I heard of a thing called Cizel — I’m assuming the word rhymes with “sizzle” until someone tells me otherwise — and it sounded like crazy fun. It is an exercise program utilizing “everyday motions, like rowing”. I don’t row even twice a year, much less everyday, but after watching the YouTube video of “something similar” that my friend the instructor directed me to find, I thought, “Yeah, okay, I can row. I can do (fluttering my hands at the screen nonchalantly) thaaaaat…” For three weeks, I gathered a group of friends to join me with the sizzling. “Come! Let’s Cizel!” So many of us were ready to do the Cizel! And on the day before we hit Go on the Cizel-ing, the instructor moved away, to another town, far, far away, and was reluctant to stop unloading U-Haul boxes just to Skype with my group of Cizel Ready friends. Huh. “Fine!” my stubborn nature screamed. “Then I’ll Twerk!”
I had recently learned of an instructor in town who taught The Twerk. During the original conversation, I had laughed maniacally at the thought. But with Cizel out of the question, Twerking suddenly sounded do-able. Alas, no Twerk was slated any time soon for the local Twerk-ist. “Fine!” my stubborn side screamed louder. “I’ll do Fit!” Fit Class is a form of torture constructed by my son’s Tae Kwon Do instructor at Summit Martial Arts in the City. He’s fabulous with children. He’s nice to them and doesn’t try to bend them into figure eights. Adults are not so lucky. I’ve endured the forty-five minutes of pain before, but, gee, it had been a number of months since I last threw myself into that fire. I remember activities like Flip the Tractor Tire, and Jump Rope with Fifty Feet of Four-inch Cording. Run and Kick and Hit Things — Hard! — Eight Hundred Times. Burpees. Squat Jumps. Vomiting.
That last one was a section I added myself.
“But I can do it!” I yelled internally. “I will do it!!”
The Tuesday evening came, when I would go to Fit, darn it, and when the time came, I drove to the gym, mad at Myself for honoring the promise I made to Me to go. Class started with a series of fast-as-you-can push ups/sit ups/jumping jacks, at which point my bladder gently reminded me that two kids produced one loose set of innards, and that if I didn’t jump into the restroom soon, things would get embarrassing quickly. This is why I always wear black workout pants.
Once I returned to the exercise floor from the bathroom, I realized I was behind the other seven adult students who were already glowing and blushing from strain. Doggone it, I caught up, but at a cost of a bottle of water and a feeling that the lights had dimmed, so I bent over to avoid fainting and hoped I looked casual, like, “Sheesh, bring it, that was nothin’, so I’m going to bend and pretend that my knees are interesting.” But see, then the actual hurting came, with the Head Coach prefacing the agony with catchy phrases like, “This is where we talk about our feelings,” and “This is going to be fun,” and using phrases like “cake walk” and “no problem” while wearing a Jim Carrey Grinch smile. I know sarcasm when I hear it, and Jim Carrey’s Grinch? Shudder. So creepy. For thirty minutes, my wee little limbs did their thing. My brain doesn’t remember much — it’s my self preservation mechanism — but the madness involved at least one five-minute wall sit (I know! five minutes!) and lots of Suicide Drills, which is the proper name for such a horror. I believe I lived. Adrenaline flooded my cortex and tricked me into believing I even felt okay afterward. I didn’t vomit, this I know, and that deserves big points. But for the next three days, movement in my calf muscles was restricted to the Octogenarian Shuffle, a sort of scoot/slide motion with the feet. Heights were an impossibility –things like curbs, stairs, wool rugs — but the world has lots of blessed ramps for those of us with limited mobility. Sadly, I couldn’t wait to go back. I could strangle myself for entertaining the thought.
But until then, I had a yoga session lined up for Thursday! MisSTEVIEous in Piedmont, America, offers a full line of Things to Do with Other Adults, and all of them sound fun! Yoga! Dance! Boot Camp! Well, not Boot Camp, and certainly not at the allotted 5:15am. Five in the morning? Even the rooster living outside my bedroom window is still asleep at five. But yoga? Well, heck, that’s at 8:30, just after dropping my son at school and before my second cup of coffee. And what is yoga, bendy stuff? Calmness? Slow music? Done!
I signed up, I showed, and I dropped into a full group of like minded women who wore Athleisure much more effectively than I. Thus I was nervous from the get-go. After all, I say “yoga” with an Eskimo Joe’s shirt and my trusty black, aged, pill-ridden workout attire circa Late 1900‘s. Nonetheless, I stuck. I bended, I enjoyed the music, I pretended I wasn’t perspiring like a high schooler after a two-a-day. I held my own for a middle aged woman with too much skin selvage in the upper arm area. (Truly, get those things going and momentum carries me upward a good two inches. Levity is fun, but aging stinks.)
Then came the Cool Down, with the Corpse Pose and the soundtrack of Chanting and Meditation. I lay there, eyes closed, palms up, feet flopped wherever feet flop when they’re deadened, and chanted to myself, “Don’t fall asleep, you have to go to work. Don’t fall asleep, you have to go to work…” for five full minutes until I grew so exasperated with myself that I rose and left the others to their delightful rest. Really, I annoy Me sometimes. And what do you know? How does one round up a solid week of torture and pained muscles? With Dance!
Two days after yoga, I found myself right back with Ms Stevie under the lights of a rotating disco ball, with louder music and far less confidence.
I was moving like an iguana on a hot plate, limbs all flappy and confused and high stepping to find a cool spot for its feet. It was ugly. Twice I tangled my own legs within themselves, but aside from the scant light of the twirling glittery ball, I told myself I was practically invisible.
Free to move and guess what? Stevie Twerked. And gee, it didn’t look so hard, right? I could move my hips…that way! I could…shake…things! Right? No problem! Things were shaking, yes, and hips were moving but…oh, it wasn’t right.
Things I learned this week:
I can do squats; I can’t Twerk.
I can do Burpees, but I really don’t want to.
I can sweat like a race horse rounding the last corner of its twentieth lap.
I can drink two bottles of water without realizing it.
And I need a new hand towel. Mine washes fine, but it’s rough as sandpaper. If I’m going to maintain the insanity of Actually Exercising, I need the pampering of a Pima Egyptian Cotton 12,000 thread towel. (I’m sure that’s a thing.)
Michelle blogs over at Worth All the While. When she’s not blogging, she’s living life in her tiny Oklahoma town with her son,
affectionately called, “Bubs”.