Lately, fitness classes at the Silverthorne rec center have been pretty crowded. I have no idea what is going on at the rec center in Breckenridge because I haven't been over there. I'm too busy eating raw Pillsbury cookie dough like it's my damn job. If you're thinking about going to fitness classes like Muscle Madness (group weight lifting to music) or Cardio Abs Plus (aerobics with special emphasis on core strength) or Ski & Ride Conditioning, here are some tips that I hope you'll find helpful. 1. Get there early and pick your spot carefully. Whatever you do, avoid standing by me. While trying to mimic an instructor's kneeling maneuver on one of those huge bouncy balls, I went airborne and landed face-down on top of a ski instructor. Boy, did I have some 'splainin' to do.2. One of the Summit County deputy coroners will probably be in your class. She's a regular. Take comfort in her presence. Twenty minutes into the Cardio Abs Plus workout you will see your dead relatives coming to take you home. Go. Just walk toward the light. 3. Wear the same thing every day. Don't ever wash your gym clothes. In a crowded class, there is more than one way to create a buffer around your fine self.4. Have you read "Fifty Shades of Grey?" Christian Grey's red room of pain has nothing on the stash of torture tools in the Silverthorne cardio room. Start with light weights and learn to love club music because you'll be doing it Gangnam Style for 57 minutes. You'll do 1,400 bicep curls, 378 squats through hula hoops, 183 leg lifts with rubber bands restraining your ankles and finish up by stretching on mats that smell like that pound of raw hamburger you forgot under the passenger seat of your car all summer long. By the time class is over, you'll wish Christian Grey was beating the snot out of you with his belt. 5. Never, ever put your face on a mat. They are petri dishes of DNA from millions of sweaty SDN readers.6. When the instructor tells you to get the stair steps, grab four risers for each side. Build a tall pyramid and take a nap behind it while everybody else is flailing towards fitness. Flat bellies are boring. Embrace your tummy. You earned that bulge. Using a magic marker, draw a face on your belly fat, grab it with both hands and talk to your kids with it when they need embarrassing in front of their friends. 7. Some of the women in your classes did not drive to the rec center. They rode their bikes or ran to classes in Silverthorne from their homes in Frisco, Dillon or Montezuma. Along the way, they shot a trophy deer which they butchered and froze to feed their families this winter. For our beloved readers in the flatlands, understand that these women, most of whom are working mothers over 40, are running a minimum of 5 miles at 9,000 feet above sea level to a gym class where the real exercise is going to happen. Never look these women in the eye. You might end up in their freezers.8. The upside is that the fitness instructors who teach these classes will help you to become strong, ripped and lean. The downside is that you will look so good that your douche-canoe of a boyfriend or ex-husband will totally regret dumping you. The two of you will get back together and then you'll have kids and realize that he's still the same ol' douche-canoe. The rec center fitness instructors can't improve your taste in men, but they'll make you look irresistible in your shortest short skirt. Don't say I didn't warn you. Here is a link to the Silverthorne rec center: http://www.silverthorne.org/index.aspx?page=120And the link to the Breckenridge rec center:http://www.townofbreckenridge.com/index.aspx?page=1012Micaela Gilchrist's novels are published by Simon & Schuster and by Scribner in North America and Europe and have been optioned for film by Paramount Studios. She is the recipient of the Colorado Book Award and the Willa Cather Women Writing the West Award. She lives in Summit County and can be reached at MicaelaMGilchrist@comcast.net.