Exercise can be boring. There, I said it.
Running on the same treadmill or taking the same spin class every day can be just as exhausting as the workout itself, making it easy to hit a plateau. That's what happened to me.
I always took the same classes, ran on the same treadmill, and lifted the same weights every day. Sure, I switched things up with aerial yoga and meditation classes every one and a while, but, for the most part, I was struggling to motivate myself to work out every week.
What better way to shake up my fitness routine than to take stripping classes?
It seemed like a win-win situation; I could learn some sexy moves to take to the bedroom, tone up my body, and enjoy doing it. My only instructions before my Core-geous class at New York City's StripXpertease were to wear heels and tight clothes (preferably Spandex) and bring a yoga mat or knee pads. If I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, this definitely seemed like the way to do it.
My first impression of the class was that I felt weird wearing my usual yoga spandex and workout tee shirt with platform knee high boots, but I was also really enjoying wearing workout heels. I was only mildly afraid of twisting my ankle by failing to do a sexy dance move, and even then I figured that I could always hobble out of there knowing that no one I know saw me fail at being sexy. There was no turning back now.
The classroom looked like a normal dance studio, with a wall length mirror and colorful lights aimed towards the ceiling. The only thing different about this workout room was the array of heavily perfumed body sprays and knee pads on a table in the corner. I assumed these were to help women who felt super nervous ease up, and I didn't use them.
Our instructor started off by asking our names and if anyone had any injuries, and then went into teaching us how to do sexy squats in our heels. It was then that I realized how difficult this class would be. Squats suck in sneakers, but in heels, it's ten times worse because you are teetering around trying to keep your balance. Throw in touching your body with your hands and trying to throw your hair around and forget it. I gave up on the idea that I was going to be graceful and keep my balance throughout this experience.
Squats turned into body rolls, body rolls turned into booty pops, and I discovered that while I am not bad at exotic dancing, I definitely should have started with sneakers. It was almost painful trying to nail the choreography while keeping balance on my platforms.
After squatting and booty popping, we gradually made our way to the floor where we worked on keeping our legs in the air while laying on our backs, fluttering our legs or extending them out to our sides. My abs had not experienced this sort of burning soreness in ages, and it felt like my muscles were crying. I felt like a sloth in a Lamaze class, taking short, deep breaths and struggling to keep my legs in the air or crawl slowly across the floor without hurting myself.
Then, we rolled onto our stomachs and practiced wiggling our butts in the air and dipping our chests forward to create a sexy back arch. I was wincing in pain as my arms buckled under the weight of my body, and my knees were in so much pain as they pushed against the hard dance floor to push my butt higher. How did strippers do this all night long? Needless to say, I wasn't feeling super sexy and instead feeling a bit discouraged.
What saved the class for me was when the instructor turned off the lights and said we were going to start the routine from the top and go through without stopping. I wasn't fully convinced that I had nailed the routine, but the colored lights dancing across the ceiling made me feel a bit sexy and the fact that it was dark meant that I couldn't fully see myself in the full-length mirror, which up until this point was showing me how ridiculous I looked and really throwing me off my game.
"Boyfriend" by Justin Bieber started playing, and I lost myself in the music. With the darkness as a security blanket, I could dance as sexually or horribly as I wanted without anyone else being able to see me, including myself. I am not sure whether I did anything of the moves correctly, but I felt a lot sexier doing them and ended my dance routine with a successful booty pop and the feeling like I accomplished something monumental.
I left Core-geous feeling a little sore, a little sexy, and very empowered to continue working out. I was planning out my workouts for the rest of the week and thinking how much better I could be at strip aerobics if I worked on my flexibility and strength more at the gym. Stripper classes were exactly what I needed to re-motivate me to get my butt back in the gym, and even to incorporate stripping into my fitness regimen.
Everyone should take at least one strip aerobics class. Whether it's to learn something new, feel a little sexier, or get in a really exhausting workout, exotic dancing is a fantastic form of exercise and professional strippers deserve our respect.
Maybe one day I'll be booty popping at professional stripper levels, but for now, I am just thankful that I made it through class without breaking a leg.