I went to a step aerobics class once...notice how I stated that I only went once. Step aerobics has become a once in a lifetime experience for me. Now, there are two different kinds of "once in a lifetime experiences", ones that you cherish and hold close for a lifetime - such as going to the Taj Mahal, seeing the pyramids or meeting someone famous and the other kind are anything but cherished. This second category of "once in a lifetime experiences" are events in your life that you desperately pray never happen again, in fact you go out of your way to make sure that they never, ever happen again. You commit whatever resources, time and energy it takes to ensure that they remain a "once in a lifetime experience".
My very brave friend invited me to go to the local YMCA with her to spend our evening in a step aerobics class. She promised that the class was beginner friendly and easy for everyone of all levels of fitness, it was a class that she really enjoyed going to. With her vow of a good time, I grabbed my Nikes and sweat pants and we were on our way. Looking back, I am unsure as to why I agreed to go with her…that part of my memory is fuzzy and remains a mystery to me. I followed her with a blind faith and abandonment - after all, she had no fear of taking me with her...what an naive woman!
Upon arrival, I noticed that I was severely out of place. Everyone else seemed to know each other and no one offered their gift of friendship to me. Perhaps it was because I was in oversized sweat pants and wearing Ronald McDonald t-shirt that I got years ago when I was a teenager working at McDonalds. I didn’t own any clothing with lycra, and even if I did I definitely wasn't about to wear it in public! I held back hoping the class would start soon.
Suddenly the gym fell silent as our lithe instructor fully clad in spandex walked in. She shouted in a very peppy voice to the class, "Good evening everyone! Please come and pick out your step and l..e..t..'s g...e...t STARTED!" While she bounced around at the front, I headed over to pick out a step - who knew there were choices? I was late getting to the step selection location and the only step left was very large and extremely purple. This step was the mother of all steps...I think that Andre the Giant is the only person that could use this step with ease. I had no other choice and so I took it hoping that God would somehow lengthen my legs for this class. By the time that I realized that the mammoth purple step was my only choice, the rest of the class was already in position, ready to follow the poster girl for spandex to better fitness. I started to hurry towards the back of the class with my step in tow. Apparently I was going too quickly for the gym floor, because it suddenly formed a speed bump of some kind to slow me down, which I promptly tripped over. My body started to hurl towards the earth and I promptly let go of my gianormous purple step and screamed for help. Do you know that a large purple step clattering across a YMCA gym floor is a deafening sound? I was unable to hear properly for days following.
After retrieving myself and the enormous purple step, I meekly walked towards the back of the class, hoping to become anonymous. Unfortunately, that was no longer an option, since the whole class had turned, wide eyed to watch my progress with the gym floor. I humbly took my position in the back row. Even the instructor seemed at a loss of what to do next. Apparently, it is quite uncouth to throw your step across the gym floor and fall over screaming prior to the start to class. I should have realized that this was only the start of class and that I should turn tail and run before I lost all of my dignity.
Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, the instructor recovered from her shock and started the class. "Kick one two three, over the box, whee!!" she announced while leaping over her step, hands gracefully flying in the air. As I attempted the graceful leap over the step my hands flew into the air as well, mostly to keep me from falling over and starting a domino effect in the class. It seemed that no matter what I did in the class, I was never with the class. I was constantly running around the step trying to get on the right side of the step to do some sort of lunging event just to realize that the whole class had moved over the other side of the step. I felt like a dog chasing her tail – it’s a never ending process and you keep going in circles while people watch you make a fool out of yourself. Let’s just say that my circling the mammoth purple step resulted in less than a superb work out. At the end of class I was merely dizzy and embarrassed.
The next week when my friend wanted me to go to class with her again..I was somehow too busy to attend. It was just really too bad...I had such a great experience the week before. All I know is that there should be some sort of clumsiness assessment guide you take prior to enrolling in a step aerobics class. They could have to take the test before the start of class and if you score a 5 or more out of 6, you should not be able to take the class.
Clumsiness Assessment Guide
Please answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the following questions – 1 point for ‘Yes’ answers and zero points for ‘No’ answers.
1. Have you ever tripped over something non-existent in public? (e.g. a crack in the sidewalk)
2. Is your purse a menace to all displays in department stores and needs to be checked at the door?
3. Do you have a history of tripping up escalators and riding up to the next floor on your face?
4. Have you ever lost your shoes and tripped over a curb while crossing the street at a busy intersection downtown and inadvertently stopped traffic?
5. Would be people you know well be concerned about your personal safety if you picked up a new hobby such as cycling due to your past clumsiness history?
6. Do you blurt out ridiculous comments that you wish you could cram back into your face once they’ve been stated at least once a day?
0 – 1 points – Step Freely! Book yourself in as many step aerobics classes as you want and flaunt your coordination to everyone else in the class.
2 – 3 points – Step Cautiously. Try one class and see what happens. It is unlikely that you will be cursed with a step aerobics mishap, but give special care and consideration while in class.
4 – 5 points – Step Fearfully….be afraid, be very afraid of what may possibly happen if you go to a step aerobics class. There is a 20% chance that nothing crazy will happen to you, but you do want to take that chance??!?!
6 points – Don’t Step!! We must be twins separated at birth! Whatever you do – avoid all group exercise classes, they are a threat to your health and the health of others!