Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is it worth it, let me work it

I do like getting my fitness on. And we all know that you better just keep working out because while it may take time to get in shape, it takes no time at all to get out of shape. Call it the law of irony, I know.

Next thing you know, your jeans refuse to even let you "slip" them on and for some reason your scale has added weight but you know that can't be right. Blame the batteries all you like.

Getting fit requires work. Go walk. Ride a bike. Climb stairs. Something.
I will be the first to attest, your ass won't lose itself.

I feel an infinite sense of balance if I have daily workouts. I even worked out until I was 6 months pregnant. And for the record, when they say you should not do exercises on your back when you are pregnant, and you scoff, and then you try it and murmur in pain. Ummm, listen up next time, smarty. You arent the M.D.

So perhaps it came as a bit of a surprise what happened last night at the gym.

I decided to take a Cardio Hip Hop class. Now, dance + big mirrors + loud music is a version of heaven for me. Seriously, get that industrial sized fan going and I won't be leaving any time soon.

So I go to this class, clearly full of regulars jockeying for front row position, and I pony up to an up front spot. I used to be a competitive dancer so I have no fear hanging out at the front of that room. Mmm hmmmm. Easy there Cocky Balboa.

A woman walked in super chatty with multiple people. She was a very healthy girl. And by very healthy, I mean, she was a very good sized gal. She makes her way to the front of the room and puts on a headset. Have you been to a cardio class? Headsets are for the instructors. Period. I thought well, this will be interesting. In ten years at this gym, I have never seen a girl over 100 pounds, 70 of which are pure muscle, teaching a cardio class. Ever. And while I had never been to this particular class, my mind may have formed an opinion too soon.

Since we had five minutes before the class actually started, Ms. Hip Hop decided we would do an early warm up. Everyone on their backs for some abdominal fun. I had no fear.

And Ms. Hip Hop was chat chat chatting away. And then she said we could do 100 crunches. Done. Oh, 100 more? Oh side to side working those obliques? Ummm, ok. On what felt like my 700th crunch, she is still chatting away words of encouragement and cranking those crunches out like she was made of steel. I felt an earthquake and then realized that was just my core and stomach muscles having spasms. Is abdominal party time over yet? Oh my.

What is that about judging books by covers? Shame. on. me.

So class begins as I am weakened from tummy torture. And this girl can dance. And she can kick-ball change. And she can shake her moneymaker. And she can do it all over and over again. Fifty more times. No you don't need a water break, ladies, she says. You need to work up a sweat.

I promise you that I would have no better training for a MC Hammer video than what was being delivered in this class. Did she hear my inner monologue. M_______F__.

Oh here comes a move where we squat and then jump up from one leg and do a high kick. Oh, I love some high kicks. Oh, do that ten times in a row? Ummmm. Ok.
Oh, slide down floor on one hip, legs to the side, and one arm holding us for balance? S-s-s-sure.

One hour later, I was a hot mess. I wanted to show some personal attention to that industrial fan. Is it wrong to attempt to make sweet, sweet love to it? I was delirious with exhaustion. I tried to embrace it like a holy angel except I was momentarily too weak to stand. Don't mind me while I lay here and mew for a minute more. The instructor? She probably went right out and ran 10 miles.

As if I didn't know already, here is affirmation, you can learn something new everyday.

100 comments:

J.J. in L.A. said...

This is one of those times where I'm glad I can't do that. I'm exhausted just reading about it!

Midtown Girl said...

Seriously, I had a similar experience.

This chick was HA-UGE. She was instructing a hip-hop dance class and she killed it! And killed me too- was sore for dayz...

Huge trainer chick was evil as hell.

cherie said...

wonderful reminder. we're doing some walking tomorrow. thanks, dawn.

Simone said...

It's been way too long since I took any kind of classes like that.....and they were never like that...thank the lord! Very well told, am still giggling :)

My name is PJ. said...

