Y, oh Y

Today I survived my first ever step aerobics class.

That is a slight exaggeration. In 1993 or so, Joe and I took a single “Introduction to Step” class at Bally’s. It wasn’t even a routine, just what the steps were called and how to do the most basic moves.

That was enough for us!

Until today. I recently joined the local YMCA because pretending my ass isn’t there isn’t making it any smaller. Nor does the public at large seemed inclined to ignore it, just because I am.

I’ve learned a lot at the Y. I’ve learned that I have no idea what shower room etiquette is these days. But I do know I can’t carry on a conversation with a perfect stranger if we’re both standing under shower heads and soaping our parts. I’ve learned that little old ladies will happily hand you your ass in aerobics class as they pick up heavier weights and do more reps in better form. I’ve learned that a butterfly tattoo on the buttock is a pretty dreary sight when the buttock in question reaches a certain stage of giving in to gravity. I learned that Friday is when the buff young men in Speedos come in to do laps next to the water aerobics class.

And today, I learned to sweat from pores I didn’t even know I had. I worked so hard, sweat was spurting out of me like I had tiny fire hoses under my skin. But my poor, sad, slow metabolism refuses to budge unless I kick-start it with something drastic like this.

But the other reason I took the class? My most excellent writer friend, Linda Rohrbough, http://www.lindarohrbough.us/, once advised a class full of aspiring writers that we needed to try whatever frightened us. We needed to sit down next to the person we thought looked most intimidating, try the form we thought we couldn’t conquer. She said fear was a sign that THIS was what we needed to try next.

And step aerobics? Yup. I hate looking like I don’t know what I’m doing. I hate being the slow one in class. I hate not knowing what comes next. But I didn’t fall down (biggest fear), and I didn’t knock anyone else down (second biggest fear). Nobody pointed and laughed.

Since Linda’s advice has been golden so far, I’m going to keep looking for things I’m avoiding and give ’em a whirl. I’m going to keep going to this step class until I master the routines.

Well, except on Fridays. I think I’ll go back to water aerobics on Fridays.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Y, oh Y

  1. Sue

    This post created so many thoughts that I have brain jam. First of all, good for you. No, GREAT for you. For exercising, yes, but more so, for doing something that made you nervous. Though I’m no good at it myself, I believe that it IS important to challenge one’s fears. Amazing things can happen.
    I also remember when I was doing step aerobics with my sister and a couple of friends. It really was a lot of fun, and those little old ladies are something else. I did fall once but I survived. I’m not sure the building did.
    I also used to swim at the same gym. I learned to keep my eyes closed so I didn’t have to see the um . . . privates of the women naked in the lounge chairs by the pool. The first time was a shock.
    Rock on, MB.

  2. gr

    {furiously building a Time Machine so I can go back to 1993 and see Joe in a step aerobics class}

  3. Amy

    I DID try step aerobics in the late 80s/early 90s, followed by a 20-year break from it, only to find that the world of step aerobics has gotten scary!! Maybe it was just because I tried something called “Step Slam Jam”, where I spent most of my time looking around to see that I’m facing the wrong way, on the wrong side of the step, wrong leg is on or off the step, wrong leg is kicking or kneeing… you get the picture. Total flail-fest.
    Yay for you, Mabel, for doing scary things! Can’t wait to hear what’s next. 🙂

  4. Except with my luck, I would sit down next to the intimidating person and they would pull a gun out and hold me hostage until the governor of the city gave him 100 thousand dollars in unmarked bills and an unfollowed flight to Tahiti.

    Just sayin’….

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