Sunday, October 19, 2014

100 Classes in 100 Days?

Most people aren't workout badasses. This is true. Most people struggle to get in some exercise. Most people seem to need more motivation to workout... not less. Modern life lends itself to sedentariness. Is that a word? Well. It is now.

However, there is this trend in the workout world--push yourself. Hard. Daily.

Much of it comes from nauseating 'fitspo.' If you don't know what that is, don't look it up. I'll tell you--it's almost always an image of a muscular, lean and scantily-clad woman with some ridiculous caption like 'pain is weakness leaving your body' or some other such nonsense.

If you read my blog, you know I'm a fan of that burning, shaking feeling you get in a good barre class. It's true that strength building requires at least some degree of discomfort.

But you know what? Strength building also requires something else: REST.

That's when your muscles repair. It's when you rest. You need rest. I'm writing this from my couch. I'm wearing my warm, fuzzy blue robe. I didn't go to the barre today. Or yesterday. I have a head cold and a wonky shoulder.

I was tempted to hit the barre this morning. I'm doing a monthly unlimited at a local studio. It's tempting to go as often as possible to get my money's worth! And I love the barre! But not today. I 'late canceled'. That means I didn't cancel early enough so I lose the class. And I'm ok with that, because today, rest is more important. But that can be a hard call for some people to make, including me.


A few months ago, I saw a shout-out on Facebook from one of the barre brands I follow. Someone at a distant studio had completed 100 classes in 100 days.


On one hand, wow! That takes a lot of diligence. And time.

But on the other hand, wow... that's over three months without a single rest day.

Fast forward another couple of months, and I'm attending a class at a studio affiliated with this brand, and I meet a sweet 25-year-old who saw the same Facebook shout-out. She has decided to try to do the same--100 classes in 100 days.

I'm trying really hard not to be her mother. She has one, and it isn't me. So I ask questions... why do you want to do this? Do you have any injuries? Are you sure this is a good idea? She tells me she just wants to see if she can do it. She says she's young. She 'should' be able to do it.

I try so hard not to give her advice. I try to be cool. But I can't help myself. "Don't get too hung up on the goal," I say. "Listen to your body," I say. "Don't push yourself everyday. Some days, just focus on the stretching," I say. I can't help myself.

I see her a few weeks later. I ask how it's going. She says she's so sore, but she's on track to complete 100 in 100. She says she lives in a state of soreness. But it's 'a good sore', she says.

And a few weeks after that, I see a post on Facebook. She's done it--100 classes in 100 days.

I'm noticing it's becoming a thing. 100 classes in 100 days. Posts are popping up from time to time. And the comments are all 'WOW!' 'You're amazing!!' 'Way to go!!!'

I don't know these women. They're all really proud of themselves, and the brand is over the moon! 100 classes in 100 days!

I struggled with writing this. Exercise can be so empowering, and I don't want to take anything away from these women who set a goal and reached it. But it makes me uncomfortable. Not so much that these women killed it. Like I said, I don't know them. This may have been a fine goal for them, safely accomplished, but I'm uneasy that it's institutionally celebrated. Is 100 classes in 100 days really better than 100 classes in, say, 114 days?

I don't think so.

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