FROM THE DESK OF: Nina
This past year, I’ve been getting into this thing I heard was good for me called “exercise” – maybe you’ve heard of it? – and it has changed my life for the better in so many ways.
But this post isn’t about my letter of appreciation to exercise; I’ll save that for another time (or maybe never, since that sounds kinda like it would be boring). No… this post is about one of the most unusual workout classes I have ever experienced. And I just so happen to be obsessed with it.
The Climb at Rise Nation is a 30-minute class done completely on this
torture device contraption called the VersaClimber, a machine that simulates climbing a wall, ladder, mountain, etc. and kind of resembles a giant pogo stick/ladder thing with pedals and handles. Seems strange, but trust me: climbing this thing at varying speeds/strides for thirty minutes translates to a half hour of getting your @$$ slowly handed to you, piece by piece… in a good way. To give you an idea of the intensity of this thing: it’s the machine responsible for whipping Bradley Cooper into shape for the movie American Sniper.
I tried my hand at this class a little less than a year ago and instantly became hooked. Not only was this the first workout that released enough endorphins for me to actually feel that post-workout “high” people talk about, but the glowing ceiling is next-level (think clubbing meets a real-life episode of Global Guts), the instructors are all super friendly, and this one time I saw Hilary Duff in my class and died just a little bit inside (I LOVE YOU, LIZZIE MCGUIRE. #HILARY4PRESIDENT #IMNOTCREEPY #PROMISE).
That said… I have a LOT of thoughts running through my mind when I’m in this class. In general, I sort of just feel like I’m a hamster frantically crawling up a ladder and towards the light(s) with the occasional celebrity hamster next to me. Here is a play-by-play of what goes on in the mind of Nina during a typical celebrity hamster ladder class.
The Climb (30 minutes)
7:13am – *Runs up the stairs* Almost a year has passed since I first set foot in this studio, and I still do not understand why there is a giant wall-length photo of a naked lady on a VersaClimber pasted in the stairwell. But really, how many Climbs will it take for me to get her bod?
7:16am – *Fills water bottle at water fountain* Really, Nina, was your goal to NOT get any water in your water bottle? Why are your hands wet? Oh… whoops… *casually backs away from the small puddle formed at the base of the water fountain*
7:20am – Hello, VersaClimber. We meet again. Wait, how the heck did the person before me climb 3900+ feet in 29 minutes? *Looks at VersaClimber handles to find that they are on the tallest setting* Oh. This must have been a walk in the park for this 5’7″+ individual. What is it like to be tall… *Changes handles to shortest setting* Wonder if I can match this person’s distance…
7:22am – Ahhh, let’s squeeze in a good stretch before this madness. *Extends into a full-range stretch like a spider monkey*
7:23am – Everyone in here is so beautiful and is so well put together. How… just, how…
7:30am – Class is starting; let’s do thissss. *M83’s “Midnight City”starts playing* Nice, I can dig this mix… wait, why do I hear a run by Chilli in this song… is that… WHAT IS “NO SCRUBS” DOING IN THIS SONG. Oh dear, this is a mashup. This is an M83-TLC mashup. This is really happening. I cannot decide if I’m upset or amused by this. Also… I may already be feeling the burn in the legs, but shh. Ignore the pain, Nina…
7:34am – Oh wow, the rips are starting early this morning. How’s my distance? 500 ft. and 4 minutes in… okay, I’m still on a good pace. *Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” starts playing* Hmm, alright… oh Lord, I hear Katy Perry. Oh dear… another mashup. I swear, how do people hear these things. Why do mashups even exist? Ow, my legs are still burning. *Ignore*
7:40am – Okay, long sprints are the devil. Really. The. DEVIL. How am I going to distract myself from the fact that I am getting completely winded already with just three songs in? *Pictures self as a spider crawling up a running faucet* Distance check: number of feet climbed is still greater than the number of minutes that have passed. #killinit
7:45am – This chair position combined with long strides hurts… ooh, the ceiling is a lovely shade of blue right no- just kidding, it just turned BRIGHT RED. This is intense. Maybe if I pretend it’s a Saturday night at the club, these long strides won’t hurt as much… hey, it’s working… now where’s my bottle service… ow, my legs. I am not in a club. Back to reality.
7:52am – Too-long, too-shorts: a very real, brutal, four-minute reminder that I am too short. Distance check: oh shoot, 2167 at 22:43 minutes in. I need to hustle!
7:56am – What the heck is this 8 counts middle-range/8 counts sprint business? Is this tabata? Curse you, Mr. Tabata…
7:59am – This is the last minute of the sprint. I need to BOOK IT. Yes, finally, I have surged ahead in the distance-duration race.
8:00am – Fell behind again in the distance-duration race… ah well. Final distance check: 2937 feet in 30:06 minutes. Could be better, but considering I was sick as a dog last week, I am not mad at the result. In fact, I did some research – that’s the same distance as the length of ascent on the Adirondacks’ Algonquin Peak. (So, so random…) One day – maybe not today, but one day – I’ll make it to the #4000club… I hope. In any case, I feel great now, jelly legs and all. On to the rest of my day!