Monday, September 27, 2010

My sixty-year-old exercise regimen

We've "relocated." Not our home, but I've been trying to move our "life" back into our home community. You see, for years we've lived in one town, worked in another, gone to church somewhere else, and sent Simon to school, worked out and hung out in yet another neighboring town. Which means, 8 years later, we knew exactly 2 of our neighbors and exactly 0 other residents of our town.

All of that is a really long explanation as to why I quit my cushy hip gym and signed up with our local YMCA. Cushy and hip it is not, but it is local, and that's what we're going for. Oh how I miss catching up on Bravo re-runs while I'm sweating though. Our town (which I like to refer to as The Born) has a decidedly different culture than our former hang-out town (let's call it The Creek). The Creek is comfortably upper-middle class, filled with comfortable cushy-ness. The culture in The Creek is slightly more sophisticated the culture of The Born. I thought this would be no big deal, but it's turned out to have made me squeamish a time or two.

Like, for instance, the first time I worked out in The Born, I looked around and discovered I was one of only a few people not exercising in pajamas. Most of the others were wearing black velcro sneakers, giving you the idea that I was also at least 20 years younger than most of the others in the room. I'm not complaining.... I even got to help a sweet old lady use a vending machine and twist the cap off of her soft drink.

When it comes to exercise, I've learned a few valuable lessons over the years. Number 1: It is foolish to think I will exercise at home. That would involve getting up early (which would be dumb) or exercising during prime time (also dumb). Number 2: When left to my own devices, I will only work out until I'm a tiny bit fatigued, and then I'll look for a distraction. Since my new gym is lacking in distraction, I found myself wandering aimlessly around the fitness center wondering what I'll look like when I'm 65.

No working out at home and no working out on my own = group exercise class.

The problem in The Creek was that I was way too self-conscious to do group exercise class. When I say I have zero rhythm, I actually mean I have negative 10 rhythm. I am also lacking in balance and the ability to differentiate between "left" and "right," so aerobics is pretty much an embarrassment.  But at The Born, I am surrounded by a different clientele, and I decided that I'm not going to let sweet old people shame me into not working out.

So, I go to whatever class they offer at 9 am on weekday mornings. So far, it's been step intervals (not too bad), turbo kick (which is pretty much hip-hop and exposes my horrendous rhythm), and zumba (oh my, that is mortifying). Oh, and water aerobics.

The hour I spent in water aerobics this morning was just bizarre.

I kept waiting for someone to tell me that the minimum age for participation was 60, but no one did, so I jumped in the pool. I felt completely self-conscious (but admittedly it's been a while since I felt so young and perky). It was actually a pretty good workout that I was huffing and puffing through by the end.

You may be asking how is that a reasonably fit (okay, let's just be honest and call it "non-sedentary") person could be wheezing through a workout that her elderly classmates do several times a week. Well, I guess one of the advantages of being underwater is that no one can see if you're actually doing it or not. And, I'm not trying to throw my fellow aerobicizers under the bus, but I think some of them may not have been exactly pushing themselves.

Not that it's entirely their fault. The instructor spent a lot of the time trading recipes for Buckeyes, Thanksgiving pies, and talking about her favorite doughnuts. Talk about demotivating. All I wanted to do was hop out of the water and find the nearest Krispy Kreme.

Again, I am not complaining. If I wanted intense, I could have stayed at The Creek, where I would still be too scared to join in. Clearly, this program is more of a social club than a training program, and isn't "local community" kind of what I was looking for? Maybe next time I'll just bring my favorite pumpkin pie recipe and show those ladies what I've got!


Megan said...

Totally love it and wish I could join you. Darn working outside of the home!!

Dad said...

Would you PLEASE just go ahead and roll this stuff into a book! I can see my retirement living in the basement of your home in the "Born" becoming a bit more comfortable if you do. Plus... it IS quite entertaining!

Adrianne Thompson said...

I laughed out loud four times, I think. good grief. favorite part was when you accused your new friends of not trying. I LOOOOOOOVE it. still laughing.

Stefanie Schocke said...

As a fitness instructor (and I've been covering a water aerobics maternity leave)...I will tell you that the 55+ do cheat!!! :)

Angie said...

Loved this! Totally cracked me up. And I love your blog (found it on Lindsey A's). Thanks for being you and sharing yourself with the rest of us.

DrMommy said...

LOL Susie!!! I went to the water aerobics at our gym (thinking it a good idea for my troubled joints) and had the same experience. I got a lot of dirty looks, too -- like I was clearly flouting both a minimum age and weight requirement!!