Admittedly I’m a gym rat but I’m more of the sweat-my-way-to-fitness kind, which is why I was totally surprised when Mother Fhe (so called because she’s the “mother hen” of most group exercise instructors at Fitness First Philippines) told me to audition for BodyBalance. It’s a program that combines yoga, tai chi, and pilates for a total mind-and-body workout.
It’s your personal “time out” from the stress and strains of daily life…
Each class follows a set sequence of exercise disciplines and is made up of 45 minutes of simple yet challenging exercises followed by ten minutes of relaxation and meditation. Your teacher takes you through the moves and gives you options depending on your level of fitness. Like all the Les Mills programs, a new BODYBALANCE class is released every three months with new music and choreography.
The last time I’d attended a Balance class was back when Kylie Gates was in Manila giving special Jam and Balance classes. Prior to that I’d only ever attended Balance four times. I had really big doubts about my potential in teaching the program.
Still, I trusted Mother Fhe’s judgment, and it really wouldn’t hurt me to audition, right? (It would only hurt my pride, which is in sad need of deflating anyway…) And anyway it’d be a great release for my tension-filled muscles, regardless of whether I pass or not.
The audition was last night at the Greenhills FF branch. It wasn’t too well-publicized because they only had 10 slots in the training module for people from Manila. The rest of the slots were to be filled with people who wanted to become Balance instructors in FF Pampanga. I spent an entire hour prior to the audition just sitting by myself (because I didn’t come with an entourage) debating whether or not to audition, praying and asking “Why am I here, God?”
I still hadn’t made up my mind as we filed into the group exercise studio. Then, Ms. Peewee Sanchez started to give numbers to people who had raised their hands signifying their intent to audition. I was the last person to raise my hand, and got the number 36.
We did the current release, which I had seen and done only once — during Ms. Gates’ class. I tried to remember pointers I had learned during the other times I had attended Balance classes: tuck in the tailbone, square the hips, lengthen the spine, release the shoulders, open the chest, keep the knees strong. Most importantly, breathe. Ü
After the audition as Ms. Peewee called out the numbers of the people who’d made it, I was just waiting to be dismissed even though I didn’t think I did too badly. She was rattling off numbers while walking around the room, and then she approached where I was seated and asked, “And what’s your number, dear? Number 36.”
I felt my body go cold and warm at the same time. Moi? Passed? I was still sitting in the same position after all the other attendees had left the room except for those of us who’d been asked to stay.
We then gathered around for the Q&A; section where Ms. Peewee and the other judge, James, asked us our names, where we came from, and what had spurred us to audition. When my turn came, I said, “Hi, my name’s Noelle, and this was a surprise!”
More like a miracle, I suppose. Lord, I don’t know why I passed Balance and not Jam earlier, but I’m going to do my best at this program you blessed me with. We start the module on the first week of March.
Meanwhile, I’ve got to attend more Balance classes just so I’m not a complete newbie at it.