Wednesday is my day for step class.
9am sharp, 1 hour of torture at the Altebahnhof (old station - which is a bit of a misnomer really as the trains still go past the station and indeed stop, so we constantly have commuters staring at us through the windows, it's just that now the poor passnegers have to wait outside in the cold and the rain for their trains rather than inside)
I used to do step on a regular basis back in the UK, until I wrecked my knee by twizzling (I think that was the technical term) too much as I went 'over the top' (another technical term) I was re-introduced to step by my French friend Valerie, who clearly wanted the moral support of another foreigner (in other words, another idiot who wouldn't be able to understand all the verbal instructions and who was therefore having to copy everyone else and consequently was 5 seconds behind the rest of the class)
I've been going for 2 years now to Petra's step class/torture session and this term I took great pleasure in introducing another foreigner (step forward Rebecca, whose youngest child started kindergarten and who therefore had time available to do things she wanted) so now there are three non natives in the class - I'm sure there must be an almost Mexican wave effect when the class is viewed from the front because although we're getting better at understanding what Petra wants us to do she will insist on changing the damn routine every single week! Matters are not helped by the fact that she has had dance training and so we have to cha cha and mambo as well as stepping up and down and trying keep in time.
As well as stepping, Petra usually makes us do some hand weights or if we're really unlucky and she's feeling really sadistic, the 'flexibar'. Words cannot express my feelings towards the flexibar or 'stick' as I lovingly call it, it is supposed to flex (the clue would be in the name) but I swear that every time we use it she gives me one made of steel rather than a nice flexible one that the others get!
Today's torture was less physical and more mental (in more ways than one), there was a photographer there. I pointedly asked Petra why and she said for 'advertising' and then proceded to smile nicely for the camera while we all stood about like lemons. Fine.
But no. The photographer clearly had other ideas, and started arranging the steps behind Petra and then made us all pose for him...I should have stayed in bed...or at the very least have been given sufficient warning so that I looked halfway presentable, ho hum.
The cloud does have a silver lining though - we didn't have time for a full hour's torture today because the photographer phaffed about for so long!