I’m happy to say I have already completed 4 classes in my Core Fusion Challenge! As you know, I took both Core Fusion and Core Fusion Yoga over the weekend. I found out that the Fred, the co-creator of Core Fusion, was teaching on Monday night and I knew I had to take his class.
On Monday, I rushed home from work to change and hightail it up to the Upper East Side exhale studio. This was my second time at this location and like my first time, I was in awe of the lobby area with lots of gorgeous jewelry, yoga clothing, skin care, yoga mats, weights and more for sale. I touched a few things but had to stop myself from touching everything. It was all just so soft and pretty.
I must have arrived at the perfect time because I managed to get the very last locker left. There were two classes going on at the time, so all the lockers were being used. I turned around, feeling lucky that I snagged the last locker (for the time being until the other classes let out) and was faced with a mob of tight bodied women who were less than pleased that I got the final locker.
Then I realized, as these tightly toned small women stared me down, that these were the people Fred was tweeting about last month when he said “Teaching at Upper East Side. Some of these women take class 4-5 times a week and it shows!”
Yes, Fred, it does show.
While I felt a little intimidated, I had arrived earlier than they did. You snooze you lose. And now that I am taking class as often as they are, I will be prepared the next time for a locker room brawl.
When the classroom opened we all went in, and once I was set up I chatted with Fred a bit about the juices in the Blueprint Cleanse. After we finished talking, one girl near me, who overheard our conversation, shouted to her friend on the other side of the room (why was her friend on the other side of the room? Missy and I stick together when we take class) and she said “Hey – wanna do a Blueprint Cleanse next week?” in a clearly sarcastic tone. The friend shouted back, “Uh, yeah, sure. Let’s start this weekend!” and the first girl replied, “Yeah, I can’t wait! Can’t wait to do our Blueprint Cleanse.” And the two girls burst into laughter.
They were making fun of me.
When something like that happens, being publicly made fun of – and teamed up, two against one – like that, I don’t confront it. I just feel ashamed and humiliated. I pretended not to have realized what was going on, but it really hurt a lot. Especially because they don’t know me, they don’t know my reason for doing the cleanse – which was to give myself a break from the constant pain and discomfort I experience. But that doesn’t matter! Who cares the reason? Who cares if I did it to look hot on New Years? So the eff what. It was my decision and they don’t know me or my situation enough to judge me.
I know, I know – these girls are nobody, all that. But still. When I got home later than night, I had an entire community of amazing Twitter friends (all bloggers!) who supported me, cheered me up and made me feel better. I love blogging and Twitter.
Ok, rant over. Back to the class!
The class started harmlessly enough, with a nice long plank. But since it was Fred’s class, I actually held the plank the entire time. I sometimes let myself collapse once or twice during it, but since it was Fred teaching and I feel like I have to impress, I didn’t do that. This set the stage for the entire class.
Pair the fact that I was trying to show Fred how great I am at Core Fusion (ha!) with the fact that he corrected my alignment numerous times throughout the class (had I been doing them wrong this entire time?!) and you can pretty much understand why this was, without a doubt, the most challenging Core Fusion class I had ever taken. As hard as class generally is, the proper alignment makes all the difference.
The moves are so much harder when you are actual in the correct position! Don’t get me wrong – the teachers do come around and correct your form during class – but it is only natural that the guy who INVENTED the class would be able to do this best. Fred is also very inspiring throughout class in everything he says and the way in which he teaches, so everyone really just wants to do their best. People work HARD in that class. And, of course, it was packed.
I found out that when the class does plies and we raise our toes off the floor, I was never actually raising my toes high enough off the floor. What a big different when you just get a little higher. It was really, really hard. And then, out of nowhere – HOLY LEG SPASM. My entire right leg was cramping. I often get foot cramps in class, but this was the first time it was my entire leg. I think I pushed myself a little too hard my first time in this position. And the next day my right calf was hurting badly. I emailed Fred and he said I probably pointed my foot a little too hard and strained my calf musles. He gave me some great advice: massage Capzasin or Tiger Balm into the calf muscles and gently stretch by flexing my foot. I had never even heard of Capzasin but I went right to Rite Aid, bought a little bottle and did what Fred said. WOW. That thing is a miracle. The pain practically disappeared. Lesson learned – take it slow, kids. Good thing I had two days off from class to rest up.
When the class holds their legs straight up while sitting against the wall, I cannot do this. My legs just don’t go straight. Instead, I have to take a strap and stretch my legs while everyone else is going the movements. I tend to get very frustrated because I always feel like everyone can do this thing and I can’t — and why can’t I? Why is this something so many people, all shapes and sizes, can do. And I can’t. Sometimes I get upset.
Fred came up to me and told me to look around. “See,” he told me. “You aren’t the only one stretching during this part. Look at all these other people.” And it was true. There were a few other people in the same situation as me. It did make me feel better, but it still feels like a weakness on my part — even though it is obviously not my fault. I can’t even bend down and touch my toes. I took dance from kindergarten grade through senior year of high school and I have never been able to touch my toes. Or put my legs straight up un front of me as I sit low down against a wall.
It gives me something to work on.
As tough as thighs were, as difficult as butt was, nothing in the world can compare to abs on this day. In abs, we sit in a C curve. I always do it, hold myself up, hold my arms up when we are instructed to, trudge along. But on this day, Fred repositioned me and I found myself inches lower than I usually am. And suddenly the exercise was a zillion times more difficult. When the class started raising their arms and all that, I just had to grip my legs as tight as I could to maintain that position. I have never felt a burn in my abs like that. Wow. When I got up, the mat was soaked in my sweat. I almost never sweat in Core Fusion, and especially not like that.
The next day, I went to another Core Fusion class. I couldn’t decide between Core Fusion and Core Fusion Yoga, but I thought I would only get to go once more this week so I went with Core Fusion. My triceps were so sore, I could barely bend my arms during reverse pushups. My quads were so sore, I was pretty much unable to stay in the plies during thighs. It was actually pretty frustrating, as I had to stop and stand a few times. During the butt section, my right leg with the bad calf was spasming and I couldn’t hold it. Even though Fred’s class the night before was the most challenging, this class was physically the toughest I have ever taken. I figured the teacher either thought I was there for my first time or a major slacker. And since it was clear it wasn’t my first time (I know to keep yoga blocks next to me and to stretch with a strap while everyone else raises their legs under the bar) I was worried she thought I was an awful student. While I admit to slacking sometimes, it is never that blatant. So after abs were over (I wasn’t able to get myself that low again like Fred got me – how do I get back there??) and class ended, I went up to the teacher and explained myself. “I took Fred’s class last night,” I said.
And now you all do, too. I took the next two days off from class to give my body a much needed rest after four straight days of class. And I am feeling great and ready to get back into it. I’ve got two more classes this week (turns out I was wrong about only being able to go to one more!) and I am ready. This is my first week of taking so many classes, so it is natural that my body is reacting. I do feel ready for more now. However, if Friday’s class bothers my calf, I will take it easy and definitely cancel Saturday. Always listen to your body! I am only going to class on Friday because I genuinely feel better.
I am loving reading my Core Fusion Challenge participants blogs and tweets about their experiences. I am so happy so many people are really sticking to the guidelines and working to improve their core strength and flexibility. If you are participating and haven’t updated me on how it is going, please let me know! I’d love to hear it.
I will report back next week! OH and I have a HUGE announcement about the NYC Half Marathon!!! I don’t need fundraising ideas anymore — I know exactly what I am going to do and I already have lots of people signed on to help! More info coming very soon!