Each week, this Virginian will try a new Dallasite activity and blog about the experience. Whoo hoo—it’s finals week!! As a college student, that means my life is just so stress-free right now. In case you didn’t catch the sarcasm of that last sentence, allow me to provide this illustration as a means of helping you understand that, in reality, the struggle is real:
People always say exercise is a great stress reliever,* so I decided to try out one of SMU’s “group-X” fitness classes this week and stretch my sorrows away. In preparation for my foray into the world of group fitness, I consulted the gym schedule and found a weekly workout class called “RED WARRIOR.” Obviously I was in, because anything with the name “warrior” in it would surely slay my study anxiety. Also, red is a fantastic color, so why not?!
Reading its description, I saw that the class would focus on “mixed martial arts, set to music.” HOW GREAT DOES THAT SOUND?!? I could finally fulfill my life-long goal of synchronized karate-chopping to “Timber.” It truly was shaping up to be a magical experience.
Full of young hope and expectation, I arrived at the gym early and ready to WORK. I’ll admit, some of my enthusiasm came from the fact that I was procrastinating the 30 pages of term paper I had to write for Monday—but regardless. As the minutes ticked by and no one else arrived, I started getting nervous. At one point, a guy in a full-blown karate outfit walked by…but he kept walking and went into the bathroom. He never returned. After 15-minutes of waiting with baited breath, I gave up on all hope of RED WARRIOR, and laid my synchronized karate dreams to rest.
*Don’t these people know that binge-watching 30 Rock provides the same amount of stress-relief as 30 minutes of cardio? [I am sure there is a study somewhere that corroborates this.]
I’d made the trek all the way out to the gym (okay, it’s not that far away from my house, but it required the effort of getting out of my pajamas and putting on real clothing, so it was a lot to handle) and was not going to give up my workout plans so easily. Frantically, I checked the “group-X” schedule and saw there was one other class being offered at the same time. Not caring to check what this class even was, I booked it over to Studio 3.
“Welcome to…Booty Blast! Go grab some dumbbells and get ready to WORK. THAT. BOOTY!” The instructor called out to me as I walked through the doors. Kim Kardashian would approve of this class.
Wait…WHAT? Oh my gosh, I had to get out of there, and fast. If I wasn’t going to do karate, I’d wanted to do something casual—gentle stretches, maybe a V-sit if I was feeling crazy. These people were doing squat burpees, candlestick jumps, and waving weights around like baby batons. I tried to back out of the doors, but it was too late. Someone in the class had recognized me and motioned me over, and the instructor was watching me like a hawk. My fate sealed, in I went.
For the next hour, we exerted a lot of physical energy. As one who does not like to workout that often (please recall my comment about binge-watching) I was struggling—hard. At one point, I gave up and just laid on my mat, prone and unmoving.
It was an educational experience, however, because the entire class was supplemented by a soundtrack of songs all featuring the word “booty.” I’m proud to say my music repertoire has now increased substantially.
It’s been two days since this experience, and I am still struggling: struggling to stand-up, struggling to walk—struggling to move. Sometimes my legs just buckle at random moments. It’s weird. Today, I accidently dropped a dollar on the ground and just left it there, because squatting down to get it just wasn’t worth it.
I think people suggest that you workout during finals because they know you won’t be able to move afterwards. With all that lactic acid, you’ll have no choice but to sit and write your papers, because the alternative—moving—is even worse than writing.
I guess in the long run, then, this class was effective. It forced me to sit still and write, and after the class I didn’t feel any more stress! Granted, my numb body couldn’t feel anything at all, but I’d like to think that booty blast really helped me to shake it off.
Chelsea is a Level 5 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She is obsessed with music of the 60s & 70s and her vices include vanilla lattes and Swedish Fish. You can check out more of Chelsea’s thoughts and ponderings HERE!