living lithe


What you need: Gloves! (depending on the lineup this changes, but you should bring them since you won’t know ahead of time)
Props: Everything is game at anytime
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you’re comfortable in
Sweat Factor: Sweat-fest 2013

During high school, I went through a phase where I full on thought I was Aaliyah--the R&B protege of Timbaland and Missy Elliott who was allegedly romantically involved with R. Kelly when she was only 16--hence  her hit song, “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number” (cuz a noun ain't nothing but a thang), in case you were curious about the logic. I wore Adidas track pants, and little white tank tops, hoop earrings and crispy white Adidas shell toes. I alternated this outfit with my Polo Sport getups and my Tommy Hilfiger overalls (one strap only) and CK One perfume/cologne. I hung out with a crew who also thought they were various R&B and hip hop stars. When we would all get together at a party or at a gas station (why did we hang out at gas stations?), the guys would inevitably battle each other in the form of freestyle rapping (it was the 90s, I have no other explanation). If this picture would lead you to believe that I grew up in a place straight out of the movie 8 Mile, guess again. We were as suburban as it gets. Don’t ask. Again, I blame the 90s.

During these rap freestyle battles, people would would oooh and ahhh over various vicious lyrics that were aimed at embarrassing the other rapper. We laughed and cheered while people’s mothers were bashed and every insecurity they never spoke of aloud was exposed for all to see.  And every once in a while, perhaps after one too many swigs of Fuzzy Navel wine coolers, some of the girls would jump in. I’m pretty sure one of the lyrics I “spit” (that’s what you do to lyrics) went something like: Step to me, girl, if you must. But if I were you, I’d make like Punky and increase your bust!” Ooooh buuuurn. Needless to say, I didn’t grow up to be a professional rapper or musician of any kind and was usually laughed out of the circle.

Thank God Lithe’s Freestyle has nothing to do with rapping, terrible malt liquor beverages or questionable 90s wardrobe choices. Although writing about Freestyle is equally challenging because it changes every week. It includes lineups from any number of Lithe classes, and keeps you guessing as to what’s coming next. When I took it this week, we used the dowel rod, pom bands, and did a combination of moves from High Waisted, Skinny Jeans, Thigh High & Split (that’s where I stopped counting).

Not knowing the sequence of events keeps class moving quickly. You’re not psyching yourself out about all the pain you know is coming next, so it’s a pleasant surprise when class is over before you know it. It’s also a great way to introduce yourself to classes that you haven’t taken yet. High Waisted, for example, is on the list of class I haven’t taken yet--but now that I’ve taken Freestyle I have an idea of what to expect when I do take it--making it feel less intimidating.

When you take Freestyle, you should come prepared for anything. You may stay on the mat most of the time; you may be up and jumping (so the instructors tell me). What I do know is that you will NOT have to bust out in a rap, or worse hear me rap. But I do think we should bring back one-strap overalls. Maybe a twist on the Calorie Trashers?

See you in class!


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Love this! Very accurate :)

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