I did say back in February that I would check in on the ballet and flexibility goals in a few months and that has elapsed. So … here we go …
In terms of flexibility, I am maintaining and more frequently doing bendy things than I was, say, this time last year. In barre, when we are instructed to do a hamstring stretch on the mat or do a pigeon pose – pish! – it’s my weekly excuse to try out those “splits muscles”… still there. How quickly I feel stiff the next day is really disappointing, a sure sign of age and sedentary work/lifestyle.
I swear to myself that when I’m back in a condo with lovely hardwood floors and I don’t mind getting really close to it, I will do flexibility training every single day while watching some television. Mark my words.
Back in the winter, I picked up a Groupon from Tantra Fitness in Olympic Village. I had a choice of 10 fitness classes or five aerial hoops or silks classes and I went for … the aerial classes. Something circus-y is exactly what I’ve wanted to try and what motivated me to try out aerial yoga last year.
My routine since late January/February has been one barre class on Tuesday and one ballet class on Thursday. It is just about enough for fitness maintenance, but certainly not improvement. Both classes are immediately after work and I’ve had 85% success into getting to barre fitness and 75% successful at getting to ballet class.
When I had completed 20 barre classes (one of them bootcamp!), so I “qualified” to do the longer, more intensive Power Barre class. It is also on a Tuesday but starts at 7 p.m. and I haven’t wanted to embark on the hour-long journey back to the house too often starting at 8:15. While describing an extended push-up/core sequence, Ella smirked at me – knowing it was my first power class – and said something like, “You’re going to die!” but I didn’t! The class is so intense but good and serious about it – it was so rewarding to be done it. I’m hoping to get in a power class every few weeks at worse.
My Thursday Ballet Intro class became an Intro/1 class which makes me quiver in anticipation each Thursday afternoon. The “1” part introduces so many different things – choreography, steps – that I don’t know and can be taxing after a long day at work.
To round out the barre experiment (on myself), I will finally sign up for Bar Method Vancouver, the original barre fitness. It scares me how intense it will be but I am ready for it. I’m only doing it hardcore (as many classes as possible on weekdays after work) for one month on a new client special. Thus July will be Bar Method Month. August and onward will be …
Back to the Gym. I deliberated between Fitness World (noooo!!!), YMCA (too far, non-fabulous, darned high adult rate) and Trevor Linden’s Club 16. Club 16 opened a few years ago and has far fewer locations than Fitness World but one downtown is close enough – it offers month-to-month at just $20 per month and a one-time $15 enrollment fee. I will decline the $20 “insurance” against rising membership fee in the firm hope gym membership is but a short-term situation ahead of having acess to my own condo gym.
I have nothing to do from now until September (no courses) but to work out on the (week)days that I’m not doing barre/ballet! (I’m looking forward to burning through a lot of audiobooks and podcasts this summer while working out and commuting back to the house.)
Weekends pose a challenge for working out because the house is in the middle of nowhere. We did pick up at Red Pocket deal for 10 day passes at Badminton Vancouver, a new facility not too far into Richmond. That is a weekend activity and I mean to use up our 10-pass card this summer.
Finally, I picked up a Living Social for 10 classes at Chopra Yoga Centre which I am using exclusively towards lunch-time Yoga Barre. Chopra is one of the more New Age-y studios I’ve been to but the location relative to work cannot be beat so I wouldn’t rule out a future class pass. The studio is heated to a balmy 28 degrees so even if I question the yoga I’m doing, I’m sweating…
My first Yoga Barre class was with Danielle Mika Nagel (I think) and the accompaniment was a drummer named Zee or something. Although she didn’t say so very much except to let us onto the mantra of the week at Chropra (it was “pure potentiality”), it was so yogi-ethereal (and I haven’t been to yoga in a while), I was a little annoyed. On the other hand, it was the mix of barre and yoga that I had expected when I walked into Barre Fitness’ Barre Flow.
My second class was on a Monday, the day that works best for me. The Monday instructor is Will Blunderfield. The guy has his own webpage, but anyone can create one of those … he also has a Wikipedia page for he is a signed recording artist. He “lectures” to us between guiding us to take deep breaths and it’s more sharing his life and how the yoga/zen principles have changed his life. At times he hits the nail on the head (like people see you through the lens they wear so we shouldn’t take it personally) and other times, I feel like I’m attending a “sermon” in a Baptist church, we are irreverently repeating affirmations after him. We may be in the presence of greatness for he got over his self-doubt and revealed he will record a song with Boy George and work with Cirque de Soleil on a yoga piece. His playlist was markedly different with mostly vocal tracks. There is sufficient yoga in the class, resistance training is warrior poses with weight, a short stretch of core work that hurts nonetheless and, disappointingly, most people voted against barre work when given a choice. Then what did you all come for?! My first class, I seriously thought I walked into the wrong class, the barre part was practically non-existent. In the first class, while we lay like corpses at the end, he serenaded us over an instrumental track. I thought it was a Disney song until the end but it was “Defying Gravity” from the Wicked Musical. Okay, that was inspiring.