Of course, I laughed my ass off and spit coffee all over my desk. Thanks for that..... :)

After your book is published, perhaps you could do a book on life lessons...I'm serious now. And the title should be "Your Ass Won't Lose Itself." Come on, you know I'm right! A good title can sell a book..... :)

Amanda said...

Ahhhh Cocky Balboa - you do make me laugh!!!

Jules said...

Hee Hee! Yeah, I'm the one in the BACK of the class (although I did take 10 years of dancing) or the one on the treadmill running and trying not to die as I do so.

But I do agree....those fans....how I would do love those fans!!!!!!

Come to me sweet, sweet fans!!!

ellen abbott said...

I did that once after an hour of weights, another hour walking on the treadmill and then the dance cardio. Never did that again.

I haven't been to the gym in a month though (for several reasons) and I dread going back.

Sunshinemeg said...

Perhaps your best post of all time! Seriously. For anyone who has been in one of these sweat shops, I mean classes, we understand. I too, have fallen into the trap of the cardio dance bonanza and ended up crawling out of the room. I bet you are soar now. Haha, hilarious.

Matthew said...

I went for a run yesterday for the first time in months and nearly vomited up my lungs. Just thought I'd mention it, because simply saying 'I loved this posting' sounds all too obsequious.

La Belle Mere UK said...

Waaah... what is with that? The larger instructors? We've got a couple at our gym. How are they so fit yet so large at the same time?? Weird.

Heavenly Housewife said...

LOL cocky balboa, thats funny. I stay away from those classes, i have no coordination. This hamster sticks to the treadmill.

Shop Girl* said...

I love going to the gym, but I'm afraid of the classes! haha! At least you made it through, I would have been that woman collapsed in a heap in front of the fan waiting for the class to end. hahaha

Lauren said...

The kickboxing instructor at my gym is a large woman, but she kicks my ass every time!!

Ju said...

This post made me want to run to the gym. Great feeling after a workout.
I'm dying to see a picture of this instructor, from the back, could you not take one?

Tammy Howard said...

Thank you for bringing that info to the masses! Big does not necessarily mean 'out of shape'. Small does not necessarily mean 'in shape'. It wouldn't be so shocking, either, if the media weren't constantly shoving it down our throats that small = good and big = bad. Surely it's common sense that we were all meant to be different sizes? What? It's not? Well, it should be.

I stopped going to the gym 2 years ago. I was big. I was fit. I was so damn tired of people asking "how much have you lost?" (very little) and then saying, "well, stick with it - you'll get there" I WAS there! I was fit! I was in great shape! That shape, however, didn't fit the societal norms for "good shape" - externally, at least.

Good on your girl! I got tired of it after a couple years. I quit and I shouldn't have. I am NOT in good shape now (though I don't look much different to the naked eye) It just became so frustrating. Fitness was not the goal, thinness was. Thinness wasn't (isn't) gonna happen. So that made me walk away from the fitness I'd already achieved. Sad, really.

Sorry for the long comment, obviously you've hit on a hot button topic for me. Again - thank you for this post. Thank you BIG!

otherworldlyone said...

Too funny!

I used to LOVE doing those hip hop dance / exercise videos, though I've never actually been to a class.

A few months ago I found an old video I used to love in high school in a store. I bought it, took it home, and then died a loud, painful hip hop death.

I'll stick with the step-together-step-together for right now.

Mommy Mac said...

Yous a big fine woman, let me back tha t%&* up.

Girl, whose you playin' with back that (*%$ up.

Beef up, Jenny Mac.

You be dealing with the heavy weight category.

Stellar reporting.

My frappin' abdominal with their 1 1/4 inch layer of fat on them feel weak for you, my friend.

.mac :)

Lee said...

Love that! Does make you rethink doesn't it?? The instructors at my club are all healthier. Not that I go to the classes, but I have seen them as I am walking out to the pool!

Little Ms Blogger said...

I've started exercising again after the long recuperation from my stupid rib injury and it's hard to motivate self to do it everyday.

However, just wondering, if I could feel your pain, does that count as my workout for the day?

Dustjacket Attic said...

