"Aerobics: A series of strenuous exercises which help convert fats, sugars and starches into aches, pains and cramps."
I came upon this quote not too long ago and after reading it I chuckled and never thought of it again until last week. But boy was my memory ever jogged.
You see, I decided that I needed to get into better shape. Don't ask me why, but it might have had something to do with me looking in the mirror. Granted when I take off my shirt I am sculpted, unfortunately I'm sculpted like a pear.
However, I researched and found the only way to get into better shape was to actually exercise. Typically, exercise to me is walking down stairs and sitting in my chair and if I'm feeling really energetic, actually reclining the chair.
But softball season is right around the corner and if I want to actually run from home plate to first base without taking a break I need to get busy. So I went to an aerobics class at the YMCA.
Now, this is no ordinary aerobics class. No, this is a high impact aerobics class which is described as a high intensity workout that is geared to give you an intense abdominal workout with upper and lower body strength training.
I knew I was in trouble when I walked into the room full of women, all staring at me grinning with a "he has no idea what he is in for" look. Trust me when I tell you I really didn't.
Not that I went in thinking this was going to be easy. No, I was just hoping to make it through the hour upright, but I had no idea exactly what kind of exercises we were going to be doing.
Had I known, I wouldn't have grabbed those five-pound weights. There were three-pound weights right there in front of me, but being a macho guy I had to grab the five pounders, forgetting how weak I actually am. I mean if the wind is blowing hard outside my arms are waving like the tail of a kite.
But I had my weights and then the music started. Not just any music but dance music. Anyone who knows me also knows that I hate dance music but apparently Journey just isn't good music to work out to.
So off we go lifting our weights up over our head in rhythm. After a couple of minutes every lift upward made my triceps feel like someone lit a fire in them. I looked at the clock and luckily only 58 minutes were left.
Five minutes later I was in the middle of jumping jacks when I scanned the room and realized that I wasn't in here with women. No, these were toned, "aerobic machines." Each one moving in rhythm, like this was just part of their every day routine. Meanwhile, every move for me was getting harder and harder and the look on my face was one of sheer pain.
Twenty minutes into the gauntlet of hell we are stepping up on boxes at what seemed like the speed of light. I didn't know if I was uncoordinated or just slow, but every time I figured out one exercise, we had already moved on to the next. I felt like a kid who just learned how to walk.
Halfway through I only felt pain and I was beginning to think of how soon to call 911 to time the paramedics arrival with the end of my workout. My five-
pound weights suddenly felt like 100-pound anchors and my legs and brain were no longer synchronized. Left foot first really meant whichever foot will actually lift off the ground first.
After the first half-hour I don't remember much except that I kept telling myself that I couldn't quit in front of all of these aerobic machines. And then mercifully the hour ended.
Of course, the next day I couldn't lift my arms over my head and I felt like crying with every step I took. But I'm getting in shape, right?
The scary thing is I went back for another class a few days later. And as I write this the only thing that doesn't hurt is my fingers. But who knows. Maybe someday I can be in shape like the "aerobic machines." Then again, I could always just sit in the chair and recline.