My dear friend convinced me to attend a fitness class with her at a local gym. The class was called barre. Barre, as it was explained to me, is like an amalgam of ballet, yoga, and pilates. I never would have gotten up the guts or the motivation to go by myself. Since she invited me though, I figured I'd give it a go. After almost getting lost in a maze of buildings that all looked the same to me, and having to call her to verify directions, I finally arrived. It had been raining steadily hard all day. I was very happy about this because the grass had been getting crispy and was almost starting to turn brown. (Now as I look outside it's a lovely shade of bright green.) I splashed happily through the puddles in the rain and waltzed through the front door of the gym. Then I almost stopped short. Had I landed in the wrong place? A room full of well-muscled guys and big, intimidating weight machines greeted me. Thankfully, one of the men noticed the deer-in-the-headlights expression on my face and asked if I was looking for the class. He pointed me towards a room in the back, where I was relieved to find my friend. She introduced me to the other ladies and soon we were getting started.
Barre gets its name from from it's foundations in ballet. The handrail on the wall is called a barre. Thankfully, these classes do not require a background in dance, or yours truly would not have qualified. The instructor was personable and excellent, modeling graceful and seamless moves. She made it look easy. At first, I thought I'd be able to keep up without too much trouble. I had been working out at home to some extent. I was enjoying learning new things and appreciating the new challenge. About halfway through though, I began to really feel it. Meanwhile, our instructor kept up the pace, talking calmly and easily without getting out of breath in the least. (That is one tough chick!) I was still keeping up, but talking would have definitely been out of the question! By the end of the hour, I was shaking. My muscles were burning. I'm pretty sure I had "newbie" written all over my flushed face. When we finally made it onto the floor for the cool down, I was just hoping to be able to make it back up again! It was then that I noticed a quote on the wall that said, "Don't worry, you'll pass out before you die." Well that's reassuring.
An after-workout high is a real thing. Upon making it back to the farm truck, I had a huge sense of accomplishment and a major dose of endorphins surging through my blood. I felt like a million dollars. Nonetheless, on the drive through the now gently falling rain, my leg was shaking in the seat over the foot petals. I gulped my water and contemplated how I was going to unwind once I got home. My plans of relaxing were instantly ruined however, as I rounded the corner home and caught a glimpse of what my sheep were up to...
The much needed rain had thoroughly soaked everything, including the trees. All that water was apparently too much for a certain wild black cherry tree. A large branch had broken off of the tree and fallen into the sheep field. The sheep were now excitedly inhaling the leaves of this windfall like they had just won the tree lottery. It isn't until the damaged leaves wilt that they become really poisonous. It has something to do with the chemicals mixing up to produce a cyanide toxin. I was pretty sure nobody was going to die from the small amount of freshly fallen foliage they had eaten so far. It looked like it had just happened. However, I wasn't about to see how long it took for the leaves to wilt and become poisonous, or how much these silly animals would have to eat before they got sick! That tree branch would have to go. Now.
Thankfully, the hubs was home. I enlisted his help and we set out to rid the field of the danger. After he hoisted it over the fence, I spent several minutes picking up the loose leaves. (I might add that bending down to get leaves after an hour of the aforementioned workout was embarrassingly painful.) In the meantime, he set to work on another couple branches that had fallen along the driveway and were partially obstructing the path. These branches were caught in a web of vines and hanging awkwardly and precariously in what was thankfully the lower portion of a canopy of overhanging trees. I finished picking up the leaves about the time my man had managed to cut free a large branch that was close to 10 inches in diameter at its thickest point. I grabbed a hold of the smaller off-shooting branches of it and began to drag it backwards towards the burn pile. It was still trailing vines behind it. The whole thing was probably about 15-20 feet long, including the vines. I had to really haul on it to get it to move. I could feel my heart pounding and my legs burning again. It felt like I was trying to drag a hundred pounds of something that was digging itself into the dirt and rocks and fighting me to stay where it was. I stopped several times to catch my breath. This part of the driveway never felt so long! Suddenly and seemingly without any warning, my body decided it had finally had enough.
My best guess is that my blood sugar level must have begun to plummet. I dropped my branch and retreated into the house, where I promptly and quickly threw together an emergency salad. I crashed into a chair and fell upon my repast like a starving animal. About 10 minutes or so later, the hubs came back in side. "Sorry I abandoned you," I managed to say with my mouth full. He laughed at me, "Yeah you sure did that!" "I crashed," I replied, still munching on the chick peas and crunching on the pumpkin seeds. "Uh-huh! Convenient!" Well, at least he is a good sport. He was on his own for dinner and he was still smiling. That's a good husband.
I expect I'll go back again to the barre class. (Once I recover enough and can move normally again!) Despite getting my butt kicked I thought it was great fun. I met some wonderful ladies who certainly challenged and inspired me to be stronger and work towards my fitness goals. Hopefully next time the sheep will stay out of trouble though, and I won't have to have another workout after my workout!
I'm Debbie. I love listening to chickens cackle and sing. I love Lindt chocolate truffles, a good cup of coffee, and a good book.