Ooo honey I was laughing so much! You wrote that so well. I have so dropped the ball on the whole fitness thing, I'm trying to get inspiration from you!
xoxo

Momma G.Love said...

What a great reminder NOT to judge a book by its cover. Sounds like she really kicked your butt.

...stopping by from SITS...

Steph @ Stick It in the Fridge

pleasestickitinthefridge.blogspot.com

stepfabulous said...

Glad it was you there and not me. Haven't been able to exercise or go to the gym since my surgery, but I did start a 20 min brisk walk nightly Monday night with some serious sports bras on. It's amazing how out of shape you can get in just 4 weeks!

The Peach Tart said...

"And she can kick-ball change. And she can shake her moneymaker." - I do love a good kick ball change and well obviously it's a very good trait to be able to shake your money maker.

Lana said...

now my workouts feel like a tea party compared to that. and i definitely nodded in appreciation after reading 'your ass won't lose itself'.

Sotally Tober said...

LMAO! I think everyone who has done any kind of class can relate. I think running is like that too. It's one of the few sports where you just can't tell. One minute, you're running strong, feeling fast. The next minute, someone who looks like they have no business being in the race at all, let alone running PAST you, goes by. Effortlessly. Instant humility. We all need some, now & again, I guess.

f8hasit said...

Reading your post made me feel a few things.
1. I'm headed out to workout right now. Me need some endorfins.
2. I was tired after the 700th crunch in your post.
3. So I took a break from reading and got a box of bonsbons to help me finish off the story in record time.
:-)

Thanks for your post...Book covers can be dangerous if read wrong!

Young Mom/Wife said...

OH DEAR LORD! I have fallen off the band wagon these past few weeks and am DREADING getting my butt in gear, because I know it is going to suck.

And for the record I have NEVER seen a female trainer who wasn't a rail teach a class either.

Vodka Logic said...

Are you going back to the class?

xx

Scrappy Girl said...

THis made me think of that show Dance Your A$$ off...they can boogie down even overweight.

Dina's Days said...

You are 100%right about it taking no time to get out of shape. I am usually an avid gym goer and jogger, but this summer has been crazy and my workouts were slashed in half. Let's just say I went up a size. Yikes.

The Savage said...

I can't do the high impact workouts at the moment. I have a bad ankle. does that keep me from working out? Nope. I use a system called Greasing The Groove or GTG. Its where you do more sets and less reps with plenty of rest in between. Its a weight lifter's workout designed in Russia and its applicable to most exercises. Instead of three set of 10,12 or 15 I do do ten to twenty sets of 5 max. It's hard to get used to but now I can lift and carry a full sized washer and have lost 25 pounds in 5 months. Lost 10 of those pounds doing push ups alone.
Its a great way to get stronger, faster with less muscle strain.
I'm not looking to get ripped.... yet. I'm trying to reach my highschool grad weight and I only have 25 pounds to go. when I get there I'm kicking it up.
One tip I have learned though, used by Russian and Asian gymnasts is if you do get a workout injury use heat instead of ice to relieve your muscle aches....

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

I've been in similar situations myself ... you just never know who's going to come out of nowhere and kick your ass!

The exercise class sounds soooo fun. I am dying to get back into shape once this baby gets here!

Lauren and Emily said...

Ok, thanks for ruining my dream for me...I was hoping my ass would actually lose itself!
Interesting about Ms. Hip Hop. So, she actually did the whole class too? and 700 crunches? It's like that chick on that show More to Love who's a fitness instructor...

Intense Guy said...

I get my cardio by lifting a big, and I mean HUGE donut up off the surface of my desk and manipulate it so it doesn't drip any goodness while I stuff it into my face.

Ugh, my ribs hurt just reading about your healthy torture.

Yankee Girl said...

That sounds like fun and pure torture at the same time. I miss being at a gym that offers fun classes! My gym is sort of boring...maybe that's why I hate going.

I'm a slightly bigger girl (I've got about 30 pounds to lose) and I teach an exotic dance class. I keep it very burlesque and it is so much fun!

