Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It turns out exercise is full of sexual innuendo. Which means it's right up my...alley.

Last Tuesday I came into work, grabbed a cup of coffee, and settled into the visitor’s chair in my boss’s office for our morning chit chat. This usually covers several topics beginning and ending with what she did the night before. (She’s a chronic repeater, you see.) This particular morning she was gushing about her new membership at the Y and something called “Zumba”.

She proceeded to demonstrate an alarming series of hip rolls and pelvic thrusts that had me clutching my side and howling with laughter. It’s not that her motions were particularly funny or uncoordinated. (Ok, so maybe they were a little funny...) It was just strange to see a 62 year old woman, in pearls and a suit no less, bumping and grinding at 7:30am on a Tuesday morning.

She then asked me to join her for the next class.

I’d never heard of Zumba before, but the name and the moves she was showing off seemed a bit African in origin to me. I got a picture in my head of standing next to my grey headed boss in a room full of mirrors, swinging my arms and hips in an attempt to lure some unsuspecting male with my body’s siren song. “Come to me. We make baby.” *hip roll, pelvic thrust, saucy wink with come hither fingers* I might have even pictured a headdress and a necklace top – you know, the kind that drapes down over the chest and is meant to sort of cover the boobs, but doesn’t?

Of course I said no. I have my own mating dance already and it involves several Jack and Cokes, a girlfriend to make out with, and a simple “your place or mine”. Why waste all the good moves during the pre-game when they’d be more appreciated in flagrante. “I learned this in my exercise class!” *hip roll, pelvic thrust, battle cry, Annnnnd BIG finish with windmill arms!*

For the rest of the week I heard about how awesome Zumba class was and how much fun the boss and a few coworkers were having. By Friday I’d been brainwashed and found myself agreeing to go to Monday’s class and check it out. “Self”, I said, “You like to dance and could definitely stand to lose a few pounds. Why not?” I also may or may not have seen an infomercial on TV showing the guy who invented Zumba and his plethora of hard bodied followers doing moves that made my nipples hard. Beto Perez: He’s the Chuck Norris of exercise dancing.

After a considerably lovely weekend, I returned to work on Monday with a bag of gym clothes and a growing seed of doubt. What if the old ladies moved better than I did? What if I were to sweat through my clothes? Sweat is so gross! What if some good looking man happened to pass by and look in, be overcome with lust, throw me over his shoulder and lock me up until I gave birth to 7 children? Then Self set me straight. “You should really hope for that last one. At least then you’d be getting laid.”

Self is such a bitch sometimes.

At 5pm, water bottles firmly in hand, boss and I walked the two blocks to the Y. It’s a lovely old building, six stories, with a red awning and a set of stairs leading up to the big, scarred double doors. I love old buildings, so while boss was at the front desk finalizing her membership paperwork, I was taking it all in. The lobby had worn carpet and glass doors. A curling, carpeted stairwell led up and across from it was a tiny old elevator. Its unobtrusive position was like an unwritten sign: This is for people that truly need it. Not for your fat lazy ass. Take the stairs bitch.

I signed the visitor’s sheet and followed boss, who stopped right in front of the elevator. “I’m not walking up six flights of stairs today”, she said, pressing the button. I looked guiltily around before nodding. If anyone gave me a “look”, I’d say that my “grandmother” had to use the elevator and I couldn’t, in good conscience, let her go alone.

Our room on the 6th floor was long, carpeted, and punctuated every few feet with columns. The walls were mirrored on every side, with only an occasional bare space in between for windows. I looked out over the city and thought that it was worth coming, just for the building and the view alone.

I was introduced to the other ladies from work, all of them over 40. They seemed nice enough and knowing that they’d been to the class several times before and weren’t dead yet put me more at ease. I mean, if I couldn’t do at 24 what these women could do at their age, there was a serious problem. “Self, you got this shit.”

As a few more people came in, conversation turned to our instructor, who was at that minute working on her steps in front of a mirror by the sound system cabinet. She was a small, pretty blonde girl dressed in black spandex pants and tank top. While Latin music pulsed through the speakers, I watched her do a series of moves that left me feeling a combination of excitement and disappointment. I loved to dance and the moves looked fun, but there was no way in hell I’d ever look like that while doing them. I looked down at my loose, cotton navy Capri pants and bright orange t-shirt proclaiming I was a supporter of a local pediatric group and sighed. I hadn’t needed workout clothes in years. My last gym membership expired while I was eating enough teriyaki wings for two and learning that “birth” is just another word for “you will no longer feel like doing anything – P.S. your vagina may need stitches”.

