Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Y Do I Submit Myself To This?

I was at the YMCA recently, attending the class the I have affectionately dubbed "Cardio Hell".  The Y calls it "Cardio Mix" but I frankly think my title has a bit more panache.  

One of the instructors is a sadist quite enthusiastic about her job. It is hands-down the hardest class I have each week even though every session is a different format. Each time I walk in there I wonder what on earth is wrong with me.  But when I go in there and see that we're going to be using absolutely no equipment during the class, I generally want to tuck my tail under and get out.  


I'm not the only who feels this way; no equipment inevitably emits collective groans from the victims suckers masochists people entering the room. Because no equipment means doing body-weight work and there's just no way to sugar coat it: that shit is HARD. Not to mention the fact that the next day I'm generally extra sore, so any kind of effort I have to exert, like picking up my shoes, is pure agony.    

No equipment exercises, for those may not know, involves things like planks. Tricep dips. Supermans. Push-ups. Mountain climbers. Burpees.  

Say you: What on earth is a burpee?  
Say me: Oh, they're this fabulous method of torture used by the US Marine Corps and exercise instructors around the country.  Take a gander (20 seconds): 

For the record I still possess some of my marbles and don't feel the need to add that big jump at the end.  I don't even add a little hop. Because it's just silly.  Besides I'm not in the Marines.  

This particular class we did what's called "Tabata Training", which means you do something active--anything--for 20 seconds and then you rest for 10 seconds, performing a total of four rounds of the activity.  For instance: 20 seconds of jumping rope (we pretend--there's no actual rope there), rest 10 seconds, 20 seconds of jumping rope, rest 10, 20 seconds rope, rest 10, 20 seconds rope, rest 10.  Move on to new activity.  

This sounds easy enough but go ahead.  Try it.  If you're not sweating buckets within 7 minutes you are, quite simply, an alien. It doesn't take me long to get angry with this format, and by the end of a 50 minute session all capacity for rational thought is gone and I'm nothing short of homicidal.  With all my rage directed mostly at the tyrant in the front of the room.  

Here's an abridged running commentary that was going through my head at various points in the workout:  

Minute one: Bring it! I'm ready!! Jumping jacks? Fine. Here we go! 1 (puff) 2 (puff) 3 (puff) Oh (puff) My (puff) God (puff) I (puff) Have (puff) To (puff) PEE (puff) KAY (puff) GUL (puff) KAY (puff) GUL (puff)

Minute 10:  No you did NOT just say "push ups".  

Minute 15: You need to STOP clapping those ever-loving hands in your futile effort to motivate me or you will NEVER use a pen again you got that? 

Minute 19:  Squats?  Squats! OK, I can handle squa....OWWW!!  Holy HELL there goes that big-ass thigh muscle I hurt a year ago that refuses to heal because you MAKE me come to this unholy workout.  This injury IS TOTALLY YOUR FAULT you hear me?  I'm SO SUING YOU.  

Minute 22: I swear to GOD if I hear you say 'don't give up' just one more time.....

Minute 28: Jump?  What, you want me to just JUMP? Like, up in the air? Let me get this straight: You want both my feet to leave the ground simultaneously? Like a jack rabbit or a flea? You're The Devil.   

Minute 33: Oh that's really cute.  You point and we run like little puppets in the direction you're pointing.  I'm EXHAUSTED.  Do you GET that??  And you have the NERVE to ask me to pay attention? Well what if I just stay right here and not run where you tell me to.  HUH?  Then what?  Oh. My neighbor bumps into me because she's following the rules. Way to run into me ASS-KISSING,  DRILL SERGEANT WANNABEE.  

Minute 39: What. The. HELL? You want me to jumping jacks AGAIN??  We DID those already you crazy psycho BITCH.  Were you not here at the beginning of this class? You're fucking FIRED. Got it? YOU'RE FIE-ERRRRD, SAIN-TIN!!

Minute 46: Go ahead. Tell me to do ab crunches. First I'm going to lie here in a pool of my own sweat and cry.  Then I'm going to find a tire iron and you had better run.   

I ran into the instructor at Homeland a few days ago, and she had the nerve to call that job her "fun" job. She's a physician's assistant in real life.  

Of course she is. 

My response to the "fun job" line?  

"It may be fun for you, but it's not fun for the rest of us."

She laughed.  

I wasn't kidding.  

Her obvious mental health issues are a blog entry in itself.->


Deirdre said...

Was this the same class with the amazing cool-down music?

Tanya Schott Mattek said...

It was not. Had it been, I would have looked for something more substantial than a tire iron. A machete, perhaps.

tuesday@11 said...

So, she's a physician's Assistant? Have you wondered if she's trying to drum up some business?

Baysage said...

Sounds fun . . . you're nuts, but then you pretty much admit that, don't you?

Susan said...