Twirly Tales: Natalia Kicked My 59 year Old Ass! By Doug Korb

Natalia kicked my 59 year old ass (and the next day I realized that I like it)

I’m 90 seconds in to Natalia’s lyra class and I’m thinking “WTF did I get myself into?”. After watching her inspiring performance at the Twirly Girls 13th Anniversary event, I had flashbacks of the time I was the “King of the Monkey Bars”; inventing, learning and perfecting moves like the Spiderman, Death Drops, Cherry Twists, coffins…and for some reason, the impressive moves that Natalia did reminded me of my times on the bars. I was inspired, and the next day I signed up for one of Natalia’s lyra classes, thinking that it might jumpstart a fitness routine that has become predictable, and boring.

What I forgot to consider was the “time warp” I was in when I made this decision. When I was impressing myself, and others with reverse spidermans and death twists, I was 12 years old. That was 47 years ago.

So at the 91 second mark of Natalia’s class (and Bel to her credit did say her warmup was tough…which I kind of blew off) I realized that: Bel was right and I’m gonna have to grind this next 75 minutes out, and decide later whether this was a big mistake or not.   Once the warmup was completed, the real work began…Learning how to get up on the lyra.

Surprisingly, certain moves like pullovers I was able to do right away, as if there is such a thing as 47 year old muscle memory. My technique was terrible but that was the least of my worries. Since I’ve always tried to stay active with weight training, crossfit (back in the day), hiking, snowboarding etc., my “strength to weight ratio” is decent for a 59 year old. However, what surprised me was that a move I could do once was not one I could do several times in a row, and Natalia wanted us to do 10 reps of many of these moves.

Natalia walks her talk and like the best teachers, can break down a move to smaller parts to help you figure out how to do it. She pointed out my errors (bent knees, toes not pointed) without being too critical. I think she was going easy on me.

10 minutes after class ended I realized how tired I was…in a good way. Not the “I rode 60 miles on my bike and now I want to eat 2,000 kcals worth of food to replace the energy I just burned off”, kind of way, but the “wow, that was a really good workout and I’m going to go home and sleep like a baby” kind of way.

The next day I was fatigued, had a blister on my hand and had some missing skin behind my knee. But I felt oddly inspired. I have always been drawn to individual sports and activities that were physical and at the same time offered me a chance to be creative and playful.   Skateboarding, monkey bars, bmx riding, and snowboarding were challenging and fun for me. When I was around 15, my younger brother and I learned how to ride down the street on our skateboard while doing a handstand, after learning this trick from some neighborhood kids who were gymnasts.   We could go quite a ways, upside down, and then when we got tired we would just lower ourselves back onto our boards. This trick led to many others that challenged me to my fullest. I often ended up with blisters, bruises, lost skin and even missing hair (from trying to teach myself how to do a headstand). But there was nothing like the satisfaction I got from learning a trick for the 1st time.

The day after class I felt like I had already accomplished something…I survived my 1st lyra class.   This class offered something that was missing in my weekly routine; “Creative Physicality”. I haven’t been overly motivated to change up my fitness routine lately as I was in a comfortable stasis. But this lyra class brought back a feeling that I didn’t realize I had been missing. Creative physicality.

So I decided to decide whether or not this feeling was a fluke or not. I bought a “5-pack” to the class to see what happens over the next few weeks. One class a week will spice up my routine without causing too much havoc to my schedule. In 5 weeks, will I be stronger, more flexible and have learned a bunch of new tricks? I sure hope so. Will the next 5 classes get any easier I seriously doubt that as Natalia wouldn’t let that happen…: )

But, for the next 5 Wednesdays, the morning after I take these classes will I be saying to myself “Yep, I got my ass handed to me again, but I’m really glad I took the class”?

            I bet you I will.ddd

Doug is my boyfriend and has been a true supporter of Twirly Girls from Day 1! Doug used to run Twirly Tuff bootcamp, so he isn’t new to fitness. For those of you who know Doug, you know he is very much into fitness. He is Crossfit Certified and has taken many other fitness certifications mainly just to improve his own personal fitness journey. He has always been very passionate about fitness. I’m super excited that he decided to try Lyra. He was really impressed and honestly loved the class instruction, warm up and team work!

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