? 

I probably won’t go back to professional dancing because there is a lot to be done at The Ness and it’s so fulfilling. I get to get up and perform on my trampoline every day for four or five hours which gives me that same adrenaline rush. 

That’s when I feel most alive—when I’m leading a room. There’s something about bouncing that gives you so much energy. The second I step on a trampoline, I can feel my heart racing like I’m about to go on an amazing first date.

What I tried:

  • Soaking baths 
  • Turmeric supplement
  • Foam rolling 
  • Stretching 2x per day 
  • Recovery Cream 
  • Physical therapy
  • CBD cream
  • Surgery

What worked: 

  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Recovery Cream 
  • Soaking baths 
  • Foam rolling 
  • Stretching 2x per day 

Pro Tip: Aly likes to rub the Recovery Cream into sore spots, then put a heating pad on the area for a “heat activation” effect. 

Pro Tip: Work out with Aly—no trampoline needed. She created a 5-move upper-body routine for Mab & Stoke here

Recovery Cream is a full spectrum plant-based hero designed to be used post-workout or whenever you need relief from aches or soreness. Smooth Recovery Cream over everything from fatigued muscles to tight shoulders and aching backs, and enjoy its lightly woodsy scent. This highly absorbent cream combines traditional botanical infusions, aromatherapy and key concentrated extracts to create a next level soother you won’t want to live without.