On arrival at the YMCA, the first thing I noticed was a bunch of terrified looking women sitting around waiting for a Zumba class to finish, clutching at their New Years resolutions while trying not to run straight back out of the door. I felt the same. In fact I was so nervous I went for a wee three times before it started. This may also have been partly down to leaving Iris for the longest time ever yet, and also being very nervous about that. Luckily Trev understood and text me lots of pictures and messages
I’d forgotten water, of course, so I was worried I’d be late as I nipped into a shop to grab a bottle. But I wasn’t late in the end, and arrived before anybody had even started putting their shoe spring thingies on. I was a bit worried I’d break the clips. They seemed a bit flimsy. I was right to be worried, the instructor later told us that they do break quite easily. Assuming these boots were the same as the roller skates I used to hire for roller disco as a kid, I did them up as tight as I could manage. I was glad I’d been pre-warned to wear long socks, because the boots do come up high and dig in a little bit. I’d chosen to sit on the floor while I changed my footwear. Stupid idea. There is no easy way to get back up!
The first section was a warm up, but my participation was fairly limited. I was a bit wobbly, and mainly focussing on not returning to my previous position on the floor. I got the hang of it much quicker than I expected though, and really loved the sensation of springing all over the place. There were a few times throughout the class that I lost the coordination required or just couldn’t keep up, but I just enjoyed happily bouncing around in my own happy little way. It was FUN. I’ve found lots of exercise unexpectedly fun over the years. In fact I got quite hooked on 6am spinning classes a couple of years ago. Not just the after glow feeling either. The actual hurty part. But Kangoo Jump is different. It’s not even like exercise if you stop following the instructor. I’m fairly sure I was still burning a lot of calories. Maybe not the 1000 per hour they claim is possible, but definitely quite a few. I could tell from all the sweat. I did have to stop a number of times and loosen my boots because my toes had gone numb and my feet were throbbing. Lesson learnt for next time.
About quarter of the way in I decided I’d mastered the staying upright part, and so it was probably time to concentrate a bit harder and try to actually follow the class. There were a lot of high kicks and high knees, and short routines to remember. Nothing too long or difficult to memorise though. These bits were actually ok. The hardest parts were jumping straight up with both feet together. It looks so easy and fun, but I could feel it really working my core and couldn’t keep up the pace for long. Returning to a jog briefly seemed to help, but I’d rather have kept going! All those muscles affected by baby-growing were really feeling the strain.
Once all of the bouncing was done and we were all out of breath and incredibly sweaty, the instructor pulled out some mats and asked us to get on the floor. Everybody seemed slightly puzzled. How? I did it the only way I could see possible. I just chucked myself down. I let my knees go and kind of collapsed. It was a long way down. Around this time another class member went to use the toilet, and the instructor warned her that the seat would be around 6 inches lower than she’d expect it to be. She came back to report that she’d fallen onto the loo, and we all had a giggle. The floor section of the class was really quite hard. Those boots apparently weigh about 4lb each, but when weight is on the ends of your legs it feels like so much more. There were a lot of crunches and leg raises, and one move that involved lying flat on your back with your legs in the air and spread wide open. The instructor referred to it as his ’50 Shades of Grey’ move. I wasn’t sure if that was funny or just a bit creepy. I couldn’t do all of the leg raises. My thighs were fighting it, and I guess I’ll just build that strength back up with each class. I couldn’t see the sense in hurting myself so just did as much as I could possibly manage.
A quick change back into trainers (after struggling to get up off the floor yet again) and it was cool down and stretch time. This bit was fairly standard, the same cool down stretches done at every class and on every exercise DVD I’ve ever used. It felt bizarre to move around without a bounce for a while, and I also felt strangely short.
Annoyingly I found that I’d missed my last bus home and had to spend £9 on a taxi, but it was worth it. It really was a great class, and I’ll definitely go as often as I can.
This morning I have absolutely no aches and pains anywhere. Actually the instructor told us we wouldn’t, as the bouncy boots take the impact out of the movements, meaning you’re burning lots of calories but put far less strain on your joints and muscles. A bit like swimming I guess. I regularly get sharp pains in my knees when I run, but I had no pain at all with Kangoo Jump. See you next week funny bouncy shoes!
*I wasn’t asked to write this or compensated in any way. I paid for my class and just felt like sharing the experience with you.*