Thoughts While Pulsing

There is this feeling that I get whenever I attend classes aimed for other women. I get it when I enter the studio, lodge my stuff onto the lockers and see other women get ready for the class.

It’s not the same feeling as when I am in a gym where there are various faces of women who come tracing the rubber steps of treadmills for not too readable reasons.

For Plana Forma, Barre3 and from years ago, pole dance class, I have this sense of feeling like I belong in a cult. It’s like a cult who collectively thinks of achieving a better sense of physique such as a flatter midsection, a toned tush, more defined thighs, smaller arms.

Every moment is work, that much I know. When we lift weights of two kilos each, I mentally challenge myself into thinking how much better my arms will look against the dresses in my closet. When the teacher gently says “Hold it,” when we stop pulsing {moving the legs in small, painful motions}, I think of all the times I chose to sit in my desk chair, opted to sleep out of laziness or had drinks instead of running a few kilometers.

And then I glance around the class, take note of the women who are equally struggling as I am and see my motivations and myself in their faces. I see a mom who’s trying to lose the pregnancy weight. I see the woman who’s tried many fitness routines but still trying to find “the one.” I see the girl with the perfect toe socks who can rock the air side split --- I can tell she’s been at this for a long time. I could count about three women in Lululemon in the room and I had been wondering, and mentally noting that I really should get me some in my next trip to the other end of the world. It’s like there’s this secret meeting of women who like wearing Victoria Secret and Lululemons, doing tough, visually awkward poses and swear we never tell anyone why we don’t worry about our calves and how we can manage to wear bikinis in two weeks’ notice.

Most of all, I was beginning to know the women through these details, it makes me wonder what kind of lives they led outside of the studio.

I wonder if like me, they also gained that strength everytime they lifted the weights successfully, or perched their glutes perfectly on the Pilates ball. I wonder if like me, every end of a Barre3 class signified the affirmation of the belief that it’s all okay, that things can be weird and uncomfortable but you can always choose your battles and you can win them. That "you can take a break and come back stronger." Like the battle between you and the weights, and the un-fitness.

And when the class is done, we all go on with our lives, and carry on with the rest of life’s battles.

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