Friday, March 25, 2011

The March Project

Yeah, that was it for the February Project. It was fun (not) and I'm not so sure I ever want to repeat it, but who knows? Maybe I will be inspired to make it an annual thing, kind of like Lent. Only earlier. And I'm not Catholic.
This month there is a different project entirely afoot. It certainly has nothing to do with abstaining from purchases at the store, as Sheila from White House/Black Market can attest to, cough cough.
I decided to challenge myself this month to do as many of the classes that are offered at the Y (as in, YMCA) as I can. They have tons of fitness classes all week, Monday through Friday, as well as free childcare and it suddenly occurred to me that, what with us paying 50 bucks a month to belong to the gym and the fact that I am available all week with little else to do, that maybe I should take advantage of the classes. See, we've used the gym so little since the children began being born that we have frequently toyed with the notion of just stopping our membership. The only thing that has stopped us on a number of budget crunching occasions is the pool. They have a delightful pool which is less than a mile from our own pool-less residence, so we have always ended up keeping the membership despite our lax attendance.
We used to go all the time. When I was a normal citizen and worked normal hours, me and Hugs would go to the gym together after work a few times a week. We would also use the pool.
When I got pregnant I attended yoga-lates (a combo of yoga and pilates frequented by a large number of citizens more senior than I). All the old ladies would fuss over me and I actually found it to be quite a positive part of my pregnancy. Becky, the instructor, is a former Olympic medalist in synchronized swimming and she would serenely call out modifications for me that didn't involve me laying flat on my face, and stomach, on the floor, AKA child's pose, also NOT known as "with-child pose" since it's impossible for a pregnant woman to do. I found that doing yoga while pregnant helped me enormously with my balance and that breathless "can't take a normal breath cause I have at least a 15 pound baby lodged in my diaphragm" feeling. Also, seeing my reflection in the huge mirrors as I did warrior 2 pose was absolutely frickin' hysterical.
Even yogalates had to go though, after Sofia came along. Child watch is only for infants 6 months and older, so I fell out of my normal Friday routine of yoga and never really picked it back up when she got to the 6 month mark. Possibly because back then I was terrified of leaving my precious bundle with anyone other than her father. Also because I was working nights and weekends and Hugo was working days during the week and for a good year and a half there I was a complete zombie trying to navigate my way through a world rife with perils and insomnia and second pregnancies and, well, you get the idea.
Now I seem to be on a slightly more even keel. I work and sleep on the weekends and then I pretty much switch out of nurse mode and into mom mode and, aside from being a terrible housewife (which I'm pretty sure Hugo has resigned himself to at this point), I seem to function pretty well. Maybe I'm flattering myself. I guess the jury will be out on that one until my kids are grown and can give an objective opinion.
Anyway, I finally decided one day that my kids aren't apt to be very proud of their flabby white mama when she comes to pick them up at school (if I ever decide to send them there; the jury is still out on that one as well). No sense sitting around the house getting fatter when we are paying good money to belong to the gym, right? Come to think of it, maybe this months challenge IS related to the February project. Maybe it's a continuation of my newfound thriftiness and abhorrence of waste.
I first dipped my toe into the waters, timidly, by re-attending my old favorite, yogalates. Becky still teaches it, she still smiles serenely throughout the entire hour with her eyes half closed, and I still love it. I still look ridiculous doing warrior 2 pose. Now it's just because of my gut though, not my cute protuberant pregnant belly. Not nearly as hilarious.
Next, I decided to try the stretching class offered by Deanne. Ok, I know, a whole hour of stretching? Even the senile old ladies who make up 99.9% of the rest of the class looked disgusted by me as I sidled in, attempting to look as old and decrepit, and therefore inconspicuous, as possible. Yeah, I admit it. It's an exercise class that takes place while mostly seated in comfortable chairs. I'm a loser. Deanne kindly approached me after class and suggested that I might enjoy, as did most of the other participants of the stretching class, her hourlong total body fitness class that precedes total body stretch. Ok, now I'm really a loser. I skipped the REAL workout and attended the hourlong cool-down class instead. Freak. The problem is, I'm not an old lady. I have kids. I can't hang out at the Y all day, attending hour warm-up sessions followed by hourlong exercise classes and then hourlong cool downs. There's a strict 90 minute limit to the free childcare offered. So I made a mental note to come to the real work-out class next time.
The next one I tried was step and tone. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a real exercise class. It involves fairly loud music and is attended by people who are not eligible for Medicaid. Or is it Medicare? Dammit I'm a nurse and I still can't keep those two straight. Anyway, you use those stepper thingies and you have to follow the instructors ridiculously complicated instructions for stepping on and off the thing in specific sequences while your heart is racing at 200 BPM's and you have sweat dripping into your eyes and down the crack a yo ass. As it would turn out, Deanne was again the instructor. She approached me, again, after class (am I starting to feel a little conspicuous?) and gently asked me if it was my first step class. Umm, what was your first clue? The horsey laughter coming from my mouth as I attempted to keep up or the part where I almost broke my ankle falling off the stupid stepper? She told me that it takes, like, 4 or 5 classes to "get it". Well, thanks actually. I feel like somewhat less of a loser.
After step and tone I actually felt really sore. The kind of soreness that sort of feels good because you can tell that any minute now a total 6 pack is gonna burst forth from the flab and your going to be, like, the queen of Olympus. I was encouraged by that queen of Olympus feeling. I decided to press on. I attended Deanne's total body class and she kicked my butt. I literally thought I was going to die. I don't know that anyone has ever made me do lunges and squats before. I have no muscles below my waist. I should say, I HAD no muscles below m waist. I have no attended total body class every week for 4 weeks and I'm getting to where I
can hold my head up high around those ubiquitous old ladies. I'm telling you, the Y is filthy with old ladies. It really should be called the OLCA because there really aren't that many young men frequenting it these days.
I attended a real yoga class led by an honest to goodness Indian yogi named Nand. It was a keeper. Total body was a keeper. Yogalates is a keeper. I didn't care for Dance Trance, Zumba or belly flab blaster. Those are all evening classes and I just don't feel like working out as much in the evening. Plus, as pertains to this newfound dance-inspired fitness craze...I just don't get it. If I'm not wearing heels, dressed like a hooker and drinking a dirty martini, I just don't feel that much like dancing. Y'know?
So my March Project has been fun and the girls have become household names in child watch.
I am enjoying the slow reawakening of different muscle groups which is going on, mostly unnoticeable to the visible eye, under the layers of fat formed by too many late-night trips to the vending machines at work. Maybe one day Nand will suggest to me, while I'm in a yoga-induced coma, that I really don't want to seek spiritual enlightenment in 4 slices of delicious homemade thin crust pizza from Annies Eats (my new FAVORITE food blog) anymore and I will shed some pounds and reveal my Queen of Olympus 6 pack. Maybe. Hmmm. Haha. Doubt it....

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