Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, May 02, 2005

Now, fitness is important. I pay money every month for the privilege of being a member of my local YMCA. They have aerobic classes there. Since I have recently relinquished my hold on my twenties, I decided that I should attend one.

Is it just me or are aerobics teachers mean? I mean really mean. I mean black-hearted.

It wasn't the actual physical exertion that I had a problem with. I know that as a thirty-year-old ex-smoker who doesn't exercise enough and eats too many chips I am going to get tired when I do aerobics. I accept that I will sweat and that my arms will turn into spaghetti from the obnoxious little pink weights.

But, really, do the routines have to be designed to make you feel so stupid? Just when I learn how to do the grapevine the woman with the headphone is screaming twenty directions at once, each one progressively more complicated. I am doing my best to keep up (or at least look somewhat like I am doing what everyone else is doing) but she adds all these twirls that make it impossible to fake it. Because I was working with a step, I really feared that I was going to end up on my butt, crying, with a twisted ankle.

And I am pretty sure the instructor was smirking at me through the mirror. And when I stopped and stared at her because everyone was twirling around in some devilish pattern I could not discern, she said in her loud speaker, "Yes, it is okay to stop anytime you feel like you need a break!" even though I was clearly the only one who had stopped and needed a break. Then all the other women in the studio looked at me with a mixture of sympathy and superiority.

Why must fitness be so difficult in these times? I somehow long for the days when people just got exercise naturally, like from pushing a plow or slamming laundry against rocks. It just seems unnatural and unholy to have to gallop around an aerobics studio with sweaty red-faced strangers. It seems like such an intimate experience, but no one ever talks to each other. I find it bizarre.

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