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Whims of a Novice Gym Bunny

January 19, 2014 Leave a comment

A free week at the local gym seemed like a good idea. I learned the difference between a sit-up and a push-up and worked out for six days straight. Here are my journal entries.

ImageDay One:

I was early. This meant an awkward three minutes inside the woman’s locker room where I checked my phone and fiddled with my shoelaces. At one minute to 6pm, I grabbed a towel (extra heavy, 725 grams of cotton if I had to guess) and found an inconspicuous spot in the back of my first Urban Sculpt class. My instructor, Mike Gilberts waltzes in with a huge grin on his face as he surveys the room.

“That’s right, it’s a new year,” He says observing the full class.

The music starts and he immediately begins what feels more like a training session for “Dancing with the Stars,” than a workout. But I guess in aerobics, it’s like the same thing.

“Five, six, seven, eight, and lift, punch kick, hold and twirl.” To stay on beat I watch Mike very closely.  It seems easy enough until my knees stiffen and my heart beats faster than the hip-hop, techno mash up. Never the dramatic one, I ignore the urge to make myself faint just to leave class early and instead, remember how much I hate one-pieces. 

“Let’s go! Heel out, salsa, twist and repeat!”

As the dance moves become complicated, I start to lose my rhythm.

Wait, heel, then kick, or kick then heel?

So many questions but they all sound stupid. So I just improvise. “Heel, kick, salsa, okay, wrong way, reverse, shit.” I mumble. Lucky for me, nobody seems to notice or care that I was dancing to my own, rhymesless beat.

After the unforgiving one-hour session, with sweat covering my body, I left Mike Gilbert’s aerobics class to grab a burger. 

Day Two:

What’s up with the mirrors? I think as I begin my session on the treadmill. I understand why they exist in the weight room and fitness classrooms but how are they effective for people using an exercise bike? Its awkward enough that people don’t make eye contact with one another. So why be forced to stare at their reflection?

Anyway, the treadmill is simple enough. I pick the one closet to the water fountain. Choose a playlist (reggae) and start walking. Simple enough until I notice how gym rats can make it complicated. The person to my right had an IPAD and magazine strategically placed on his exercise mount. He flips and scrolls without losing a step. I was amazed and weirded out at the same time.

Day Three:

Television makes kickboxing look so easy. Stand in place, flair your arms around and breath like you’re going in combat. My instructor, who helped me wrap my hands in boxing cloth, fooled me too with his seemingly sweet demeanor.

First ten minutes we did jumping jacks and it wasn’t nearly as fun as when I was a kid.

“To the floor! Twenty push-ups!”

I still had difficulty bringing my body all the way down to the ground for a push-up.  Josh, my instructor, noticed of course. “You call that a push-up sweetie!”

Eh?

Josh’s incessant yelling throughout the entire class brought me back to my childhood so I left 5 minutes early. Now every time we pass each other, I huddle in a corner and pretend to retie my shoes.

Day Four

It’s raining today and I’m up an hour later than planned. I have just enough time to make some juice (a blend of carrots, apples and pineapples) and read the day’s class description:

Amazing abs with James Point is a high intensity workout that uses a mix of exercises to strengthen, tone, and stretch the abdomen muscles.  Participants may use equipment such as stability balls, weights, and resistance bands. I don’t have time to Google the big words so I make sure to arrive early.

Amazing abs turns out to be the easiest class yet. Most of it involves lying on a mat to do a series of stretches that focuses on the abdominal. I was sore afterwards, but not in that “I need alcohol, lots of alcohol,” kind of sore.

Day four ended with steamed fish and a bowl of quinoa.

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Day Five:

The gym is packed. Gym rats and bunnies are everywhere and for the first time, I feel out of place. I check my hair in the full-length locker room mirror and smile as a girl standing adjacent to me compliments my sneakers. I look up, forcing myself to remain cool, as she casually drops her towel to apply lotion on her fully naked body.

“Oh, um, thanks.” I mumble.

I’m not shy about nudity. But it’s still week one.

Day Six

I take another Urban Sculpt class and this time stay on beat. Mike, the instructor, smiles approvingly. “So you’re a gym bunny now, huh?”

“Yeah, maybe.” I reply.

I fill out a membership the next day. The mirrors aren’t so scary anymore. But I refuse to bring my Ipad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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