Thursday, September 24, 2015

I Went to Zumba and Didn't Die

Last night I did something daring, something ludicrous, something no college student has ever done before.
I got nine hours of sleep.
I slept through four alarms and probably would've slept more, except my roommate called the Outlet Repair Guy and he woke me up at the unholy hour of 10:00 A.M. Note to self: Not everyone who knocks on the door is my roommate. In fact, if they're knocking on the door instead of using their key, they're probably not my roommate. Wear real people clothes when answering door next time.
You know how people make bad decisions on three hours of sleep? Well, apparently the same is true for nine hours of sleep. I had all this energy and didn't know what to do with it, so after class, I marched over to the campus gym and bought a $50 aerobics wristband.
Now, a little bit about the history of exercise, which is directly related to the history of me hating exercise. Nobody had any idea it was good for your body until this scientist named Jerry Morris did a study in 1949. Nineteen. Forty. Nine. And he didn't clue in the general public until four years later. That means the idea that exercise is good for your body is younger than sliced bread, Hollywood, and Hillary Clinton.
One of these things is not like the other.

But then the eighties invented work out tapes and leg warmers and now you're supposed to exercise or you're an awful person. But I'm a rebel. A noncomformist! I'll show you, exercise culture. I refuse to move. Did my dad have a heart attack at the ripe old age of thirty five? Yeah. Should I exercise more to ward that off? Yeah, probably. But my grandma had skin cancer and you don't see me putting on sun screen. It's the sun. Giver of all life. If it manages to kill me I'll just take that as proof of natural selection.
I suddenly realized why I'm passionate about teenage life. I'm going to die young.
Or maybe not, because I actually used the wristband and went to Zumba Step Cardio or whatever it's called. Lots of bouncing and arm flapping while Meghan Trainor booms in the background.
It's not like I've always been a couch slug. I took gymnastics and dance and swimming and tennis and the like. Off and on. About a year ago, during one of my off stretches, I was sitting around on the couch when my mom came back from CrossFit. She told me her instructor was being outrageously demanding, so she just told him "No, I think I'll just do five burpees instead." And he listened.
I was confused. How could she just tell him no? Wasn't CrossFit dude the boss? Then I remembered my mom is an adult.
As a kid, I always equated fitness instructors with other authority figures. Like teachers. But for my mom, they were like dentists or waiters or salespeople. They take your time and money, so you can make demands.
I'm not sure what creates the difference. Is it just age? Money? When you pay someone yourself, you feel like they're indebted to you. But when your parents pay someone on your behalf, you feel like they're being given stewardship. Or maybe it's about living independently. Telling my roommates "Bye! I'm walking to the gym!" is so much more satisfying than hearing your mom say, "I signed you up for ballet, ungrateful eight year old. Get in the car."
Or maybe it's just a state of mind and I could've had this attitude all along but didn't know it.
Either way, I went to zumba tonight and didn't die. But now I'm committed to at least nine more classes before I can earn out my wristband, save $2 more than I would've paying for each class individually, and laugh in the face of the exercise industry.
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Because, you know, that was my plan all along.

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