Friday, Feb. 11, 2005 | 6:10 a.m.



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Still More Coolness

Lament

I have been quietly (as is in, not noisely writing about, like last year) and regularly working out at the gym for about five weeks now. I have a rhythm going that includes a specific class on Wednesday and Saturday, but I also get in there at least one other day and I have a two hour stint of belly dancing classes on Thursday nights. I've been watching my calories -- not obsessively, but just ballparking myself at about 1800 calories a day. The weight's been coming off at a steady and sustainable rate of about two pounds a week and I feel pretty good. If I maintain this rate, I should be at my goal sometime this fall, probably by the end of October at the latest. Part of my motivation comes from within, part of it comes from going to these classes and gym appointments with Deeda and part of it comes from a small group I've joined online with a very small handful of friends that weighs in regularly and shares progress (or no progress) notes.

The class I have on Wednesday night is NOT fun. I call it Hell Class. It's like your worst nightmare of a high school PE class, full of unending jumping jacks, grapevines, jogging around the room, kickboxing moves, "frog" jumps, push ups, ab work and weight circuits. It kicks my oversized (but shrinking) ass. Because it is not all dancy and pretty, there is no respite. No moment where I lose the choreography and take a two-second breather to catch it again. It is unrelenting ass-kicking, set to the annoyingly stolen sampled beat of crappy rap music that I hate. Every so often a song will come on that I don't despise -- about once a session -- but then it's right back to the c-rap. The instructor is a personal trainer, which puzzles me deeply as she seems more concerned with speed than form. If this class is any indication of her exercise philosophy, there is no way in hell I would hire her. She looks great though. She's about 12 -- okay, not really, but very young, very fit and very into her c-rap music, and yelling at us to go, Go, GO!

I hate the class, but I keep going back. Why? Because it works. Because I feel like I got hit by a Mack truck in all the right ways. And because I have no other choice. This gym caters to the Silver Sneakers set, and there aren't many offerings for those of us who don't want to aerobicize to Glenn Miller and his swingin' band. Come to think of it, that might be preferable to whatever the hell it is we DO listen to, but I digress. Really, it's that the class works.

But it's on Wednesday and on Thursday nights, just as the soreness is really starting to sink in from Hell Class, I have two hours of belly dancing. One hour of caberet and one hour of tribal. The caberet class is all about the business of learning new combos for a number we will perform at the end of the session and so we learn the new piece and then practice the whole thing until we've ground all the grit from the cafeteria floor into our bare feet. Ouch. It's all flashy and hip-swingy and thrusty. Snappy. Then I have an hour of tribal, which is slower-paced so far, but also more brain intensive. I have to figure out who the leader is, what she's doing and how to do the same thing. I have to move my sore body more deliberately and slowly. Sensual. Nice cool down from caberet, actually, though it revs my brain up more -- and my anxiety level as I am much more likely to have to do something that's spotlit in the tribal class. I can hide in the back row of the caberet class. And did I mention no mirrors? How am I supposed to learn how to dance with no mirrors?

Why am I telling you all this? Because right now I am up at the ungodly hour of 6 AM, having been up for about an hour. Why? Because I freaking hurt!. I got to bed at about one, slept hard for four hours, then woke up achy and couldn't get back to sleep. Can someone remind me again why I'm doing this?!

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