Karen’s Guide to Stepping it up in Step Class

With the coming of somewhat sensible spring weather and the beginnings of my new project, The Happiness Experiment (which you should totally read about by clicking on the tab at the top), I decided to boost my happiness the old fashion way: exercise.

Now mind you, I have a gym membership but for the most part of winter, my workouts were confined to running to catch the bus in a panic-stricken daze every morning. Hence, I had to make the fairly undifficult decision of not wasting away any more of my money to GoodLife and get my ass back in the grind. Plus, my Happiness Experiment required me to do so. I get a gold star for exercising.

My Happiness Experiment stated that I needed to “Exercise Better”. So what better way to top up my morning sprints than to take a Step class, right?  The BodyStep class at GoodLife was timed in a way that I had just enough time to get home from work, catch my breath, eat a banana and run out the door. Quite frankly, that was enough of a workout for me.

The  BodyStep class is predominantly ruled by middle-aged women. This serves me just fine because having cute boys in any class of physical activity is bad-news-bears. I found a spot off to the side and arranged my step just like all the other ladies had done. The instructor was sick with heavy nasal congestion and my class was full of pre-menopausal women. I wasn’t too concerned about keeping up. We began with a warmup. I loved it. I was jumping around enjoying the music, smiling at my fellow class mates. This lasted for about 5 minutes.

And then I don’t know what happened. The instructor must have spiked her Neocitrin with  Ecstasy because all of a sudden she had us doing  some ungodly step-up-moonwalk-jazz-hands-jump-around routine.

I struggled to keep up. I could see clearly how her feet moved and how she jumped and moved around. For the life of me, I couldn’t get mine to do the same, unless we were doing it in super slow motion. But you can only go so slow when you have remixed versions of trashy Euro beats and a juiced up instructor. The jazz hands and/or the usage of hands in the routine was out of the question, unless I really wanted to fall flat on my face on the step.

What’s worse was that the pre-menopausal women effortlessly jumped around and copied all her exact moves to a tee. What the heck!

All of a sudden, with no warning, right in the middle of class, the PM (pre-meno) woman next to me stopped her flawless jumperoos and walked up to me. In a thick Russian accent she told me that it would be in my best interest to move my step to the middle of the class so I would be able to see the instructor better. Before I could tell her that my problem was a hopeless lack of co-ordination and not blindness, she and her PM gym buddy were both getting ready to move my step to the centre.

Mind you, this whole time, the drugged up instructor is still jumping around her step like a lunatic while blowing her nose at the same time, the music is still pumping and I’m staring sheepishly at these two babushkas dragging my step right to the middle.

Anyway, I humbly comply and move to the centre. I mouthed out a thank you to both of them for being so helpful. It was no shocker that I still couldn’t do the damn routine inspite of having the best seats in the house. The first lady looked back at me to make sure I was okay and noticed I was still a miserable failure. ‘Do what the girl in front of you is doing!’ she mouths. Oh…if only, Babushka Lady! If only!

Anyway, I was exhausted by this point and I seriously considered quitting. I glanced at the clock. Only half an hour had passed. Half an hour more of this torture. Three months of lack of exercise was starting to take its toll. But I sucked it up and stuck with it. I wanted that gold star. I might have looked like a loser but I wasn’t going to look like a quitter too.

The class finally ended and I went straight home and took a hot shower. Now I can’t walk or stand or cross my legs without being painfully reminded of BodyStep. Will I go to this class again? Probably not. I was proud to have tried something new. But trying BodyStep over my usual favorite BodyCombat was like trying a chai latte over a green tea latte. Neither one was more advantageous over the other. They both yielded the same results. Both were quite literally pains in the ass (the exercise classes that is, not the lattes. Although, the lattes would both give you a big ass. But lets not go there). What it came down to was what you enjoyed more.

And so I would say ‘exercise better’ was a success. I got my gold star and  have become an active gym freak again. Goodbye, Winter.

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