When I took step aerobics, I loved the group “choreography” of us all doing the same step together in front of a giant mirror. With a little creativity, I imagined that we looked something like backup dancers in a cool music video, grapevining or hop-stepping to the beat in perfect unison. There was tremendous peer pressure to be right on step, and no room at all for slacking, or for forgetting which foot was right or left in the heat of the moment (yeah, don’t ask…).
So at Curves, my workout du jour, they try to incorporate the same element of fun into the workout circuit, but it falls a little flat. In case you’re not familiar with the setup, there are about 15 different weight machines that you cycle through during a workout, and in between each machine is a little foam pad that you stand on for the “aerobic” part of the workout (hence, the signature Curves combination of strength training plus aerobics). Each pad is labeled with a suggestion for an aerobic activity: jog in place, arm circles, boxing, etc.–my favorite being the irritatingly misspelled “hulla hoop.” The big difference in doing these activities in Curves versus in a class is that you are doing it alone. Everyone else in the room is at a different point in the circuit.
Call me self-conscious, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I jog in place at every aerobic station. I know that it’s evil, but, yes, I do watch the other women as they pantomime swimming motions or air-hula-hoop and I think they look silly. I can’t get over myself. Especially not the hula, which just looks vulgar with no hoop. And ESPECIALLY not the one labled “chorus line,” which scarred me on my first day. I was behind a very manic woman who chorus-lined with such enthusiasm that she almost kicked me in the face. It made me think of an episode of Friends (yes, I know, I need to get a life…) and now every time I circuit past this station, I think, “I’ve never had any professional dance training!”