But I digress. My point really is that I go to the gym and I do my fair share of sweating and grunting and panting (oh my!). As soon as I step into one of those group classes though, I feel like a "before" contestant on the Biggest Loser. Sure, I get through the warm-up just fine, but fifteen minutes in, I'm thirsty, out-of-breath, doing that little hands-on-hips, walk-in-place, gimme-a-minute kind of move that can only mean one thing, "That bitch is out of shape!" In my mind, I run through a litany of excuses: "Well, clearly I just didn't have enough protein at breakfast" or "I must have a lower sweat threshold" or "Uh-oh, maybe I'm dying." (If you know me, you know it's something I occasionally wonder.)
Of course, you can't interrupt the class to explain why you're so embarrassingly uncoordinated and out-of-breath. So, I'll usually stop to get water since, hello, you have to keep hydrated. Or I'll pretend to be one of those people with an ongoing sports-related injury. You know, I suddenly stop and bend my knee over and over with a "Now, that's curious," look on my face. To make it more authentic, I keep the accompanying internal monologue going in my head, Is that my knee clicking? Oh WHY does that bum joint of mine have to act up now, of all times, in Zumba class?
So my own shameful performance is just one reason I hate group classes. The other problem: Those damn Gym-orexics. You know those women--of any age--who are all fit and muscled and clearly don't have day jobs or young kids, so I hate them. They're the ones who always do the "extra challenge" in yoga and say "ohm" like super-loud and longer than anyone. They're the ones who are jogging in place between boxing combinations. They're the ones that the teachers know by name. Bitches.
There are also the Pre-Cardio Ladies. The ones who come to class already sweaty and worked-out. They did the cardio before the cardio, as though the 45-minute session that busts my butt and leaves me panting in the corner just isn't enough for their 5% body fat frame. Sometimes they've done an hour-long run already. Sometimes, they hit the Booty Boot Camp class just before. Again, bitches.
That's okay though. It motivates me...sorta. If these women can do two classes in a row, I can at least make it through one, right? Mind over matter? But no, even if I spend the first twenty minutes bouncing and kicking and salsa-dancing like never before, even if I stop for only two sips of water, even if I don't fake an injury, I rarely make it more than thirty minutes. No, just when I start to feel like that lady who swam from Cuba, the Pre-Cardio Ladies start adding in their own extra twist, they start double-timing it, they lift three times their body weight. And suddenly, I feel like a big, blobby mess all over again and my motivation dies.
I go to the gym to feel better about myself. I work out to feel healthier. I don't need to feel like I'm not exercising good enough, especially since the "not good enough" thing haunts every other aspect of my life. So from now on, I'm sticking to my solo exercises, those beautiful machines that allow me to just do me. At least that way, the only person I have to prove anything to is myself.