I get my ass kicked.
Everyone around me jumped up and down in Lululemon workout gear, while I sported the very latest in ratty maternity wear circa 2005. Not that I just had a baby or anything as frightening as that. It’s just that all my comfy, old maternity clothes wound up as pajamas which at times double as gym clothes. So you see, I’m not only incredibly fashionable, I’m practical too.
In truth, the ladies weren’t all wearing Lulu. There were some Hard Tails thrown in, one girl brazenly sported Nike and two girls were wearing outfits that I couldn’t determine the brand. I tried to get a close-up look, but it got a little weird. I guess I should have waited till they were done with their squats.
I concentrated on the fashion parade to distract myself from what I was supposed to be doing – exercising in skinny, sadistic Stacy’s boot camp class.
“25 Burpees!” She yells; slim as a string bean with two little peas for boobs and a butt. The biggest thing about her is her mouth.
We hurry to comply and commence with quick jumping squats that plank. Again. Again. Now, I’m no exercise novice but Burpees are something that you can only effectively do if you’re in your 20’s, are super, super fit or are a frog. I am none of the above. When I do a Burpee, it looks more like a Throwupee. I’m a mess; a splatter of limbs on the floor, and I can never keep the pace.
“This is your hour!” Skinny, sadistic Stacy screams. Damn, I think. This is my hour. I look at the clock. Is it almost over? I want another hour, one which involves someone massaging my back and me sighing deeply instead of panting in pain. Why is this my damn hour?
“Squats!” She yells. “Stick out your butt, Ladies! Lower! Again! Again!” She sticks her peas out to demonstrate.
She is the exercise Nazi. You didn’t squat low enough! No breathing for you!
“Run!” She screams, her voice hot on my back. “RUN!!!” She is scary. And loud. I wish there were a skinny, scary, sadist Stacy mute button.
“It’s your hour!!! PICK IT UPPPPPP!” We all run faster. I’m closing in on one of the women whose clothing brand I can’t determine. If I can just get a little closer…
“Jumping JACKS!!! GO!”
She stops short to jump and I crash into her. It’s not pretty, but we both brush it off. There’s no time for injury or conversation in Stacy’s class. I’m jumping. And sweating. And I may have peed in my pants a little. Just a little. My body feels old, but I keep jumping, because SSS Stacy is on my ass. I think I feel my knee give a little. I may fall down. That would be embarrassing. I slow my Jacks, and just do the hands-up part and hope no-one notices. My friend across from me gives me a wink. Of course she notices. She also does kick-ass Burpees.
Finally, thank God, “my hour” is over. I put away my weights and drag my sorry, sweaty, old maternity clothes mess to the exit. I glance in the mirror as one of the Lulu’s pass. She’s perspiring, but her outfit is cute and fitted. She looks good and healthy. I’m sweating like a pig and my clothes hang from me, dampened, like I picked them out of my grandmother’s dirty laundry.
As I hobble out and try to convince my friend to go waste lots of money with me at Lululemon, Stacy overhears and beckons me to her. I’m afraid she’s going to make me drop and do 20, but instead she points to her head and says, “Looking good is up here.”
I nod because I’m afraid of her but after she walks out, I grab my friend to go shopping. She may be right but a good outfit never hurts.
Alisa Schindler is a SAHM of three boys and wife to Mr. Baseball. In between schlepping to the ball fields and burning cupcakes, she chronicles the sweet and bittersweet of life in the suburbs on her blogIceScreamMama.com. Her essays have been featured online at NYTMotherlode, Washington Post, Mamalode, Scary Mommy and Erma Bombeck’s Writers’ Workshop, as well as Huffington Post and WhatToExpect.com, where she is a regular contributor. She desperately (but in a totally attractive way) hopes to publish one of the manuscripts under her bed that keep her from sleeping.