As a child, I famously told my parents that I didn't want to be friends with a girl in my class because she "smiled too much." I've always been cynical and proud of it. But when it comes to working out, it really bothers me when group fitness instructors are mean or use "tough love" to motivate participants. As cynical as I may be about super-positive people, I would prefer not to spend my money getting yelled or attacked at for 45 minutes.
Recently, I got lost in a YouTube workout K-hole and stumbled upon Cassey Ho, the trainer behind Blogilates — and the answer to my nice-fitness-person prayers. Ho developed a technique of at-home Pilates workouts set to pop music, aptly named "POP Pilates." To be clear, Ho has 1.4 million followers on Instagram and over 3 million subscribers on YouTube, so it's not like I "discovered" her — I'm just one of many POP Pilates stans.
Ho has a voice is as effervescent as La Croix, and her energy would make a puppy look like a pessimist. I listened to her wax poetic about her "fairytale long sleeve" workout top from her clothing line for approximately 30 seconds, and considered purchasing one. Ho is just enthusiastic about all the tiny pleasures that life has to offer, and I'm literally buying it.
During the actual workouts, Ho coaches you through the exercises ("Pulse the heck out of your booty!"), but then fills any silence with some mindless thoughts ("My toenails are blue today, but usually I match them to my fingernails!"), or takes a moment to make philosophical statements about body positivity ("I'm proud of my butt. Who cares what people say?! It gives you a natural cushion!"). Sometimes she says things that are slightly out-there or awkward, like "Imaging you're poking your toe through your neighbor's ceiling and rug!" It's so random, but I love it.
Her workouts are challenging, but not impossible. If a video is too hard, I just pause it for a sec, and then jump back in, which is low-key the best thing about workout videos. Ho is never going to insist that you hold a plank for an unreasonable amount of time, and she's the first to admit that her butt is on fire.
It can be hard to focus or give a shit when you're working out at home, because you're surrounded by other things that you could be doing, like picking lint off your carpet or petting your cats. But having Ho talk to you (or to herself, I guess?) is comforting, and you just can't quite get that from a workout class IRL. Occasionally the things she says make me laugh or roll my eyes, but somehow her relentless positivity isn't obnoxious. I legitimately believe there's nowhere Ho would rather be than just on a mat doing butt exercises, and that sort of attitude is infectious, even if you are a cynical jerk like me.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I would be Ho's friend in a heartbeat — even if she does "smile too much."