Monday, April 25, 2011

Did You Ever Sweat to the Oldies?

I have to confess, we actually own a Richard Simmons exercise tape. Now, it is technically a leftover from when Guitar Hero lived with us, and its not a 'Sweatin'' video. It's some sort of Latin Dance exercise video. We did it once and we laughed all the way through it. Somehow, I can't seem to focus on exercise when I look at Richard Simmons. Maybe its because he seems so funny to me. I'm sure that he's a totally approachable guy for people who are not the skinny types you see on most exercise videos. That has to help, I am sure. But the impulse to giggle, while great for the abs, is not really a foolproof exercise tool.

So last week we were hanging around the house one evening and I was talking to Oscelot about ballet. She went to an arts conservatory, but she got kicked out of her ballet class because she doesn't have the right body type. As a consequence, she knows almost nothing about the mechanics of ballet. Appreciate it, yes she does; but I don't think she would be able to tell you much about the preformance aspect of it.

Anyway, she had mentioned that she wished she could have seen me when I was a dancer. I, of course, thought she meant that brief ill-advised period in my late teen years when I was a preformer in a local bar in town. She laughed and said, no, she meant when I was a ballet dancer. I pointed out to her there wasn't much to watch, really. I was okay, but as for someone rivieting, probably not. I have bad feet, you see.

Then I got to explain the concept of bad feet to her, the idea that no matter how flexible you are you will never have perfect turnout. Your body isn't built for it. I have this sad condition, an affliction to me as a young dancer, because I truly loved it (and, as anyone who is familiar with ballet will tell you, you can't have a career as a dancer is you have poor turnout).

I stood up to demonstrate to her my bad feet. Now, I'm not nearly as flexible now as I once was, so my turnout is damn poor now. She showed me hers, and Anna showed me hers. No suprise, if they were both to improve their flexibility, they would have perfect turnout.

Point is, we got to playing around with the steps and then I realized I wanted to feel all stretchy and healthy. So I went hunting for my Yoga DVD and put it in. I begged their indulgence. They not only didn't mind, they did the DVD with me. It was wonderful.

My former partners have never been fond of my Yoda DVD because (they say) the lady who does it has an annoying voice, and I look positively stupid while I'm doing it. Imagine my chock when my lovely Kitten and Oscelot joined me in the floor to stretch and relax.

You know what kills me? Of the three of us, I am the least flexible. I'm the only one who had to use modifications for the standing positions. I don't have any blocks, so I used a couple of the Harry Potter books, and I was leaned to one side, struggling to get a good stretch that didn't kill me and I almost fell over when I looked at the girls. There they were, hips forward, hands on the floor, arms outstretched, looking absoutely perfect, if not comfortable. I suppose it gives me soemthing to work for. When I was sixteen I was so flexible I could put my feet in front of me and and lay my head on the floor next to my kneecaps. Now I can barely touch my toes without pulling something.

The evening was relaxing, and we were inspired. Oscelot and I stopped off to get a couple of workout DVD's after work the next day so that we could try and do a little at home work to feel better. I don't think I need to lose weight, Kitten is so skinny she needs a sandwich, and I think all Oscelot wants is to tone. But the idea of having two partners that are willing to work with me at home, knowing at least one of us is going to look really stupid at some point, is so novel to me.

Neither of them seem to mind, in fact, I think they are both rather eager. It's a nice change. Really it is. I keep thinking, once summer rolls around we get to be active and be outdoors. Now, even though we are covered with a constant rain cloud (seriously, its been raining for almost a week solid here, and the forecast say we get at least another three days of this before it stops) I can still be active and find a way to bond with my girls. It is so nice.

No, I porbably won't get out the Richard Simmons dvd, I think the moemory of us doing it would be nough to cause me to lose focus. But the new ones, I can't wait to pull them out of their wrappers and give them a try.

I'm off to go do some Yoga before I wake Oscelot up for work. I want to see if this whole "do it in the mrning and you'll feel relaxed all day" theory holds true.

Happy shaping up.

PS- I obviously don't own or know Richard Simmons, who I am sure is a lovely person and has great workout videos.

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