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The editor's voice: Stepping up my exercise routine

February 4, 2011

I got out of bed Tuesday morning and could barely move. My neck was stiff and my legs didn’t want to move without a little pinch in my nerves. I walked in somewhat of a hunch as I tried to make my way to the shower. Why was I in so much pain? Three words: Step moves class.
Monday night, I decided to try something different at The Perfect Workout. I got off work in time to make it to the gym’s weekly step moves class, so I thought I’d give it a shot. It was something different for me. The only class I’ve tried was Zumba, which I’ve grown to enjoy.
I got to the gym a little early to warm up before stepping into a class, where honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. As 6 p.m. rolled around, fellow gym members started getting their steps set up, so I followed.
As I grabbed my step, I asked a couple of members if there was a certain spot I should set up my step. One woman replied, “No. Be brave and go ahead and take that spot at the front of the class.” I stood still for a second as the thought ran through my head: “The front of the class? Well … uh … OK. I guess I can do that.”
So I did. I walked up to the front of the class, set my step up and met with the gym’s owner Sharon Rashidi and the step moves class instructor Betsy Buff. Rashidi gave me a quick overview of the class, but most importantly, she said, “Listen to your body.” Well when I woke up Tuesday, I wondered if I listened to my body Monday evening. My muscles were saying otherwise.
Right before Buff started teaching the class, another member, who seemed to know her step moves, came up to me and provided a few pointers. I guess I had the “I’m new” look, but her tips did help me through some of the fast parts of the class, especially when I tried to remember which foot to step up with at the right time.
And here we go. Buff started with a few warm ups to hit songs from the ‘80s and ‘90s, such as “Ice, Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice. You can’t help but to chuckle when you hear the hit songs from your younger days.
As we started, I quickly thought my position in front of the class was a bad one, especially when I found myself a step off from the other members. Because I’m hot natured, my face gets extremely red when I get hot. At one point, I looked up in the mirror along the classroom walls and saw my apple face sticking out like a sore thumb among the other members who only showed a little pinkness on their cheeks. I kind of laughed to myself and thought, “I’m not going to be in front of the class anymore.”
Some of you might think that a step moves class only includes stepping on and off of the plastic black step, but not true. Betsy incorporated weight lifting, squats and jumping jacks into the class. When I saw her doing a jumping jack, I thought, “Wow. I haven’t done a jumping jack since physical education in high school.” That’s sad, but very true. In fact, I had a hard time even getting my legs coordinated to do a jumping jack. It was almost like I forgot how to do one.
Despite my red face and lack of coordination at times, I made it through the step moves class. I felt like I accomplished another goal in my life by trying something new. I definitely worked muscles I don’t normally use as my body didn’t allow me to do much movement for about four days.
I don’t think this will be my last step moves class. By taking a variety of classes at The Perfect Workout, I feel I make myself work harder than if I set up my own exercise routine.

LaDonna Beeker is the editor of and a columnist for The Observer News Enterprise. Her column appears in the Friday edition of The O-N-E.

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