I've been feeling more and more ungainly lately (and I have that nasty diastasis recti thing again, which means that I can't sit up/forward without the help of a wall, a handle, a helping hand, or, as I keep lobbying for, a winch). The mirrors in my step class, though I feel somewhat graceful still, show that I am not, in fact, graceful. At all. Think lumbering, sweaty hippo in workout clothes, attempting complicated choreography.
Hey, time for a crafty segue!
Speaking of grace and not being able to get up (nice, eh?), I've learned that, at the start of the class when you give your introduction (Hi, I'm Karen/this is a 60-minute class involving step and strength intervals/please drink water throughout/if you need to leave early, give me a wave/I won't be joining you for the abdominal portion of the workout/etc) you should NOT say, "If I fall down, just keep going."
I learned this about 3 years ago, while teaching at the GoodLife on Queen Street. The studio there is odd; it's short, but very wide, and for a while, was the only GL without a stage for intructors, which is a problem if your instructor is only three apples tall. It helps if you can SEE what she's trying to show you, I've heard. Anyhoo. They finally put in a stage. It wasn't very deep. Altogether now: HOW DEEP WASN'T IT? Well, in a lunge position, I had about 2 inches to spare on either side. Also, the first time I taught on it, it wasn't securely fastened to the floor or back wall.
"If I fall down, just keep going." Ha ha! What an odd, amusing thing for an instructor to say, before embarking on another BodyAttack class, involving lots of high-impact moves, most notably the afore-mentioned lunges...done plyometrically.
Well, we all know where this is going.
The first three tracks of the class went well, with only a few wobbles at the front and back of the stage. It was during the fourth -- the plyometric track -- that I fell down. Well, half of me fell down. My back leg, in its enthusiasm to shoot back into a gorgeous, visually-effective and gluteal-toning low plyometric lunge, shot back about an inch too far. I missed the back of the stage with the ball of my foot, and the edge scraped most of the skin off my shin as I tipped over backwards...not gracefully...and got stuck.
Good thing I had made that announcement, though! Not one participant paused in their workouts! Nobody rushed the stage to see if their beloved, mangled, bleeding instructor was ok. They were in the zone! They were following directions! They were sweaty!
Somehow, I managed to extricate myself without doing too much more damage (and without a winch), and finished the class a bit gimpy, limpy, and bruised (with a Blood, Sweat and Tears song stuck in my head; ironic because that's what was soaking into my sock).
So, lessons learned:
- Know when to quit and/or modify exercises (eg. this hippo marches instead of cross-country skis) (aerobics lingo) (also, the oh-so-attractive waddlerun will soon be replaced with a less-horrifying quick waddle);
- Sometimes a tie-dye shirt just isn't slimming (nothing to do with this post, but true nonetheless);
- There's nothing wrong with asking for help when you're jammed, bleeding and helpless, behind an aerobics stage (also, if you can't reach the spare toilet paper which for some reason, Chris keeps up on a 7-foot-tall shelf); and
- When you think you're being funny, you're probably just asking for the universe to bite you in the butt (ongoing lesson, not actually learned yet - as Chris can attest).
* The Douglas Adams line comes from a very amusing bit involving why he loves scuba diving. Being 6'5" (and less sylph-like, etc.), it's the only experience that makes him feel graceful. Also, he usually throws up afterwards, which is a great way of working up an appetite. The man was a genius.