Monday, June 02, 2008

Burning and Firming My Way to a Slow & Painful Death

I am out of shape. Woefully out of shape to be specific.

Which is why I've been going to the gym. I've been going swimming, using the elliptical, trying not to get bucked off the treadmill...

And for all my efforts I am down a size and a fistful of pounds. So I am feeling a little gym-cocky and I sign up for the Burn & Firm class.

First hint of trouble? It's an hour and fifteen minute class.

Second hint of trouble? I am the only one in it.

Things start off well enough. The petite Irish instructor is all sweet and patient and shows be how to assemble the step board. She asks me a few questions about my exercise routine, starts up the music, and we're off!

There two things you ought to know about me before I continue. Firstly I am not always entirely positive about the concept of left and right. I never ever get it right the first time. I have to make the little "L" with my thumb and pointer finger, and even then sometimes I can't tell.

Secondly I am not particularly coordinated in certain ways. I can fly a glider, but for the life of me I cannot follow along in a waltz. The step-step-slide thing, I can't do it. I look like baby Frankenstein.

Ok so picture this: the music is blaring, it's just me and the trainer, and I've never stepped before in my life when all of a sudden the sweet and nice trainer turns into a screaming banshee on me.

She's pumping away, jumping up and down and on and off this step board thingy, yelling at me "LEFT, RIGHT, RIGHT, UP, JUMP, LEFT LEG, RIGHT ARM, RIGHT LEG, LEFT, JUMP, SIDE, BOUNCE, LEFT, LEFT, BOUNCE, JUMP, TURN, LEFT, RIGHT, RIGHT, CROSS LEFT"

Huh? Only I am not thinking at this point because I just don't know what the f*ck I am doing. And the banshee won't stop screaming.

I am sweating, and gasping, and jumping, and crossing. My face and lungs are on FIRE and that is when the second member of the class strolls in.

She takes her time, puts out her mat, then her board, has some water, then jumps in on the routine and it's like she just warming up. No sweating, no panting, just hop hop jump jump.

This goes on for a body-terrorizing 45 minutes. At one point I thought I would die. Like, for real. Although in truth it could just be the allergies.

Finally we switch to the firming part of the program. Weights, balls, stretching, and lifting. It turns out that I am the unfittest person in the world. Or at least I now know exactly how that person feels.

Well fortunately it is now over. I anticipate that I will regain feeling in all the parts of my body located just below my chin aaaaany minute now.

Just in time for next week's class.

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