I'm not big on fitness. Understatement of the century.
At school, PE was just an excuse for other people to laugh at your arms-flailing running style and the teachers were just there to relish in your stupidity. Especially when you asked 3 minutes before the end of a game, 'which way are we shooting?' I am still living that one down, 10 years on.
So, I do my weekly yoga session (which I'd convinced myself was enough contorting for the week) and avoid the gym more than brussel sprouts.
As a result of this, when a friend mentioned a weekly high intensity training class she attended, I thought there could be no harm in giving it a whirl.
Cilla's Fitness is a Stockport based class run by Cilla Thwaites. She's been holding the same class in Offerton for 20 years (eek!) and has honed her energetic, inspiring approach to exercise. Rather than shouting at you (boxing training 2012, been there done that,) she somehow manages to motivate you when you're lying like a sack of spuds on the floor, clutching at the stitch in your stomach and mouthing 'ow' repeatedly. And, when your instructor is as lovely as Cilla, it's a lot more difficult to just think eff this and go and scoff a bar of Dairy Milk.
The class starts with a 'warm up' (ha!) which sees you do circuits of the room, using the stage at the front as some sort of giant step to clamber up one leg at a time (more painful than it sounds). Then it's on to Pyramid Training, which if you're not familiar, is some kind of timed torture, involving different exercises that you do for shorter amounts of time as you go along. She also incorporates 'gliders,' a sort of slippy disk that you put under your feet to move them ski style. Beyoncé bum, I'm coming for you.
After my first class, I was waddling around like I'd wet myself for three days, but the burn I could feel in my legs was unbeatable.
Now on my third class, I can confirm it gets harder. But being surrounded by similar women, all grimacing and sharing each others pain whilst Cilla cheers you on makes exercise seem almost bearable.
Cilla's Fitness: Offerton Community Centre