I’m a mess. I’m out of shape and I could lose 20 25 pounds. I wasn’t always this way. A few years ago I was playing hockey one or two nights a week and could skate pretty fast. Not as fast as when I was in my 20’s, but as I’ve gotten older and slower I’ve perfected the art of tripping people if they get behind me.
Four years ago my doctor told me to stop playing hockey and to say I’ve gotten extremely stiff and tight is an understatement. Occasionally I try to stretch at home on my own, but I end up getting frustrated and shining it on.
I’ve been going to the gym on a mostly-regular basis the past couple of weeks and have been starting slowly. I usually do about 10 min. on a bike to warm up, do some lifting with my legs, a bit with my upper body, some abdominal work, then stretch for a few minutes before getting on the treadmill to walk for a while. It’s not the ideal workout, but so far it seems to be doing the job.
A few years ago I bought a DVD called Yoga For Infelxible People. I haven’t opened it yet. That’s how motivated I can be. I knew I was starting to get tight and I needed to stretch, so I bought a DVD I never used. Awesome.
Yesterday I decided to suck it up and go to a yoga class at the gym. The class started at 10:45 and I was excited to go and get help doing the stretching I desperately need to do. The closer it got to class time, the less excited I got. I knew this was going to be hard and I knew it needed to be done. I also knew I was going to look like a complete dumbass.
At 10:25 I put Lucy in the basement, warmed up the car and headed to the gym. (Relax. Lucy is our dog. Not my daughter.) I got there and walked into the room to find three women of large, uh, volume, and a thin one with absolutely no chest. I was going to fit in just fine with this crowd.
The thin one was the instructor and I let her know this was my first yoga class. Ever. She welcomed me, grabbed a mat for me and told me to find a spot. I told her I would move towards the back so no one else would see me. Once class started I realized no one would see me, but every time I looked up, I had large ass to try and not look at.
The instructor told me that we would be doing many simple poses. I looked at her and with a completely straight face said, “So you’ll show us what to do and then I should strike a pose? Should I let my body go with the music and go with the flow?” She looked at me with an equally straight face and said, “Yeah.”
That was a perfectly good Madonna joke and it went right over her head. I don’t understand the youth of today. How do they not know Vogue? Geez… I guess this means she wasn’t going to start class by saying, “Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it. Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.”
We started class with some pretty simple stuff, then she said we were going to do something called a downward facing dog. As a guy I assumed I would be getting on my knees for this one. Or standing. I didn’t. It was similar to what I thought it would be, only I was the dog. I’m still not sure how I feel about that.
For an hour I stretched, sweated, silently whimpered and toughed it out. I walked out of there with my dignity mostly intact and with a bit of soreness, but not too much.
Over the course of the afternoon and evening, however, the tightness has gotten crazy. I got off the couch an hour ago and I felt like a 90 year old man. My groin, hips, lower back and “core” are all sore as hell right now. And my knees. They hurt like a mo fo. Walking sucks right now. It really does.
I know I need to keep going to class and stretching with a group, but I also need to pop open that DVD and do some stretching at home. I’ve also got to get used to this concept of upward and downward dog poses. Finally, I need to make sure when I talk to the instructor, I don’t call it “doggy style”. That would be way uncool.
P.S. In case you missed it, I’m going interactive with you. Check it out!