After two years of back trouble, I have decided it is time to do what that seventy year-old woman did (not the one who got pregnant) and transform myself, although being pregnant would certainly qualify as a transformational experience. This was a woman who, in her fifties, or sixties, decided she wanted to be in phenomenal shape for the rest of her life, and knew it would require more than just a stroll around the block. I am not sure why I decided to do the transformational tango now; it wasn’t the advent of the new year that pushed me over the edge.
I have never believed in New Year’s resolutions, just as I’ve never believed in going to the funerals of people with whom you had broken off relations. It always seemed the height of insult, to go to a family member’s funeral, or one of a friend, when you, or they, had refused to mend bridges while they were alive. Unless you are just looking for a free meal; wakes typically have great food. Much better than that blighter you wouldn’t speak to deserves, no doubt.
When making my transformational decision, I did not subsequently have one last blowout great meal with pizza, KFC, or hot fudge sundaes. I didn’t drink a six-pack of beer, or have a bunch of screwdrivers. I can have all that on the guy diet. The guy diet does not require measuring, weighing, sticking to a diet plan, or any other boring, annoying thing. I can have any food I want, and I generally eat healthy.
The above statement is one of the clues that let us know we are officially old. When you would rather eat healthy instead of having a cheesy, greasy pizza, or watch the news instead of a banal reality show featuring someone called Snookie or Boo-Boo, you have lost some of that youth mojo. When you actually feel like you could have fallen asleep on the exercise mat in the middle of your cardio barre class, while the music is blasting and the instructor is bleating on about ‘pulse, pulse, now hold it’, you have lost more mojo than you had previously thought.
More mojo was lost when I saw myself in the rear view mirror of my car after class, and wondered how a raccoon got in my car, looking to steal my CDs. That loss of mojo was nothing compared to watching the twenty somethings strut around the studio, in full makeup. I wondered if I was the only person who perspired when exercising, because while I had a little makeup on in the beginning, these punks had full pancake masks! I use the word ‘punk’ advisedly, as an elder who was completely ignored by people who think they will always be 25.
Some mojo will no doubt come back with transformation. I was driving over a freeway overpass on Flamingo Boulevard last week, when I saw a billboard advertising Pure Barre. Since my ballet class was one I skipped frequently when I was in fifth grade to go play with my friend after school, thus wasting my parent’s money, I have not since taken a ballet class. I have taken jazz, and tap, and danced like there’s nobody watching, but not pure ballet. It is too much like yoga, which I find incredibly boring.
To find a class that combines ballet and some of Jane Fonda’s sadistic moves, plus weights, and stretching, appealed to my sense of masochism. I took two of the barre classes this week and have absorbed enough information to begin a home program. I also discovered that I was not in the kind of shape I had fondly imagined myself to be.
I had figured that riding my bicycle once in awhile qualified my quadriceps for sainthood, or something. This is incorrect. I found out that I own quads that belong to someone else entirely, quads that had been lazing around for quite some time. Same went for my shoulder muscles. Despite using the kettlebell three times a week, I had apparently ignored several spots on my body, which made themselves felt this weekend.
We are going to put up a barre of my very own, and I am going to combine the barre work with my kettlebell, my straps that hang from the ceiling, making the living room look like something from the Spanish Inquisition, the medicine ball, and the resistance straps.
I have decided to take a ‘before’ picture, and in three months another picture, which hopefully will show some ‘after effects’. If the effects are dramatic, I am going to make a DVD. I don’t know why I want to make a DVD; to see yourself doing moves that you wouldn’t want your mother or your children see you do, seems like another exercise in masochism.
Still, it may be good. Only time will tell. And it will at least be a reminder to my ninety year-old self that I once had mojo in my middle years.