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Group Fitness Classes in Danish | Fail

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

So I've been in Denmark roughly three months. And I've found myself a fantastic gym, FitnessWorld. The membership is $40 USD a month, and they give me free protein each time I finish a workout. I'd say it's a bargain, and I really can't complain. Ras and I are getting married within the year, so wedding training is in full swing!

I have always been a group fitness type girl. I love the social aspect. And I have to say, I really enjoy the intergenerational/coed atmosphere. I am always extra motivated when I see a 65 year old woman knocking out pull-ups, or even just showing up honestly! I've attended tons of classes in the US including: yoga, cycling, pilates, barre, Zumba, and CrossFit. I consider myself pretty versatile, and usually pretty self directed (thank you college volleyball for giving me the fundamentals for pretty much everything)! And I thought I would start taking some of the classes offered here in Denmark.

I showed up to my first cycling class a bit too late to talk with the instructor; I had wanted to tell him that I didn't speak Danish. However, once the class started, I somehow picked up the beat and zoned out the Danish instruction.

I have been attending this class for months now... and the instructor has never noticed that I don't speak Danish. I mean, whenever he looks at me with a smile, I smile or when he started pedaling super fast, I redlined.

But today halfway through class, he started yelling. It took me 10 seconds to realize that his words were directed at me! And by then, all 30 cyclers were staring at me... I looked at him and said, "I don't speak Danish." The crowd erupted with laughter! I was so embarrassed, but somehow it was funny. I am sure I turned bright red. I am still not sure why it was so funny. I think the people didn't think I was serious.

After the class, the instructor came up to me. He said he was sorry, and he had no idea I didn't speak Danish. He didn't think it was possible for me to have been doing well in his classes without speaking the language. During class he had been trying to tell me to turn my resistance up on my bike. He then insisted that I must be a dancer to stay on beat like I do.

What is amazing is that you don't have to speak a language in order to go to a group fitness class. A beat is a beat and bike is a bike, no matter what language you speak. Just like a barbell is a barbell, and a yoga mat is a yoga mat. That is what I love about fitness. It all feels familiar no matter where I am in the world.

As a plus, I am learning some Danish! He always counts down 4, 3, 2, 1 which is helping with my numbers. And I am learning some phrases that might serve me in the real world like "kom nu" which is "come on," or "hurtigere" which is "faster." I am not sure where I will find use for some of these phrases... maybe to a taxi driver, or maybe I can yell them at Ras on the basketball court! HA.


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