Friday, February 24, 2012

Gym rat post script

I have just a few more things to add about the gym:

-Doing mixed martial arts practice to Tool and Metallica and super fast gothcore is fun and makes a mamma feel like a total badass-That is until I look into the mirror and see myself.

-Every once in a while, the instructor will take a swipe at you, and if you don't lunge away fast enough, I really do believe you might get knocked down. This adds to the excitement, but whenever she comes near me I let loose an involuntary, shrill giggle and trying to control it makes me snort and in trying to control the snort, I choke myself.

-I have punched myself in the face. Not just once.

-I have leaped the wrong way before (In the dance class) and landed on TOP of  the person beside me. Very shortly after that I simply fell over for no reason whatsoever. I am better at lefts and rights now.

I have shiny lime green and purple gym sneakers and I think they give me special powers.

In conclusion, I highly recommend daily physical activity.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gym Rat

I have been a member of one gym or another for as long as I have been able to hold my own membership to something. I have always "worked out".  This has taken on various forms over the years: Belly Dancing, Hot yoga, relugar temperature yoga,  judo,  weight lifting, water aerobics, step class, spinning class,  zumba, machine weights, and when I lived in places too remote, or when I was too broke, I would simply run. And that is not the final list. And it doesn't include biking and hiking, which are just life stuff.  I know I have left stuff out. I am a perpetual fitness class fanatic and I have never lost my ass. Not ever once. Not even for a little bit. But it's not about loosing my ass. What am I kidding? It is always about loosing my ass, but it also about that feeling of exhaustion that comes from working out really hard. It is an awesome feeling.(But only when it is over.)

I also have a need to prove to myself that I can physically support my body. That if need be, I can seriously kick some ass. Or at least haul myself out of the water if I ever fell off a boat, or climb a rope out of an erupting volcano, or wrestle a bear. I don't want to be soft and pathetic and weak. I want to be like Vladimir Putin.
 I have never been a sporto. I am not competitive with sports AT ALL. I hate that stuff. Mostly because I am slow and rather awkward and just not very athletic. (You should see my lay-up.) I have run some races, 5ks, 10k (Once and it was horrible). My sister is a super athlete and I have always been ragingly jealous of her prowes but I would never admit it. Oh whoops, I just did.

Anyway, so when my friend Katie kept telling me about this little gym she joined and how great it was, I didn't really buy it. I just thought she had probably been brain washed by a health club pyramid scheeme or was feeling the effects of too much progesterone or something. But after months, she still kept telling me how great it was. At the time, I was into this thing where I would put the kids in the bike trailer and haul all 90 lbs plus dog (20lbs) up and down big hills for an hour and a half a day, and they were starting to mutiny. "What, you don't want to have gravel spat in your face while I grunt up hills? You ungrateful little...(you get the point)!" So I went.

So now I do these classes called "Body Combat" and "Crunch" and "Body Pump" and "Sh'BAM".
and I punch and kick and lunge and do movements based on boxing and all sorts of martial arts, and also get to do a dance class where I can pretend I am a "Solid Gold" dancer.Anyone remember that show? Anyone? No? How about "Flashdance"? Are you with me now?

These in themselves are fun and different, but the real reason that I go back nearly every day is that the instructor is actually, possibly a bit crazy and kind of scary. And I realize that I need/love that particular mix of superjock/ crazy eyes / drill seargent to get the most out of me. (By the way, she instructs her classes usually in full glam makeup. She is amazing and scary.) She will call you out by your first and last name and hit you with the crazy eye and you just obey.  I honestly have never worked out so hard before. I was inspired enough to draw a few pictographs:
Her eyes

So I do this

She does more of this

I do this

She does this

I end up like this. It is great. I love it.

The White people

Emma learned about Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement in kindergarten. She told me about Rosa Parks being told by White people to sit at the back of the bus. And about laws saying Black people were not equal.  She talked about the word segregation as she understood it: Black water fountains and White, Black schools and White. Black restaurants and White.  She told me that White people thought they were better than Black people and a  long time ago had them as slaves, which she understood in a in a Cinderella sort of way. She educated her brother on this insight and we had our first discussion about racism. It was an interesting conversation. Then they got sidetracked by busses and water fountains and how much they love to drink water from fountains and ride busses.
 A few days later when I picked her up from school, she was kicking at the ground and wouldn’t look at me. Finally after much coaxing she told me that she had to work with two boys in class who bossed her around.  She complained heartily about not wanting to do what they were making her do and it was NOT FAIR!
 Zach: “Oh, they must have been the White people.” He said with a weary sigh, “The White people are bossy. They are not nice.  They think they are better than us. Good thing we are not the White people!”
“Well actually, we are white people.” I interjected. "Look at our skin. We are white."
‘No we are not! We are not the White people!” Emma exclaimed.
“Oh yes, we are white people.”
They don’t believe me.
“We don’t hate anybody! We don’t have slaves!”
“Yes, but, we are still white people.”
-Total confusion ensued. There was a long contemplative silence from both children.
“We are not the White people.” Said Zach, very quietly and with great conviction.
I see many more conversations in our future.