I haven’t really been attending any classes at my gym even though the initial intention to sign up for a membership was to do so. I tried a few classes the first few weeks but I soon gave up and head straight for the treadmills instead. 40 mins on that and the bicycle gives me a chance to catch up on The Good Wife season 2.
Amore’s classes range from the low key (yoga, Pilates) to the intensive (cardio-latino) to the strange (Bollywood). It’s not a fix set of 12 lessons so anyone can join any class anytime. However beginners are encouraged to pick the basic version of their preferred class so the instructors can go easy on them.
I went for yoga basic and aerobics basic. The classes were supposed to be easy for anyone to follow and if you make a mistake the instructors are kinder towards you. However I stopped going for them because I got really conscious of myself. I have no balance (in yoga) and no hand eye coordination (aerobics), and with the mirrored walls amplifying your every mistake, I felt a bit out of place in class.
Also there is usually a bunch of regulars in every class, even the basic ones, who have built a certain rapport with one another that makes you feel excluded. I am not there to make friends and am definitely better off without having to go through the stress of making conversation but it’s a really weird feeling to be in the same room with a bunch of people and they act as if you’re not there.
I stuck to my Pilates class (on days I manage to get off my fat ass to attend it) but I gave up aerobics because I couldn’t stand the women inside there. I never imagine a small group of 4 women could make so much noise. They don’t just talk, they shriek. I guess exercising makes them really excited about things.
So today I was in a different yoga class for the first time, feeling really self- conscious as everyone else greeted everyone else. The instructor even asked one of the students if she had recovered from jet lag. I was itching to jump off my mat and run to the safety of my machines when the instructor told us this story.
She was currently choreographing a Zumba class with a guy who was extremely shy. So they do one-on-one sessions. She mentioned the first time he attended his first group class with her where he was the only male in a room full of women. He felt extremely uncomfortable and asked how would she feel if she had been the only woman in a class full of men.
Her response was Bring It On! She explained that when you make a decision to join a class, you have decided to do so because it benefits you. Not because of the people around you, or what they thought of you. It’s about yourself and what you want to gain out of the class. You shouldn’t join a class and worry about other people.
When I heard that I stopped feeling anxious. She was right. I’m there because I wanted to learn something. Who cares about the other people and what they think. I thought that was pretty good advice with good timing too, considering I was mere thoughts away from bolting from class.
By the end of class I was glad I stayed for it. I smiled at some faces but I didn’t bother engaging them further. Already I feel good about myself again.