I’ve recently gotten back into exercising after
sitting on my lazy ass for two months a brief hiatus.
Growing up, I was an athlete, both in school and on club teams. Swimming and cross country running were my sports of choice, so I clearly gravitated toward the “individual” sports (as opposed to “team” sports like soccer or lacrosse).
But now that I’ve gotten older, competing in sports has kind of lost its luster for me. I’ll still run the occasional road race (I did a half marathon on my birthday last year – yeah, baby!) but I’m kind of over having to actually train.
I’ve found that this relaxed attitude fits well with group exercise classes at the YMCA. Although, I do still get
really super a little competitive sometimes, making sure I’m working harder/jumping higher/going faster than keeping up with everyone in the class.
So inspired by Sarah at In the Trenches of Mommyhood, who compiled a handy list of advice for people taking up running, I thought I’d offer up a little “Dos and Don’ts” list of my own for those of you who want to give the group exercise thang a try.
1) DO keep a low profile. Start off in the back of the room if you’re new to group classes. There is a huge, floor-to-ceiling mirror in front (most likely), so if you’re in the front of the room, you’re basically asking for everyone to see you mess up the routine. Don’t do that to yourself.
2) DON’T look at the person next to you for sympathy when you’re feeling extra super exhausted and you’re struggling through the workout. The person next to you just may be a guy in his 70’s who’s making it all look easy. And you will be bitter.
3) DO make your water bottle distinguishable. If you’re one of the 30 people who brings a bottle of Poland Spring to class, another woman may mistake your water for hers and take away your only hope for hydration. Because if you’re anything like me, once your water touches someone else’s lips, she owns it.
4) DON’T show up to class more than a few minutes late. It’s really annoying and distracting to your fellow group exercisers. And if you happen to have freakishly long arms, like the woman who always shows up 10 minutes late to my classes and puts her step thisclose to mine, that is doubly uncool.
5) DO be prepared, if you show up for a class called Athletic Conditioning, to have a good old-fashioned ass-whooping. Especially if said class is taught by someone who looks like he belongs in this magazine. Get ready to feel the burn.
6) DON’T give up if you don’t “get it” right away. Phrases like around the world, L-step, shuffle shuffle turn stomp turn shuffle stomp or rocking horse straddle kick to the corners probably aren’t in your current vernacular, so don’t panic if they don’t mean something to you right away. You’ll catch on. And if you don’t, don’t look at me… I tried to help!
I have had to suffer though a lot of anthropological field work to compile this list for you, so use it, dammit!