Mandy said...

Good lesson and so true!

One time I took a "Dance Party" class and the instructor looked about my grandmother's age. But guess what! Granny could shake her groove thang all over the room. In fact, I think she had just got back from coaching Beyonce'.

So you just never know what surprises will come your way. Wouldn't it be great to see a workout video with Jack Nicholsan and Joan Rivers? They could throw back insults and jokes as they throw out their backs! ;-)

McVal said...

I'm exhausted just reading that! I guess I have my workout done for the day!

Chief said...

Oh, for the love of God that sounds like a small slice of hell.

Court said...

Kudos to you and her! LOL I look ridiculous in a hip hop class and can't keep up- not so much that I'm out of shape but just that I'm not really good with synchronization. lol Ridiculous I know.

La La La Leah said...

I am so glad I live vicariously through you! People here in Utah are really into Zumba.... I don't think I will go...... have a good day.

confused homemaker said...

It's worse when they are perky and smiling the whole time. I get cranky walking to the car.

Mrs. Montoya said...

Gawd, could you be any flippin' funnier?!?! I am so hooked and love that the big girl kicked your butt. Priceless. Great post!

B.o.B. said...

Very interesting! I bet she could teach Honey (Jessica Alba) a thing or ten. That is a real hip-hop dancer for you. Hope you are sufficiently sore today. That is the best feeling of all!

Karyn Bernard (French Charming) said...

You are hysterical!

I think I'd rather chew off my left foot with my own teeth than try and get through one of those classes...I guess that would explain my ample ass...sigh!!

Lisa and Laura said...

I love cardio classes at the gym and I've definitely learned the hard way not to judge the instructors by their appearances. I had this one bootcamp instructor who looked like she spent all day eating cupcakes who totally kicked my ass.

Southern Champagne Wishes said...

That is so something that would happen to me, providing I even made it to a hip-hop class (and I certainly wouldn't be in the front row)!

But, I have had friends who were, um, larger, and who were in amazing physical shape and could totally out-run me, so even though I can't understand this phenomenon, I believe it exists.

Also, I've been out of town and just catching up on my blog reading - thank you so much for my award! I cannot wait to post about it!

Dana-Lynn said...

One thing I will always remember when judging people's athletic ability by their weight. SUMO WRESTLERS. My boot camp instructor always brings up sumo wrestlers when encouraging us to watch what we eat. Sumo Wrestlers have some of the best stamina and strength, yet they are LARGE. I know I'd get my little butt kicked if I had to keep up with one of these guys!

darsden said...

saaaaweeeet arms...would kill for arms like that...
LOL excellent post

Mommy Mac-made coffee come through my nose...just for the record!

Miss M said...

I can't dance to save my life, so those classes SCARE me! Give me kickboxing or spinning any day of the week!

Amy said...

And that is a dream of mine. I hate pain, so I generally try to avoid it at all costs, but were I to take a class, I would be forced to try out of sheer pride. Way to go! It sounds like you are in heaven with this class!

Meg said...

Wow, that makes me feel less sorry for myself after going for a 30 minute jog!

Vivienne said...

"dance + big mirrors + loud music"

For some of us, that is known as Tartarus. And by some of us, I mean me.

Grand Pooba said...

Oh my gosh, that sounds like me a few years ago, I too used to be a competitive dancer but quit when I go married. But of course I Thought I still had it in me.

I went to the hip hop class thinking I could tear it up. Um, no. We had a guy instructer and he was all over the place and I just stared at him.

After class was over, I went home in defeat.

At least you were able to do the dance! My sorry ass couldn't!

Jen said...

Maybe I should exercise more cause that I was winded just reading about this.

Kristina P. said...

Good for her!!

carma said...

this is so true!! One thing I've noticed in my belly dance class is that some of the best dancers are the more "robust" women.

You just never know....

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I should be cleaning my shower or outside getting some sun.

Doing Yoga and having sex are the only times I like to sweat. Sorry, TMI? You have a way of getting things like that out of me.

