Monday, January 20, 2014

Werk it

I’ve been running for almost a year now, but when it comes to workouts like yoga, Zumba and Pilates, I’m totally out of the loop.
The last group exercise class I did was aerobics … in 1997.
I’ve heard of “downward dog” but I couldn’t tell you what one is or how the “dog” gets down. The only thing I know about Pilates is that Pilates People Like It Spelled With a Capital P. And “Zumba”? It makes me think of some kind of Brazilian scooter.
But since the end of daylight saving time robbed me of my after-work running time, I figured I’d try a group workout again.
I started with a ballet barre-style group class at a local fitness studio.
We did a lot of squats in the barre class. We did squats with our right foot on tippy toes. We did squats with our left foot on tippy toes. We did squats on top of squats. I’m sure my thighs were wondering why they were being picked on so much, but it was for their own good.
It wasn’t all ballet moves at the barre class. We also got out a big rubber ball and did situps while lying backward on the ball. Well, everyone else was doing situps. I was just trying not to roll off the ball.
Another week I tried something called piloxing — or Pilates/boxing.
I’ve never boxed before, which was probably obvious when I put my special piloxing gloves on backward.
But it turns out that boxing is kind of fun, especially when you think of people you wouldn’t mind knocking out — like mouthy teenagers, backseat drivers or uncooperative journalistic sources.
During piloxing, we jabbed right. We jabbed left. We jabbed double time and super double time while running in place. I felt like a very sweaty female Rocky Balboa.
I took a Zumba class next.
Zumba is like aerobics and dancing to Latin-inspired music.
Sounds doable, right? Yeah, if you’ve got rhythm. And coordination.
I liked the Zumba music. It’s too bad my arms and legs didn’t like working as a team.
There were two other things that I realized didn’t go together — this 40-something mom and Zumba’s hip-hop dance moves.
At one part of the class, we bounced back and forth doing a kind of a “fling your arms in the air like you just don’t care” move while pogo-ing from one side to another.
“Pop your booty,” yelled the instructor, as she twisted and shook her fat-free behind.
“Pump it, pump it!”
Am I twerking? If only my teenagers could see me now.
My booty popping was so bad, Miley Cyrus’ grandma could probably twerk better than me.
I had been keeping up with my Zumba teacher about 75 percent of the time ... until she introduced a new dance step combination. She started out in slo-mo and then she kicked in into high gear, leaving me in her Zumba dust.
But I’m not quitting. I’m going to twerk on it.

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