Surviving Cardio Class: I Thought I Was in Shape

Megan McCafferty shares the physical shock and pain of adjusting to a new cardio gym class with her now 30-something body.

I recently took my first group-fitness class in eight years. And though the instructor didnt literally kick my butt for 45 minutes straight, for almost a week afterward it felt as if she had.

I used to be a regular at such classes. In my 20s, I tried Hi-Lo aerobics, funk aerobics, Zen yoga, Spinning, stepping, cardio-sliding—you name it. I never needed more than a day to recover from a workout. But I started to grow weary of the ear-shattering music and hyperkinetic instructors. When I slipped a disk in a Butts and Guts class, I threw in the towel. As I entered my 30s, I exercised in solitude, power-walking, cycling, or using an elliptical trainer several times a week. I maintained a weight I was happy with, but I was mind-numbingly bored by the unvarying routine.

Then earlier this year, I joined a sports club with more group-fitness classes than Madonna has had makeovers. I decided on a whim to take a Cardio Sports Training class.

Jumping rope, sparring with a punching bag, or doing jumping jacks before moving on to the next activity appealed to my inner-athlete. Despite my eight-year absence, I was familiar with all the equipment … except when I was instructed to do lunges off of what looked like an enormous, bouncy breast implant.
12 Next
Last Updated: February 13, 2009

Get the latest health, fitness, anti-aging, and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and updates from!

More Ways to Connect with Health