Last week my friend calls me to tell me she’s picking me up for a Bar Method Class that night.
Cool. I like to drink. “I’m in,” I enthusiastically told her.
“Oh and you’ll need a mat. Do you have a mat? And weights. If not I can bring you some. I have two pounders, three pounders, five pounders.”
“Uh do they come in ounces?”
I should have known. This is what happens when you answer a call from your gym rat friend. Make that fiend. And no, I did not have weights. Or a mat.
But I still decided I would go. If for no other reason than because I made a promise to myself to try new things and embrace new opportunities. Thinking back I should have set some parameters.
Fifteen years ago was the last time I went into an exercise class. It was for that bicycle craze (more like crazy). Spinning. I was roped into that one too with promises of a firmer…everything. At the end of the class my friend had to practically peel me off the bike and I couldn’t sit for a week.
“Oh You’re supposed to wear special shorts for the bike,” my friend told me afterwards.
We’re not really so friendly now.
Apparently, since the last time I visited a gym, mats became the new black, I realized as I walked into the class and noticed about fifteen toting mats.
And weights. Everyone had weights. I’ve been lifting kids for the last ten years. Don’t talk to me about weights.
We were a few minutes late. The others were warming up. The instructor looked mean. She gave me a look that made me feel like fresh meat to a hungry lion. She was gonna make me hurt and we both knew it.
We took our places at the back.
“Just because you’re sitting in the back doesn’t mean I’m not gonna pick on you.”
Then she started on arms. My arms barely moved yet the burning pain was intense. I actually paid money for this to happen. All I do all day is lift – children, groceries, vacuum cleaners. But now I could barely get my arms over my head. This woman, I convinced myself, was a witch with secret powers. There was no other plausible explanation.
Then she had us lie down on our mats. Super, I thought. I need a break. But before you could say pilates, my legs were in the air pulsing. PULSING. Small pushes and pulls. But these small punchy movements required so much excruciating energy.
Now that my arms and legs were incapacitated, she had us work our midsections. Apparently I worked my obliques. At least that was what the fitness instructor said I was doing. The sweat was pouring down into my eyes and ears so profusely that I couldn’t really hear what she was saying or tell if I was doing the exercises correctly.
And then it was over. But I didn’t notice as I was practically comatose. When I was finally able to stand up, someone had to remind me to take my towel (I hadn’t caught up to the mat trend) and weights.
As we were leaving people went up to thank the instructor. But thank her for what? Do you thank a bully for beating you up? I was definitely visiting an alternate universe.
“You did great, Ronit. Will I see you next week?”
And of course, she did.