She called for us to spread out for a warm up. (How come I never realized how awesome physical fitness innuendo is until now?) There were about 8 older women aged 40 – 60, myself, and three girls that looked to also be in their early 20’s. Two of them positioned themselves directly behind the instructor and commenced giggling. I didn’t like the look of them so I took a spot on the back right side of the room. I was not going to be distracted or upstaged.

Then we began.

The music was mostly fast and in Spanish, with a few new hits I recognized from the radio. I heel, toe, stepped and gyrated through the warm up without a problem. It wasn’t until the first “routine” that I started to realize, “this shit is going to hurt”.

– Jump up and wave your hands in the air! Spread your legs apart, pump your arms in front of you, and shake that ass like a rap video groupie on cocaine! Salsa backwards, forwards, side to side! Cha cha! Belly dance, Shakira style, round and round, left to right! Step step to the left and jump jump, step step to the right and jump jump! Run, run, and run, in place! Cumbia, (Which, as it turns out, has roots in Africa. HA!) Cumbia! And repeat! New dance! Keep going! –

Even in the intervals between routines we were to dance in place or walk around in circles while we drank from our water bottles. “Keep that heart rate up, ladies!” After the first 10 minutes I was sweating like a whore in church, panting and dying on the inside. I contemplated just walking in place during the hard parts, but none of the old ladies did. They kept going and by gawd, if they were going to keep going, I couldn’t be a 24 year old pussy. So I pushed through, vowing that once I was done I would limp out of there and never come back.

But there came a point, about 25 to 30 minutes in, that I adjusted. I caught my breath and moving became easier. I started to enjoy myself and get into it. Though, not nearly as much as the two giggling girls in front, who stared in appreciation at themselves in the mirrors and tried to outdo the instructor. I know she made a few parts harder just for them. Occasionally she would smile in a most malicious way and I wondered if our thoughts might be similar. “Bitch please, you call that a pelvic thrust? Are you having a vaginal seizure of the non-orgasmic variety? You’re gonna throw your back out and I’mma laugh like hell. We’ve got a candidate for hip replacement over here!”

By the time we were cooling down I felt good. I was loose, relaxed, and entirely too pleased with myself for doing the moves better than the over 50 crowd. As I stretched I watched the others. They were just as sweat soaked and completely oblivious. No one cared what anyone else looked like and if they’d been paying attention to how others moved, they’d done it behind an expression of veiled disinterest, just like me.

Walking with boss in companionable silence down the six flights of stairs, I changed my mind. I decided that I would join the Y and continue coming to classes. I would wear cuter exercise clothes, more deodorant, and even, horror of horrors, do “The Pony” without complaint. Yes, that’s right. One of the moves in a routine was “The Pony”. Something I hadn’t done since I was a fat kid watching Richard Simmons videos in the living room with Satan’s mistress my mother.

When I got home I was tired, but not too sore. I did the mundane chores that needed to be done, threatened my disobedient child with “The Pony” (which was surprisingly ineffective), and finally took a long hot shower.

Yesterday morning I was fine – no aching muscles or stiff limbs. (That’s what she said.) I went on to class without the boss, who had a prior engagement, and filled out the membership paperwork, took my picture and accepted my keychain. I felt surprisingly little dread at the thought of more exercise. It’s never been a priority or something I enjoy much of, but then again, I used to hate granola bars. Now I can’t get enough of those bitches.

But last night when I got home and got out of the car, my calves hurt so badly I could barely stand up. There’s a short set of brick stairs that go down from our driveway to the patio and front door, but when I went to take the first one, my knees nearly buckled. I ended up having to take one step at a time, slowly and turned sideways. Like an old lady. And when I got to work this morning, they were still a bit tight and sore (they just keep coming...).

Sigh. At least I don’t have to go back until tomorrow night. Besides, it is kind of fun. And I’m committed now – I’ve signed the form and everything. An anti-exercise woman has been reborn into a Zumba fanatic.

