June 2008. Monday, 8.00 am. I’m at the gym early today, because I’m going to do another aerobics class. This time it will be the class for beginners, but I’m not taking any chances so I arrive with time to spare in order to stretch and warm up prior to the class.
I bump into a mate who asks me what I’m doing at the gym so early, as I’m more of an afternoon worker outerer. Mornings are usually pretty busy down there, whereas in the afternoon I pretty much have the place to myself, plus I get to sleep in! I tell him that I’m doing the aerobics class.
“What? You’re doing Granny Aerobics!” he laughs. My eyebrows lift a little, “Well, I think it’s called Easystep, or something…”
He walks off sniggering.
I’m having second thoughts, then think, “Stuff him!” Making my way into the room I see a lot of older women, with a sprinkling of young ‘uns, all various shapes and sizes. Again, I’m the only male.
The instructor rolls in, she is young, fit and well toned. She has a big smile, and enthusiasm to burn. One of the ladies standing next to me mumbles, “Oh no, Death by Sheila.”
The music starts, it’s the same techno crap, but at a slower pace today. I’m keeping up! Some of the moves are a bit tricky, but the lady next to me is very helpful, coaching me in the right way to fling that foot, this arm, tilt etc. I’m actually enjoying myself!
‘Death by Sheila’ is a great instructor. What amazes me though is the class is lathered in sweat, but she hasn’t got a single bead on her, and during the class she chatters to various people in the group, cracks jokes, and hands out buckets of praise. We’re out of breath, and she’s just cruising! ‘How fit is she?!’ I wonder.
Out of the corner of my eye I see my mate sitting on one of the machines, I nod my head, and he replies by shaking his head back at me.
After the class I’m still standing. The stretching we did to cool down was hard, but afterwards I feel great. Sheila comes over, “What did you think?” she asks. I give her two thumbs up. I ask her to show me some of the moves I was struggling with, and she’s more than happy to walk me through my paces. Once I knew how to do them, it was easy. Like most things in life I suppose.
Before heading home, in a moment of madness, I find myself on a rowing machine, pulling out a couple of kilometres. I like the rowing machine. I like any exercise you can do sitting down 🙂
Afterwards, as I’m walking out, the music booms from the aerobics room, I turn to look, and there in the pack is Sheila, hammering out a set of steps with the other girls. There is a new instructor on the stage. I shake my head in amazement, and think, ‘I want to be that fit.’
I’m hooked. Pity about the crappy music though…