I think I’m a bit of a gym slut.
Not the gyms themselves – I’m a serial monogomist in terms of the facilities. When I’m in, I’m in. Until I leave ’em for someplace else. But workouts? I’m a class cocktease. I flirt with the fitness schedule, wait to be woo’d (or lured), and, if we’re a match, I get obsessed. My life revolves around the class. I picture myself making the commitment, getting hitched – even becoming an instructor!! Then I buy the equipment and, inevitably, dump it.
Hello MMA boxing gloves and goodbye BOB punching class. Hola jump rope, adios bootcamp. Konichiwa cycling shoes, sayonara spinning…. And on it goes.
For the past year I’ve been using my very fit friend M’s workouts. Where once I couldn’t finish, now I’ve upped the weights, the reps, the whole shebang. I’ve adapted them from Polish Army training to Jewish Boot ‘n Butt Camp. I’ve typed ’em up, printed them off, passed them around. And then I decided to try to get more into the groove. Dance aerobics were popping everywhere (like, on the TV’s at the gym) and I was intrigued.
First up, I tried Zumba. Yawn. I felt like an honorary member of the blue rinse cruise brigade, with nary a Julie McCoy in sight. The instructor was the only one shvitzing in the whole class. The rest of us tried to stay awake by figuring out what we were supposed to do. I was waiting for Isaac to pop up with a drink. Apparently there’s a “just go with it” philosophy at play. For me, it was so relaxed it was practically chair-obics.
Then I tried Tracy Anderson and her method. I mean, hello Gwyneth, right? She even busted out The Method when she guested on Glee. At first glance, the cardio part seemed like an aerobics class of yester-year, minus the camel-toe leotard. Fun dancing? In in in! Until I tried to boogie down while looking up at my screen. No go. So I stuck with the weight training part. OK, the arm part of the weight training part. Legs were too tricky. And the abs? Didn’t get it. So I grabbed my puny 1 lb weights and hit the floor. The looks I got (ok, get) in the gym range from snide to snickering but even a measly pound gets heavy when you’re lifting it 100 times. It also gets boring as hell.
Now I have a new crush: Turbo Kick. Part kickboxing, part dancing, all sweating. It’s like Tae Bo for a new generation. Seriously, you come outta there with hair drenched, outfit unfit for second time use, and hot, hot, hot. Like, “what class was THAT?!” kind of sweat.
This is no one-nighter. It takes some time to get into it. And figure it out. Our turbo guide Felicia demonstrated the moves but then, we were off. Really, rhythmically off. The right hand had no clue what the left was doing, let alone the legs. The first part of the class was all kick ‘n punch, coordinating limbs and hoping for the best. Then came the “turbo” part. Intense. Intimidating. Incredible. Knees-to-chest jumping jacks. Burpees. Weird punching squats that are more Maori warrior than kickboxing menace. Speedy speedy in every way – complete with the high at the end. Finish off with some round-house pelvic pumps with a side of hip-hop hustle and you’re good to go.
In other words, it’s got all the rage-defying, therapeutic punch of a boxing class with the fancy footwork of a Beyonce video.
Except I certainly do not look like I belong in a Beyonce video. Or even her wedding video.
I pride myself on being able to cut a rug with the best of ’em and I like me a good dance party. I’ve climbed up and got down on my share of (out-of-town) bars and tables. Sure, I may lead a little when salsa-ing with my Man, but at least I can (ish). And yet, in Turbo Kick I find myself with two left feet. I’ve never felt more … white. Or virginal. There’s a whole lotta pelvis goin’ on. A lot of awkward thrusting, pretending to brush stuff off your shoulder, fire throwing – and all with ‘tude. My turbo pal is a real life dance teacher and even she feels like Whitey McWhitestein, so at least I’m not alone.
This class definitely has a learning curve. The more you go, the better you get, the more you sweat. It has also has an, um, interesting aesthetic: echoes of Ed Hardy, trucker hats, studded belts. It’s that hot blind date with the questionable fashion sense. Luckily I’m not tempted to buy any of it. Yet. When you see me wearing a tattooed muscle shirt with blinged out armband you’ll know I’ve kicked the turbo habit and moved on. Until then….