(One giant leap for Personal-a-Teas)
The Time: 00:01 GMT
The Date: 01.01.95
Location: The Point Depot, Dublin
The Gig: The Prodigy
What connection I saw between the ‘Kangaroo’ boots and the strut of Leeroy Thornhill entering the stage at the Point Depot is anyone’s guess. The fact is I did see some connection! Perhaps it’s because I’m only slightly taller than a Hobbit and these boots brought the possibility of some hidden need to feel that bit taller (at least once!)… who knows? Who bloody cares! When I saw the boots, as per the promotional video on Facebook, I was determined to try them out for size! (You see, kids, promotional marketing on social media does work!) People, who know me, will also attest that I am willing to try out new things, new experiences, too. I’ve a ‘let’s do this’ attitude! And so, I trundled off to the Community Centre in Rathcoole to pay a visit to Kangoo Club Marcela.
The first time I arrived was simply a reconnaissance mission, a look / see, dipping the toes exercise, if you will. I was carrying a football injury, a sprained ankle, so there was no way that I could’ve got involved this time. However, when the class ended, I had seen enough. The work-out looked intense. I wanted to give it a proper go upon my next visit. The ladies and Marcela were also very friendly and didn’t mind me being there, on my watching brief.
Two weeks later, (with two games of astro under my belt), Marcela greeted me with a huge smile, so too, her son Pavel. Pavel was to be the videographer. We had met the previous visit, so I knew the score. No ‘probs’ at all!
Marcela helped me get the Kangoo jumps boots on. Let’s call them by their proper name, from now on! Not easy! And then she helped me to my feet / springs. Wow! It felt pretty-damn cool (I was tall!) – and then, ‘whooooooaaa’, I fell backwards. Saved by Marcela (as quick as a mountain lion!) grabbing me back into position. ‘Jaybus’! A lesson in balance, right there! Keep leaning forward.
And then she let go. Bounce, bounce, bounce… cool!
Walking with the Kangoo boots is fairly-easy to get the hang of. The main thing is to remember your centre of gravity, always remember to land on the centre of your feet. To be honest, as a result of my recent of ankle injury, I was a little bit more tentative than I would have liked, but to go over on an ankle, wearing these ‘Go, Go Gadget’ boots would not be good.
Mini-bounce, mini-bounce, mini-bounce…
And then the Kangoo jumps class began.
In a not too dissimilar way, (remember, this is all in my Walter Mitty mind!) to Leeroy entering the stage at the Point Depot, to huge acclaim, I was here, at the Kangoo Jumps Class to push boundaries and ‘to represent’. ‘Yo, fo sure’, I was representing all the ‘lads’ across Ireland, and was gonna show these ladies, that we too, can Kangoo, just as good as them – first time!
The problem was: my coordination. My non-existent dance coordination.
This Kangoo class simply reaffirmed what I already knew: that I have absolutely no dance ability! Nil. Zippo. Additionally, right through my (short!) football career, I was always the guy in training who got his right and his left mixed up – you remember the drills (?) ‘when I say ‘1’ you sprint right, when I say ‘2’ you go left’ etc. Yep, I’m that guy, the one who nearly caused carnage having turned this simple drill into high speed bumpers… so, you get the drift. Following simple orders is not my forte! By the time we reached the third block of the class routine, I’m pretty sure the ladies had actually ‘lapped’ me! Confusion reigned!
Note to self: this bloke is not able to think on his feet / springs… ’Kangoos’!
From a fitness perspective, the Kangoo Jumps class was no problem. The 2 Kg weight of each boot didn’t affect me at all. (Prior to my recent injury, I was playing two games of astro (football!) and swimming at least an hour a week). I possess a core aerobic fitness level, that’s not too bad. On the other hand, what the Kangoo Jumps Class showed me, was that my balance and my core strength is sorely lacking. The ladies and especially Marcela herself, have exceptional balance and core strength.
One particular routine, towards the end of the session, involves spreading your legs akimbo and lowering your back so that your derriere is like Bishop Brennan’s Dreamboat – right there for the kicking. This my friends, was something I was both not willing to nor able to do! A butt manoeuvre too far! Marcela did, however, show me what could be achieved – a level of balance which a certain Mr. Miyagi would be proud of.
So, we finished up after ca. 43 minutes of bouncing around the Community Hall. It was a good work out. I felt I could’ve done another round of manoeuvres. Therein lies the problem (for me!). This class has reaffirmed for me that I don’t follow a routine well. My caveman coordination simply won’t let me! Also, the little voice in the back of my mind ensured I didn’t bounce as I as I would’ve liked. There is a great spring from the Kangoo boots, and certainly no excessive pressure exerted on battered knees. I will certainly try it again. I wonder is there a Kangoo-style competitive sport, basketball for Hobbits, perhaps? (Seriously!)
Next time, Marcela, any chance of playing Voodoo People???
Mr. Ashmawy, there’s a couple of pairs of Kangoo Jumps boots, with yours and Nancy’s names on them!