Sing a Song of Sweat

I’m back.

In my absence, I traveled across the country in the minivan (aka the Bitch Mobile) with the family. After stops in Little Rock, AR; Clarksville, TN; and Charleston, WV, we spent a week in D.C. It was wonderful.

We came home. Dealt with an ass-load of water damage in the basement from a huge storm that happened a few days before we got home. And then the west side of Colorado Springs caught on fire. That was damn scary, even though we were far from the blaze.

Summer devolved into fall, sort of, and school started. I managed a quick weekend in NNY in September, and now I’m back, refreshed and ready to rant. Because Janet told me to, so blame her.

First up: while in NY, I ran my first 5K at the Ranger School in Wanakena. Downside: running three miles. Upside: all those ranger students running ahead of us were so very, very fit. And polite. And athletic.  I finished about where you’d expect, behind all the runners but in front of all the walkers. Beautiful trail through gorgeous fall colors. It’s hard to beat autumn in the Adirondacks. I have my t-shirt, my race number and a photo of me at the finish line. Proof enough.

Second:  Before the trip to NY, it occurred to me that I needed some new clothing suitable for the pursuit of exercise. I had some exercise shorts that moved here with me in 1992, and that Spandex was retired with a medal of valor for service above and beyond the call of duty. It’s hard to find exercise bottoms. I’m in that hot stage of life, so full-length pants are right out. Running shorts with an inseam of one inch or less are right out as well. I need something stretchy, in a dark color, that ends just above or just below the knee.

In a huge departure from my normal method, I skipped the thrift stores and went straight to retail. If I was going to run a 5K, I wanted to do it in pants nobody else had sweat in before me! But I wish retailers/clothing designers would take a couple of notes: if someone needs a size large, or even an extra-large, to exercise in, perhaps “low-rise” is not a good idea. Nobody wants to exercise feeling like their waistband could give up the ghost and roll down over their curves at any second. It’s like trying to exercise when you have to pee–distracting and irritating.

Here’s another clue for retailers: I like to choose my own underwear, thank you very much. I don’t need it built into my running shorts.

Also, if I need a size large at the waist, I probably need that size all the way down to the ground. If I can’t get my foot through the leg hole, there’s no way in hell my actual leg is going to fit in there. Sure, I have big feet, but not freak-show big. So that pair was a “no.” Then I tried on another pair that made my knees look slender and gazelle-like. Really.  I don’t know how the leggings managed that feat, but my knees look fabulous while my thighs looked like spandex-covered, end-of-summer, Mississippi delta watermelons. Not the look I was going for.

Finally found some that would do, made my purchases, ran my run.

But wait. I also wear these work-out togs to Jazzercise. Now, I have nothing against Jazzercise. Obviously, since I’m paying a membership fee to take the classes. Like any other exercise class, there are instructors you like, and some you don’t enjoy quite as much. While I was in NY, my favorite instructor (also the owner) sold her business and retired. So we have someone new teaching the morning classes.

She’s incredibly fit (a plus), around my age (another plus) and is making a point to learn everyone’s name (big plus).

Then she tried to impress us with her knowledge of dance, which lasted until she told us to imagine we were flamingo dancing. I thought I’d heard her wrong, but she repeated it several more times while she was shrieking for us to imagine we were dancing with Antonio Banderas. Because that’s how I’d want to meet him, covered in sweat and wearing dodgy Spandex.

I have enough imagination, thank you very much. I don’t need guided imagery to get me through a one-hour exercise class.

I haven’t seen Interpretive Dance Woman in class lately. She was a lot of fun to stand behind. Every move had to be accompanied by arm, hair and/or leg flinging. Which is pretty damn amusing when you’re doing squats. Or crunches. Although we do have Twister Girl now, who does every move with a twist or gyration. Maybe she’s burning more calories that way? I’m pretty sure I’d throw my back out if I tried it. If my Spandex didn’t explode.

The new instructor likes the music very loud. Although what I would like is to be able to a)hear the cues over the music, and b)hear anything at all after the class. Maybe we’re all going the wrong way because nobody can hear you. When you’re behind the speakers that are facing the class, and you raise the volume enough for you to hear it, the rest of us are bleeding from the eardrums.

Maybe Antonio likes women who are bleeding from the ears.


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8 responses to “Sing a Song of Sweat

  1. K8

    Hee, hee, hee. You are the Rant Queen. I shudder to think of you when you’re 80 and really don’t give a flip about ranting!

  2. Sue

    Flamingo dancing. Is that standing on one leg, looking gorgeously pinky-coral? But gigantic congrats on the 5k. I so admire you athletic types.

  3. Nancy - Big Sister

    I love it Sis…..makes me realize how much I’ve missed your writing….PLEASE…don’t wait so long to write another one…..LOVE YOU..

  4. Amy

    “…end-of-summer, Mississippi Delta watermelons.” Snort.

  5. Man, you covered a LOT of ground there, MB! :-]

    Hey, I used to live in Wanakena—when my dad attended Ranger School there, oh, so very long ago! And did you know they just turned 100 this year? Did they make a big deal of it when you were there? Glad you had a great vacation! We took a couple road trips ourselves, to SD, WY,and MT.

    And if you’re not into Flamingo…try Zumba! ;-]

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