At least my fingers are getting some exercise typing this! You should see them, they are cut!

Hugs!!

Delectable Swank said...

This is totally what I need to start working out again! I need some crazy buff lady to whip my ass in shape!

Lola Lakely said...

Subsitute dance with kick class and you have my experience to a T. I myself have been guilty of the Cocky Balboa syndrome. Never Again, my friend. Never.

You seriously crack me up.

Laura [What I Like] said...

I just took my first hip hop class at Alvin Ailey a few weeks ago and can seriously relate to your condition (although my teacher was a very trim young dancer)! I quite literally thought I was going to fall down about halfway through the class and did actually fall down on the sidewalk outside. And I couldn't walk normally for a week. And I haven't been back, shame on me.

Mom in High Heels said...

I'm reading this and trying not to laugh too hard because my abs are killing me from the yoga class I did today. The teacher is also my personal trainer and she does NOT believe in gentle, flowing, relaxing yoga. No, we must be dripping with sweat before we've even made it half way through the class. I swear if I had heard 'chatarunga' one more time from her I was going to drop to my mat and weep. A lot. If we'd had a fan in the room, I'd have tried to make sweet, sweet love to it too.
Also, once you're in shape, you should just stay that way. It's not fair!!! Not fair at all.

Michelle said...

My ass has never lost itself. Not even once.

Le Chiquest said...

i. need. to. catch. my. breath. whoa just reading about your hip hop class made me exhausted...that was some major working out you did. you go girl!

AmyK said...

I am a huge fan of "So You Think You Can Dance" and appreciate the high impact of hip hop. She did not cut you any slack did she? It reminds me of Mia Michaels, not a sprite herself, but a hell of a dance choreographer. I know you're going back.

Pricilla said...

A true case of size doesn't matter, eh?

Now...are you going back? THAT is the question.

Erin said...

Hope you won't be too sore! I made that mistake with a kick boxing class...ONCE....notice I said ONCE? =)

E said...

I am shocked. SHOCKED. I have never taken a gym class with an instructor who weighed over 100 lbs (male or female). Oh and i tried the hip hop class before, it was sad getting my uncoordinated ass owned by the senior citizens in the class.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

that sounds like the spinning class I took yesterday! I finished...and lay on the floor...ready to die. Gasping for breath, my lungs, shoulders, legs, hips aching.

I go to the gym six days a week. I decided not to go today.

just me said...

One time, in my weight class, there was an old lady in front of me and I felt totally superior until she started lifting DOUBLE what I was.

Sigh.

Marcia said...

This was totally funny!!! She obviously proved that you really can't judge a book by its cover.

Stephanie Faris said...

I worked with a woman who taught aerobics on the side. She was even a sub for classes and she'd do three and four classes a night sometimes. She had abs of steel and tons of muscle, but the girl was just big. She'll always be big. On top of that, she loves to eat so she's always going to consume way more calories than she can burn.

That's part of that "exercise myth" I was reading about in Readers Digest. This idea that we can work out for an hour and lose weight. I'd even see women say, as they big into a bacon-double cheeseburger, "I'll just put in an extra hour of cardio tonight." Ummm...nope. It's gonna take a whole lot more than an hour to burn off 1500 calories.

girl, inspired said...

sounds like torture! are you going back for more?

sarah m said...

Ummm...can I just say I've had that happen more than once now? Definitely can't judge the book, especially in a workout room. It's like Mythbusters up in there or something.

Laila Of Course! said...

Wow. I wasn't expecting THAT to happen in your post today! ahaha.

Be sure and pop by & leave a note! And I'm having a giveaway for followers, so enter. :)

-Laila
www.randomweavings.blogspot.com

Ela said...

Oh my, you must be super sore today! But it's a good kind of pain, right? You gotta do it again, I'm sure like everything else, it only gets easier, pretty soon you'll be high kicking your way home ;)

HalfAsstic.com said...

But, don't you kinda wonder what the hell she's doing to maintain that weight? Geeze. Makes me curious.

Leah Rubin said...

