Ask any expert how to maintain healthy aging and they’ll tell you to eat right and exercise. I’ve read it in books. My general practitioner told me, as did the chiropractor who said I should keep training for a marathon, despite all my aches and pains. I’m not sure that his motive is pure.
So, here I am in a class called Barre Pilates, which would be better named Get Out While You Can Still Walk. I walked in here just fine, but, judging by how my nerve endings are jumping right now, I may be carried out on this beautiful blue yoga mat.
The internal battle between my cells and my heart has reached a crescendo during this class. I came into the room with hope in my heart and a belief that I will rise above all stereotypes about baby boomers, including my own. At this point, after I’ve kicked and cajoled my legs into unnatural positions, my cells are screaming “Old lady” while my heart still calls me “Wild child.” This battle between my geezer and my goddess is a fire that rages daily. Oh, tomorrow morning my geezer will try to walk and will laugh at my goddess for having the audacity to hope, let alone kick. Will I be in denial to believe that the goddess is winning?
I glance around the room at my fellow exercisers, and they are all probably 20 years younger than I. Their fitness wear rivals the Paris Fashion Show, and no one has yet broken a sweat. The most finesse I could muster today was a head band to keep my hair from being glued to my forehead. I thought I looked jaunty a mere 15 minutes ago. Now the band has slipped down over my eyes, like a blindfold.
Yet, through my temporary blindness, my hearing has sharpened as the instructor, my tormentor, compels us to move from the front of the room, clapping and counting like this is fun.
She is chanting something about working our core. As I lift the band off my eyes, I feel that I must tell her that my core is rotten, like the bad apples I managed to pluck off the fruit stand today. But we’re on to something else, so my abs will remain as mushy as the oatmeal that I’m beginning to taste from breakfast five hours ago.
I would greatly appreciate it if someone could explain to me how this is healthy. The walls are spinning, the air is putrid and I haven’t even left my mat yet. The next stop is a bar hanging over there on the wall, summoning like medieval torture, designed to whip, slap and flog us into shape. Of course, that’s not what the glossy brochure says.
What’s the perky instructor saying now? Take a ball and put it where? Oh, if I weren’t a sweet old lady I’d tell her where to put that ball. Finally in unison, my geezer and my goddess have joined forces, morphing into a sassy senior citizen, saying: “Oh, hell no. I’m getting out while I can still walk.”