Saturday, January 27, 2007

BOSU Buster

I've had a lot of things going on, which explains my less frequent and possibly less entertaining blog posts as of late. One of the things that has been consuming me for three mornings a week is this...

This, my friends, is a BOSU fitness trainer. That's B-O-S-U. Until a moment ago, I had no idea what that acronym meant, but I've just learned it means "Both Sides Utilized." Well, I've come to live in the land of BOSU, and I am telling you that definition is a complete and total understatement. BOSU has made a BOZO of me and I'm not very happy about it.

I signed up just before the holidays for a group training class, in part because it was a lot cheaper than paying to see my trainer every other week. But, also because I liked the idea of a small class and working out more on the BOSU. Oh, what a silly, naive fool I was...I have to sit back and laugh now that I actually asked for this sort of punishment.

The BOSU trainer is really one side fitness ball and one side plastic disk with small handles. You can do most step aerobics type of exercises on the BOSU, and it works your core muscles. (For those of you who are apple-shaped, like me, that means your midsection or GUT.)

Our class meets three days a week and there are four of us in the class. Two women are in their early 50s, there's a college-aged girl, and me, as usual somewhere in the middle. In our class, there are definite fitness levels as well, only they are not what you might think. My trainer had encouraged me to switch from a different training class to this one because she said she was afraid I would be bored in the other class. She said this one would have more people at my fitness level.

She was really wrong, I think.

The 50-somethings are kicking my arse and taking names, people. These two ladies see the trainer three times a week for an hour and ALSO take these killer classes three times a week. Oh, and they work out on other days too. They can do one-handed push ups, squats until next Thursday, and neither one of them has an ounce of fat on their body. In short, they are pumped with a capital "P."

And, you can safely check off a "No" next to all of those things for me. I am in better shape than the 20-something girl. But, today I proved that I am definitely not the most coordinated person on the planet.

Previous classes have had us jumping on BOSU, running and carrying BOSU over our heads (not as easy as it sounds, believe me), and doing sit-ups and push-ups on BOSU. BOSU was our friend. He was a friend that wasn't always easy to be around, but we still felt some love for Mr. B. He was our ticket to physical fitness, or so our trainer would have us believe.

BOSU is not my friend anymore. In fact, should BOSU call me, I will not answer. And, if I had the choice, I wish I could move far away from BOSU and never see him again. BOSU was a bad boy today, everyone. BAD! BAD!

It all started when my trainer got the Fit-and-50s to demonstrate what we would be doing first for our workout. And, it involved turning Mr. BOSU upside-down, so that the curved ball side was down. This was fine. We've all learned to carefully step up on the flat side and balance ourselves while we do arm weights. It isn't easy, but each of us has managed to balance in our own special way.

Today was different. No, today she wanted us to jump as high as we could in the air, LANDING on our friend BOSU, then do two squats, and then jump back off of the ball. I am sorry, but I must have missed the requirement for the class that said, "Must have been trained in circus highwire acts or a professional trampoline artist."

The trainer had us spotting each other in teams of two, just in case. So, up the Fit-and-50s go. And, they're off and doing swell. They are laughing and having a jolly good time while 20-something and I stand with our mouths open and ask one another repeatedly, "Um, are you going to go first?"

I finally took the leap and landed shakily but safely on top. I went through a few rounds and started to feel more comfortable. And, that's when my foot got caught on my way off of BOSU and I ended up firmly landing on my buttocks. (Or Maybe BOSU grabbed my ankle, I'm still not quite certain.)

Now, let me explain here that this was not an empty gym. There was another class of men and women who meet just across from where we work out. There are windows all down the wall next to where we work out and another aerobics class with people waiting outside on the other side of those windows. Yes, most every member of our gym saw me take the fall.

