No doubt, I’ve been out of the “gym scene” for a while, but based on my experience this week, I think I’m in for a serious comeback. Apparently, my new health insurance includes a free gym membership, and after a week and a half of talking to customer service, I’m happy to report this is true. AND they take care of your children while you work out. WHAAA?? I am not kidding. This includes membership to multiple gyms. I decided to start out easy with the YMCA by our house, and I picked a group class I thought would get the blood flowing, “Prime Time Cardio.” I thought this name referred to “the best time to work out is in the morning,” but as it turns out, it means “the prime of your life is when your are over 75.” I guess that’s why people read the class descriptions. Despite the fact that I was the only one without great-grandchildren, the instructor asked me to “listen to my body” since I hadn’t been working out regularly yet. Though I did enjoy the company of a different age group, I did listen to my body and my body said, “You are wasting an hour lifting your knees softly and doing star hands to bring up your heart rate.” Just to give you an idea of the rigor of the class, 20 minutes was spent stretching on a chair, and not in a sexy or flexible way.
Lesson learned, I did my research on the next gym, which was way more glitzed out than the community Y. The classes all had uncomfortable sounding names like “Body Attack,” and “Butts n’ Guts” so I chose the one that promised to help me “lose myself in dance-inspired cardio.” To say this class was different from the first one is the understatement of the year. First of all, there were two instructors, a fun-loving 40 something woman who had obviously been cool her entire life, and a ridiculously fit guy who I am pretty sure is a real back-up dancer. And the people who came to work out! Whatever the hippest is, that is what they were. I found out later they were all dressed for the theme (assigned for every class!) which was Valentine’s day. And this totally explains why people OWNED and WORE things like white mesh shirts with pink bras and athletic pants with slits torn in the front. Needless to say, I DID NOT stick out like a sore thumb in my baggy shirt that even my 4 year-old informed me was “not for exercising.”
As it turns out, it didn’t matter, something the instructors told us many many times, that we were just here to “be ourselves” and have the best time ever. The optimism was kinda aggressive, but I totally bought in when they darkened the whole room and lit up FIVE different sets of club lights. There was a lot of “YEAHs” and “FEELING GOODs” and I did find it hard not to buy in when I was clearly clubbin’ at 9am while my children hung out in the playroom. And yeah, maybe I felt a like if I kept coming to this class I could be as cool as the people I was tripping over trying to follow the routine.
Based on this, I went to the same class the next day with a different instructor. This woman was the girl at the bar/party/ anywhere that has a glaring amount of energy, always invades your personal bubble, and responds too quickly to anything you say. Lucky for her, her traits are perfectly suited for cardio instruction. She unnerved me when she licked her teeth and said this was a great place to “dance naughty,” but I think she meant well. She went through a lot of emotions during the hour. We literally brought her to tears with our ability to express ourselves through dance. I actually wasn’t totally sure she was crying but she did wipe her eye, and she said, genuinely, “I just can’t believe this,” and “If you ladies could see what I’m seeing right now…” So I think she wanted us to know we moved her. And it totally worked. I still had all the jiggly bits I came in with, but I was like, “Damn, we are AMAZING, thank you stereotypically named gym instructor.” Y’all better watch out, cuz I’m probs gonna make the next one cry too.