journey to buff: throwback fitness

They can have my squat thrusts when they pry them from my cold, dead hands, says Jane in an episode of Daria, which essentially encapsulates the whole of my high school Phys ED experience. Far from an athlete, I was a reader of books, a writer of stories, an acerbic misanthrope who found everyone else around me a little too blonde, pretty and intellectually inferior. Everyone was preened, even in gym class, while I viewed every day in high school as one less day in high school. The same people who shamelessly ripped off my writing in English class did everything they could to not have me on their volleyball team.

Fuck you and your reindeer games! I will read John Cheever and Ernest Hemingway! I will write stories about girls who hang themselves from trees! Why am I always selected last? Is it because I keep stepping aside when balls fly over my head? There’s my wrist to consider, and a physical injury will invariably lead to a creative impairment! A woman must write! {emphatic, dramatic, teenaged wail}

So when my friend Tara tried {and she was relentless} to get me to try out Throwback Fitness, I suddenly reverted back to my high school version of Daria. I made up excuses {It’s not on Class Pass! I’m on a budget! My neck hurts!} Mostly I was frightened of an environment where I’d be surrounded by strangers negotiating team selection. I was nervous about reverting to my shy, awkward high school self, even though from a fitness perspective I’ve come so far from that teenager whose biggest physical achievement was having walked the mile to and from school. And if you’ve been reading this space the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to break ranks with myself, crumble walls and the like.

So, cough syrup in tow, I went to Throwback Fitness and got my ass kicked all over the joint. Co-founders Ryan + Bryan (who sported matching outfits, short shorts et all} were so warm, welcoming and effusive, that all immediate anxieties were put to rest.

That is until I saw the routine.

The classes are split into two parts within a 45-minute time frame: Phys Ed {you work in pairs} and Recess {you’re split into two teams}, and the first set of exercises has you alternating between sprint rows and old-school floor exercises. After two sets of eight exercises, you and your partner swap roles for another twenty minutes. This may sound all fun and fanciful, however, you try falling off a rowing machine to perform a seemingly endless set of spiderman push-ups. Try it on for size, kids, and then come back to me.

After I nearly coughed up a lung, we jumped right into Recess where we went through another set of floor exercises before we attempted to throw a basket. Have I mentioned that I’m 5’2″? Did I mention that not dunking a ball in the basket means I’ve got to drop and give five burpees? You people don’t even know how much I wanted to make the damn basket after my 20th burpee. By the time we were done, I wondered if I was going to throw up or pass out — luckily, I made it home intact.

However, what I loved best was the energy of the expansive space. From name-dropping our throwback movie characters {clearly, I was the oldest person there quoting 80s classics}, to laughing at ourselves doing push-ups to high-fiving strangers on a team who actually made a three-point shot, the Throwback experience is what I wished high school could have been — a place where we didn’t take ourselves too seriously. A place where working out was about the sheer love of having fun.

What to Know: Come with water, sneakers, fitted clothes {towels are available at the space} and your favorite throwback movie character or song. There are no shower facilities, rather a floor bathroom for which you can use as a changing room.


7 thoughts on “journey to buff: throwback fitness

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