CAP workout routine pushes editor to new levels

Apparently, group fitness classes aren’t just for the dedicated followers of Billy Blanks or Richard Simmons.

When my roommate asked me to sign up with her for one of the 10-week classes being offered at the Carneval Athletic Pavilion, the cardio one to be exact, I wondered whether we would be sharing Steps with soccer moms or speed bags with aspiring MMA fighters. Frankly, I wasn’t sure which I would prefer.

But I was pleasantly surprised when we walked in to the class for the first time – after I looked past the rows upon rows of Steps – to see not only a bunch of females who looked around my age, but also a vivacious female instructor who reminded me of my “cool aunt.” Let’s be honest, everyone has one of those. This one was just going to hopefully give me a good workout instead of a Victoria’s Secret discount.

I was still skeptical as to whether we would actually be breaking a sweat, because I went in with what was probably an unearned chip on my shoulder. I thought haughtily to myself, I played volleyball my entire life for demanding coaches, including one year for Gannon – this should be a cakewalk.

That was until this lady whom I thought resembled my trendy, energetic aunt morphed into the female embodiment of Tony Horton. The nice thing about Tony Horton, though, besides the fact that he’s pretty darn chiseled for a 54-year-old, is that you don’t actually have to listen to him if you don’t want to. The times I’ve done P90X and Tony has attempted to tell me not to take a break when I wanted one, I shut him up with the pause button.

There was no pause button for Laura.

If Laura were a movie, her tagline would be, “Go until failure.” Basically, keep doing what you’re doing until your muscles get angry enough to quit on you.

But the unexpected level of physical exertion was welcome, despite my quads’ protestations to the contrary. What I couldn’t get over, though, was the strange sensation of being watched like a zoo animal, or like a SeaWorld exhibit in a tank.

The CAP lab on the second floor, where our class is held, is sealed off from the rest of the gym-goers by a conveniently crystal clear glass door. It’s also conveniently situated right in between the weight room and the water fountain.

So basically anyone who needs a drink during their workout – 99 percent of the CAP populace – can walk by and casually observe 12 girls trying to navigate this madwoman’s workout routine. Some of us do this with a little more grace than others. Given my gangly composition and my apparent aversion to coming across as remotely coordinated, I’m not one of them.

Overall, though, the class really is well worth the measly $10 we had to pay. The teacher is a lot of fun, and working out with a group has proven to be motivating. It’s the perfect way to mix up a workout routine by throwing in something totally different one day out of the week.

Just make sure you don’t eat a three-course meal beforehand.



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