My Pandemic Breakup

A lot of relationships have ended during the coronavirus. Well, the pandemic breakup curse has recently befallen me too: I have parted ways with my long-term love, BodyCombat.

Many of you know the strength of our bond and the depth of our connection, so this news may shock you. In order for us all to find healing, I will answer the questions you may be wishing to ask.

Q: How did you meet?

It was 2010 and I was content in a long-term relationship with BodyPump. But with the change from original to cover music, the spark disappeared. We both knew it was over. We were just going through the motions.

I guess I started to look around. BodyCombat had caught my eye as I walked past the studio a few times. I was nervous, but I struck up the courage and gave it a shot.

The first time was awkward, as first times often are. I didn’t know what to do with my body and felt embarrassed all the way through. I didn’t even finish.

Still, something drew me back – despite the pretensions to martial arts, it was basically dancing about to fun songs. And the sound effects, so naff, yet so enjoyable. Before long I was seeing BodyCombat several times a week. It was intoxicating. I campaigned for more classes, I posted about my workouts on Facebook, I couldn’t get enough. I ended it with BodyPump, and BodyCombat and I became exclusive. Man, I was in love.

The first time was awkward, as first times often are. I didn’t know what to do with my body and felt embarrassed all the way through. I didn’t even finish.

Q: Did someone cheat?

When a long-term relationship ends people wonder if there was an affair. I’ll be honest: when we first began, when I was still coming to terms with the end of my BodyPump relationship, I had liaisons with BodyBalance and CX Worx. But within weeks of starting BodyCombat, I fell. Hard. And for the next 10 years, apart from innocent treadmill walks when BodyCombat was away on holidays, I was faithful.

I believe BodyCombat was faithful to me, too. Well, at least until recently.

Q: What went wrong?

Sometimes you grow apart, sometimes one of you changes. Out of nowhere, BodyCombat wanted to experiment, try things we’d never done before. Things that made me… uncomfortable.

Maybe I’m a prude, but I didn’t like all that stuff on the floor. And I’m not the kind of girl who’s into *whispers* burpees.

That’s when I began to suspect he was seeing CrossFit. Those moves reeked of her. Every time with BodyCombat came to feel like a threesome with CrossFit.

The music changed, too. Instead of upbeat, joyful tunes with empowering lyrics, there were more and more tracks needing you to pop a party drug to feel the melody.

Still, I hung in. But I was unhappy. The magic was gone.

I began to suspect he was seeing CrossFit. Those moves reeked of her. Every time with BodyCombat came to feel like a threesome with CrossFit.

Q: Was COVID to blame?

The problems were already there – the music, the CrossFit polyamory, the *shudders* burpees.

And I’m not making myself out to be the good guy in this scenario, but even after the first lockdown closed the gyms I stayed loyal, doing only BodyCombat, by myself, in my living room, for more than a year. I told myself it was a phase. I told myself he’d get the burpees and dubstep and floorwork out of his system and bring back the sweet, cheerful, sound-effects-laden workout I fell in love with.

But as the months passed, it became clear things were never going back. He’d moved on from cute songs and martial arts sound effects. He was never giving up the burpees.

We were done.

Q: Are you seeing someone new now?

For two full months after ending it with BodyCombat I was celibate. Not even a jumping jack. I knew I would eventually work out again, but I needed time. I considered what I wanted in an exercise relationship. It’s natural to long for the things you’ve been missing. With BodyCombat there had been intense cardio and upper body definition. But with a little distance, I found myself desiring balance, flexibility, grace, and poise. I won’t lie, I also liked the idea of all the moves having French names.

And so it was that I became drawn to barre and ballet.

After those two months, weak and out of shape, I knew it was time. Time to squeeze back into my tights. I signed up for a selection of app trials and yeah, I played the field. Eventually I kept two.

Starting an entirely new kind of exercise in your *mumbles* is madness. MADNESS! Those early weeks trading uppercuts for arabesques were utterly brutal. For much of the class I would experience a sensation I can only describe as homicidal mania. But over time it has come to feel more like light, sustained torture. Though without encouraging sound effects.

For much of the class I would experience a sensation I can only describe as homicidal mania. But over time it has come to feel more like light, sustained torture.

Q: Are you over BodyCombat?

I honestly don’t know the answer to that question.

Barre is lovely. I have the pointe shoes and I plan to buy one of those portable barres so I can stop dragging a chair around the living room – I guess that means I’m committed. I enjoy improving my posture and flexibility, having a shapelier derriere and legs, becoming stronger. But after a certain age, do you lose the ability to love with abandon? Perhaps I am older now, and looking for different things. Perhaps this will last. Or maybe it won’t.

But BodyCombat? Well, I wouldn’t say this while my barre or ballet class was on. But it was the exercise love of my life.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova

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Bonjour! This is my portfolio of current creative work - writing, art, calligraphy, poetry, humor, and random musings. I hope you find something to entertain, amuse, or inspire you! Read more here. To stay in touch, follow me on Instagram.

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