One year ago, my physique could best be compared to that of an overcooked noodle: soft, doughy, carbo-laden. As someone who had always been athletic, without the regimen of high school and college sports, I dissolved into a rather blobby form. Although I had lost my edge, I never lost my competitive drive. My co-workers Digital Director Dayle Duggins and Digital Assistant Krysten Maloney (let me tell you, our digital team is ripped) encouraged me to put my YMCA membership to good use and join them in their favorite class: Advanced Cross Training (AXT).
Dear reader, I will not lie to you. When I first tried this class, it was horrible. I wanted to slink my fettuccine noodle doughy butt right out that door, and I spent every minute of the hour-long class in agony. There were weights, sprints, jumps, burpees, push-ups, pull-ups and every horror in-between. It left me sore, exhausted and exhilarated. Finally, here was a workout that was going to whip me back into shape and get me feeling like an athlete again. That was more than a year ago, and I’m still going to class, and I’m still feeling the burn. I love it so much that I want you to join me. Here’s what you need to know.
If you’ve never been to the Pat Jones YMCA on Republic Road (1901 E. Republic Road, Springfield, 417-881-1599), just know that you’re going to feel a little bit like an animal on display. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s kind of a good thing. The workout room is open on two sides to the rest of the YMCA’s second floor, so anyone walking by can see you. Meaning they can see you being a badass, or they can see you being the wimp trying to leave early. The shame of having witnesses see me chicken out was the only thing keeping me in that room during my first classes.
The YMCA has all the workout gear you could ever imagine needing, and AXT uses almost all of it. Free weights, stability balls, battle ropes, tires, sandbags (or the class’s unique SandBells), TRX bands, jump ropes, BOSU balls and benches make an appearance most classes.
This class is the YMCA’s most popular course, and on Mondays, attendance often exceeds 60. The room gets crowded, and equipment becomes scarce, so the instructors make use of every amenity to spread things out. You’ll often see hordes of AXTers climbing hills in the soccer basin outside, hopping across the baseball fields or sprinting down Republic Road to Farmers Park or Walt Disney Elementary School.