It all started with a dinner hosted at a neighbor's house in celebration of my wife's completion of radiation treatment. The crab cakes were perfect as was the grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon. And the wine was flowing. When wine flows, I imagine I am still a young guy—able to play football or ride a skateboard. So, when one of the wives present mentioned she taught a cardio course at the Outer Banks Sports Club, one of the other wives thought it would be "fun" if she, her husband and myself joined in. Now I go to the OBSC most days. I do about 30 minutes on the treadmill at 4 mph and a 10-12% incline. I then follow up by using the weight machines for about 30 minutes, although I admit to more socializing than weight work. Even so, my doctor says I could stand to lose 10-15 lbs and I need work on my core. So, fortified by that Aussie red, I said what the heck. A few reminder messages on Facebook sealed the deal.
And then the problems started. First, the class starts at 7:10 AM. Not my hour. To make matter worse, I got home about 11PM the night before after a Shrine Club meeting and didn't fall asleep until well after 1AM. As I walked into the OBSC, the morning darkness has not yet receded in full and the colorful lights of the nearby Dunkin' Donuts called my name. But I went on in. That was my second problem. Always trust your instincts.
The class was composed of about a half dozen women and the two men—myself and my neighbor's husband. As my other neighbor/drill instructor launched the festivities, I knew I was in trouble. First, there was this fast paced dance music. And moves unnatural for a male—bounce, upper cut, upper cut, cross, cross, bounce bounce football dance 180 turn bounce bounce cut, cut, cross, cross and so on for about seven hours. I was already dead, plus I discovered I am mirror dyslexic. I want to do the opposite of what I see there. And this is when I knew I would never be a synchronized swimmer, dancer, or diver. Next we trotted off to the spinning bikes. I forgot to open up the straps on the pedals beforehand. Whoever had the bike before me must be a Leprechaun. Couldn't get the shoes in the straps without half the spin cycle elapsing. I hurt too much to bend down and loosen them. Spinning, by the way, is easy. If you sit on the bike, which is why the manufacturer put a freakin' seat there in the first place. But when you alternate standing and sitting every ten seconds, it's a crime against nature. Plus, it hurts.
Of course, it was back to the floor where we lifted bars over our heads, held them down, and then did heel lifts. Six hundred and twenty times. By the next set of exercises, where we did four push-ups, rotated left and right with one arm outstretched towards the sky, (apparently reaching for that white light in the sky beckoning me), then four more push-ups, another rotating white-light reach (It's getting closer and more beautiful! Where is Jennifer Love-Hewitt when you need her?). I think all in all we did about 12 push-ups that set. I am pretty sure I am right because I took one of several "knees" at this time as I watched these women effortlessly work though the routines. By the next exercise, which involved a stretchy piece of elastics to work something called a lat, all I could think of was a glazed donut, a cup of coffee and maybe a Big Bite at 7-11 later.
By the second or third time on the spinning bikes (I blacked out for about five minutes, but enjoyed the out-of-body experience), my male comrade, who was holding up much better than me muttered "What's the name of this Stalag again?" If my choice is life in Stalag 13 with Hogan and Klink or taking the class twice a week, my vote is leaning towards prison camp. This went on non-stop for a forty full minutes, or three times longer than I participated. Later today, when my neighbors arrived home, I was telling the husband of my experience. "Oh, those girls will kill you, they're animals". Of course, his wife said "You took Cathie's class? They are really good".
So, here are my conclusions. I will no longer tolerate any woman who tells me she doesn't go to the gym because her butt is too big. After being humiliated by a half-dozen women (not terribly younger than me, but I didn't say that), I think you need get over your vanity and embarrass yourself with the rest of us. Next, women are way too healthy. It occurs to me that they will one day take over the world. I bet Nancy Pelosi takes these classes. In fact, I bet these girls are actually training to become an Army of super-soldiers who wear pink and listen to David Gates and Bread in their spare time. Third, there is a reason only two men were in the class. I'm not sure what that reason is, but I know it's important because I was one of only two men in the entire county taking this class. And fourth, I've decided that risking cholesterol overload is not so bad. In fact, it's just God's way of saying 'I'll see you tomorrow! Which is OK, because after today I am sure there are no spinning bikes, body bars and bouncy bouncy boxer stance dances in Heaven.