Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Good, Old-Fashioned Ass Kickin'

Or should I say "ass whippin'"? Courtesy of Tim Haft and his Punk Rope program.

You may or may not know that I'm a fitness instructor. I teach primarily step and yoga, though I can also teach strength/resistance training, aqua aerobics and BoSu. I've been teaching fitness classes for about six years; I got into the profession after joining a health club after Beanie, my second (and last) baby, was born. I took classes for about six months before I started teaching. Now I work in that same fitness center and at the university from which I graduated.

My teaching style is pretty laid back; I shy away from the boot camp style classes and the high-energy indoor cycling classes because I really don't have a go-go attitude and, well, I hate killing myself - especially in front of people. I recognize, though, that, just like my classroom teaching, I have to vary my fitness teaching every once in a while. Shake things up. Challenge myself and my students. Try new things. In fitness - as in life - it's very easy to settle into the comfortable and familiar. I don't want to get old.

I signed up for a Punk Rope certification workshop today and it was a lot of fun, though I'm pretty sure that I'm going to SERIOUSLY regret it tomorrow because my shins are already sore. I worked very hard and was occasionally embarrassed by how difficult it was to keep up. For one thing, I haven't jumped rope since I was a little girl. I took a couple of boot camp classes at my club last year and discovered that I'd outgrown my ability to jump rope smoothly. I re-discovered this today, when I managed to leave whip marks on the fronts of my ankles, the backs of my shins, and my butt. Yes, my butt. I whipped myself in the ass, dear readers, and it wasn't fun.

I was also amazed to find out just how much work it really is to jump rope and run interval drills. I can teach back-to-back step classes no problem. Skipping rope for two minutes? No can do. It requires a cardiovasuclar fitness that I don't currently possess, though I'm sure that I could build up that kind of endurance pretty quickly. This is an intense program that really encourages c/v conditioning if the participant can just stick with it.

The program is FUN, though, and an amazing workout. The interval training and rope jumping are all set to punk rock, and I was a little hesitant about the music at first, but quickly learned that the genre is perfectly suited to this kind of workout. The songs are fast-tempo and often very short - sometimes as quick as 90 seconds. Also, Tim points out, audiences at many punk concerts dance by simply jumping up and down - the "pogo," he called it. It was kind of fun, too, to hear some familiar music: I spent the better part of last year listening to my builder - who adores punk and ska - blaring both through my stereo system, sometimes loud enough to shake the walls, as he built our addition. My tastes are decidedly more mainstream and a good bit quieter. Again, it's good to shake things up.

I'm going to wait until the pain in my shins subsides before I decide how to incorporate this program into my teaching. I'm pretty sure the university will offer Punk Rope classes, but I'm not sure my club will. I was the only person from my club to take the certification, and the fitness director isn't likely to add a class to the schedule that only has one qualified instructor. I can probably get them to offer special one-of classes, though, and that will be fun. Regardless of my whining, though, I HIGHLY suggest that you take a Punk Rope class if you can. Your cardiovascular system will thank you for it, even if your shins and calves might be a little put out.

**author's note, Monday, 6:50 a.m.** Well, here it is, the "morning after" and I'm pleased and more than a little surprised to say that I'm not completely incapacitated! It took me a little while to loosen up, but a little edge-of-the-bed stretching and I'm fine; I even managed to make it down the stairs without having to ease myself down on the railing. Woo-hoo! (or perhaps I should say "Hey, ho! Let's Go!")


Blogger Kizz said...

If you can't get the class added you can always make some money by offering that ass whipping you were getting so good at.

Did you listen to some Violent Femmes? Ramones? I'd love the music but my shins would split and disgorge bile before the class was half over.

12:53 PM  

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