My oldest sister, Samantha, is our family fitness guru. She has been a personal trainer for several years now and teaches all different sorts of classes at her gym, The Amarillo Town Club. I used to take her Trekk It class when we were at the same gym. It was a interval running class that we did on treadmills. She was a great teacher, but the gym closed the class (no idea why) and she moved on to bigger and better things. She has been a serious runner for quite a few years now. She has done a few marathons and half-marathons. She would have done more, but she has battled some injuries. Last summer, she was approached by the fitness director at ATC about becoming certified to teach a class called Body Attack. She did and now teaches a couple of times a week at 5:30 in the a.m. Crazy woman!
SInce I have been fighting the battle of the post baby bulge I have called on her numerous times for advice: diet and exercise tips. strength training schedule, etc. She has been encouraging me for a while to come and try Body Attack. She knows there is no way in hell I would ever go at 5:30 in the morning, but there are other BA classes later in the day taught by someone else. She even got me some free passes to her gym. She also let me borrow one of her training DVD’s a few months ago. I still have not watched it. They send her a new DVD every quarter with new choreography that she has to learn. She also has to video herself teaching the class to become/stay certified. She failed the first time. Samantha has never failed anything in her life. Ever.
So last Thursday night we went to dinner at her house. My dad was in town and wanted to see his girls and grandkids. Kev, Lex and the trio were headed to Dallas for the weekend so it would just be The Holder’s and The Neagle’s. We ate dinner and sat around and talked for a while. Samantha had to leave the room briefly to take a phone call. It was someone else seeking her fitness expertise. At this point the conversation between she and I rolled around to Body Attack. She was talking about how “stinkin’ fun” it is and the bonus that you can burn 900 calories in 60 minutes. What the? Did I hear that right. So, admittedly, my curiousity was piqued. She broke out her recent training DVD. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. It can only be described as Richard Simmons met with a worhip team sprinkled with a little bit of cult activity. Let me explain:
First of all, imagine like a highschool gym or auditoreum with a stage in the center and an open floor. There were like 6 Body Attack leaders on the stage all dressed in matching athletic gear: black tight shorts and yellow tops. There are men, whose body hair is all shaved off, and women. They all have headset mics on. They speak with an accent because they are all New Zealanders. Something about this makes me think of Hillsong United, the big church in Australia where Darlene Czech (she sang Shout To the Lord) is from. For whatever reason they look like a workout worship team.
The house lights go dim and the stage is spotlighted. The entire floor of the room they are in is covered in people. Standing room only practically. This is the house of fitness Gods and they have come to worship. The music starts and it is like house techno dance music. The instructors begin dancing and hoping and springing and lunging and plyometricing and push-uping and you name it. They bounce and bounce (like Richard Simmons) with seemilgly endless energy. They even sing along with the music at certain parts and play air guitar and drums. They rotate in and out who is the leader for the different exercise segments. Whoever just led runs to side stage and the TV Screen splits so you can see them perform the modified move (easier one) of what is happening on stage. They are all sweating buckets and glistening and bouncing. They show the crowd and it is an ocean of sweaty bodies performing these exercises in unison and loving every minute of it. It’s like they all drank the purple kool aid …or gatorade in this case.
I sat in shock and awe. They all reminded me of the National Cheerleading Competition on ESPN. Some of the moves looked like cheerleading moves. There was just no tumbling. I thought, “If I show up to take this class I am going to humiliate myself.” After all, I am the girl that was gently asked to leave step aerobics because whenever the teacher zigged, I zagged. I was a danger to myself and others. At least with this there is no step or other equipment involved. Just your body attempting to overcome gravity.
Samantha kept saying, “doesn’t this look like fun?” And to be fair, the people did appear to be having fun. I just can’t quite imagine myself in the mix. I am still just so surprised that this big time runner is loving life as a Body Attacker. She explained that because they train in all ranges of motion she is no longer getting injured like she was when running. That is a plus. Then there is the whole 900 calorie thing. Another plus for sure. As she said, “Who wouldn’t want to burn 900 calories?” I think she could read the nervousness on face. She started telling me about all of the little old ladies and old men that take the class. “Bob is in my class and he is 68!” Wow, so if a 68 year old can do this, surely I can. Then she said that Whitt (her husband) and Alan (my doctor and her friend) take the class. I didn’t need that mental image.
So, I am mulling it over. I admit, I am intimidated. Majorly. The treadmill/elliptical/bike/stair climber does not intimidate me. They can’t snicker at me behind my back. So I am thinking maybe tomorrow I will dust off the dvd she gave me and give it a try. I will let you know how it goes.
Here is a You Tube video I found of Les Mills Body Attack. It gets good about 1:00 minute in.