Saturday, February 17, 2007

Pony up...

..more fun at the fitness center folks!
This morning, my friend Andie and I went to the fitness center for their advanced step aerobics class. Andie has been to this class before. I have had every intention of going, but have been thwarted by sick children, sick self, birthday parties, out-of-town trips, etc. But finally, I made it! And let me tell, you, this was more than just a fitness class. This was, yet again, entertainment combined with fitness.
The instructor of this class apparently takes this whole thing very seriously. Dare I say too seriously?? When I arrive, a few minutes early, there are several other attendees already there, including said friend Andie. She directs me to the closet where the steps and weights are. I grab three pound weights because they are a nice bright green color and color is the most important factor in deciding which weights to use, is it not? Next time I might try purple.
The instructor is fiddling with her Britney Spears headgear, which appears to be attached to an Olivia Newton John Physical-style headband. I am green with envy as I wonder if I can get one for my karaoke machine. It would so free me up to include my more intricate dance moves. But I digress. When Britney/Olivia (or shall we call her Brolivia?) spots me, she approaches, clipboard in hand and asks me if I've been to this class before. I tell her no, and she inquires if I've been to any step class before. I reply that I have, and she says "Okay, cuz you know this is an advanced step class. I won't be going over the moves." I nod and smile, assuring her that I'm aware of that. She thrusts her clipboard in my hand and waits for me to sign it. I assume it is merely a sing-in sheet and oblige her. Ah, not so, but I don't know that until later.
Andie and I are directly in the path between Brolivia's step and the sound system, so we are ripe for reminders about the apparent many rules this class has, and hoe we are breaking them. Brolivia breezes by "weights crossed girls." Yes, all weights must be crossed in from of your step when not in use. Does it look more lady-like? Whatever. The other newcomer, who apparently has not attended step class before ever, anywhere, is escorted to the front of the room so she can follow along more closely. I am spared. Just as Andie begins to inform me of all said rules, the music begins and we are instructed to march it out. We spend the next hour doing cross-overs, ponies, crunches, bicep curls and countless other moves, none of which are explained to me, but, amazingly, I catch on and appear to be in no worse shape than the others. I must say, I truly did enjoy the selection of 70s music that accompanied the instruction, most notably "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" and an inspiring Donna Summer medley.
Intermittently we stop aerobicizing and do heart rates...everyone counts then shuts out numbers. One sixty, one seventy. I'd love to scream out "three!" but I don't want Brolivia to kick me out. About halfway through the class, we change gears from a toning/sculpting/ step routine to strictly step. We are instructed to put our weights away, and then Brolivia circles the perimeter of the room, instructing everyone to remove all remaining mats, water bottles, clothing items, keys, (dust bunnies, imaginary friends) and any other item that could be a tripping hazard, from the floor. Balance all personal affects on the place with all the bouncing going on. Now the real fun begins...ponies and cha-chas and over and under and around the step, wind and unwind and thigh lifts times three and hip extenders to the corner and everything else abound. The real advanced part has started. And ends after seven minutes. Cool down...WTF???
Heart rates everyone. Apparently, if yours is above 30 you can't go home. I don't know how long we counted for, so that could be 30 beats a second, a minute, an hour. Who the hell knows. I'm at thirty, so I just pass. No heartrate hostage session with Brolivia for me today.
We thank Brolivia and leave, and Andie and I discuss the true level of this class...definitely not advanced...intermediate on a tough day. But we broke a sweat, and that's what we had hoped for. Better than nothing.
As we're leaving the building, Andie informs me that the paper I signed was not simply a sing-in. This is apparently a franchised class, and I have signed indicating that I will not be copying their moves/classes, etc. I think if I did I might be subject to fines. Dammit. My black market aerobics video fortune is not to be. But what about the rules? Are they franchised?

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