Boredom. All moms hate to hear their children whining “I’m bored.” So, most of us have put a ban on the phrase in our own homes. Unfortunately boredom doesn’t seem to happen only to our children. I recently discovered that “I’m bored.” I am tired of going to the gym lifting weights/running, lifting weights/stairstepping, lifting weights/jumping rope. I had felt like I was mixing it up and I was but I think there is only so much of the same thing a person can take.
So I have begun a quest. The search for additional fun in my workout. Those who know me will be shocked as I have proven to be a bit of a purist in my routine. I don’t do classes. I don’t do yoga because I don’t have the patience. I don’t do pilates for basically the same reason. And I most certainly don’t do aerobics or any loud pumping music where we all line up and follow an instructor like something out of 42nd Street. I do free weights with the big boys. I do the treadmill and the stairstepper because they are in front of ESPN and because my toddler is just too big for a jog stroller anymore and I am forced to. I don’t step outside of those parameters.
Well, I didn’t anyway until yesterday. Yesterday I just couldn’t face the weight room or the treadmill again. I was tired and cranky and needed something a little more fun. I needed some pumping music with some very specific directions from an instructor who was not just in my head. I needed a… gasp, I can’t believe I am going to say it… I needed a class. Mondays at my gym have always been my least favorite day. Not because of the beginning of the week syndrome you would expect. No, Mondays are Clubbing Cardio days, where women from the area converge on “my gym” for the morning to take Brian’s class. I don’t know if it is so they can stand behind him and watch him grooving to the music or because they can pretend they aren’t housewives just for the morning. They can pretend like they are still the clubbing kind of girls they were ten or fifteen years ago. But they all love it. The parking lot is full every Monday morning. The treadmills are full as they all warm-up for the class and worse yet the hall is full of chatting women while I try to make my way between cardio machines and free weights. I hate Mondays at my gym and apparently I haven’t hidden that feeling very well.
Yesterday as I walked into the Clubbing Cardio class I could feel everybody’s eyes on me. Some women even approached me with “But you don’t do classes” and a little laugh. But others who I have silently mocked for being the “class” kind of exerciser approached me to have me stand behind them and follow along. In my list of why I don’t do classes I may have left something out. I am a bit of a klutz. My biggest fear at the gym is that I will go flying off of the treadmill. Before that it was that I would drop a big forty five pound weight on my ankle while the weight room was packed. I am not so afraid of that any more as I have discovered it doesn’t hurt all that bad and only a few people even acknowledge it when it happens. These people who did acknowledge it were the same women who offered to guide me through the class. They are the ones who know that just because I look fit doesn’t mean I am actually coordinated.
The class is exactly what it sounds like. Low lights, loud music and fast movements. Not exactly the place for a klutz. But no one seemed to mind as I fumbled my way through the class. I never made it to the point where I could believe I was actually dancing and I know that no one around me would have described any of my movements as graceful. Think more along the lines of Elaine from Seinfeld. No, it wasn’t pretty, but it was fun. And it was exercise. My heart raced, my legs burned and I left a nice sweat puddle all around me so I can count it in my exercise log. (See I told you I am a bit regimented.) But the best bit was the workout my abdominals received from the intense belly laughs I couldn’t help but emit as I stumbled and fumbled my way through, hoping beyond hope that Brian wouldn’t have us change directions putting me in front of those I had been following.
I don’t think I will change my workout philosophy and become a class junkie but I do think I will try new things and I will certainly have more respect for those “class exercisers.”
Originally appeared in Irongirl.com’s March 2009 Newsletter