Those who can, do; those who can’t, pretend
By Natalie Serafini, Opinions Editor
If you work out, whether at a gym or in a class, you may have noticed that there are always certain people who don’t actually do anything. They come, they half-ass their way through the class, maybe they don’t do the moves correctly, and they take an astonishing number of breaks. I don’t care if someone can’t do the class perfectly—everyone’s fitness levels are different, and I know there are times when I get outrun by a sexagenarian. What’s beyond frustrating though, is when these slackers act like the class was a breeze.
I do Pilates twice a week, and the two classes I take are taught by different instructors. They both have very different styles, but the classes are equally difficult. In these two classes is an older woman, the object of my frustrations. I always notice that she’s one of those people who doesn’t fully do the workouts, taking a lot of breaks and stretching while everyone else is hoofing away. That’s her prerogative, and I pretty much leave her to her stretching.
[quote]When you say that something is easy without acknowledging the hard work that other people do, you undermine their efforts.[/quote]
Things get annoying when on Wednesdays, while everyone is groaning through another class, she says “It’s because we’re used to Sunday Pilates, that’s why this one is so hard.”
This is a woman who essentially naps her way through both classes, then goes on to say that one of the classes is easier than the other.
First off, she’s out of shape. That’s perfectly fine, but if you don’t do anything during either class, then trying to pass one of them off as easy is ludicrous. When I’m sweating through another workout, I don’t want to hear that the class is easy—especially from someone who lays prone on the floor.
Not to mention that, if the Pilates classes are on Wednesdays and Sundays, meaning they’re both once a week, how do you just get accustomed to one of them? Seems to me that would happen if you only went to one of the classes—then you would be unaccustomed to the other. She goes to both; she child’s poses her way through both; she should be unaccustomed to both.
This woman doesn’t stop at suggesting that Sunday classes are easier than Wednesday classes, either. She also says the classes must be a breeze for those who are under 20. Well, I’m under 20, and I can tell you based on empirical evidence: neither class is a breeze. She seems to think that I must be winging through the classes, and although I recognize that someone of her advanced years must find it more difficult, I’m not sure that age is as much of a factor as she thinks. If you come consistently to classes and actually do the work, you should develop muscle. It may be more difficult if you’re older, but it’s not impossible. She doesn’t do the class, so it’s understandable if she doesn’t think it’s getting any less painful.
It’s easy to say something’s easy when you don’t actually do it. It’s unjustified, but it’s not a strain. I can say that it was easy to paint the Mona Lisa: I don’t paint, and the few times that I have I definitely did not produce a masterpiece, but it’s not difficult to tout its simplicity. When you say that something is easy without acknowledging the hard work that other people do, you undermine their efforts. Although I know these classes are difficult and that this woman doesn’t know what she’s talking about, I can’t exactly grimace or groan in protest when the senior citizen next to me is saying it’s “easy.” If you do the work and breeze right through, fine. If you don’t walk the walk, then don’t talk.