PERSONAL CHALLENGE: POP PHYSIQUE
At the start of 2015 I began a resolution, like so many, to lose weight and get healthy. Thanks to my job I had motivation to keep this resolution–I had to fit into an evening gown for the upcoming Awards season (my first real immersion into the world of Entertainment awards). I managed to lose 25 pounds by February 15th with the Green Smoothie cleanse and with all the compliments I received in regards to my transformation, I was motivated to keep going. But like any diet (at least in my experience) I hit a plateau.
This is when I decided it was time to get back into a workout routine and my former college roommate served as my inspiration. My sister friend was constantly posting her attendance at different types of workout classes; Pop Physique being the most frequent. Pop Physique is an exercise class created by a former ballet dancer and Pilates instructor. The class promises to tone and sculpt the body into a popular physique; improve your posture and flexibility; increase your abdominal strength; increase your body awareness and give you a hotter sex life (assuming you have a sex life at the moment). So I talked with my former roomie and discovered GroupOn had a deal for 5 classes that I couldn’t pass up. I was ready. I wanted to look as amazing as she did. Plus, this gave us a great excuse to start hanging out on a semi-regular basis.
We opted for the Studio City location, since it was close to both of our current residences. We decided to do the last class of the day on Sundays, allowing us ample weekend sleep-in time. I was pumped. I was ready. It was that high, adrenaline rush you get when trying something new. I managed to maintain that high for the first minute of the class and then, it was gone. The excitement turned into a “what the hell did I get myself into” fight or flight reaction that immediately pushed me into survival mode.
First off, I noticed that I was the tallest and heaviest person in the class. That had me self-conscious during the first few minutes. Once I realized that everyone was struggling with the “up an inch, down an inch” instructions, I stopped worrying about my body size and focused on the task at hand–to survive each exercise without crying or throwing up. This class is not about fitting in. It is about survival. I felt so out of shape because every single exercise was a struggle and boy did it hurt. My muscles were shaking–which is apparently a desired result. My friend, who has been taking these classes for three years, reassured me that everyone was in pain. Pop Physique proves there is truth in the old cliche, “no pain, no gain.”
I was dripping with sweat trying to keep a ball between my legs whilst leaning against the barre in a squatting position and squeezing in my glutes and abs–I had to close my eyes and pray it was almost over. But it wasn’t over. It kept going. It felt like the longest hour of my life. When it was finally over, I felt triumphant. I survived. I didn’t die.
I was sore immediately after the class and for days after. I hurt in places that I didn’t know existed. But I did feel a little stronger, mentally and physically. I needed to go back. I wanted to go back. This was a challenge and I am the kind of person who is motivated by a challenge. I needed to conquer Pop Physique and proceed with my goal for a toned body.
Unfortunately, life interrupted my plans and it was two months before I would return to class. And when I did return, my second class was tougher than the first. I almost threw up twice. But I survived. My sore muscles proved I got a full body workout. I was feeling physically and mentally stronger. So many times during the class, I wanted to quit but I kept going, feeling a sense of pride when I finished the class.
I am still a beginner but I do have a sense of accomplishment with two classes behind me. I have three more classes with my GroupOn credit (pre-paying does motivate one to continue) and I am interested to see how I feel once I complete five classes. Will my body look any different? Will I continue with the mental and physical challenge? Stay tuned.