Mom Body: Leaving the Comfort Zone

 

Like many mommies I know, I have some stubborn body fat left over from my last pregnancy. Which is strange, not only because my youngest is almost two, but because with my first baby I seem to remember it being much easier to lose.It turns out I’m not 21 anymore, or 31 for that matter, and my very mature metabolism isn’t doing me any more favors. I came to the conclusion that if and when I decide I want the weight gone, I will have to work hard.This past week I gave myself a stern talking-to for complaining about things within my control, and joined the gym.

comfort zone

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

When I signed on I was a little bit overwhelmed, but more excited, by all the options and the apparent evolutions in equipment.

Since I am an advocate for trying new things and eagerly diving into new initiatives, yesterday I walked in and went to the nearest class I had never heard of.

Everyone had exercise mats, but not to sit on. Instead they were to protect the wooden floor from being hit repeatedly with neon green drumsticks. Yes, drumsticks. They were made out of heavy-duty plastic and they took me quite by surprise.

The alternating tempo of Imagine Dragons songs served as an unofficial directive for the swaying motions. The real crux of the class is the concept of squatting and then squatting even deeper. Gripping the drumsticks you wildly bash at the air in all directions, like an expert air guitar session… except, well, drums.

At first glance, it’s a dream come true for passive aggressive people who secretly want to beat the shirt out of something but instead choose peace and harmony, (while leaning heavily on group exercise as a way to relieve their tension). I thought I had it in the bag. I suspected this might turn out to be the one thing I’m truly great at.

As a person that does well with instructive motion and choreography, the intervals where everyone just fervently strikes at invisible drums quickly became confusing. I need a timed count to keep up my momentum. I blame it on the 5, 6, 7, 8’s that permeated my youth. I felt like an imposter. Fast forward about seven minutes into the squatting and it got hard. My thighs were dead weight and burning.

When something’s difficult, I tend to openly mock it until it can’t intimidate me anymore. I started saying things to my neighbors in the voice of Animal from The Muppets. I started picturing everyone in the room as aged baton twirlers in sequined body suits.  As we moved into a deep side lunge where we hit the mat over and over in succession, I yelled out, “LOUD NOISES!”

As we gyrated from side to side, angling our drumsticks like drawn arrows, I began to notice how sweaty everyone was. At that point all I could think was, someone is going to lose an eye. Given my luck, it would most likely be me. The instructor read the fear on my face and paused to address proper grip techniques before jumping back in.

As I entered the room at the beginning of the class I had the following two expectations:

  1. That I would get a solid work out that provided me with some physical benefit.
  2. That I have a new experience with this group of strangers and more so, my own body.

Solely based on this criteria, it was amazing. It knocked my sweaty little socks off. But, beyond my arbitrary exercise criteria, the teacher was a rock star. Her energy and enthusiasm were completely contagious. As the class demanded more and more of my body, I was in awe of how effortless she seemed. It’s always fun to watch people in their element, truly enjoying themselves.

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