Criss Cross Applesauce
Gym: Crunch Metro Center
Address: 555 12th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
The Instructor Makes a Normal Gal Feel: Like everything is warm and fuzzy and maybe you’ll even have naptime. Or snack time!
The Classmates Make a Normal Gal Feel: Impressed. Women with at least 50 pounds on me demonstrated a level of ab strength that I can only dream about.
On a scale of 1 (waste of time) to 5 (bring the stretcher), for a normal gal this workout is a: 4. I felt the burn.
Here’s the Deal: Free Guest Pass
If you don’t like cutesy sayings and high-pitched voices, do not go to pilates at Crunch. I for one do not mind these things a bit, and in the world of scary spin teachers and group fitness divas, actually welcome them when working out. So my evening at Crunch was just super. Not unlike Vida, the class was taught by a peppy cheerleader-type, but this one came chock-full of ridiculous and adorable expressions. The best was definitely her use of “criss-cross applesauce” to describe even the most painful ab exercises. She had special sayings for other moves, like when we went into our bridges and she told us that we should “fire up our gluts” and remember that “we don’t want shoulders for earrings.” I found this all strangely motivating, which I guess isn’t surprising since kindergarten tactics always work on me. Promise me stickers and I’ll do anything you need.
This class was also great because it started out as if the teacher had gone into my brain and found all of my favorite songs and created a special pilates play list just for me. The first song was Bon Iver and the second Florence and the Machine, aka my intense obsession going on unhealthy addiction. Things continued on this path of greatness to the point where sometimes I was too excited about the music to even concentrate, until it was all shockingly interrupted by country music. Country. I felt betrayed. I thought we had an understanding, lady.
Regardless of the musical treason, pilates at Crunch was really excellent. I felt motivated and happy to try some new moves that, although unfamiliar, were totally doable. I felt like we cheated a bit because there were no teasers in this class— a lacking that feels great at the time but I know isn’t good for me— but I still got a solid, well-rounded workout. The class also used a lot of the “pilates ring” (not to be confused with NuvaRing, which I imagine has a lot of commercials with ladies talking about their monthly cycles and on-the-go lifestyles while doing pilates, but that didn’t happen today). I usually find the use of the pilates ring annoying, but at Crunch I felt it was used appropriately, without the teacher trying to incorporate it into every move just so we could use some crazy finagled workout technology at all times.
As for Crunch overall, I still think it’s just swell. Although I piss and moan about how gross it is to use communal yoga mats (because it is), I was happily relieved when, upon realizing I forgot my mat today, I called the gym to ask if they have mats and they said to me, “Of course we have mats. All of our classes have everything that you need already there.” Considering this gym is the cheapest of the cheap in town, that’s some pretty great service. On top of that, when I arrived and grabbed a towel, it was still warm from the drier. Take note, Vida. This is luxury.
But the highlight of Crunch is still its diversity. I know I’ve mentioned this about Crunch before, but today I experienced it on a whole new level. I was surprised and annoyed at the unabashed rudeness of a woman asking me how much I weighed while I was standing on the scale in the locker room. While preparing to answer with an edited version of “how about you mind your own damn business,” I turned around and saw a woman who was absolutely, undoubtedly older than my 86 year-old grandmother. And it was confirmed. Today at Crunch I met a 91 year-old fellow gym-goer. And not only was she at the gym (which is more than I can say for myself when it comes to at least 26 years of my young life), but I learned that at one point this 5’7 woman was 210 pounds. If she could edit out her commentary about all the fat people she sees on the bus, this lady could make serious bank on the motivational fitness speaker circuit. Between her and Miss Kindergarten Pilates, Crunch was jam-packed with inspiration today.