|This was us. Not.|
My fit friend Irma had just signed up for a new exercise class. We talked about it and lo, it came to pass that I too thought that the new power hooping class would also be A Good Idea.
Not one to do things alone, I bribed my Day Carer to come along with me. We opted to go on the Thursday morning, with Irma going to the Friday evening session to fit in with her work. As the two of us climbed the stairs in the Pavilion before 10am last Thursday morning, we realised that we hadn't done an exercise class for at least a decade.
'It's a hula hoop,' I reminded us both.' How hard can it be?'
If your recollection of a hula hoop is a dayglo yellow affair that you could effortlessly spin for hours and hours whilst discussing the merits of David Cassidy over Donny Osmond, then you're about as deluded as us.
The POWER hoops resembled large steering wheels - albeit multi-coloured ones - but with those ridges that steering wheels have that stop your sweaty hands from sending you spinning your car into a ditch. It looked a bit like LEGO. Albeit masochistic LEGO.
'What weight of hoop would you like?' asked the impossibly tall, impossibly slender, impossibly fit, teacher.
'What difference does it make?' we replied warily.
'The heavier the hoop, the easier it is to spin...' said the teacher. We moved towards the heavy hoops.
'....but,' she added, 'they might give you bruising on your stomach. Some of the girls have reported bruising.'
We moved away from the heavy hoops and alighted on the 3lb hoops.
'And gloves,' said the teacher ,' You'll need these gloves.'
We pulled on weighted gloves - again the lightest ones we could find.
The music started and we all moved off to take our places.
'....and just do what you can with the Boxercise Exercises!' she called after us as The Black Eyed Peas boomed their way into life behind us.
BOXERCISE? Nobody had mentioned anything about Boxercise.....
Reader, as the exercises commenced, I became too afraid to meet the Day Carer's increasingly furious gaze, but believe me I could feel the daggers in my back.
'You never mentioned anything about bloody sit ups and press ups,' she hissed as we lay like a couple of bull seals on our mats, unable to haul ourselves onto our elbows and into the required Plank position.
'I didn't know,' I wailed pathetically as we roused ourselves to do more bloody star jumps.
'I. Am. Going. To. Kill. You, she panted as we jabbed and upper-cutted our way to a partial stroke.
'You. Can't. Kill. me. Before. I. Kill. Irma.' I panted back.
After a very, VERY long hour, with the Day Carer reduced to a puddle of sweat and me in not much better state, we decided that we would come every week, because, despite the agony, we HAD enjoyed it.
And we celebrated our new-found fitness regime with what else, a cup of restorative coffee and a cake?