Raising the Barre

I’ve been a grouch this week, mostly because: 1) Donald Trump. I just don’t get it. 2) So many friends and loved ones are having a rough time because people are mean. 3) None of my pants fit anymore. I’ve gained way too much weight this summer and it’s hard to be in a good mood when my ill-fitting pants take any opportunity to punish me.

when pants attack

While I can’t do anything about mean people or the Mean Person, I guess I might be a little less grouchy if I do something about my pants. The problem is that I’ve hit a rut and I need to find some way to stop feeling like exercise is The Worst. Since my youngest is now in first grade and I have the whole glorious school day to myself, I decided to try out some new classes at the rec center, specifically the classes I always avoided in the past.

Since I started this blog, I’ve been able to get over my aversion to exercising in public and I’ve discovered that, contrary to what I always believed, I really can exercise before noon without puking. All those classes I tried over a year ago for my blog challenge? I still like them and I still go to them often, especially Zumba and Boot Fit. But there are a few classes I’ve never dared to try, mostly out of fear that they would make me die right there on the newly varnished floors.

So this week I took my flabby self to a barre class and a cycle class and I didn’t die even a little bit. I was concerned about my lack of grace – the one time I took ballet as a child, I fell and broke my collarbone. But more than the fear of looking dumb was the lack of confidence in my physical strength and endurance. I tried a ballet workout once at home and couldn’t make it past the ten minutes of waving my arms like a swan. Not because it was boring, but because my arms literally would not let me go any further.

Luckily, this barre class was not nearly as scary as I had imagined. The teacher was very sweet and the class members were supportive and helpful and I felt like I got a good workout without breaking any bones in the process. I’m not sure I loved walking around barefoot in a public place, but I guess if that really bothers me I can either stop thinking about foot fungus or I can get some of those special shoes I saw people wearing. I really liked the class and plan to attend regularly. Who knows, maybe I’ll even become graceful. Eventually.

The cycle class scared me the most because cardio makes me feel like hurling. Once I got going in the class though, I realized nobody knows what level I set my bike to so if I feel nausea coming on, I can just turn it down to Wimp Level. It was ok that my tension wasn’t set as high as the crazy fit people next to me because all they could see was how fast my legs were moving and how much I was sweating. (A lot. I was sweating a lot.)

Even with the simplified tension, after only ten minutes I really did not think I was going to make it to the end. I started planning out the quickest escape route in case I had to vomit or climb into an ambulance or just flee. But I stayed the whole hour and I didn’t even pass out or die or anything. I am a little worried about the bruises I got from the seat, though. Is that something that will go away with time, or will I get saddle sores after every spin class? Can you build up a resistance to that sort of thing? Should I wear extra padding? Depends?


I plan to branch out even more and try water aerobics, Piloxing, Insanity and maybe even some Hot Hula. But no Hip Hop. I may not have power over politics and human nature, but I can stay away from Hip Hop class for the good of humanity. No one can ever unsee me trying to do Hip Hop.


One thought on “Raising the Barre

  1. I used to take Spin classes. The bruises the first time were terrible. So I got a padded gel seat cover that I brought with me to class and it helped. But believe it or not, eventually (kind of like with nursing a baby), you toughen up and don’t feel it nearly so much. 😉

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