After passing through all of the beautiful floors of shiny equipment, checking out their climbing wall (belay only, phew – something I didn’t like!) I finally made it up to the studios where I got my first glimpse of Kira Stokes. Now, mind you, I had seen pictures of Kira, looking all fitness-competition-fit but I had sort of assumed that isn’t what she walked around looking like. You know the type you see in Oxygen magazine and tell yourself “they don’t really look like that.” Kira really looks like that in real life. As I sat there watching the class I had planned to be in “Primal Stoked”, I was floored at how hard it looked – and what a sight it was to behold. Kira was doing all of these crazy moving-across-the-floor plank variations. The people in that class were all in great shape and it was fun to watch everyone push themselves. The next class on the menu was “Stoked Abs”, a 15 minute ab intensive. It was fun, hard and full of weird variations that completely fried my abs in that one little quick session. When I had gone in with all of the teaming masses (this is a wildly popular class and the studio was packed to the gills,) I didn’t really think about where I was, I just made sure that I had a clear eyeline to Kira and staked out my space for the longer class. I really should have paid a little more attention, since it turned out that durning the long class, I was directly behind her – and in HER eyesight for the class I had really come for “Stoked 360” (see a theme here?). Which meant there wasn’t even a moment of slacking that was going to be allowed for the next 75 minutes. Kira has been a trainer for 18 years and is a stickler for form. Really, she isn’t going to let you get away with anything, and had I really thought it through, I would NOT have positioned myself right behind her! As Kira handed out jump ropes to a few of us, and yes, I did try to hide from that, she explained to us that we were to keep moving throughout the whole class.
Each segment was made of 3 moves that were done 3 times – once to learn it, once to know it, and once to failure. All were done to push our endurance. They were all compound moves that were challenging but really fun – lots of plyometric moves and changing directions. She corrected me a lot which I loved, but I wasn’t the only one by any stretch – when she said she was a stickler for form, I should have believed her! In a class that large, to really be so passionate about form in everyone, was awesome to see. She kept the rowdy guys in the corner in check and still kept a keen eye on the inspiringly fit pregnant woman in the front. It is no wonder that Kira has such a following – she loves what she does, creates a hard, fun, challenging class AND keeps an eye on you? You really can’t ask for much more.
Now if I can figure a way to sneak back into Reebok Sport Center, I am totally trying that “Primal Stoked” class…plus, maybe that “Stoked Abs” again…but I now know that a third one on the same day would be the death of me!
(Image of Kira Stokes from her website. Bottom image from ESPNW’s Facebook page)