I guess it just goes to show – Richard Simmons might have a vagina, but the pony is still going strong. Wait, no. I mean – Exercise is a bitch, but staying away from home (and my mother) for an extra two hours is awesome. No, no. Uhhh – If I can’t have sex, I can at least simulate it three days a week, fully clothed in a room full of strangers to make myself feel better. FUCK!

Ok, I got it!

Exercise makes you feel good. But exercising with a bunch of old people makes you feel even better. “And Pony! And Pony! And Pony! OOWA OOWA!”


Steam Me Up, Kid said...

I fucking love the pony. My mom taught it to me right before an 8th grade dance when I told her I was nervous because I didn't know how to dance.

Thank goodness for mom. Popularity is overrated, probably.

The mad woman behind the blog said...

Convert, right here! Where do I sign up?

BTW, you just wait sista, not only are you going to look and feel hotter after all of this, you libido is going to skyrocket!

But hey, you'll have the moves and the bod to get'er done!

Hunter said...

I love me some gyrating cougars. Thanks for the tip on where to find them, and good luck with the class! said...

Nothing like a good post-work gyration! The more you gyrate, the more you can eat too. I like that about exercise. :)

mylittlebecky said...

noooooo! you've gone over to the dark side! i don't think i could do zumba. yoga is all the group exercise i can take.

Eric said...

I think I'm going to start a Zumba band in Dallas.

Haha, you said tight and sore.

Anonymous said...

Zumba sounds BADASS! And good for you. And I have to say, that every spring, after a lethargic winter sitting on my ass because it's too cold to go further than the parking lot, the slightest bit of exercise kicks my ass hard. Maybe if I was still 24 I'd kick that bitch in the ass. But no. OUCH. I am so looking into Zumba. Particularly if it's full of over 50s like yours, where I might stand a chance of being fitter than someone. Ha! :)

mo.stoneskin said...

I'm simply outraged that you couldn't be bothered to pelvic-thrust your way up and down six flights of stairs.

Beta Dad said...

They offer Zumba at my gym. Should I go for it? It doesn't require any moves that are less masculine that the Pony, does it?

"Sweating like a whore in church" instantly transported me back to ol' Virginny. Sometimes I miss the South.

Great story!

JUST ME said...

Exercising DOES make you feel good!

I have to say, my gym has Zumba but I've stayed away because I'm consistently scared I'll trip over my own feet and somehow bring the people next to me down to the floor at the same time.

Wish you lived closer. We could find shelter in a corner together and laugh at all the flat stomachs....

kris said...

I am soooo not Zumba-ing. All the entertainment and benefit I plan to ever get out of Zumba may be found right in this post. Because the post . . . I love!

Especially this: “birth” is just another word for “you will no longer feel like doing anything – P.S. your vagina may need stitches”.

Laughter is all the exercise I need!

Pretty All True

steff said...

my mom teaches a Zumba class. she's 52. my grandmother takes the class as well. she's 75. im 27 and they are both in better shape than i am. needless to say, i am a total loser who, for whatever reason, refuses to attend a FREE class where i could potentially feel better about myself and get some much needed excersize. so, yeah. i totally suck.
good for you though! from what i hear it's a hell of a workout and usually pretty fun as well. hope you stick with it. maybe your continued progress can convince me to finally get off my lazy ass.
here's to hoping...

Pat Tillett said...

I thought Zumba was a robotic vacuum cleaner!

I clicked your link at another blog. You are funny as hell and I'm going to tag along, if you don't mind.

Vanilla said...

Long time reader (stalker, lurker) first time poster. Followed you here from "Today is my Birthday".

I reckon you should pony up some zumba videos, ones that show spirit. Or I may be wrong.

But what I am really curious about is now that you are wrinting in the third person i.e. “Self, you got this shit.” are you thinking that way too, ie do you find that self is starting conversations not just replying to your thoughts.

Because that would be amazing and scary at the same time.


Love you, Love your work, keep it up.

Kelly and Sara said...

LOVE your blog! Just found it. Hope you have a great weekend!

carissajaded said...

hahaha I love the word gyrating... its definitely one of my favorites.. I've always wanted to try zumba.. guess I'll have to one of these days!!

carissajaded said...

Also my last comment captcha was "hangry"

Which is what I always say when I'm so hungry I'm mad.. Just thought I'd share!

