What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
I hate exercise.
Let me re-phrase. It’s not that I hate exercise. In fact, I am pretty active. I live in New York City and walk everywhere. Even in the coldest winter months. In the summer, I ride my bike wherever I can. I am down for a game of H.O.R.S.E. if given the opportunity. Give me a pair of hockey skates and I will whip your ass on that ice. I love to run in Central Park and do it religiously.
What I don’t like are exercise classes. I feel trapped, like I am in some type of exercise jail.
Some people are happy being held hostage to a drill sergeant. They like having someone scream at them. They are happy crawling on their knuckles and being forced to do push ups and leg lifts and squats without coming up for air. I am happy not doing any of those things.
I have tried to go with my friends so I would stay motivated. Their eyes would be wide with disbelief as they watched me skulking out of the class after 20 minutes.
“I’ve done my time,” I’d whisper as I stepped over the scantily clad bodies.
But I don’t give up. I try new classes all the time hoping this time it will be different. This time I will find an indoor workout that will keep my attention.
When I heard about the Stiletto Workout I had to give it a try.
First of all, I love heels. I can do anything in heels. So much so, I secretly believe I am Tina Turner. Second of all, I love to dance. I could dance for hours. Since I pictured this workout to be a re-enactment of "Dirty Dancing," I was in.
Nicole Damaris, founder of NDG Fit and the Stiletto Workout is a former model, dancer and a certified personal trainer. She noticed women weren’t walking properly in their heels and realized it was because of their form and posture. The Stiletto Workout was designed to help women feel more confident and comfortable in their heels by strengthening their core.
Damaris says it “develops, tones, and shapes the body for a sexy feminine look. It's perfect for the woman who wants to be fit & sexy, without looking too muscular or masculine.”
Within two weeks of doing the workout, Damaris claims to have lost 2 inches off her waist. When I asked her what type of heels I should be wearing to the class she said I should be wearing a high heel, but not a platform or “stripper heel,” as your toes should be firmly placed on the ground.
“You must get this a lot, and I am no doctor,” I said trying not to offend, “but is it safe to work out in high heels?”
“Yes, because we don’t dance. We do controlled movements with weights.”
Hold. Up. No dancing? And you lift weights? If I wanted to lift weights and not dance I would just go to the gym. In sneakers.
The day of the class had arrived. I chose my highest pair of stilettos for maximum results. Or maximum injury.
My next dilemma? What do you wear when you are working out in heels? I didn’t want to look frumpy in my Louboutins. What’s a girl to do? Pair them with yoga pants? What kind of operation do you think I’m running here? I needed to step up my game.
I stood in front of my closet and scanned my options. I reached for a pair of shiny faux leather leggings (Yes. I have those.) Now these are fit for a Stiletto workout, I thought and threw them on with a wife beater. And a push up bra. I was already wearing faux leather and stilettos; a jog bra was just not appropriate.
Sure I looked like an ass, but wasn’t I already an ass for working out in stilettos to begin with? It’s like those people that ski in jeans.
When I arrived at the studio, I sat next to a lovely girl named Andrea who was swapping out her sneakers for the most serious pair of stilettos I have ever seen. She said she had been doing the workout for two years and she had seen dramatic changes in her body. She had discovered the class through a Living Social deal and thought it was a nice way to change up her regular boring workout routine.
Soon our instructor, Zerrin, enters the studio. She is a cross between J LO and Cha Cha from Grease. She is wearing a half shirt. I love her immediately.
After a few stretches, we cut right to the chase. Lunges, squats and high kicks. Basically all the things that are exhausting to do in sneakers, only we are all wearing heels. Which made it even harder.
Then come the weights. Real weights. Like weights from a gym. So now I am balancing on my heels trying to lift weights while I do lunges. Every time I would lose my balance, which was often, Zerrin would gently remind me to tighten up my core.
My legs were on fire. Thank god I was there to write an article so I could rest while I snapped pictures from time to time.
Half way through the class, my feet start to kill. Unbearable pain. You know that feeling when you go out for the night in really high heels and dancing may or may not be involved, when suddenly your toes feel like they are being run through a wood chipper and you have no choice but to take your shoes off on the spot and walk through the streets of Manhattan barefoot with your makeup running down your face?
And you don’t even care that you may be stepping on syringes or urine. Because your feet feel so much better. That “I don’t care if I am walking in someone else’s vomit, as long as these shoes are off my feet” pain.
I looked around the room at the other women looking for a consoling glance of some kind, but they were still going at it without a care in the world. I couldn’t let down the troops. I had to fight through it.
I knew I would have blisters for at least month, possibly a torn ACL, but I stuck it out in the name of toned curves and general craziness.
When the workout was finished, the girl next to me gave me a little pep talk. She assured me it gets easier and I would get used to it. I thanked my instructor, but not before peeling those shoes off as fast as I could. The next day I was sore. I am not sure if it was from injury, or toning.
I don’t know that I will return to this class, but in all fairness, that goes for any class. If you and your girlfriends are looking for an interesting twist on your regular old boring workout give it a try. It’s a tough workout. Judging by how my body felt the next day, it’s definitely good for your ass.
Oh, and If any of you get good at it call me. Maybe we can do one of those lifts they do in "Dirty Dancing," because really, that’s what I was hoping to get out of this.