By Nereesha Patel
“Do a workout,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said…
It’s a nerve-wracking experience, sitting in the corner of the office, counting down the minutes until I had to undergo a full-body workout — a Kayla Itsines creation. It’s the same anxious feeling I used to get just before PE class at junior school, when we had to run four laps around the sports field. I might as well have been waiting for an execution — my own.
I’ll be honest: dog-walking, dumbbell-lifting and half-arsed squats are my only forms of exercise. Doing them consistently, however, is a problem because I’m laziness personified. Gym classes are too fast-paced for me, plus I have trouble remembering basic exercise steps and choreographed moves. So you can imagine how much I struggled (read: suffered) during Kayla’s exercise.
Kayla Itsines, Interrupted
Joined by my “suffer buddy” Susan (bless her soul) and our guide Leigh, we congregated at the office gym. Made up of two circuits, which we repeated, we jumped right into Kayla’s exercise. Starting off with a medicine ball squat and press, my legs showed early signs of betrayal as I crouched down at an awkward angle. Still, I thought that if I made it through this move, everything else wouldn’t be as bad.
My body remained unconvinced, curse its dark and sluggish soul.
Despite Susan’s encouragement-cum-sympathy and Leigh’s patient explaining, I couldn’t execute the other moves as flawlessly as them. Knee-ups and weighted step-ups had me confusing my lefts with rights, and vice-versa (and I nearly fell at some point). I just couldn’t remember what leg to step up on or which knee to raise — that’s if I managed to step up or raise a knee at all.
My legs also didn’t want to cooperate during ab bikes and walking lunges, refusing to bend or straighten out when they had to. Push-ups made me realise that yes, my hips, shoulders and arms do exist, but goodness knows that I had no idea how to use them. I found myself face-down on the floor more often than raised above it. The only thing I was moderately good at was the straight leg sit ups, but even one of my takkies wanted out, slipping bit by bit off my right foot every time I sat up.
After (barely surviving) our exercise session, we walked back to the office — well, Susan and Leigh walked, I just staggered behind them. My jelly-legged waddle attracted confused yet amused stares from my colleagues. They know that I’ll be feeling pain by the billion-fold tomorrow. Already, with the same anxiety, I’m dreading what the next 24 hours will bring …
The next day…
After a 10 hour sleep, my legs are incredibly stiff this morning. Sitting down, standing up and straightening my back are aching affairs. Whatever self-esteem is left in my body after yesterday’s workout is gone as I totter to the shop and around the office, my knees threatening to buckle with every movement. My right leg has it bad, especially when it comes to stairs: raising the limb to climb one step is a mission, and doing so without buckling under the strain is an achievement. Goodness knows how long I’m going to be duck-walking for (thaaanks, Kayla).
I will say, though, that I won’t mind doing this workout again. If done consistently, and by starting off slowly before building myself towards more reps, I might well see results in due time. And my legs may just love to see another day!