Today I tried something new. Tonight, I hurt. My colleague and friend Tabitha
invited dragged bribed me to go to a “Pump” class at a gym. Now, I don’t do gyms. But when she first mentioned it – or rather, when she first told me I was going to it, I very merrily answered, “Sure!” You know, this whole challenge thing involves doing strange things like “Pump” classes. I didn’t even know what the heck a pump class was, but I agreed. I soon learned that a “Pump” class involves doing lots of weight lifting. Using barbells. There are squats, push-ups and sit-ups. This ain’t for the faint of heart. But I was soon oddly a little excited about this class.
Folks, if anyone invites/drags/bribes you to go to a “Pump” class, I advise you to either
a) run very far away or
b) find the nearest pub and crawl into it.
Here’s a snapshot of my lunch hour outing:
Erin, from her office: Getting changed now! Guess we’ll go in 5 minutes?
The two of us toddle off down Dalhousie street practically whistling our way to Pump class.
We arrive at the gym. I try to swindle my way into the class as a guest. No-go. Must order guest passes online. Have to pay $15.
Tabitha: You know, that’s a lot of money to pay for one class. We could come back another time, after you get your guest passes.
Erin: No freaking way. I’m here. I’m going. If I don’t go today, I won’t go for weeks. Let’s DO THIS!
(Worth nothing that after I paid, the lady –shhhh–gave me 3 free passes to use before January 11…”Just don’t tell anyone,” she said…No problem…I’ll just publish it on my blog…)
Tabitha kindly set everything up for me in class while I was charming my way into free guest passes. There is a step thingie, a barbell (mine stayed empty) and a couple of weights for the point at which I will need to be holding free weights. I shed my coat and trade my boots for my fancy-dancy running shoes, haul my water bottle out of my bag and I’m ready to get pumped!
Instructor (some hot skinny chick): Anyone new in the class today?
Erin: *crickets chirping* (because I was off in Lala Land and missed the question)
I soon realized it would have been helpful to have flagged myself as a newbie. But that’s what you get for not listening!
We’re 5 minutes into the class. Aside from feeling rather silly about lifting a bare barbell, things are going all right. I mean, I carry heavy armloads of firewood into the house every other day. I’m not a wimp. So I’m figuring I could handle this for a whole hour.
I’m silently thanking Tabitha, who is rearing along in front of me, for having made the executive decision to not have put any weight on the barbells. Simply put: I don’t care how strong you think you are, when some fit, energetic instructor at the front of a classroom tells you to lift a barbell 1359 times, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, while squatting with your butt reaching out farther than you thought it was even capable of doing, you need all possible support to ensure you don’t die.
We are now doing pushups. Apparently, pushups are the best way to get into shape. They are also a way to ensure you will die.
I’m looking at the clock and can’t believe there’s still more than half an hour to go. Tabitha, you are not getting a Christmas present.
I reach a pretty good point. I’m doing okay. It may be the fact that I’m losing feeling in certain parts of my body I didn’t know existed. Still grateful for the lack of weights on my naked barbells but also grateful for the variety of the class – the squats, the lifts, the pushups, the lunges. Variety is, after all, the spice of life. And despite the intense shaking emanating from every muscle in my body, I am managing to do the majority of what the skinny bitch instructor is telling us to do.
The big hand is getting closer to the 12 and this makes me happy. Oh, and now we’re doing fun little moves that involve reaching up to the heavens and then doing funny little jumps. Looks easy enough. After a few, however, it becomes clear that this is just a form of torture cloaked in something fun called “jumping”.
Then the clincher: While trying not to fall on my butt as I reach to the heavens and hop like like a bunny reaching for a carrot, I fail to note that I’m hopping a little too close to my barbell and suddenly I land directly on said barbell with my already tendonitis-plagued foot.
Now, I could cry.
I repeat to myself about 45 times a minute: Don’t cry. You can do this. Just do what you can. It’s all okay. You don’t actually need to use your foot very much. And it’s almost over.
The pain in my foot is manageable when I am not on it – you know, when I’m doing damn sit-ups and push-ups (which, thank God, I can only manage to do on my knees). But when the class started doing some kind of funky pretzel-like movements that involved clear foot-action, I had to fake that one and just stare at the floor and pray for time to speed up.
I see the instructor put her barbell down. I think we’re done.
Damn. Not done yet. Frig. More sit-ups.
Ok, I think we’re really done this time.
I think I might die.
That blessed moment arrives when Tabitha turns around and I see relief on her face – the same relief that immediately crawls into my entire body and makes me want to curl up with a very large cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.
I tell Tabitha that I managed to injure myself – not by doing the actual workout (though speak to me in 24 hours, I’m sure I’ll have something different to say about that) but by not looking at where I was going and jumping on a stupid barbell. She kindly walked my sloooow turtle pace as we made our way back to work.
Tonight, I sit here on the couch, a large ziploc bag packed with melting ice sits on my foot while I type over my cat who is snoring on my lap. Every time I do get up, I feel bits and pieces of pain that are, I’m certain are mere shadows of what I will feel tomorrow. I have been warned by all who DO know what “Pump” class is, that I will not only hurt tomorrow, but that I will be barely moving on Friday.
I suppose that it’s a good thing the world ends on Friday, then. That means no more “Pump” class for me. But if we’re still here on Saturday, I would actually consider going again, once my foot heals and the effects of today’s workout eventually wear off. Perhaps I’m simply a sucker for pain? Whatever the case, I’m glad I did this.
Now I have to give Spinning a shot. I know myself. I may need a helmet for this one…