When I was in high school, I had to take step aerobics. While I did varsity swimming and fencing as well as synchronized swimming, there was just something about step aerobics that was hard for me to grasp. Perhaps I should say there was something about step that was hard for me to grasp. Try as I might, I just wasn’t very coordinated when it came to step aerobics. Part of the problem may have been that “try as I might” did not always mean that I truly “might try.” It was a lot more fun to exercise my mouth and chat with friends than to walk on and off the step.
My gym teacher, who was also my synchronized swimming coach, gave me numerous warnings about my attitude and commitment to succeeding in the class. My parents told me that if they had to come in for a parent teacher conference over step aerobics, they weren’t going to be happy. I walked away with a B in step aerobics and swore off the step for a long time.
On Friday mornings I do group training with a 3 other women. The trainer is also encouraging us to fit in an aerobic workout later to round out the weight work we do with her. A friend of mine had suggested going to the step class at our gym. I thought it might be a nice change of pace.
At the beginning of the class the instructor asked if there were any new people. After I raised my hand she asked me when I last did step. I answered that I had done step the other night on my Wii Fit. She rolled her eyes. I then admitted that my last real step experience was from high school. She thought I meant I had just graduated from high school and was confused because I clearly do not look 18. I said that no, I graduated in 1994 and clarified that I hadn’t done step since. She looked pretty surprised. Hey it’s the truth.
The class started, and I was proud of how well I was doing. I may have, dare I say it, scoffed a little bit at the workout intensity…until I realized it was just the warm up. Once the class started, I was sweating away like everyone else. I had my heart rate monitor on and while my heart rate wasn’t as high as when I run, it was pretty close to it. It certainly equaled my spin heart rate. It was a really good workout. I did feel like I should have worn a sign on my back telling people not to follow me. Then again, the number of times I fell off my stop doing some sort of around the world half shuffle, probably made it pretty apparent. In fact I even wondered briefly how many people sprain their ankles every year from falling off their step. Then I tripped on my step, which ended that thought. Overall though, it was fairly easy to follow. We even did weights.
There was just one little problem. I had already lifted weights at 5:45 am that morning so by the time this 9:15 class rolled around, I was a little bit sore. The 5 pound weights suddenly felt like 25 pound weights. So while the class was worthwhile, I’m not sure that I would do it every Friday. I would prefer to do it on a different day. Unfortunately though it’s not offered until later in the day.
by Alex Elliot
Photo graciously provided by stillinberlin.de, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved