Shape your booty

Back when my children were very little, I did the uber-early morning 20-Minute Workout (the one that made Eddie Murphy’s character in 48 Hours exclaim, “TV has changed!”) before the kids got up, and Jane Fonda’s original workout on LP later in the day.

(Stopping to turn the record over gave a few-seconds-long breather. I can still hear the pops and snaps of the LP. Sigh.)

The kids knew that was mama-time and left me alone; afterward, we did a fun session together of Mickey Mouse’s Mousercise, also on LP. No cartoon images to follow – it was all music and imagination. The kiddos really got into it, proving you’re never too young to exercise if it’s fun.

Nor are you ever too old, as long as you’re mobile (and willing to adapt as needed) and as long as it’s fun.

Tracey Mallett’s The Booty Barre series is fun. And hard. I wish I’d had it at 26, when I was doing the aforementioned early morning workout, or even at 36, when I was a gym rat, instead of at almost-56, when it’s much harder to execute a high ballet kick. Hell, it’s hard to do a medium ballet kick.

But you do what you can as best you can and don’t do what you can’t, which, for me, is anything that comes close to a push-up, courtesy of hanging-by-a-thread rotator cuffs, even after open surgery a few years ago. (Yes, you can exercise too hard, though what precipitated the surgery was catching an unconscious student and lowering her to the ground. Go figure.)

When Tracey says it’s time for plank work, I do child’s pose, cat/dog or maybe hold a still plank. Or I work a mean fast-forward button if I’m in a hurry. Her workouts combine ballet, Pilates, a touch of yoga and a touch of kick-boxing and give a considerable nod to the Lotte Berk Method.

Did I mention they’re tough? Great cardio for an old gal. But seriously, they’re super-fun, in a sadomasochistic kind of way. That means you’ve got to love the burn. And the sweat. Because you will. Burn and sweat, I mean. Love it? That’s a personal decision.

After the first day I did a 20-minute segment of The Booty Barre Plus Arms & Abs, I got up at 4 in the morning for a trip to the bathroom. “What is wrong with my thighs?!” went racing through my head before I realized it was the workout. Cool.

I haven’t been sore again, though after today’s super-intense barre section of The Booty Barre Total New Body, I suspect I will be.

But I’ll be kicking and grooving again soon. Can’t wait.

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