In early April, I was forced to find an alternative of some sort when my instructor went away on holiday over summer. I could have just as well joined the gym, the regular gym that is, but after a whole year of working out in the wonderfully energetic Zumba and Body Pump classes I have going, the idea of treading along on a treadmill or busting my ass on a spinning bike all by myself, seems incredibly dull and mindnumbingly boring. Not to mention much harder to get myself to do.
I was never very self-motivated in this respect, and the longest I have stuck to a solitary form of exercise was the year I stuck to running. Aside from that, I have always been a group glass kind of person. A fixed time frame, an instructor to encourage and kick your as in equal measure, and a routine that never gets monotonous and old are all important for me. Going to the gym, though it has been fun in the past and proved to have tremendous results too, is a bit dicey unless I find the right mix that is a good trainer, god-awesome music, a lively environment and some company to keep me going. Neither of which I have been able to find in Goa.
So I picked a kick-aerobics class — one I have been to two years ago, but had to give up because I was working long hours at the time, and it was too hardcore to manage at the end of a work day. My body started giving up in just over a month and regretfully, I had to quit. I returned in April this year, taking this class three times a week, armed with a year of steadily built up stamina and endurance, not to mention heaps more strength than I had the last time around, and since it is a group class and has a kick-butt instructor the going has been wonderfully good.
1) The best part of the class has been the discovery of an outdoor workout twice a week. There’s quite nothing like having an instructor who immediately picks up on my masochistic levels of enthusiasm and asks me to join her at for some extra classes on the remaining two days of the week. Of course, I grabbed the opportunity. And it has been nothing short of fabulous.
Despite the crazy 90+% humidity levels and the evening heat beating down, lying on a tun toasted floor so you feel like your body is going to bake, it feels oh SO good to be outdoors.
2) Aside from meeting the aforementioned criteria, I’ve figured what shaking things up a little every now and then keeps the endorphins kicking for me. I love a new challenge and completely thrive in the process of throwing myself into something seemingly impossible to achieve, killing myself trying to do it and finally three weeks later suddenly tasting sweet success! That’s how I feel about many of the things I have done in this class. Had a #likeaboss moment when after many classes of shakily hovering just off the ground, I finally managed this after three weeks of repeatedly trying.
A couple of self defence moves (with sparring to practice, to boot) thrown in here and there are a big bonus. I now challenge the hugsband to try me, and I’ve never been more serious.
3) The blurb that introduces her class on the Studio website inspired me to sign up: “Please don’t come to my class unless you plan to work your ass completely off! Please eat everything you are eating now. Sounds harsh but I want realism. Stopping certain foods is temporary and tricky. I feel that once a difference is felt and seen in the physique, the food sensibilities fall into place or aren’t even required.”
My instructor just won’t take no for an answer and that has by far been the biggest positive about this class. You’re not allowed not to try, and once you do, you’re not allowed to give up.
4) This class is the diametric opposite of everything that Zumba is. For one there’s no music, just focused counting and ass-whooping kick-aerobics. There’s a good 15-17 minute warm-up which in enough to make me melt, unlike having to dance a good half an hour before which I start to feel like I’m heating up. Where Zumba is slightly pretty, graceful and always makes me feel like I need to reach deep inside to fish out my inner chica, with kick-aerobics I can be as klutzy and brash as I want to be.
I love Zumba for the energy, music and the excuse to dance my ass off three times a week, but many times I really do feel like I’m having an out of body experience shimmying my ungraceful self with a straight face. Kick aerobics calls for some aggro and that’s not too hard to gather. Quite predictably, the Zumba class attracts a lot of women of all kinds, and save for a couple of women, I find myself a complete misfit there. I am probably the only childless person there, and probably also the only person not working out to 1) get back in shape post a baby, or 2) get in shape in order to have a baby, or 3) try and be a size 0 or fit into a particular dress. The vibe in the kick-aerobics is entirely different. I don’t think we have ever discussed flab or sizes or clothes or anything of the sort. The focus is entirely on getting strong and doing shit you think you cant do and we crack on from the moment go.
5) Giving my body a change, a new high to aspire for and ending every day, 5 days a week, in a puddle of sweat has done wonders for my happiness quotient this summer. Also, its always kickass to discover how much your body is actually capable of but that you never realised because you haven’t had that opportunity to stretch. Just like when I began Body Pump lessons, this class has reaffirmed my belief that there’s pretty much nothing you can’t slowly train yourself to achieve. If you want to do it badly enough, you’ve got to just do it. The rest is just fluff.