Marching right into. . . well, something.

September is the month of changes; Adventures and learning curves, even for those well beyond school age. September is when the old farts club’s newsletter arrives brimming with pages of new classes to sign up for.


As I perused the pages I imagined myself trying out for all kinds of new challenges  but I wore myself out reading the descriptions and in the end, signed up, for a fourth time, in the ‘Tai Chi for Beginners’ class and only one new one—Fitness Level 1. And that one was for two reasons only—it had been a hot lazy summer, and the course was labeled as a class of gentle stretches to increase flexibility along with proper breathing and relaxation techniques to energize.



Bald-faced lying old farts!

Gentle stretches my ass! Remember the medicine ball in high school? Divide that in four and you’ve got what they use as balance balls. Sure, if you’re lying on the floor and it’s resting between your feet.

And those cute-colored, stretchy ropes I was told I’d need from the equipment closet. No one mentioned they were color coded for easy, medium and popeye-arms. Guess which one I grabbed?

Then there was the instructor arrived—trim build, white hair and, wow—no moobies. I admit I was impressed with his body but his footwear puzzled me. He wasn’t wearing rubbery-gym shoes. He was wearing big, brown, round-toed hiking style boots. I didn’t get it until he cranked up the music and yelled, “MARCH!”

Those puppies were floor thumpers. We’re talking lift those knees and slap them shoes to the ground boots. March to the front, then march back again. Stomp those feet to one side then stomp to the other. Side to side — left-right, left-right, left-left, right-right, left-left-left, right-right-right.

You know how shock empties the mind? By the time I remembered which foot was left, everyone was right. By the time I flapped out two, they were on three, or back to one. OMG!

Then the nasty instructor starts telling us to turn our feet and legs this way and that way while we’re still doing the side humps. Crap on a Crayola—let’s just say my legs turned in directions they weren’t meant to, even when they were flexible.

Yeah, it was a tough class but, luckily, I had this nice European woman who leaned close after spotting the fear in my eyes.

“Don’t worry” she said, “look how well I’m doing. A year and a half ago I was just like you.”

Oh, yeah, that was encouraging! And, at the end of all those ‘gentle’ exercises, did I feel I’d learned anything?

That I hate exercising? No, I already knew that. I learned that, even if you think you’re heading into a lay-on-the-floor-gently-stretching-apendages-here-and-there class, don’t wear flip-flops.


Because, during certain exercises those tight elastic ropes will slip out from under flip-flops and whatever body part is closest is gonna’ get whacked. And, when that happens, if you have to swear – be aware that Murphy’s Law will stop the music a split second before.


I have until next Monday to decide if I want to go back.

. . Hmmmmmm


  1. You still crack me up. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. I hate to exercise too. But I must do something and if you were teaching the class, I’d lose pounds just laughing. Consider the class fodder for blog posts. You get some exercise and something for us to laugh about. I’ve started just recycling the old farts newsletters. Why waste the time to read it. I’d rather be here and move maybe tomorrow.


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