Buster said...

I'd join a zoomba class, but I'm afraid it would make me look extremely gay.

Krista said...

I LOVE Zumba! Although your class sound like a lot more work, and fun, than mine was. (I took mine on a college campus, with tiny college girls in their even tinier workout "outfits") But I still had fun! Love your blog.

Ells said...

All good excercise classes are really designed to make you better in the sack. I do yoga and pilates. Yoga: for getting your ankles behind your head. Pilates: 60 minute long Kegel excercise.

My boyfriend should pay for that shit.

Jenny DB said...

OH MAN *hip roll, pelvic thrust, battle cry, Annnnnd BIG finish with windmill arms!* had me rolling on the floor. good one! :)

Ashley @ KiwisandCocktails said...

This is hilarious!!!
My zumba instructor even makes LOTS of sexual comments and conversation when teaching us the moves! The class is def R rated...which is most of the reason I keep going back...certainly not for the sweat! :)

Sarah P said...

I think it's obvious. Your readers demand a Zumba vlog.

otherworldlyone said...

Steamy: Yes, you’ve mentioned that before. We can be “Pony Sister”.

Mad Woman: If my libido skyrockets (especially in this strange time of abstinence) things could get ugly. I might start humping random things and/or people.

Hunter: I’ll bet you do, sir.

Hiphophippie: So do I. :)

Becky: I know! I don’t know what happened! I’m probably going to take a yoga class soon too.

Eric: Pervert.

Veg Ass: Thank you. You should check it out, really. I usually HATE doing stuff like this, but I’m all into it now.

Mo: I’ll make you a deal: Audio record yourself pelvic thrusting up and down six flights of stairs and I’ll do it too.

Beta Dad: You should definitely go for it. Um...well, do you think Shakira hip shakes and backing that ass up are masculine moves? I guess they could be...

Thank you.

Just Me: Well if you ever visit... :)

Kris: Thanks, Porn star.

Steff: Free? Bitch, you got to get on that.

Pat: No, no. That’s Rumba. Neat little suckers, aren’t they?

Thank you! Please stop by again soon.

Vanilla: I love lurkers. Especially when they aren’t peering in my windows. So welcome.
I’ve been writing in the third person on and off for quite awhile. And yes, I do sometimes reply. Especially when I haven’t taken my medication.

Thanks for commenting.

Kelly and Sara: Thank you! I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well.

Carissajaded: Gyrating is one of the most awesome words in the English language. That and “penile”.

Buster: Hey, no one has to know. You could wear a disguise! And when you whip out your new moves on a new lady friend, they’ll probably be very appreciative.

Krista: I’m an enthusiastic new convert. We’re part of the same club! *fist bump* Thanks for reading!

Ells: 60 minute long kegel exercises? I got to get on that.

Jenny DB: Thank you, thank you.

Ashley: Certainly not! Sweat is gross, sex is great. We are in agreement.


BugginWord said...

I laughed so hard I nearly cum-biaed.

Lola Lakely said...

I haven't tried Zumba. But I make it a rule to always finish BIG with windmill arms. I think that's a mantra to live by.

Sarah P said...


Vlog. Do it. Do it now. We demand it.

Ally said...

Good for you working out! It is totally amazing once you get into it. I can say this because I'm a fatty that works out, so don't think I'm being a sarcastic bitch.

I have to comment on the elevator vs. stairs thing. My current gym has a huge staircase and I swear, I dread that damn staircase more than the work out. What is my problem?

I don't have cute work out clothes by the way. I wear old faded band and concert shirts and sweats I got on I don't want to waste money on shit I won't wear in real life. Ha ha!

Maryx said...

I've heard a lot about Zumba... but you just made it sounds so much better! =) Sounds like so much fun! And even the aching muscles make you feel good cause you know you really had a work-out. It's SO great that you joined Zumba and it can only get better from now on... and you can just get sexier and sexier!!

Thanks for sharing! I love how you invite your readers into your life through your story telling. It's like we're there...

Girl Interrupted said...

Ok, well NOW I understand why there are shit-encrusted pants in your bathroom drawer at work! Clearly ladies of a certain age should most definitely NOT Zumba and avoid pelvic thrusting at all costs :/

Ps: Self IS a bitch sometimes (we're sooo not talking right now)