Given the arduous prepwork involved in Bake For Happy Kids' wheat bread recipes - and decidedly moist properties achieved thus far - I decided to venture beyond the tried-and-trusted. King Arthur offered a version that could be executed on a whim, using a breadmachine, and deploying olive oil and honey for extra swiftness.
Having yielded enough to fill two loaf pans, one had been portioned for slicing, while the other into pull-apart rolls. Both boasted impeccable texture when lightly toasted; margarine and honey made for a luscious, high-fibre breakfast, while homemade pecan butter could be smothered on for a boost of natural fats.
My commute commenced far later than it should have: I departed around the 10:28 AM mark due to weekend morning sluggishness and anticipated the worst. I traversed mainly on Collectors, as lane reductions remained on Express. Tardiness was predicted, however highway traffic volumes were next to none, enabling the trip to be made in twenty-eight minutes flat.
Lane closures at the Leslie Street off ramp led to a confusing first venture. Google Maps directed me to the back of an unassuming complex, where a black vehicle also happened to be pulling in (without signalling). The vehicle swiftly swooped into one of the many parking spaces while I conducted a slow loop about the vicinity, squinting for any sign of "Unit 19". The driver of the vehicle exited, noticed my perplexed state, and called out to me. It was the owner. Directions were provided directions to the main entrance, where ochungg's vehicle was spotted.
I scribbled my name on the sign-in (contact tracing?) sheet, then received a temperature check from the same woman who had granted navigation assistance earlier. The previous class was just wrapping up, and upon their departure, we hurriedly shuffled in, situated our belongings in the somewhat dusty cubbies, and darted for the bathrooms. The single stalls were dimly lit, and allocated one per gender. While I took to the Women's stall, I offered the Men's for ochungg. Inside was dimly lit and a scarce quantity of amenities beyond wet tissues - in Korean packaging, of course -, paper towels, and a partially depleted roll of toilet paper. Thank goodness for Kleenex.
The Men's stall, as I would later learn, embodied an off-putting stench along with a grimy seat and dollar-sized spider nestled between the toilet and sink.
The class was held in the main exercise area, where four Reformers were positioned at one wall. Across were the aforementioned bathroom stalls and cabinet of weights. At the far end were unused pieces of equipment, likely adopting temporary residence amidst the studio's moving process. With the smaller rooms were sightings of other equipment: one contained two Barrels and another the Cadillac and Chair. The other two comprised of a private lesson room and office space.
We commenced with an aerobic warmup, Wii Fit-style, if I do make the correlation. Each of us were given a set of weights for the exercise, then instructed to slide the BOSU ball out from underneath the Reformer.
One of my greatest enemies in gyms and physio clinics alike, I eyed the balance trainer with furrowed brows and an upturned mouth - which, of course, was an expression kept exclusively for myself while masked. ochungg was given a purple set of one pounders, while the regular was handed a slightly bulkier pair. In my hands were small, inflatable balls, likely bestowed in consideration of my upper body weakness. Instructions were given to step up and down the BOSU ball while swinging the arms gently. The trunk was to maintain stillness, core engaged for balance. A light bounce (ie. pressure on the ball) was commanded after the first 20 counts, then the order of the feet was alternated and the sequence repeated.
Socks were removed during this portion for safety, as reduced friction would likely lead to an ankle accident, then slipped back on immediately.
The Reformer was used for the remainder of the class. Thighs and glute were next up on the roster, followed by an upper body routine on the Box attachment. General weakness and persisting tightness in the back led to pain in the chest area. I relayed my concerns to the instructor, who appeared puzzled at my feedback, for the strain should be felt in the back and tricep muscles. My fellow participants also noted soreness in these areas. The only possible hypothesis was much-needed lengthening (stretching) of the pectoral muscles.
A thorough stretch of the hip flexors, legs, back was conducted at the termination of the session to relieve tension and prevent injury. We were then informed to use the cloths and spray bottles by the cubbies to wipe down our respective Reformers. Ochungg and I were detailed in our cloth coverage, though the same could not be said for the regular. The disinfectant exuded an herb-like essence, as a spa or organic beauty store would utilize.
Lunch was had at Me Va Me just five minutes south of the complex.
In under five minutes, our wraps emerged on shallow, curved plates. It was wise of us to have opted for the takeout format, for portions were gargantuan - nearly as wide as our faces and longer than our heads. Encased within was ample lettuce, chewy bites of chicken, and a handful of pickled vegetables. We bit into the Laffas expecting a texture akin to gyros, but was instead graced with indescribable toughness. Furthermore, the laffa began to unravel with consumption. A chunk of tomato plopped down on the table, its origins unknown, while orange-speckled sauce trickled through the laffa, onto my fingers, puddling on the plate. To enjoy the dish with dignity was deemed impossible.
Leftovers resulted from both purchases, forming the basis for subsequent meals.