Do people say that? "Baby juices"? No, probably not. I am a horrible mother.
So here -- pretend this is a paragraph or 27 where I delicately remind you that I'm the most out-of-shape ever and I really need to do something about that and weight loss is newly important to be because I no longer have:
A) a bowling ball growing inside me, jackhammering my bladder all day long
B) an incapacitating scar from where said bowling ball was removed from my abdomen
Pretend those paragraphs are enlightening, touching and hilarious, while you're at it.
Next, pretend that the faux paragraphs also say something meaningful about how I want to be in better shape so that I will be able to actually PLAY with my child when she's a rambunctious toddler, and not just sit on the sofa while trying to control her with the DVR remote. (PAUSE! PAUSE!!!!)
So now that you've all enjoyed those non-existant paragraphs, let me tell you what I'm getting at: I just added myself to Ish's gym membership. In pretend, I did so for the above reasons. In actuality, I did so IN PART because of those reasons, but also because the gym offers daycare for babies over 2 months old for $5 an hour or $30 a month UNLIMITED. And that makes the gym my new favorite place to go in the whole wide world.
But but. Having failed at attending the gym regularly in my 97 previous attempts, I thought that this time I needed to do something different. Not that the daycare isn't a super motivator, but I thought maybe I'd be more likely to go if I felt obligated to attend an actual class. If I had to be on something of a schedule.
And that is when I decided, after all these years, to take water aerobics. Note: these days, they do not call it "water aerobics" they call it a "hydro-fit" class. Which sounds way more hardcore, even though, well, I'll get to that.
I used to swim a lot when I was a kid. I was on swim teams and loved the water and it is maybe the ONLY form of physical activity I still enjoy. I have long wanted to take some sort of water fitness class.
Except for one thing.
Taking a water class at a gym requires wearing a bathing suit in front of strangers. Right? I mean, need I say any more about this? It's pure nightmare fodder. So, no water classes for me.
Well, until now. But let me explain that there are two, distinct parts to my "hydro-fit" experience. The stuff that happened before my first class, and the punishment that is the class itself.
Part A: The Stuff That Happened BEFORE My First Class
For about a week, I mulled and milled about, determined to go to the stupid class, really wanting to go but fearing the whole thing. I'd decided I'd attend the class that starts at 10:30 in the morning, because anything earlier wouldn't give me enough time to get out of the house. I'd ordered and received a "special" (i.e., plus-size, cover-my-everything) bathing suit. I just had to get over my anxiety.
You know that anxiety. Where do I drop Eve off? Where is the locker room again? How do you work the lockers? What should I pack? Where do I change? What shoes should I wear? Do I bring a change of flip-flops? Do I need my own towel? Do I need a swim cap? Ear plugs? Will the instructor know I'm new? Will she call me out? Will all the women in the locker room feel sorry for me in my "special" bathing suit? Can I blame all my excess weight on my baby? I bet I could...
And then the morning came when I swore I was going to go, and I am not even kidding you. I started getting packed for the gym at about 8:30 a.m. to leave the house at 10. I had to figure out what I was wearing there (it's not easy to change back into clothes after wearing a bathing suit, especially if you're trying to do it quickly behind a curtain with damp skin and you can't let any of your stuff touch the wet floor -- I've tried this before), and what to take with me. Then I had to pack Eve's stuff for her first time at daycare, and I didn't want to just hand over her diaper bag, because it's also my purse.
By the way? Here's the gorgeous bag I purchased from "AnnyandMe" on Etsy to be both diaper bag and purse:
And that took forever because I have no idea what I'm doing.
Eventually, we managed to leave the house relatively on-time, which I was kind of bummed about because I would have settled for any old excuse not to go. But we did go.
And I met the ladies at the daycare and they were great. And then I got to the locker room and didn't know how to open the lockers and had to go ask the guy at the desk. But with those hurdles done, I just had to change, rinse off, put on as much emotional armor I've ever worn, and wander out to the pool in time for class.
Part B: The Class Itself
The gym we belong to is gorgeous, and it's part of a hospital. This means that about half the gym's clientele is what you would expect out of a gorgeous suburban gym: lots of personal trainers working with hot housewives and a bunch of Pilates moms coming and going from their spin classes.
What I forgot about, though, was the other half of the gym's clientele. Namely, the people who are there for medical reasons (re: the hospital). 70-year-old men who've had heart attacks, for instance, and folks with severe physical disabilities.
Now, I hadn't really spent much time considering who attends a
The pool was a scene straight out of Cocoon. I just, I was...I was taken aback.
Or, well, okay. Not everyone was that old. But there was only one other girl in a class of about 15 who was under the age of 60, and I think she might be a little slow.
So then I had to recalibrate. Instead of being self-conscious for being woefully out-of-shape, I suddenly found myself self-conscious for being so young and spry. And comparatively thin.
Well! Of course, it's a LOT easier to get over feeling self-conscious for being the most fit than the other way around. It didn't take me long to feel more confident.
But then that changed, too.
Because after just a few minutes -- the young, petite and spunky instructor did ask my name, and did introduce me to the class -- I was saddled with the ridiculousness of it all.
This is the last-resort class! I realized. This is the class they have for people who can't do anything else! And worst yet, I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE!
It was like my own special hell. This, I thought, is what it's come down to.
"Hell" is, of course, too strong a word. It's not that bad. It's just -- this class is a little sad, and kind of hilarious, because it's totally right for me. It's the only class in the gym where I wouldn't feel bad about myself. It's the only workout routine that interests me. It's the only way to get me to go to the gym, repeatedly, and do a full hour workout that actually pushes me but doesn't hurt my body.
It just happens that "my" class is the class where Betty, Doris, and Phyllis (not kidding with these names, I swear) make lame jokes and discuss their grandkids when they should be "cross-country skiing" across the pool.
It happens that "my" class is where the man who looks like a frog and can't use his hearing aid in the pool just basically dances around for an hour making snide comments to mask the fact that he can't do any of the exercises and can't hear the instructor anyway.
It happens that "my" class is the one that allowed me the privilege of watching the (I'm guessing?) 78-year-old man spend 10 minutes tottering from the pool to the locker room wearing a flesh-colored banana hammock.
It happens that "my" class uses the same cracked-out hyper-speed "dance" music that Curves did, i.e., remastered classics turned into upbeat dance-y songs, as sung by God-knows-who but definitely NOT the original artists.
Oh, you have not lived until you've worked out to a spastic, low-budget rendition of Dancing Queen. And you REALLY have not lived until you've done deep-water jumping jacks with ankle weights on while Doris sings along loudly to said spastic, low-budget rendition of Dancing Queen. Especially because Doris does not actually know the words.
YOUUUUUU CAN AAAAAAAAN
YOUUUUUU CAHHH IIIIIIIII
HAVING THE TIME OF HER LIIIIIIIIFE
Yup. That's "my" class.