I’ve always gone to a gym or done some kind of exercise to keep in shape for nighttime crime-fighting on the rooftops of the city. I went to the gym the other day and encountered my worst nightmare. Last month, bored with my usual gym routine, I decided to try a CrossFit class. First I had to find the CrossFit class. It wasn’t in a gym. It was in the back of an old, dingy warehouse that looks like the kind of place terrorists plan things. It was filled with black and gray fitness equipment. There was loud heavy metal music and lots of grunting and sweating going on. (insert sex life joke here) The atmosphere said, “This is serious working out. You’re either going to die or be able to lift a Buick when you’re done.” The class was great, intense workouts which I loved.
I got the first month of Cross Fit for only $35 through Groupon. When the first month was done I told the owner I’d sign up for two more months. He said, “That’s great Phil. Please hand over all the money in your 401K.” Thinking that this was too pricey I decided to shop for other options to vary my workout routine.
For the last five years I’ve gone to a basic, no frills gym because it’s near my house. This week I looked at other gyms and settled on a new gym. The gym where all the pretty people go. I walked in and there was a chorus of angels and a bright light shone down on me from above. It was the neon sign above the juice bar. I felt like I had walked into a shopping mall. Bright colors, shiny new equipment. Shiny new people. Shiny, happy people.
The gym had all the other stuff I usually do, plus some classes that at least by the title on the schedule looked like they might approximate CrossFit. That’s where it got interesting and the nightmare scenario played out.
The first class I tried was called Bootcamp something. It was suitably challenging and by challenging I mean that I thought I might die by the end, which is a good thing. The challenging, not the actual dying. Avoidance of dying is why I work out. I’m trying to make my heart strong enough that it will never stop beating. Yeah, I know that’s ridiculous, but have you got any better ideas?
Also, apparently the key to being fit is incredibly loud music. At CrossFit there was heavy metal music. Here, at the pretty people gym, there was dance music blaring. I think after dark it turns into a night club. So the Bootcamp class was good. Then next I tried a “Body Works plus Abs” class. That’s when the nightmare started.
It was some kind of aerobics class. The psychotic instructor, Buffy, wore a wireless mic and every two minutes, between shouting peppy instructions at us, she would give a “Whoop! Whoop!” At first I thought she had Tourette’s, but then each time she did it one or two people in the class would whoop back to her.
The nightmare was my attempt to get in rhythm with 15 other people who seemed to be doing the moves in time to the music. I’m not good with rhythm. It’s not my thing. Each time Buffy would start a new move I’d watch her, concentrating, trying to pick up steps of the move and the beat of the song and then jump into motion. I was terrible at it. Terrible to the point that the class held me down on the floor and put a stick in my mouth so I didn’t bite off my tongue during what they thought was a seizure. It wasn’t. I was just that bad. I’m lucky they didn’t send me to a psych ward for being a danger to myself or others. I was the equivalent of someone who doesn’t know how to swim being thrown into the ocean. I just flailed about and waited for the end.
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