Sweating With the Oldies


Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

I’m one of those weird people who like to exercise. For someone who is Type A, exercise has been a constant companion to me. She cures many of my ailments; such as big mouth syndrome, come down off the ledge illness, and a current favorite; mid-life hormonal combustion.

When my friend, Ella, asked me to join her at a Zumba class, I jumped at the chance. I used to take Zumba all the time, and loved it. I mean, who doesn’t love to dance, destress, and burn a gazillion calories?

The class was filled with everyone from seven to ninety-seven. Okay, maybe not that old, but close. Trust me. I think it’s fantastic to find older people getting up and shaking their groove thing. I plan on being in my nineties, wearing my yoga pants, and doing the hustle across the dance floor. (I also plan on completely turning off my filter, and saying every single non-politically correct thing that comes to my mind! People will think what I say is cute because I’ll be old. That’s what everyone says about my grandmother and her miniskirts.)

There’s a down side to Zumba, though. I can’t work out with my nose pinched closed. I do need to breathe, but with breathing comes inhaling the smell of a skunk in the summer sun. I discreetly checked to see if the skunk was coming off of me, but thank everything that is holy, I remembered to wear deodorant and I had showered earlier that day. I was sweating pretty good, and by the end I was a tad ripe, but the skunk stink was on someone else. And not Ella! Maybe I could do what the ladies did back before showers existed. I can spray a handkerchief with perfume and keep it over my face.

If you’re a single male, and into women, a Zumba class might be a great hook-up place. There had to be forty people in that class and only one of them was a man. Those are some pretty good odds. I thought our guy had to be smart swinging his hips around for the ladies until I found out he stalks women from one gym to another. Then he was just plain creepy. Maybe the skunk was him?

I can’t begin to describe how ridiculous I must look in a Zumba class trying to follow the fancy footwork, but I can tell you this: My lack of skill doesn’t stop me. And when I go to Zumba class I’m Jennifer Lopez. At least in my delusional mind.

About an hour in I felt ten years younger. I thought, look at me, keeping up, recapturing the exercise high I miss because I don’t run anymore, and not an ache or a pain anywhere. Ninety minutes in, I thought, when the hell is this class going to end? The muscles in my back twisted into a tightly woven braid, and my knees ached like a bad tooth. I went from feeling ten years younger to feeling ancient. The ninety year-olds were holding up better than I was.

The class had several instructors. They were all lovely, warm, and friendly. These kooky women wanted to take a picture of everyone together after class. Stinky, sweaty people standing in a huddle was a bad idea. Let’s not forget the skunk! Not to mention, my hair wasn’t exactly picture ready after ninety minutes of sweating with the oldies. I found a clever way to hide, and not touch or get too close to anyone. You know how I sceeve people. Again, not Ella!

All in all, it was a great time. Maybe I’ll get asked to go again. Hopefully, there won’t be anymore pictures. And my handkerchief is ready.




8 thoughts on “Sweating With the Oldies

  1. I’m with you, Stacey: I cherish my morning workout time. I’ve got a massive L.A. Fitness down the block from my home — so there’s really no excuse not to go — and I hit the gym every morning, six days a week, for strength training and cardio. I know too many guys my age — particularly writers — who say, “I hate exercising.” To me, that’s like saying, “I hate brushing my teeth,” or, “I hate making the bed.” Isn’t it just something you do every morning out of habit — because it should be done? What’s to hate about it?

    I love my workouts (and I don’t go easy on myself in the gym) for several reasons: First, it’s time to myself, and that’s always a blessing, particularly in this day and age. Second, the sheer level of physical exertion leaves no energy for intellectual rumination; working out is one of the few things I do that allows me — forces me, even — to turn off my brain and just be focused on my body. Third, I feel good for having done it. (And if my last few physical exams are any indication, it’s yielded dividends in my overall biochemical health.)

    Like I said: I’m watching too many guys my age start to let themselves go, and though I’ll never look like the Rock (nor do I have any ambition to, indecently), I refuse to go quietly into middle age! I know lots of people now, well into their seventies, who keep themselves fit and active — they both look and feel great. That’s something I very much aspire to; I like that I’m in the best shape of my life in my forties.

    I do have a beef with the Zumba class, however: It always fills to capacity, and makes it impossible to find a parking spot! Ah, well…


    1. The past several months I’ve been working out strictly from home. Working out at home has been saving me time. Having said that, sometimes those that live with me come and say, “Can you see if this matches,” or “Do you know where my shoes are?” It’s a trade off, like everything else.

      Exercise has been the only way I can shut my head off. If I have to keep track of steps, or reps I don’t have time to think. I love it.

      We did hear about your last successful physical exam. Wink. I’m glad your exercise program is keeping you young and fit. You’ve got a lot books to write. I need more good things to read.

      Your Zumba class is full? Bummer. Next time you’re on the east coast, let me know. We’ll crash Ella’s class.

    1. Thanks for stopping by the blog and jumping into the conversation. Zumba doesn’t burn a ton of calories? I’m surprised. The sweat poured off me in tidal waves. Guess, the ice cream after was a bad idea.

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