I tried a new class yesterday called Bosu Synergy. It was really hard and reminded me why I usually don’t like aerobic classes. The teacher has taught the class so many times that she just assumes that her students know what she wants. With little or no instruction, she will just change moves. That’s great if you are watching a video over and over, but this is a live thing. I can’t rewind her to get it right. Fortunately, it didn’t concentrate on dance moves. We were using a step and a half ball thing that’s so popular right now. The half ball thing is the Bosu half of the class, but the Synergy is a little more elusive. I guess they were trying to evoke an image of high energy, but that’s not what synergy means. I guess in gym speak, synergy means we’re going to use the Step too.
I had a junior high moment in the class. Those Bosu things are really hard to get on and really hard to balance on. I’m sure that I would be fine if I practiced on one at home, but this was my first time I had ever tried anything with that damn half ball thing. Once I was finally balanced, I was able to try the squats that the instructor had us doing. She had us hold the squat in the lower position for a count of eight seconds. My Bosu was really wobbling and I was doing my best to stay in position. I found out that eight seconds is exactly long enough for the bitch next to me to get her friend’s attention, point at me and for the two of them to laugh. I had a vision of punching her square in the jaw for just an instant, but it faded quickly.
While I rose from the squat and got off the Bosu implement of torture as gracefully as I could, I started thinking of all the things that I would say if I could defend myself. “Give me a fucking break. This is the first time I’ve taken this class. I usually run on the treadmill, but I’m trying something new today. I could kick your ass on the treadmill, bitch.” Then I looked at her tiny butt and realized that she could probably kick my ass on the treadmill too. For the first time since I joined, I remembered why I fucking hate the gym.
Within eight seconds, that girl was able to bring up every horrible memory of every gym class I ever had to endure throughout junior high and high school. She represented every scrawny bitch who insulted me when all I was doing was trying my best. We all have to start somewhere. I’m starting here. All I can do is my best, which is what I was giving. It’s not like I wasn’t trying. I got on the damn ball, so what if my butt was shaking.
I felt so bad that I decided to do something nice for myself instead of eating into oblivion. I did something just as destructive to my health, but this time I didn’t turn to food. I went straight to the tanning salon and spent 73 bucks on 20 tans and some overpriced lotion. I know that being tan won’t make me more graceful. It won’t help me balance on the Bosu ball, but I was tired from the class. There was no more that I could do today. After I get my check, I will spend some money on one of those Bosu balls and learn how to balance in the privacy of my own home. Maybe I’ll just practice every day at the gym for a couple of minutes until I can get on and off the thing with ease, but for now, I went to the tanning salon. I got the little heart sticker and placed it on my chest, circling the birth mark that shows when I wear my brown animal print shirt.
Since I haven’t tanned in so long, the session was only eleven minutes. After that, I let myself sit in the hot tub for fifteen minutes. All of that didn’t make me feel better. The money I spent on tanning sessions that will ruin my skin didn’t help. The stay in the hot tub, getting my body temperature high enough to make me feel dizzy didn’t help me. The long shower didn’t help. The magazine that I had been saving for the hour in between getting ready and going to work didn’t help. I almost wish I had pushed that bitch off her Bosu ball. That would have made me feel better.
The worst part is that it made me not want to try any more of the classes. It reminded me that no matter where I go, there will be some wench there, eager for me to fall. It made me want to never step into one of those classes again, when I know that the only way to become really good at that sort of thing is to keep attending until I have it mastered. I should keep going until I have that step on so many risers that it looks like a bench instead of step. I should keep going until I can jump on and off that Bosu gracefully and make it look easy. I should keep going until I can look a girl like that in the eye and know for a fact that I could kick her butt in any class at that gym.
All of that takes so much time. By the time I learn all that, she will be pregnant or something. By the time I’m able to look her in the eye, she’ll be long gone. She’s already long gone. I can’t remember what she looks like except that she had brown hair, a skinny butt and she has never been in the position that she put me in today. I try to imagine her sad and hurt by some cheerleader in school and all I can do is see her motion to her friend and point at me, working as hard as I could to steady myself. Her graceful body got on the Bosu easily and she performed every squat with simplicity. Maybe I can imagine her trying to write a blog entry every day.
Yeah, I can just imagine her blog entries, “I went to the gym today. Nothing really exciting is happening right now. I guess I’ll write later.” Three weeks later, she’d write another entry, “Well, I was going to write in this thing every day, but I just don’t seem to have the time.” The next day, she’d write, “I had this great idea for something to write, but I was at the mall and didn’t have anything to write with. Now I can’t remember what I was going to say.” This would go on for about another week and then her log would be abandoned. Yeah, she might be beautiful and have a tiny butt, but I’m getting there and I am a writer. Soon I’ll have her tight ass and I’ll still be a writer.
I know you’d like to thank your shit don’t stank
But lean a little bit closer
See if roses really smell like poo-poo.
– Outkast, Roses, 2004
The song called Roses by Outkast just came to my mind. Sure it’s on heavy rotation on MTV, VH1 and BET so it’s hard to get it out of my mind, but it is making me feel better. Sure, it’s juvenile, but for some reason, I imagine that girl at the gym to be Caroline. I imagine some guy writing that song about her years later and the ache that she would feel knowing that the song was about her.
Take that, gym bitch. I’m going to keep going to that class. I’m going to take every fucking Bosu class they offer. If you ever do that to me again, I’m pushing you off your little Bosu ball and teach you not to mess with a punk rock girl like me. I can feel the veneer of civility just cracking and flaking off me. The only safety she has is that I can’t remember what she looks like. Nobody better mess with me. They might get the beating that the little gym bitch deserved.
All this talk doesn’t make me feel better either. I still don’t want to go to that class again. I still want to cry for all the times that I took that kind of malicious abuse. Inside, there is a little girl who just wants to say, “Hey, it was my first time taking this class. I’ve never even touched one of these things before. Give me a fucking break.” It would have been so easy if we were guys. I would have gotten off my little Bosu ball, kicked her in the balls and it would be finished. She would have left me alone and I could have peed on her Step. Instead, I’m sitting here, wondering how I could have protected myself. The only thought that comes to my mind is that I should have never stepped into that class and I know that’s not the right answer.