Debi Farber Bush: Step Is A Four-Letter Word – April 11, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Those of you who know me know that I never pass up a party. So when I heard about the “Dickerson STEP Party” I couldn’t resist. I got suspicious when I learned that Instead of bringing the usual “liquid refreshment” and dish to pass, we were told to bring a water bottle and a sweat towel.

Doesn’t sound like much of a “party” but my husband Briar agreed to go with me. Briar is pretty much game for anything and was only concerned about his clothing attire. I told him to just grab his Richard Simmons shorts and get moving so we wouldn’t be late. He didn’t see the humor in that like I did. No surprise!

Upon arrival at HealthSPORT Briar ditched me and decided that he’d do “other” exercises instead. Thank you very much! As I made my ascent up the stairs, I heard music playing and though I didn’t see clouds of smoke or kegs, I felt like I was in my element. Rachel, the instructor (yep, another Madonna lookalike wearing a microphone), told me to grab a Step and place it on the dots and I took my usual position in the back of the room. Obstacle 1 accomplished.

She also asked me where Briar was, I told her that the jackass ditched me and was downstairs doing something else. Overhearing this conversation was Rodney; you might remember him from Bat N’ Rouge as the blond bombshell. You will also remember that he is 6 feet, 4 inches and 260 pounds of pure muscle. Rodney went down the stairs and the next thing I knew, Briar was in the STEP room, looking ashamed and building his step.

Apparently Briar thinks this class is gonna be a piece of cake, (which I’d rather be eating – this is a “party” ), because unlike everyone else, he decides to build his step higher than the rest of us and also grabs a couple of hand weights. He must have something to prove to Rodney. It will be fun to see how that works out.

Stretching begins, and the first “basic Step.” OK, this isn’t so bad, I live in a two-story house and do steps a lot, this might actually be OK. Then “the STEP people” start moving more quickly and the rhythm intensifies. Now it’s an eight-beat count and my troubles really begin. How am I supposed to count, pay attention and carry all my weight up and down the STEP?

You think I was having troubles? You should have seen Briar. Poor guy, he had already dropped the extra weights and had lowered his Step. He wasn’t looking so good. The next thing I heard was Rachel on the mic saying, “he’s down and now Briar’s back up.”

Apparently while I was watching my feet, he took a little tumble to the floor! Who knew he could bounce like that? He was back up so quickly you would’ve thought he was made of rubber. I started laughing so hard I thought I was gonna burst. It’s not that I don’t have empathy, but remember – he did ditch me after all.

Rachel started doin’ the moves. She says that the most important thing is to just keep moving. I wanted to move all right, straight out of there, but my pride was engaged and Briar was still going. Plus, he had the car keys!

She starts using words like Basic Step, V Step, Hamstring Curls and Mambo. Now I’m really in big trouble! Having two left feet and not a bit of rhythm, my stress level and heart rate are quickly rising. I’m wondering if stress burns extra calories?

By now a small pool of sweat is growing beneath me. I looked at the clock, we’re only 10 minutes in to the class and we have 40 minutes to go. Holy shit, I’m in big trouble. Rodney turns around and tells me to “lose the white girl” because my rhythm or lack thereof is completely throwing him off! Everyone is looking at me because I’m facing the wrong way. Since we work on an eight-beat count, and I’m still on the sixth, I can’t catch up to my peers until the 24th beat! How can stepping up and down on something be so hard?

At least I didn’t have to worry about doing those damn planks, and class is almost over anyway. Then, out of the blue, Rachel instructs us to put our STEP away and “grab a mat” I hold out hope, maybe we’re just going to stretch and cool down. She says “lay on your back.” “This is good,” I think, you can’t do a plank on your back.

Then, a word I’m not familiar with comes out of Rachel’s mouth. She says do a BRIDGE. A Bridge? What the hell is a bridge? She explains. Is she out of her mind? A bridge is when you hold your hips up in the air with only your shoulders and heels on the ground. Within seconds my mind is screaming the familiar why why why? I raise up, then she says, “Hold it!” I try to hold it. Then an epiphany. I know why it’s called a bridge – it spans the ever growing pool of sweat that has formed below me. I hold it longer, my feet start slipping in my own sweat. Can someone throw a towel under me, please!?

Ahhhh, class is almost over, the stretching and cool-down begins. It feels really good. Other than the music and the awesome attendees I’m still not sure why it’s called a party. In the good old days parties happened at night, with booze and real dancing. Now our regular party is on Sunday Morning with protein powder and STEP. I still suck at STEP but absolutely love the class and the energy in the room. Unlike Briar, I’ve actually managed to stay up on my Step the whole time, probably because I don’t wanna have to pick myself up off the floor.

STEP is totally fun and it doesn’t matter if you can’t keep up because as long as you’re moving you’re burnin’ calories. Rodney doesn’t know that I’ve been practicing on my stairs at home (burning calories to boot) and hopefully when the Dickersons get ready for the End of the Year STEP Bash, I too will be ready. Bring it on!!!!

Up next: “Feeling no pain in my hair, nails and teeth”

If all this healthy living begins to affect Debi’s zestiness, we’ll have to force-feed her a box of Three Musketeers bars.


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