Tuesday, January 31, 2006

forward lunges

When I was in college I had the choice of either taking four one-hour PE courses, or two one-hour PE courses and a two hour wellness book class. There was no way I was going to take a book class for PE. And no, bowling was not on my list, either.

One semester I took Weight Lifting... I was one of two girls in a group of fifteen guys. It was fun and I could do crunches in circles around them.

I took another class called Walk, Run, Jog. I did more jogging, but that class was fun, too, because he took a group of people who could run a lap without collapsing and put us in a fast-paced line-walking group. I met a guy in that class who wanted to be a funeral director, and he didn't think it was funny if I asked that he was taking the course so he didn't become his own client.

This was also the class where my professor, a six-time Iron Man competitor, announced to the class that I was "an efficient sweater". Not sweater like the knitted thing you wear on cold days -- but a sweater as in I sweat like a pig when I'm working out. At first he kept making me stand to the side and drink water, but he finally figured out that the only distress I was in was because I didn't need to stop and drink water... and I'm glad he was amused and found a neat opportunity to create a teaching moment, but nobody wants to be made to sweat on demand in front of the class.

Tennis was next on my list, and I took it one summer. I ended up with a great tan. At the beginning of the class I was in the advanced group, but the more I played, the more my wrists would scream, so within the first week I ended up playing with the fat kids who could hardly hit the ball over the net. Years later The Hater, who lettered in tennis in high school, decided he would teach me to play; that lasted about two hours before he quit. I won't be making any Wimbledon debuts.

Aerobic Dance. True, I was hoping for more aerobics than dance, but the university had a big dance department -- and I thought it would be neat to participate in my final hour. I could have chosen tap dance or ballet, even line dancing or popular dances, but no, I chose aerobic dance. The class ended up being step aerobics, which in retrospect was fine, but at the time was slightly disappointing.

One day before class I was in the back of the studio stretching. I had gotten out of another class early and was going to use my time wisely... Another one of my classmates, a woman in her forties, came in and started stretching, too. We started talking about random things until this conversation ensued:

her: Can I tell you something?
me: Sure.
her: You've got a great body.

Now at this point in time I'm trying to decide if she's hitting on me or being sincere. We continue to stretch.

me: Uhm, thanks... I try to work out a few days a week.
her: Yeah, it shows.

Continue stretching...

her: You really do have a great body.
me: (slightly confused) Really? You think so?
her: Yeah, I wish my hips were that big. It would have made childbirth better for me.
me: ...... (silence, stopped stretching)
her: I always wished that I'd had big, wide hips like those.

I told her I'd see her when class started and then I went to hide. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to get compliments, but don't tell a girl that her best attribute is her big, childbearing hips who has already been told that she's an efficient sweater.

It's enough to give a girl a complex.


Unequivocal_Prowess said...

Impressive Aerobic History. This could have only been topped with a kick to the face followed by a teacher telling you that they thought it might help your looks as well as your soccer skills...damn.

genderist said...

See, the thing is that I'm starting a new aerobic regime and needed to reminisce ---

Yes, I'm feeling the burn.

nicole said...

Wow, an efficient SWEATER? I mean, for a P.E. teacher, that's a pretty high compliment but I'll admit I've never heard that term before.

It's also been a long time since I've heard anyone but me CALL it "P.E."

genderist said...

Yeah, I'm a sweat machine when I'm working out. You can be jealous, if you want.

What's the correct term now? I think that "wellness" is a hokey name, so I'll stick to phys ed... me and my hips.