Tuesday, September 9, 2008

THIS is Healthy?!?

So, I'm taking a couple of exercise classes at our village's recreation center this Fall. Namely, a muscle conditioning class and a Zumba class. Sounds fun, right? That's what I thought when I signed up for them.
I also was under the (still-to-be-proven) impression that by taking these classes, I would be improving my health.

Weight loss? Good thing.

Improved cardiovascular system? Wonderful thing.

Muscles turned into a painful kind of cement? Bad, bad thing.

My first class, muscle conditioning, was last night. I followed all the regulations stated in the class's description: gym shoes, comfortable clothes, exercise mat, and 5 pound hand weights. (Side note: are you aware how heavy ten pounds in a gym bag can be?) So, I felt pretty proud of myself when I arrived at the class with everything I needed. I huddled in a back corner of the gym with the other newcomers, as the instructor shimmied over.

"Hi, I'm Rosemary. You guys are new to the class? Do you have mats? What size weights did you bring?"

When I smugly answered that I brought 5-pounders, she quickly replied, "OK, that's not gonna be enough weight."

Me: "Uh, yeah, that is gonna be enough weight. One, because that's what was in the course description, and, two, because I've never done this before."

Rosemary: "OK, well, you're still gonna hafta go buy some bigger weights."

You want to see bigger weights, Rosemary? Right now, I'm using a permanent marker to turn the "5" on my weights, into an "8". Voila! Bigger weights

A little background on Rosemary, solely based on my observations and assumptions:
--middle-aged woman who "doesn't need a man" because they "are all scum who treat you
--teaches several different kinds of exercise classes, so she can "help" (punish) other
middle-age women learn their "self-worth" (learn their tolerance for pain), and take
out her anger at all the men who have ever wronged her.
--is an "expert" on everything, just like my 10-year-old son.

OK, back to class...

Along with my fellow newbies, I remain in the back of the gym so I won't look like a completely uncoordinated idiot. Warm-ups begin at an alarming pace. I immediately fall off my "step", which ends up being a good thing because my momentum knocks me into the lady next to me and prevents her from falling on her bottom.

The pace and intensity increases and I begin to get the swing of things. Oh, wait, I'm forgetting to breathe.

When we break at the 1/2-hour point (yep, it's a one hour class!), I am beginning to hate all the men who ever wronged Rosemary almost as much as she does. The lady behind me is packing up her gym bag, because she thinks we're all done. When I tell her it's just a break, she looks longingly at her pack of cigarettes and a tear rolls down her cheek. Minus the cigarettes, I know how she feels. If I hadn't just sweat out all the liquid from my body, I'd cry too.

Rosemary: "Ready to get serious, Ladies? How're we feeling?" Um, dead, Rosemary. Feeling dead.

The second half of class passed by in a blur, mostly because the sweat was stinging my eyes. There was something about keeping our stomachs in (if I could do that, Rosemary, I wouldn't be here), using our "tension tubes" (I used the yellow ones for senior citizens), and "cooling down" (must've missed that part).

Then, the lovely Rosemary (now glistening) set us free. I almost asked her if I could just leave my weights there until next class, because I was certain I could not carry them to the car. Whatever.

As I passed Rosemary on my way out, she cheerily informed me, "Wednesday's Zumba class will give you an even better workout! See you then." It took every ounce of self-control I possess not to say, "Shut up, Rosemary."

So, here I am. Typing with the one finger that isn't completely crippled by last night's body-into-pretzel class. Looking forward to tomorrow's Zumba class, if I can find a physician to prescribe ibuprofen-1000s for me.

So, if you don't see a posting here for a while, it was the Zumba that did me in.

Remind me again... how is all of this good for my body??


  1. It's good for you because we're supposed to get some exercise! You're better than me-- I wouldn't have made it through the first fifteen minutes.

    Hang in there! Can't wait to hear how the Zumba class goes!

  2. I'm beginning to think that I should have someone come along to photo-document the Zumba class, because, apparently when I exercise, all blood leaves my brain.
    Any takers?