But, hey. It happens to everyone, right? I'm a good sport. Ha! Ha! Ha! Given what we were doing, it was expected that at least one of us would fall. I hopped up, hoping to erase the image in everyone's mind of my legs flying up in the air and arms flailing sadly as I landed on my derierre. I shot out some self-deprecating humor, my strong suit, and told my partner it was her turn. She took a long time to try to jump on, but once she did she did great. The fit-and-50s were already on their second set. I felt the pressure to keep up with the elders, so I hopped on quickly.

And, after about 2-3 jumps, it happened again. I jumped too far to the front and that scoundrel BOSU flipped behind me. This time, I went flying and landed very painfully on my backside again with both wrists under me. This time, everyone turned to look. And, I think that Mr. BOSU must have taken my sense of humor with him when I was somewhere between feeling like I was a BOSU-master and inspecting just how much dirt and hair can end up on a gym floor in one morning. This time, I was not laughing.

"I'm done." I told the trainer firmly. "Once is funny, twice is just embarrassing and sad." As we continued our workout with other exercises, my trainer tried to make up reasons why I might have actually fallen twice in an attempt to make me feel better. But, the nagging ache in my buttocks and up towards my tailbone kept me from rebounding back to bounce again on Mr. BOSU.

So, BOSU was not my friend. I knew the truth now. I knew now that all along he'd been waiting to make a fool of me. Waiting until I felt confident on top of his perch...waiting until I felt like I was actually pretty good at jumping on him...just waiting for the right moment to attack.

I think the makers of BOSU torture came up with that positive acronym "Both Sides Utilized" to hide the real name of their product. I'm fairly certain that BOSU really stands for:

Bounces Often Sting Underthere

Monday, BOSU and I will meet again. And, I don't know how the face-off will go, but I know that I must be prepared to let him know who is boss. Now, excuse me while I get up off of this pillow and go take some pain pills.



Anonymous Karly said...

OK, so obviously BOSU is a bastard, but it sounds like a really good workout. Do I need one of those? I'll wait and see how Monday

5:40 PM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger Katie Ann said...

Hmm, it does look a bit dangerous...sounds like a good workout though. Like Karly said, I'm curious to see how Monday goes, I have been looking for a new class!

6:01 PM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger Thumper said...

Take a knife and stab BOSU to death. It sounds liek BOSU defintely deserves it...

6:21 PM, January 27, 2007  
Blogger Masked Mom said...

I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that BOSU looks like a diaphragm for a great white whale.

9:12 AM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Karly--Mr. Bosu is costly--around $100. Thankfully, I didn't pay for mine, or I'd be stabbing myself about now!

MM--your comment just made me cackle aloud! HA!

9:42 AM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

I am so sorry but I did laugh my head off at your plight. I have never heard of this "item of torture" and I thought I knew all exercise items well. Hmmmmm.

Thanks so much for your kind words about Sandy. Sometimes I wonder if I am walking right past you. We will have to set up a meeting some day. Just to say we did it.

8:27 PM, January 28, 2007  
Blogger CPA Mom said...

I have never heard of a BOSU. I'm so sorry to laugh at your expense but this was the funniest damn post I've read in a long time. Great way to start a monday!

11:45 AM, January 29, 2007  
Blogger sophie said...

You are not really helping my motivation to go to the gym--but when I go I will avoid the evil BOSU at all costs.

3:45 PM, January 29, 2007  
Anonymous Josie said...

It sounds like you need to work on basic stability and balance training before jumping into advanced workouts on the BOSU. It sounds like it may have been the trainers fault for not gradually increasing the workout difficulty vs. just jumping right in. The BOSU can be an excellent piece of gym equipment if used correctly and used within your physical ability.

I'm a happy BOSU owner and would recommend it to anyone.

1:17 PM, January 30, 2007  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Hi, Josie! Thanks for stopping by. I have actually been taking personal training (much of which is on the Bosu) with my trainer for 6 months now and have done core classes and step classes for a good 10 years.

I do agree with you about the Bosu. It is a great tool for workouts! My tongue-in-cheek write-up here was more making fun of my coordination than the Bosu ball. HA!

8:15 PM, January 30, 2007  

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