Don't feel too badly-- after all, we ARE here to judge, are we not? But kudos to her for her athletic/dance/staminability! One day soon I'm going back to the gym, too. Really. I'm not kidding, I really will, and then I'm probably going to win the lottery. And be elected something. Or not...

Erin said...

What a good reminder to not judge a book by its cover.

I am tall and skinny, but I admit that I am not in shape at all. I am excited and scared to start working out this semester. But I hope to be ripped by Christmas!

Kathy B! said...

Nothing takes your cocky self down a notch like getting your ass handed to you by the chubby instructor. Good times, right :)

Dreamgirl said...

Wow... I started sweating just sitting in front of my Mac! Feel guilty now about not going out for a walk...

blueviolet said...

I can't do this hip hop classes. I can't follow the rhythms and choreography at all. Bless that healthy mama for what she can do.

Prosy said...

This sounds like a scene from a sitcom. I want to hear more about this competitive dancing. Is this dancing like ballet or dancing like (I hope I hope) breakdance street fighting?

New England Girl said...

You just exhausted me! But, at the same time, totally motivated me. :) My boyfriend and I have the exercise debate all the time. He's a professional athlete, and I used to be a hardcore runner, but while being currently unemployed, I am finding it a hard time to get into a routine and regularly get my sorry little butt out of bed to exercise. I need me one of these classes! :)

Hit 40 said...

Curses to my job!! I am on the bottom again.

I love working out!! There truly is not enough time to work out and to be a mom without getting sick from overdoing it. My kids are starting to fly out of the nest. I WILL HAVE ME TIME AGAIN!!

Jen said...

Shit JennyMac im tired as hell from reading what you went through!

Dang girl im even looking like a hot mess after readin too! lol

You always have the best titles to your blogs!

Cheers Darling!

Maureen said...

Holy crap. I got sweaty just READING that. No way in heck I could ever do that.

S Club Mama said...

We big gals got some moves, too!

Keith said...

Great post. Makes me remember how I need to get off my lazy butt and get back on my fitness plan.

Christina said...

This post spoke to my soul.

Starting at "Your ass won't lose itself"

And ending at making sweet sweet love to the fan.

Nothing like it.

Transparent Mama said...

I would have thought the same exact thing and been panting right along side of you in disbelief.

Baloney said...

I only exercise because I have to. I never understand that sick and twisted side of people who actually enjoy it? I'm hoping to get there someday but it doesn't look promising.

Mama Mel said...

OMG! Too funny! I would never be able to do all of that!

one sassy girl said...

Damn, I commend you. I give dance classes a wide berth. Anything that compromises my self-esteem during a workout is the equivalent of eating a dozen cupcakes but miles and miles less enjoyable. I suspect you can out shake my moneymaker.
Cocky Balboa, you kill me.

ladytruth said...

My friends and I went to an spinning class the one time. We were excellent cyclers and spinning would be a breeze. Well, so we thought. I never knew going "uphill" for seven minutes on a bike that doesn't even move could feel like a trip to hell and back. The next day I couldn't even climb the steps to work. No one believed my excuse for being late until I took them with me to that class. They didn't say a word after that again, probably because they had no more saliva in their mouths cause our instructor also didn't believe in water breaks ;)

Jen said...

That sounds like pure hell :) but did you love it?

Cocaine Princess said...

Easy there Cocky Balboa-

I can't stop laughing!!

Sheila-rita said...

There are so many funny points to this story. I loved it. Shake your moneymaker and Cocky Balboa. OMGosh too funny.

Bunny, THE PARIS HOUSE said...

You are hysterical!! What a funny story. I too looooove to workout. I do it everyday for at least an hour and it is the only way that at the soon to be age of 44 and a mom of three that I can still fit in my high school jeans ( yes, i'm very proud of that fact :) )
xoxo
Bunny

Lolly said...

I broke a sweat just reading that blog! I love dancing but haven't done it in a long time. This is kind of inspiring me a little bit. Motivating? Perhaps not. I'll look up classes but not actually go. But that's half of it, right?