by Robin Boland
Working out with friends sounds ideal, doesn’t it? You’re much less likely to flake out; the companionship is both encouraging and distracting, making the time fly by. I tested this hypothesis by trying out the 7:30 a.m. session of the Southside Booty Camp in Seward Park. By the time we were ready to begin about 20 women (it’s a women only congregation) had gathered in the misty morning, greeting each other, asking about recent travel and each other’s health.
Into this warm, welcoming environment I stepped, jumped, hopped, skipped & ran. I was happily surprised by how much fun I had. The constant rotation of exercises kept us from getting too burned out on any one movement. The jumping rope, skipping and hopscotch-like ladder exercises we did on the day I visited pleasantly reminded me of elementary school. The need for a good sports bra brought me back to present times.
I have often avoided group exercise, in part out of fear. Fear of being intimidated, uncoordinated or ‘too’ out of shape have kept me away from group classes in the past. Basically fear of failure. In this circumstance I talked myself out of the fear by putting on my journalist hat and convincing myself that I was there to observe. Somehow that gave me the nerve I needed to jump in.
In the end I’m glad I did it. I met some really welcoming, unintimidating women, got my blood pumping & completed my assignment for the Emerald. Yes, it was hard. I was sore, in a good way, for a day or two afterwards. As much as I’d love to join that wonderful group I know it won’t coalesce with my work schedule. The 6 am class is, I’ve heard, a bit less chatty but I plan to give that one a try too. Who wants to sign up with me?