I had planned to write this post as soon as I got home, but food interrupted. It's probably for the best, as it may have been the mother of all rants otherwise. Happily, I have had an hour and a half to calm down, so here is a more considered view of what happened this morning.
You know I love Xtend Barre aka my ballet workout. I think it may be tipping over into addiction, as today I went to a class that I did not want to attend, for the simple reason that it was the only convenient class and I did not want to miss out on my Monday morning workout. Addiction isn't the problem here, though, so I could probably have missed that sentence out. Or deleted it.
Here's what happened:
Normally I have a lovely instructor on Monday mornings. She really makes me work and there are ALWAYS eight more counts of everything (this is both good and bad but mainly awesome). Now, we haven't had her on Monday mornings for long, but I really really really love her classes and Monday is a staple workout day for me. It really is the best start to the week.
So, last week, I was booking all my ballet classes for the month; I'm good like that. Monday came up and, in place of my lovely Xtend Barre class, it said my least favourite word: circuits. And it wasn't my lovely instructor's name, but a boy's name! Argh. Circuits and boys: boo.
But I don't want to miss my class, so I sign up with half a drop of optimism that it might not be the worst thing in the world. Sunday rolls around and I am muttering to myself about Monday's class ('Don't want to do it' was the gist of the mutter). But I also knew I would definitely be going, so no point muttering (just makes me sound grumpy and a bit weird).
Monday morning, I am full of optimism! I only have to do it once, it could be spectacular, I only have to do it once etc. Was up early anyway for a fire inspection, so felt excellent already as I bounded down the hill.
This is where it started going wrong.
A big dog barked at me.
I like big dogs, but this was so unexpected and I was in such a tranquil state that it was like being hit on the back of the head by a tennis ball (at least in terms of the shock factor - it wasn't physically painful).
Here, the big dogs are always quiet and the small dogs produce such pitiful yapping that it is hardly worth their breath. So it has been a while since I last heard a proper bark. Plus, I heard him before I saw him, although I'd probably still have jumped at that deep woof. Anyway, he knocked me out of my floaty mood but not to worry: it is still a beautiful sunny day and I am out and happy. La la la.
Then, I felt something on the back of my leg, scraping me. I shook my foot to loosen the snake that was obviously trying to attack me. It wouldn't release its grip, so I looked down and saw a small stick stuck in my fluffy legwarmer. Phew.
Worse things happen at sea (apparently), so I carried on - I'm unstoppable - and arrived at the studio to find the biggest weights they have at Xtend Barre all laid out ready for use. I just about managed to stop my eyes from rolling.
I think it might pain me to go into too much detail regarding the hour that followed. Briefly, the instructor seemed to think we were a) men and b) previously in the Army.
The circuits were so difficult to complete and a world away from what we were used to, so telling us not to hold back when we were struggling to breathe and move at the same time was, er, I'll use the word unhelpful.
Once it was all over, I felt...okay. Not dead. But that was probably because there were so many plyometric elements I couldn't commit to due to wonky calves. I did try (and am paying for it now - my calves are cross with me and I don't blame them - I'm pretty cross with myself).
But the worst thing? It made me feel manly and aggressive! Afterwards, one of the girls asked me how I felt about it and I swore! Twice! I don't like being a swearer!
I have done resistance work before - Body Pump and stuff like that - and have lifted far heavier weights for far longer. I have also had male instructors before and never felt infused with testosterone in that way. Maybe it is because I have been this elegant ballerina for so long; suddenly having to drop into a press up, throw in a handful of burpees ("As many as you can!") and lift blue weights was just too much of a swing away from my glamorous regime.
I felt indignant about being told to sprint (on the spot: seriously?) and to "give it everything", as though I were reclining on a sunlounger with my hands behind my head, slurping from a coconut. Also, any modifications (such as for those with injured knees or wonky calves) were described as "regressions", making it sound like the loser's option. I left feeling angry, pumped up and decidedly masculine.
This is a bad result for me. Monday morning workouts are mega: now I am either going to have to get up at 5am to do the early class (ho ho ho) or miss my Monday workout! Really, as first world problems go, this is about as big as it gets. What to do? I would love to just suck it up, but I know I have already messed up my calves doing this morning's Torture Hour - no way am I putting them through that again.
Ooh, I have just had a great idea (can't keep me down): I can do a bike ride in place of that class. Or get up at five next week and see how bad it really is. It could be ace. Maybe life as I know it hasn't come to an end after all. Maybe.