By Cazey Williams
Sara told me that people like lists, and I like complaining. In fact, to get my own tab on Tweets & Mascara, I told Sara, “I bet I can find something to complain about every week.”
I assume most people have attended some sort of exercise class in their life. So tonight I thought I’d list what spikes my blood pressure in group exercise classes other than actually working out. For example:
When class ends early. When I ate my third slice of pizza at lunch (or let’s be real, fourth, because is anyone taking that?), I am anticipating a full 60 minutes of sweat. So when the instructor has me out of the room ten minutes to the top of the hour, I haven’t reached my perceived quota of calories burned. What am I supposed to do? Hop on a treadmill for a 10-minute interval training program? Or better yet, order more pizza when I get home?
Similarly, when class begins late, this ticks me off. 1.) You’re cutting into my hour of calorie burning. And 2.) I’m here to exercise my body, not my social anxiety. Enough awkward time with my phone out of reach!
“You’re stronger than your mind.” This is how instructors begin a lot of classes. And you’re right; I am. Because I am here and did not skip. I resisted going early to happy hour / devouring dark chocolate blueberries that aren’t even actual blueberries (looking at you, Brookside Dark Chocolates) / working through life responsibilities that can’t be left behind at the office. But that does NOT mean I can physically push my legs faster or maintain this plank for a minute.
“You choose what to do.” The instructor says, “Take three minutes and do your favorite exercise, drill, stretch, etc.” I purposefully signed up for this class to surrender my autonomy. Don’t ask me what I want to do. All day I have decided what to wear, what to eat, how to sign emails (Thanks? Best? Sincerely?), etc. Now, YOU tell me how to work my triceps.
Partner drills. “Grab a partner.” Time out. I didn’t come here to speed date. I struggle to make eye contact with my own reflection in the mirror during a class, let alone asking the dripping stranger beside me whether we can press feet together (their soles are brown; mine aren’t much better) and do buddy boat pose.
Or worse, the instructor wants me to cheer on my partner. Back to me not making eye contact: I will not draw more attention to myself by telling my newfound acquaintance that they’re killing it or “Go, go, go!” How about no? Or I’ll kill you.
Lying about the time. I saved the best for last: The instructor says it’s a seven minute climb on the bike. Fourteen minutes later, we’re still climbing. Or they say, “Five,” pause for five seconds, “four,” pause for five seconds, “three,” pause, etc. There is no beating around this bush: I’ll burn it down right here. You’re a ****ing liar, I don’t trust you anymore, and I am neither climbing nor give a crap about you because you have backstabbed me in the heat of a workout, and now I hope your shower after this consists of the toxins leaking from my pores.
Leave your complaints about exercise classes in the comments!