To dance or not to dance

A friend of mine teaches a dance class and she keeps inviting me to participate. “You’ll love it” she says and after I explain to her again and again that I’m a total klutz, she laughs and reminds me that everyone says that.

I went yesterday morning, and today I’m nearly in paralysis. Truly, I’m sore everywhere and I’m moving very, very slowly.

As I entered the building, I was greeted by a lovely older woman. Someone you would think of as your grandmother. Silver hair, huge smile, soft hands. She helps me sign in and tells me where to change and then to “find a space on the floor.” She tells me that her name is Sylvia and she will help me as, and I quote, “it’s great to have someone older in the class.”  Hmm.

I don’t need to change my clothes, but I do find space on the floor and proceed to stand there like a dork waiting for something to happen. People filter in and I decide I have time to go to the potty. I step into the changing room by accident, and I almost crash into a lady who is changing her clothes right inside the doorway. She blocks the path and I smile politely at her while I notice that just beyond her lies all kinds of room for changing as the room is deserted.

She smiles back and tells me that she is just making “adjustments.” I locate the loo and do my thing and return to the floor. However, I cannot help but notice this lady. Everything matches. Her clothes, her water bottle, her mat, everything she has is color coordinated. And further, she’s wearing a headband and two wristbands. She looks like a refugee from an Olivia Newton John exercise tape from back in the 80’s.

The room fills with skinny bitches. There isn’t a soul in the room who needs a workout, because they only eat celery and carrots. They haven’t eaten a bag of chips or a box of cookies ever in their lives. They drink herbal tea only, and when they get all crazy they binge on a head of cauliflower which leaves them shattered for days, no doubt.

The instructor, my pal Beth, comes running over to greet, hug and exchange words of wisdom with me. Such pearls include take your time (oh I will, no worries there), and just do whatever I need to do (oh I will…).  She asks Sylvia to get me some weights and some resistance bands, and Sylvia promptly turns and runs to get me what I need like she’s being followed by someone with a knife.  She returns, running still, and leaves them in a corner until I need them.

The music starts and away we go. After about the 30th jumping jack, I’m ready to head over to Starbies to get my tea and something really bad to eat. I figure I’ve lost weight by now, so why not?

I notice Sylvia next to me, and she’s a go getter, she doesn’t slow down. I don’t know how old she is but she’s in fine form. I do my best but God almighty this is ridiculous.

At last it’s time for a break and I cannot breathe and already ache, but I’m determined to soldier on as we move to the weights and the resistance bands.

The music picks up after I’ve drunk most of my water – well, really I felt like I’d been in the Sahara since yesterday, and I chugged it down. I’m sweating like a pig at a roast, and notice few others seem to have broken into even a small line of sweat at the brow.

I pick up the weights and realize that these are for a bona fide weight lifter, like maybe an Olympian, and I realize immediately that I won’t last with them. They are 10 pounders and I’d prefer a 5 at the most. I whisper to Sylvia who tells me that 10 pounds are the smallest they have. Well of course I think, of course they are the smallest you have. I hoist and squat, hoist, squat, and when I finally put those damn weights down, I feel like a simian, like my arms will now be dragging behind me. But that isn’t the worst because we have yet to use the resistance bands.

I go and get those as Beth is reminding us how much these bands help us tone. I don’t need to tone I think, I need plastic surgery right now so I never have to do this again.

Resistance bands are like big rubber bands, and like a rubber band, some are more stretchy, and others – like the ones I had, do not move until you apply force. Lots of force, and keeping them open (stretched) is or should be the exercise. But it’s not. You stand on one end and pull the other end up to your ears. I knew that if I had to let go of the band once it was stretched that it would fly across the room like a comet and would probably kill someone, perhaps splitting them in two. On the other hand I had to let go and thankfully my foot held the band down or it might have ruined someone’s day.

Now Oliva with all of her coordinated outfit and gear has zero trouble keeping up, however she’s a flailer. Her arms and legs are everywhere and I swear she could wrap her foot around her head and suck on her big toe. She is everywhere and people move away from her. I’m not near her at all and am busy wondering what people will think of me as the token spaz for the day.

We continue dancing and of course at some point we are asked to face left, and of course I turn right, and Sylvia shouts, “no no my dear, the other way” and as we continue our rotation I screw up every way possible, and then realize that my back is to everyone and someone else says very loudly “oh look, there is someone new here!”  I just want this over with and finally it’s time to stretch.

I am stunned at what Olivia and Sylvia can do. They contort in every possible way. I can touch my toes just barely and I’m reasonably sure that I should now make my own exercise videos – I’m that good!!

I drag myself home, and today – well today is interesting.  I’ll be lucky if I can lift a fork to eat.