Unfairly, I’ve been keeping my gym updates to myself. Most specifically, because that’s where I’ve been spending the majority of my time!
Yes, we joined, and yes, we’ve stayed.
It’s been a wonderful reprieve, and so good for us all.
In the spirit of getting people to try classes they might not otherwise attend, the gym created a Bingo challenge for the month of May. We were challenged to complete a specified grid of our choosing, leaving us eligible for various gym services.
Being new, I decided I had nothing to lose, and if anything, it would familiarize me with much of what the gym had to offer.
Early on, I got hooked on a couple of classes which I kept returning to, and by Thursday of last week, I suddenly realized I had three remaining classes to complete in three days, in an already overbooked weekend. I looked at the schedule and discovered there were only a few options left for completing my card. What it came down to was, Tae Bo on Friday afternoon, Spin class Saturday morning at 7:45, followed by a very advanced Step class at 9:15. All three of these classes were new to me. The advanced step class came with warnings on the brochure, yet, it was necessary to complete my card, and, the only Step class offered over the weekend.
I held my breath and dove in.
I knew that Tae Bo wasn’t for sissies, and this particular Tae Bo class was no exception. From the moment she turned on the stereo, Illiana, the instructor, had us jumping and kicking and punching at lightening speed. She’s a tiny speed demon, and I had to fly with the punches. I did. Forty-five minutes in, I was feeling pretty good about my dedication. Then the daycare pager lit up.
Really? Now? I’m SO close!
It kept flashing, and vibrating. Let down but compliant, I left the class to run next door and retrieve my boys. I got to the front desk, and apparently Zip, like his mother, had been throwing punches. There was nothing to do but pick him up. But, I wasn’t going to let him stop me! I dragged him and Tizzy to a bench outside the classroom, and made them suffer as I completed the class from behind glass doors in the hallway.
“Mah-OM!” Tizzy exclaimed, mortified. “STOP – IT!”
“You know what?” I said, between jumping jacks. “If you don’t want to sit and watch me exercise, then you shouldn’t drag me out of class.”
They were silent.
My efforts didn’t go unnoticed, and when I went back inside at the end of the class, Illiana signed my card and congratulated me on my stick-to-it-ive-ness.
The next morning I got up, and leaving the boys with Brad, headed out.
I got a bike, near the front of the class, and climbed up onto its bony seat.
The instructor came in with a cheerful smile and started us on our ride... with absolutely no instruction! I had no clue how to work the bike, but surrounded by people in spandex, with clips on their shoes, I decided to fake it, and just turned the tension knob when she turned hers and released it on command. I felt like a fraud, but, what did anyone care if I knew what I was doing. I was going to complete that Bingo card, Damn it!
Then came Step class. I lined up in the hall with women in leopard skin body suits and listened in as they talked about Yoga being for wimps, and how they had no patience for Chavasana. They had places to go, and no time for laying still – Thank you very much!
We walked in and set up our Steps.
The instructor came in, and noticed that three of us were new.
“This isn’t your ordinary Step class,” she informed. “It moves very quickly, and there’s a lot of choreography. I don’t expect you to be able to follow along, but I do expect you to keep moving.”
Within five minutes of the class it became clear to me there was NO way I was going to be able to keep up with her choreography or calls, so rather than stumble and trip my way through the rest of the hour, I resumed stepping up and down, back and forth, bending my knees here and there and throwing in a kick for good measure. I was sure I was throwing off the steppers around me, but they had a rhythm all their own, and periodically the teacher would call out, “That away my new friends, don’t worry about the moves, just keep it going.”
Midway through the class, one of the women danced over to me and whispered in my ear, “She’s a horrible instructor. I’ve been doing Step for twenty years, and while I know the steps and what to listen for, she’s a lousy caller and we all hate her.”
Finally the hour came to an end, and I made my way up to the front of the class and sheepishly asked her to sign my card.
“You did really good. We don’t offer beginning Step classes any longer. You just have to keep coming back, and pretty soon you’ll get the hang of it.”
Two more women came up to me as I made my way out of class to reaffirm that she was a lousy instructor, but wasn’t I a miracle to stick with it anyway.
While part of me doubts I’ll be attending any more Step classes, I proudly finished my Bingo Challenge, and while to date I haven’t won anything, it confirmed for me that the class I initially took to, is in fact my favorite new thang.
And, for more on that my dear friends, I’m going to have to ask that you all stay tuned!