Monday, September 18, 2006

An official member

I now officially belong to the club of gym enthusiasts. Yesterday, I signed up for the gym I visited a couple of weekends ago. I started with a bang -- taking two classes in a row, BodyPump (weight-training) and BodyBalance (a slightly bizarre blend of pseudo-tai chi, pseudo-Pilates, pseudo-modern jazz dance, and pseudo-yoga). The weight-training class was exactly the same routine as last time with exactly the same music. Except it was a different teacher. He was very entertaining -- shaking his hips, singing along, whoop-whooping, adding very effeminate gestures that we women didn't feel that comfortable replicating. I loved him and found his teaching style very effective, particularly because he explained in a very detailed manner how to perform a movement to avoid hurting one's self before we actually started the exercise. We missed that last time.

The same instructor taught BodyBalance which I thought was going to be a breeze with some stretching and mild abdominal work. But it was quite strenuous, especially after an hour of weight-training. We did some yoga-like poses at the end, the cooling down period, and I must have not been doing them correctly because the teacher would say something to me which I wouldn't understand causing him to repeat himself. I would get it the second time. In gym class, there's a whole new set of vocabulary I'm not familiar with. But I'm sure I'll pick it up quickly because there's a lot of repetition. Contract, relax, bend, straighten, slow, fast, push, etc. There is one English word thrown into the mix, though. "Single" -- but you have to imagine that with a French accent. It sounds rather cute.

Our last instructor was very funny with the English translations. My accompanying friend confessed that her French wasn't very good, so the teacher would translate a few things -- unfortunately, the least useful things. She translated "biceps" in French to "biceps" in English. "Triceps" in French was easily "transformed" into "triceps" in English. Funny how they sound the same.

After my workout, I chatted with a very friendly French woman, probably in her late 50s. She happened to be the only other person who made it through the two classes in succession (actually, the last five minutes, the poor woman just kind of collapsed on her belly as the rest of us continued the poses). But she was very nice, asking me about my experience since I looked like I knew what I was doing while performing the exercises. I explained that I had taken ballet before which helped a lot with my balance (I had no problems with that!) and that I was doing Pilates at home with a video. She gave me a really big self-esteem boost as we left the building after I said I wasn't working but had a nearly four year-old daughter. She looked at me disbelievingly after I confessed my age of thirty-two. "No way! You look like you're twenty-two!" How nice.

The work is paying off. People even ask if I've lost weight. Hope this inspires you to start exercising if you haven't started already!

4 comments:

Samantha said...

Let me guess, it's Samao Fitness???

Caroline Jou Armitage said...

Nope, Cercles des Formes. Where's Samao Fitness?

Samantha said...

Oops, sorry, didn't spell it right, it's Somao Fitness. They're the company that invented (and patented) BodyPump, BodyStep, BodyBalance, BodyJam, etc...maybe your gym is owned by them? I didn't think other gyms were allowed to use those names....

Caroline Jou Armitage said...

Maybe Somao Fitness licenses out those workouts. Because the ClubMed Gyms here also offer those same classes. I love BodyPump. I'm going to try BodyJam next week! Am I going to burn calories in that class too?