Today I woke up and like so many other Saturdays contemplated going to the gym. Only this time I actually went. Hurray!
I personally believe that if you work out Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you burn twice the calories. Think of it as extra credit. It’s nice to know that the laws of physics, biology, and exercise science (Hey! It’s a real major!) do things like that for us flabby humans. It gives a little extra incentive. Kind of like a coupon.
So in an effort to maximize my caloric burn, and offset those 2 rounds of french fries I ate earlier this week and the oatmeal raisin cookies I baked up last Sunday that we’ve been devouring, I mean responsibly nibbling, I headed out to the gym to catch a spinning class.
Except that I got there late and by then all the seats had all been taken by those do good Saturday overachievers. Suckers.
Whatever. I had my iPod with me, so Lady Gaga and I tore up the treadmill, along with Britney, Beyonce and JLO, to sweat it out for about 45 minutes. Then it was time to hit up the next class scheduled called “PowerFlow.”
I know, what exactly is Powerflow?
It would be nice, not to mention an example of clear communication, if the physical fitness world would actually title classes so that it gives some true indication to what the class is actually about, rather than just slap the sexy, trendy “it” words together.
“PowerFlow: A class designed to rapidly accelerate your body’s detox process through the combination of core movements and high dosages of laxatives.”
“PowerFlow: Get those hearts pumping with our intense cardio circuit training combined with electric impulses sure to get you moving your fastest.”
Nah, it was more like accelerated Yoga or Pilate’s or Yoglates (see, another trendy fitness jargon). And I pretty much suck at all of those things.
The class consisted of all women of course, because while men might be attracted to the word power, I’m sure the word flow scared them off for reasons immature and otherwise. Not to mention the sight of several women carrying their bright pink flowered yoga mats into the classroom.
It’s hard to maintain masculinity, much less dignity, while quivering over a Hello Kitty yoga mat in a downward dog position. So fellas, while I wish you were more evolved, I certainly understand.
Because it was ME trembling over that stupid pink mat in a downward dog position. Pouring sweat no less.
The class began simply enough, deceiving me into believing that I could perhaps do this class.
Take a deep breath in. Now exhale out.
Uh, check. Had that down for awhile now. I can even do it in my sleep!
Now, reach towards the sky as you exhale.
Sure, no problem.
Now gently bend over and touch your toes.
Wow, I really need a pedicure. Kinda frightening really.
Bend your knees slightly.
Hmm, might want to shave my legs more than once a month too. OMG, is that why the pedicure lady always winces when she sees me?
Now, stand back up, slowly.
I like this class. Instructor Homegirl keeps using nice words like “slowly” and “gently.”
So we did that few more times. With some leaning to the left and then, you guessed it, to the right. Which totally affirmed my self esteem as I nailed those movements every.single.time. Boo Yah! Pre-school totally paid off Mama!
Then just as I was feeling very powerful and very flow-y with the sequence of breathing and touching my toes, Instructor Homegirl, who looks normal and not absurdly fit, decided to show us that she is in fact, absurdly fit and a contortionist to boot.
Now, we’re going to do standing split.
I’m sorry, excuse me. A wha? A Split? Hmm, that’s generally a bad word in my book. Okay Instructor Homegirl if you say so….
Bend over touch your toes. Then lift your left leg as high in the air as you can. Have a slight bend in your right knee, but try to keep the right leg as straight as possible. You want be as vertical as possible. So think of it as a split in the air.
WTF? This class did not advertise itself as Acrobatics 101! Why do I need to learn how to do a split in the air? Is this going to improve my love life? If so, Instructor Homegirl you are kinky!
Nonetheless, I hoisted my leg ever so NON-gracefully into our new pose. Ok, not so bad I thought. Convinced I was rocking out this pose, I checked myself in the mirror only to discover my 12 mile long leg was quivering lower than the other ladies. Bleh.
And while I was evaluating my pose against the other ladies in the class, I also noticed that they all subscribe to the “I must look cute at the gym philosophy.” Every last one of them had on cute yoga pants and coordinated tops. Some of them even coordinated the colors of their outfit with their mat for crying out loud. As if my self esteem wasn’t plummeting faster than my leg was rising in the air, now I was hit with the realization that not only am I the sweaty, long-limbed, clumsy oaf in the class, but also the unfashionable one too. Fabulous.
Oh well. My standard work out apparel has been and remains a loose t-shirt and gym shorts. It has been that way since 6th grade basketball practice and frankly, I don’t plan on changing it now. Sorry sisters, but my ponytail will never be as tamed as yours, my sweat delicate, nor my work out gear stylish. Suck it.
After we mastered the air split on both sides, we then moved into a Warrior III pose. We never did the I or II poses, so maybe I’m safe to assume this is a more advanced class? Yes, I AM safe to assume this because it will help me pick my self esteem back up off the floor.
In the Warrior III pose you stand on one leg, with both arms and your other leg extended straight out. Basically balancing on one leg to make the letter T with your body. Only it isn’t nearly as fun as when the Sesame Street kids make letters with their bodies, because they get to lie on the floor, while I had to balance on my one leg like a circus freak. Also, I am not entirely sure how this pose relates to warfare, because if any warrior went into battle like this, I don’t see how they could have possibly survived with their eyes cast towards the ground.
After we battled with our Warrior Pose, Instructor Homegirl then showed us our full sequence of movements: Bend over, touch your toes, Squat into a chair position, remain squatted, stand on your tiptoes, raise up with hands towards the ceiling and stand, then bend over, do a standing split, then into warrior pose, bring knee in 4 times, extend final leg out, HOLD FOR ETERNITY, and then slowly stand upright.
Yea, me neither. Oh and you do it fast and it is supposed to be smooth, i.e. don’t crinkle up your yoga mat fool or flail your arms about to maintain your balance and suck it up if your quads are burning and don’t forget your breathing. Because after we’ve done this like 12 times on each side, we’ve got a whole new sequence of movements that involves muscles only used in this class and labor.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m all powered and flowed out. Hopefully , these chocolate chip cookies will remedy the situation. Namaste yall!