Monday, August 01, 2011

Not Gym Dandy

So there I was at the gym last week, having dragged myself to Total Body Fitness class. This class is not for the faint of heart; I generally am weeping about 15 minutes in, but I force myself to muscle through for the sake of more fitness and less fatness.

A new student arrived a few minutes early and asked the regulars what the class involved. I refrained from saying "physical torture" and gave her a brief overview of the weights, body bars, core work and cardio that we generally endure. She asked me if jumping was required; I replied that sometimes there is, but you can opt for a low impact version if necessary. She seemed interested in the class and decided to stay. Little did I know, thus ended the potential for a pleasant and rigorous workout.

The instructor started us with a warm up jog around the room, the first of 11 five-minute intervals involving different exercises. NewGirl kvetched. Instructor offered her the option to power walk but asked her to stay in the inside lane so the runners could pass her. She adopted the first part of his directive only, much to the inconvenience of the rest of us. The next phase of the class began (a weightlifting segment) and she spent it giving us and the instructor a list of her injuries (back, neck, knees; I stopped listening at that point, but she went on for several more body parts.) Phase three of the class involved hurdle jumping and mini sprints. At that point, she started to storm off saying, "I can't take this class! I can't do anything you are making us do! This is no fun at all!" (Well, what did you expect, sister, a peppermint foot massage and a gin and tonic?) Her apparent departure should have suited everyone. Except for one Goody-Two-Sneakers who went after her and said, "Oh, no, please stay, we can ask the instructor to alter the class so you can do it."

Why, oh, why must people take steps like these to coddle the miserable, the Graceless, and the inconsiderate? We all would have been better off if Ms. Malcontent had just limped off into the sunset. Instead, the fitness-minded among us were forced to take a dumbed-down class, the instructor was forced to alter his program, and Ms. Malcontent was brought back into the fold by a well meaning but ultimately misguided (im)perfect stranger.

In situations like these, What's a Grace to do?

If I could have caught my breath enough to speak, I would have said:

"Gosh, I'm so sorry I steered you wrong about the class. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself again, what with your complicated medical history. We completely understand that you need to bail. Have a nice day!"

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