Thursday, April 7, 2016

Why You Shouldn't Ignore "Boot Camp" When The Class Is Called Cardio Boot Camp

Focusing on the word Cardio and not actually reading the words Boot Camp, I accompanied S to the gym to take an early afternoon class. I figured it would be something different, it would help with the pants situation, and because she had guest passes, it would be FREE. After sitting in traffic for over an hour, walking to the gym was a luxury. We signed in, found a locker and figured out how to lock it without much effort, and then walked around the gym until we found the right room.

We saw a few people in the room. The woman at the door was like, You're here for class? And I was like, Cardio? And she was like, Yes. Then as soon as we'd entered, she told everyone, Grab a step. I looked at S like, This is step aerobics? We both decided to use one set of bracelets (I don't know if that's what they're actually called, but that's what I've always called them. They are the thingies you put under a step to make it a level higher). S was like, these looked like the ones from gym class. I was like, They totally are. She was like, There's only one step? I was like, Only one like this.

Flashback: we took step aerobics in gym class in high school. It was the only time I ever enjoyed gym class. All the other times, you know, like, playing volleyball and taking the Presidential Physical Fitness test during which I couldn't hold myself in a chin up position for more than a second, those times--not fun.

So the music came on and the instructor was like, Just tap your feet on the step. Then two people were outside the door she'd locked, so she told us to keep going as she let them in. One of them stood in the front, and the other set up her step back to the left of me, which was a bit too close. Then she left. She came back a few minutes later with a tissue. Of course she did.

Then we went from tapping the step to basically jumping up and down over and off of it. There was a lot of jumping, running on top, running around, hopping, kicking, jumping over and around, jacking and straddling, and of course, stepping up and down. There wasn't a dance component as this was not step aerobics. This was, indeed, a boot camp. S was bright red and I looked like I had never worked out a day in my life. The room was also very hot, as was the rest of the gym, so I stopped a few times, a few seconds each time, for water and to make sure I wasn't going to pass out. This is becoming a trend with me working out in public places.

During the class, the woman who had come in late and put her step too close to me was making it her own whenever she was actually moving. However, she spent a good amount of time blowing her nose. She also spend some time sitting on the step and then positioning herself in a way that I can describe only as napping. The instructor kept telling us to go at our own pace. When the instructor was close to the Napping/NoseBlowing woman behind me, I heard the woman say something to her, and then the instructor responded, Then you shouldn't be doing that at all. I don't know what she told the instructor or what the "that" is, but I can make a really good guess that the "that" was Working Out.

The instructor told us at one point to grab a heavy weight. My heavy weight was five pounds. Other women grabbed eight and ten. Nope. No thank you. We did a series of moves that involved arms and steps and turning and lifting and it was a whole lot of weight stuff that was toning and cardio all in one. 

The instructor made her way around the room a few times. S described her instruction style as the Billy Blanks version: doing the move once or twice, and then not doing the rest of the reps. I suppose you can't do Boot Camp every day all day as an instructor, but I looked at the schedule and she'd had some sort of Chair Fitness class right before ours. She could have worked! (Okay, I don't know her life. Maybe she was on her way to marathon training afterwards).

Towards the end, there were mat exercises like push-ups, walking planks, and then a series of ab movements that also involved leg lifting and lots of reaching. Then we had to use a lighter weight to do some of the moves. I used my five pound heavy weight as the lighter weight, too.

I looked at the clock during one of the transitions and S caught me and laughed, saying that it made her feel better that I was looking to see if it was all over yet. I was like, Yes, I'm dying, and I'm apparently not a fit person.

That's not to say that other people weren't struggling. Some were struggling more than others. Like the woman behind me who had left at least once more and continued to nap and blow her nose.

We all clapped when the class was done. Then S and I went to find a place to sit. She suggested that maybe this class as a first class had been too ambitious. Why? Because it's friggin Boot Camp. Still, we got through it. AND we walked back to her place afterwards. That's where I devoured an apple and some turkey slices and then headed home to sit for a while. Sitting is good sometimes, too.

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