The Weaker Sex

I made my New Year’s resolution about four months ago. After a year of laying off the gym and letting old bad eating habits back into my life, I was reversing the benefits of a three-year weight loss. I simply could not go back to where I was, so I signed up for a 28-day MMA boot camp.

That 28-day venture turned into a 120-day habit.

It wasn’t easy and it’s still not, as compared to all of my other classmates I’m still a beginner. And while it’s a mixed-gender class, I’d be lying if I didn’t confess that it is made up of about 90 percent women. My wife thinks that’s my motivation for going, but honestly I’m too busy trying to keep up with them to focus on a sea of yoga pants (OK, I noticed).

Besides, I’m old enough to be their father and, in some cases, their grandfather. Sure, there are about five other men who regularly attend the class, including an instructor.

The other day, I showed up for class, and for the first time in four months I was the only man there. I don’t know why that’s an awkward feeling, but it is.

Now I don’t know if our trainer was trying to have some fun with me, but we did something in class that we’ve never done before. She had us all in a circle around the perimeter of the workout floor. Then she told us to start running in a counter-clockwise direction. So I started running in a very manly gait.

Then she had us turn and do a sideways shuffle. Again, I tried doing the most manly version of that possible, although it ended up as though I was constantly trying to clear out a wedgie. Then came the heartbreaker. Our trainer wanted us to run again, but this time she wanted us to kick up our heels behind us so that our heels touched our buttocks.

I don’t think men were built to do that. And besides, it’s impossible to do that without raising your arms in front of you with your palms facing forward like you’re doing the Charleston dance. So there I was running — no, make that prancing — around in a giant circle. When I picture myself, I think I made Richard Simmons look like The Rock on steroids.

If they keep this up, getting fit is going to be harder than walking in stiletto heels. Not that I know how that feels.