The Weight Debate, Day 3
First of all, let me just say that the Reebok Sports Club/NY is a not a gym, it’s a habit waiting to happen, like a crack addiction. My dear friend Claudia Friedlander, fellow singer and voice teacher extraordinaire, turned me onto this so called gym of hers. When a one week pass was given to me from a vocal competition, I had heard it was a wonderful, expensive gym where Regis Philbin reportedly worked out rigorously and frequently. Honestly, aside from just saying that it’s huge (I really got lost), clean, friendly, full-service, and lacks nothing, the only way I really know how to describe it is that it makes Chelsea Piers look slightly sub par. Seriously, I can’t decide whether to try the endless machines, climbing wall, or jacuzzi first.
Ah right, by now you might be wondering how exactly any of this could be difficult, uncomfortable, or something I might fear. Simply, I don’t do group gym classes. Personal training, yes, but group classes? Ugh. In fact, outside of my required movement training for my master’s degree in opera performance at the Maryland Opera Studio (I dreaded everything but the dance – including yoga and pilates), I have never done a group fitness class. I’m a performer, right? I’m supposed to like groups. I know, but I was always the first to groan whenever we had to work collaboratively in high school, and I didn’t understand it at the gym either… until today.
Holy workout, Batman. Introducing Jonathan Urla and his Yogilates class (apparently, at Reebok, you get to work with the creator of the exercise movement himself). I meant to attend a class based on ballet exercises done on the floor which would have been far easier for me conceptually. Instead, the powers that be Reebok decided to change the schedule so that I would instead attend a class that combined the two methods of exercise I’ve never embraced, taught by an ex-dancer. Great.
Actually, it was great. The instructor was incredibly gifted, somewhat patient, and individually motivating. In correcting positions or movements of each person around the room, he used humor and avoided humiliation. The class even got to do five extra pilates-style crunches “for me,” and it was somehow far more funny than mortifying.
After class, I caught a glimpse of myself in the dressing room mirror at the Met and began to realize that yoga and pilates might be nice sculpting tools for me after all. Perhaps occasional group classes might help me discover new areas in which to improve physically. I’m very happy with the way I look, but I’ve always been more curvy than fit and trim. Seeing some of the actors last night at Naked Angels and also just working out today further inspired a recent thought of mine. Lately, I’ve thought I might benefit from, while keeping some important curves, losing a few pounds healthily to get even a smidgen more of a competitive edge in my performing career.
Even though I look nice currently, is it a good idea to make a goal to rest at the lower end of a healthy BMI, rather than the upper limit? Actors, singers, people who make casting decisions, weigh in – what do you think?