Friday, December 5, 2008


[This is the second day of my "7 Days of Fitness and Fun" free trial offer at the gym next door to my workplace. Day 2 was actually yesterday. Day 3 was today...and I'm still figuring out how I felt about it. The "7 Days of Fitness and Fun" will actually be only 5 for me, because the gym is too far from my house to go on the weekend. Hope no one feels short changed...]

The other day, I let SeaBreeze know that YES! I had set not just one, but TWO feet into the gym...and hadn't run out screaming. I walked out calmly, with slightly damp hair, following a pleasant spin on the recumbent bicycle. I told her that I was considering a class.

What gym assessment would be complete without sampling from the veritable banquet of classes? Who knew, for example, that there are at least 7 styles of Hatha Yoga alone, mixed and matched per the instructor's style? Not this former couch 'tater. Capoeira? Zumba? Did you know that you could BODYPUMP, BODYSTEP, and...BODYATTACK?


Me (asked more rhetorically than anything else; I knew she was screamingly busy): "Hmmm...spin at lunch or...'Body Attack'...? Sounds kind of scary, doesn't it?"

SeaBreeze: "If you take spinning at lunch be prepared to be VERY sweaty. I would recommend Body Attack because it will likely include weights as well."

Although, from the brochure of class descriptions, it sounded like "Body Attack" was also in the "VERY sweaty" category....

"BODYATTACK: Les Mill's high impact cardio format. Bounce off the wall athletic, continuous motion, high calorie burner. Call in the towel crew...its [sic; no, my editing mode does not have an off switch] going to get wet and wild."

Oh yes, people, there was sweat a-plenty. "Bounce" was also the operative word for this class...and not exactly the way the designer intended. Various floppy bits going one way, arms and legs flailing the other way...curious sensation at this speed.

But otherwise, I really got into the class. It was 60 minutes, and it didn't feel overly long at all. Fun music, of which I recognized some of the original pieces mixed in (which probably predated many of the participants' births). There was also much more room to jump than the tiny space in our living room, even with a full class. The instructor was exactly what I remembered of aerobics instructors: slender, no floppy bits, and perky. I liked the way she showed alternate moves (of varying intensity) for the different routines, although I felt I kept up intensity pretty well. (Back in the days when I used to take classes, there was only one speed: HIGH IMPACT, whether your floppy bits liked it or not.) Like at home, I find it hard to consistently move in the correct direction with the rest of the class at times. To my credit, I checked side and rear-view mirrors at all times, and "BODYATTACK" didn't take on any unfortunate connotations.

One thing I noticed, and this happens in workout videos, too: the instructor's exhortations to the group. Sometimes it seems effective, at other times it seems kind of contrived. I think this instructor did it pretty well, although if you wanted to lurk in the back, this was not the class...she kept us moving all over the room and was high-fiving people constantly. Is the verbal stuff taught as part of the instructor training, or is it spontaneous?

The weirdest part was the "fishbowl effect" of the studio being downstairs and pretty much ALL windows. Who knows how many coworkers walked by and saw the tech writer shakin' her cosmic thang. What I also noticed later in the class, when I was too swept up to care, was that ALL the machines along the glass wall facing the studio were full. Of men. Eh, who can blame 'em? ;-)

We ran, we kicked, we bounced, we "superman'd"...we did a little arms and a little abs...more bouncing and dashing around...a bit of stretching, and we were done.

I felt like the time spent with workout videos had prepared me well for classes at the gym. As did the running, endurance-wise. I also learned to not let a ferocious-sounding title discouraging me from trying a class.


SeaBreeze said...

I'm REALLY impressed with you for embracing the gym trial and having the courage to try an intimidating sounding class. You provided a great summary and seemed to enjoy the experience.

The fact that the studio faces the street and the weight room seems odd to me. I know a few places in town here that do that to attract attention, but it'd make me feel awkward for the first 5mins - then I'm sure I'd get over it.

As for the sweatiness. At least it was after work rather than being all flushed going back to the afternoon. Are you going to try spinning or yoga on Monday? I am activating my 2 week trial of yoga on Wednesday, next week.

I'm doing the Santa Shuffle tomorrow. Wish me luck. My ankle hurts something fierce today, so I'm not going for a PR today. Just want to complete it for the experience.

Joy's Journey in Weightloss said...

I am so impressed! You are inspiring me. I just can't get going. Thanks for the motivation.

Juice said...

You GO girl! I'm totally impressed with your willingness to be a goldfish. :) Keep it up!

Anonymous said...


And very funny, too.