Today I want to discuss something near and dear to my heart.
Ha! Hahahahaha! Ha!
Okay, so it’s not near and dear to me, but my heart does need it (because apparently I hit the genetic jackpot and inherited heart disease from my Daddy’s side of the fam, and high blood pressure and stroke from Mama’s side) so I’m doing it.
Mama and I both realized at about the same time that life is short, and exercise will help us feel good for our short turn around this planet. And since at least one of us has a pretty strong aversion to The Nature, walking around the neighborhood was out of the question. So we began looking for a solution and we found our little local gym. And I verified that they have water aerobics (one of us has a pretty strong aversion to sweat, too…) which I like because it’s intense without punishing your knees. When I belonged to this gym, they had lots of different options for water classes-deep water running, high intensity stuff–taken by people my age, or the stereotypical low-impact class taken by those whose replacement joints outnumber their natural joints. So that’s kind of what I was anticipating when I got to the gym for the first class. I’d put on a float-y belt and spend an hour running and emerge exhausted and take a dip in the hot tub as a little treat after the freezing pool water.
For starters, this facility, and really the town in general, is geared toward the retired set. I bring down the average age in the class by a good three decades. These ladies DO THEIR HAIR and put on makeup to come to class. It is beyond precious and I love it. If one of them would don a bathing cap, well I just don’t know that I could stand the adorable.
In news that shocks nobody, I can usually manage to get my suit on correctly and throw on some yoga pants for the walk between car and pool, have most of my hair corralled into a bun, and have brushed my teeth, all while sliding into class at the last possible second leaving me to hurry into the pool in one swift motion. The freezing cold pool. So my under-the-breath swear words usually get a good warmup while we’re stretching and getting ready to start the real portion of the class.
I’m pretty sure the ladies think I’m some kind of feral Aboriginal woman based on these factors alone.
And during the first class, I remember thinking, “This is like, 3 feet of water here. I’m soooo too advanced for this class. Maybe I should check and see if there is ANY other water class.”
This was right before we moved over to the side of the pool and did some kind of core torture thing that, I kid you not, EVERY SINGLE LADY could do but me. They cheered me on and gave me helpful tips and modifications on the exercise.
Proud, PROUD moment, Gentle Reader. You have not been humbled until you’ve been smoked by a lady with none of her original knees or hips. I’m sure this is another opportunity for spiritual refinement or something.
Anyway, all that to say that we actually went to the gym four times last week, and this week we’re shooting for five. I find I do better with a class because I get distracted easily. Last week, for instance, on a non-class day, I got onto the treadmill. And the television attached to it wasn’t working, which was dangerous because that allowed me to think instead of flip channels. Approximately five minutes into my program, I began to make a mental list of what I needed to get done that day. Six minutes in, I started thinking about the “Empty Mansions” book that I am presently reading and how I really wished I had this time to be able to read. So I naturally tried to figure out a way to prop the book so I could walk while reading without injuring myself or others. At approximately eight minutes in, I began contemplating lunch. And here’s where the irony gets rich. Wanting nothing more than to get off of the treadmill, I promised myself a french bread pizza if I made it the entire 30 minutes on there. A beacon of health and healthy eating, I am. So from that point on, I stared intently at the timer to make sure that the thing didn’t try to run long on me.
I’m pretty sure I am missing the point entirely with exercise, but like I said, I doubt that I will ever ENJOY exercise. Mostly because the other things I love aren’t really compatible with it. I mean, have you ever tried half an hour on the treadmill the morning after a bottle of wine? It’s really a gift that keeps on giving. But this exercise newbie is going to give this a whirl. In the meantime, since the television situation is hit-or-miss, I need some suggestions for good workout music for the iPod. My current list (judge me not) includes mucho Cyndi Lauper, Pet Shop Boys, and “One Night In Bangkok”. I need some more to add to the rotation, thoughts?