So, I went to the gym. In fact, I went to a Boxercise class, and here’s the thing about that: if you ever catch me mentioning doing another one, I want you to do that “reaching through the screen and slapping me” thing we discussed earier this week, m’kay?

Now, it’s not that Boxercise is unbelievably hard or anything. I mean, it might be, for all I know, but the thing is, I don’t know, because when I went, I hadn’t been to the gym for …. let’s just say “a while”… so really, anything I tried would probably have seemed hard to me.

Or then again, maybe not: before going to the class I did, of course, Twitter and Facebook obsessively about it, and the feedback I got from people who had actually done a Boxercise class (as opposed to, say, just reading about it online and thinking, “Ooh! Hitting stuff! And not getting in trouble for it! Book me in!” ) was mostly derisive laughter and advice about taking out private health insurance first. So, naturally, I ignored all of this, and went to the class anyway.

I did, however, take Terry with me. See, I’d read a bit about this. I’d read, for instance, that there might be something called “pad work”, which is where one person holds up a couple of big pads and the other person beats the crap out of them, while wearing boxing gloves. As much fun as this sounded, as soon as I read about it I realised that the fact two people were involved in this “pad work” would mean that we would probably be told to “partner up”. And I? Do not “partner up”. Mostly because… well, because I am That Girl who is always left standing on her own, smiling sheepishly, when everyone else has picked their partners for games and stuff. You know, the one the gym teacher is forced to allocate a team/partner, and then give that team/partner some extra points to make up for their “handicap”.  And even then, everyone’ll be going, “Aww, miss, do we HAVE to have Amber in our team?” or “We had Amber LAST time, it’s not fair!” And then you end up partnered with that smelly kid no one else will speak to, and after that, the smelly kid thinks s/he is your BFF, and never lets you out of his/her sight from that moment on.

(The one exception to this: during stupid ass “team building” exercises when I used to work in an office, and we’d be required to discuss things in pairs and then write our conclusions down on a flip chart with a magic marker. Oh, everyone wanted to be my partner THEN, let me tell you. Because they’d be all, “You’re the writer! You can do the ‘writing down’ bit!” And I’d be all, “Not that kind of writer, dumbass.” Then I’d smack them.)

Anyway, as I was saying, I am That Girl, and in a bid not to be That Girl during the Boxercise class, I took Terry with me.

What I neglected to consider when I did this: Terry is much bigger than me. Also: much stronger. Oh, and male.

What the gym instructor said when I indicated that I wanted Terry to be my partner for the “pad work”:  “NO.”

Once again, I was That Girl.

The last woman standing was forced to be my partner. She, too, was much stronger than me, on account of me being a weakling. I think she would’ve been prepared to accept this as not being my fault, exactly, but I reckon she found it harder to accept the fact that I totally can’t count. Or remember things. So when the instructor said, “OK, give me 20 crosses, 40 uppercuts, eleventy one really fast poky ones, same on the other side, then 20 hooks, then 35 reverse-cross-hookercuts,” I was all, “Errr….?”

In the end, my partner had to actually count my punches out loud for me. And I STILL got it wrong. Like, I’d think I’d done 52, but I’d actually only have done eight. (HOW?) On the way out of the class, I’m sure I heard my poor partner say to everyone else, “Hey, word to the wise: never partner That Girl….” but I may have just imagined that.

I don’t think I’ll ever be a boxer, somehow. Especially given that I had trouble getting out of bed this morning because I was so sore from yesterday’s exertions…

  1. I am always "that girl" too. Not even my friends would want to partner with me! I just exercise on my own. Working out is hard enough without feeling rejected!

    1. Oh, you're so right – I mean, why make exercise even MORE horrible! I'm starting to think all of the That Girls should join a gym together, though, then we could partner each other!

  2. Hey Amber

    I know what you mean about that boxercise class, I went at the end of last year and nearly died at the end of it. I was thinking about going again and taking David but only if he can be my partner.


    <abbr>Mhairi´s last blog post..Return of Bridezilla</abbr>

  3. I'm pretty sure I'm 'That Girl' too, although it's been so long since I last did exercise that it's almost hard to remember! Maybe I'm repressing… This is why, should I ever decide to start exercising again (and that is seeming incredibly unlikely due to my chronic laziness), I am only ever going to do solo activities. Running and swimming and whatnot. That way I get to look like I am on my own by *design* 😀

  4. You know how I mocked you for this on Facebook? And you know how I warned you that it would hurt? I you know how I seem like a sensible "voice of reason" when it comes to painful exercise?

    I've somehow just agreed to be signed up for a four week pole-dancing course! :S

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    1. Haha, really?! If it makes you feel any better, even although I have now sworn off all potentially painful/humiliating forms of exercise, I would LOVE to try pole dancing! It'll hurt, but apparently it tones like nothing else!

      1. Oh bless you!

        Yeah, padwork can be a little overwhelming. I do a lot of it because I do martial arts and on more than one occasion I have had a partner with a particularly inaccurate punch and I've received a faceful of fist (we're meant to hold them quite close to our heads to 'get used to being hit'). People always mix up the garbled combinations you're told to do in boxing/martial arts/etc/etc classes though, so don't beat yourself up about it (ha! ha! I made a funny!).

        Also, try pole dancing – I do that too and it's great. 😛 I even have a pole in my spare room. You'll get a lot of bruises but it really is VERY good for your strength and general fitness.

        1. I would love to try it, although given my general level of clumsiess, it probably wouldn't be such a great idea! I've heard it's a fantastic workout though (and fantastic for bruises too!).

          As for the pad work, yeah, I was a little alarmed when my partner was hitting them! I was totally rocking back on my feet and was SURE I was going to get a fist in my face!

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