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Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fitness not as easy as one-two-three

I’m not sure who has it worse.

Mary and Liz, or the people standing behind me. It would probably be a draw, except that Mary and Liz at least can get a few laughs.

All these people have one thing in common. They spend three hours a week with me as I take part in my new obsession — Group Power at Fitworks in Willoughby.

It’s described by Fitworks in a way that sounds so innocent:

Strengthen all your major muscles with simple movements for all ages & fitness levels. Amazing instructors and fantastic music lead the way during each of these group fitness classes!

They’re right about the amazing instructors. Mary and Liz are peppy and pushy and keep on you enough that stopping seems like a bad idea even when your muscles are begging you to.

Mary has the Sunday and Tuesday classes, while Liz handles Thursdays.

They’re shaped differently, but both have the powerful shoulders that I hope my workouts one day will give me. But they have one thing in common — big mouths. I mean that in a good way.

(Are you kidding? Mary could hurt me when I show up for class tomorrow!)

They yell out commands for moves we make as we lift our weight bars and work our shoulders, chest, triceps, biceps, back and legs. And by yell, I mean YELL.

My problem is that I am rhythm challenged. Multiple steps confuse me.

I could never be a dancer. Anything beyond "one" is too much. I’d be lost with "one-two-three."

Most of their commands involve phrases like "two and two," "three and one" or "four and four."

What they mean is "up in two counts, down in two counts." Or, in my head as I perform each and every exercise, it’s "up-up, down-down" or "up-up-up, down" and so on.

The good times are when Mary and Liz say the "ups" and "downs" for us, so I can concentrate on the screaming inside my head.

I’m not sure the others in my class feel the same way. They’re probably too busy wishing they weren’t standing behind me as I attempt my squats and lunges.

You see, those involve me sending my posterior back toward them. Sure, their posteriors are being shoved in someone else’s face, too. But, I’m not worried about those people.

No, I’m worried about me and my screaming muscles as we deal with the "summer launch," which means the class routine just changed again.

It’s a good thing, really. Muscle confusion helps in any workout routine. It keeps the body from getting used to performing the same exercises all the time. But now my body is confused by the new routines. There are new counts and new stances and new aches and pains that might take a while to master.

So, for the time being, I apologize to those behind me who are being subjected to my wildly swinging posterior as I get my footing again in class.

And, I apologize to the Mary and Liz for all the laughs I’m throwing their way as I try to master the new "up-up" and "down-down."

Twitter: @Lauranh


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