Humbled by So-Called “LITE” Workout, Local Woman Goes Back to Bed for a Month

As mentioned in my last post, I bought a month’s pass for the nearby community centre. This entitles me to a) unlimited pool trips and b) unlimited fitness classes. POWER YOGA, the brochure screams, STEP AND SCULPT. CORE PILATES. I looked over all the descriptions of the classes within my tight evening schedule and chose to start with WORKOUT LITE even while I scoffed at its badly spelled, obviously wussy ways. After all, I was so recently (September) almost (3 weeks?) a runner (I have the shoes, so) and I am lifting and pushing around my kids all day; it would probably be a waste of time to do something called WORKOUT LITE, right? But it was at the perfect time – starting after Fresco goes to bed, ending giving me enough time to shower & relax before hitting the sack at a reasonable hour, so I decided to give it a shot. Smirk. Workout “LITE”.

I arrived at the gym in my gym clothes and eyed the other fitnessers. There were about 20 of us. A thumping dance remix of some Beyonce song echoed off the gymnasium walls. A lot of the people were hopping in place, stretching, getting warmed up. I positioned myself in the middle of the crowd, actively fighting the urge to stand at the back like a shy kid in a new school. Then she came out; a middle-aged, moderately buff fitness instructor with a microphone attached to her head. She said some things about going at my own pace and having fun and then BOOM she started moving around like a mad person.

Hopping, jumping, running four steps forward, kicking a foot in the air and waving arms around and then hopping four steps back and then doing it again and then four more and three more and then the other foot and then squats! Squats! And then run to the end of the gym and back again and now stop and do some bending, fast bending, but not too fast now hold! Hold! And run again! Run! Or walk! Stop! Punch the sky! Kick your feet and punch the sky!

Yeah, I should have gone to the back of the gym like a shy kid in a new school because the people behind me were probably paralyzed with laughter watching me try to wave my arms and legs at the same time along with the instructor. I imagine I looked a lot like a giant cockroach on meth. Who keeps running into an electric fence.

Really. I am not a graceful person at the best of times and I have long limbs.

But I kept up, I did, for the first 15 minutes and I looked up at the clock because surely it was time for us to cool down? But no, there was still another 30 minutes of cardio! Cardio! It worked my body AND my brain because I just could not get the steps and the more I flailed around the more tired I got and the more tired I got the less I could get the steps right until finally I just hopped up and down for a while until she went back to the Running Across the Gym part because I can do that. I can run across a gym. Several times, even.

“Yeah,” said the woman next to me, sympathetically eyeing my Hopping Routine of Shame, “I find her really hard to follow.” Well thank god for that.

Looked at the clock again. That was only 5 minutes of hopping. 25 minutes more cardio!

Trying to distract myself from the clock, I suddenly noticed the music, which had switched from that “ooonh chucka ooonh chucka” dance crap (as you know, I try to avoid top 40 because it makes my innards convulse) to: a dance remix of Nickelback. “Oooh lookit this photograph / oonh chucka oonh chucka oonh chucka / every timeIdoitmakes me laugh / chucka / oonh chucka.” I was already nearly hysterical with the effort of keeping up and feeling like a cheerleader gone past Wrongtown to Dangerousville and now you give me the image of Chad Fucking Kroeger dancing in a club to a remix of his own stupid song? His greasy hair swinging around, biting his lower lip, bottle of Corona in his hand, waving his pelvis around like a loaded gun?

No, of course you didn’t give me that, my brain did it all by itself, but still.

It is hard to giggle and work out at the same time. I could have used a best friend to collapse with on to the floor, right about then. Strangers just don’t understand when you grab them and say “Fucking Nickelback!” No. Not at all.

I had to make the choice to keep laughing or keep focusing on my squat-thrusts and since I can laugh anytime, I went with the latter. By the end, I was dripping with sweat and red like a [favourite squishy fruit / vegetable] and was I ever glad I started with WORKOUT LITE because apparently even the non-lite WORKOUT would kick my underworked-out ass six ways to Sunday.

Like I said, I bought a pass for a month, so I’ll be back there tonight, pacing myself better and hopefully able to remember the step-kick-step-squat-airpunch-footpunch routines. Definitely at the most backest of the back of the class.

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