For Monday, September 19, 2011
I’d signed up for the class a month ago when, after receiving the paper catalogue of classes being offered through the town’s adult education program, I’d spotted the course which would be held for six weeks at a nearby school. I thought of how I’d lost some weight since July and how I’d enjoyed walking, kayaking, and swimming in the summer months, but how with school starting back up, I was bound to be less motivated or simply crunched for time at the end of the day. I wanted to continue on my “Get Fit” journey. So before I could talk myself out of it, I signed up and paid for the course.
Yet, over this past weekend, knowing the first class date was here, I could feel the anxiety growing. I was still excited for the course and knew it was a good idea for me to take it, but the usual worries I have over such things began surfacing. Would I be the clumsiest woman there? Would I be able to get through the 60 minute class? Would I be embarrassed? Yikes. What had I gone and done?!
I arrived home with two hours to spare before the class. I ate an early dinner, whined about being overwhelmed, and admitted to my panic to friends online. They calmed me down and Deanna’s mention of kickboxing hottie, actor John Cusack, made me smile. I found my yoga capris and a tee shirt and put on my sneakers so as to mentally prepare. I grabbed a water bottle and headed out the door.
In the parking lot I met a young woman who was also new to the town’s adult ed offerings. She and I quickly found the gym and met our instructor. Denise said there would be a total of seven in the class. A few other young women trickled in. I was now surrounded by four young women in their 20s, all rather slender, two of whom I’d later describe to my husband as “Skinny Minnies”. In fact I looked at one very tall and thin young woman and had all I could do not to say to myself, “Oh come on! Go home and enjoy some dessert! Like you need to be here!” Instead, I looked at these four young woman and simply sighed to myself, “Oh crap”.
Luckily for me, two other women closer to my age did show up. And when introductions were given and the warm ups began, I realized I was by no means the least coordinated or conditioned woman there. I learned the four punch moves and the four kicks rather quickly and kept up with my instructor and the two Skinny Minnies. By 6:20pm I was feeling pretty good about myself.
The instructor smiled and supported us all. Smiling even when I am in pain is a regular habit of mine, so I continued to smile back at her and to give her thumbs up when she occasionally asked for the sign that we were all doing okay. We took a few water breaks and she got the music going and we began doing different routines. She offered three or four different levels of modifications for the routines and although my kicks were lower and my jumps were tame in comparison to the tall legged Amazon whose slice of cake I wanted to steal, I did pretty well to keep up with everyone for the duration of the class.
In the final 15 minutes, Denise had us do core work. This began with a walk and some stretches of our arms and shoulders. Then we each grabbed a mat and she taught us the proper way to do crunches. I rested on my mat and looked up at the ceiling lights and thought, “I’m almost through this class. I did it!” More core work exercises followed with the plank and some stretches and head/neck rolls. And then we were done.
We gathered up our water bottles and car keys and headed out of the gym. I thanked Denise and she smiled and reassured me, “It will get easier”. I chuckled wondering if she knew somehow how nervous I’d been to come tonight. But as if to reassure her that I would be back next week I replied, “Oh, I know it will”. I drove home with the windows open on what was a brisk night and I was quick to pop a few ibuprofen when I came in the door.
But I was smiling. I had survived the first class. And I will go back for more.