Some activities are hazardous to my health — and my pride to boot

Some activities are hazardous to my health — and my pride to boot

Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 8:01 pm
By: By Chris Menees

Some activities are hazardous to my health — and my pride to boot | Chris Menees, Just A Thought

Ever wonder why you have to sign a waiver before undertaking a physical activity?
It’s because of people like me.
Mine should also include the signing of a will — because I think the oldest granddaughter has been trying to do me in.
The agile 14-year-old recently discovered the offering of fitness classes at the gym where we have memberships and decided it would be fun to try some of them together.
Secretly, I was torn between being flattered that she asked me to go and terrified at the prospect of looking like a complete clod.
We jumped right in and started with Zumba — kind of like aerobics amped up on caffeine with salsa dance and a Latin American rhythm.
Therein lies the problem. I have no rhythm. It was confirmed after the first night of class when my granddaughter and I walked in the door and she declared to my husband, “Granddaddy, your wife has no rhythm.”
I had such high hopes when we entered class that night. I had dreams of the instructor singling me out to move to the front and telling me I was the best first-timer she’d ever seen. No such luck. In fact, one lady next to me at the back kept eying me and actually moved several steps away from me.
As I watched myself in the mirror, I found that I usually moved the opposite direction of everyone else. I blamed it on my being left-handed — which seemed to go very well with my two left feet.
Much to my dismay, I quickly discovered I couldn’t keep pace with a teenager with several years of ballet and gymnastics under her belt.
She took pity on me, though, and decided we should try turbokick instead.
Seriously? A class with the words turbo and kick in the name? I couldn’t see how it could possibly end well for me.
My only consolation during the full hour of non-stop kicking and punching to some really great tunes was the fact that my granddaughter was so busy keeping pace herself that she didn’t have time to notice me.
When it was over, after we each sucked down bottles of water and icy blue drinks that looked like anti-freeze, I felt like I wanted to hit something — and I’m not proud to confess that I had thoughts of it being the granddaughter for suggesting it. Fortunately, I was too tired and too preoccupied with trying to decide if I had damaged some internal organs with all the jumping and jabbing.
To add insult to injury, I rolled out of bed the next morning, stumbled to the bathroom and punched on the radio just in time to hear the end of “Dancing Queen.” I felt mocked.
Since then, we’ve tried abs class (which we know as 15 “abs”olutely grueling minutes) and yoga. As expected, I couldn’t hold a candle to a 14-year-old who can put her feet behind her head, but I gave it my best shot and found yoga very relaxing. The granddaughter consoled me by saying I was better at yoga than the other classes we tried.
Unfortunately, I’ve been going solo to any classes at all in recent days since my granddaughter injured an ankle on a recent ski trip. The expert slope turned out to be her downfall and she came home with an exciting tale of being rescued by the ski patrol and brought downhill on a sled. She’s sidelined, for now, and has traded her ski boot for a walking brace boot.
Inspired by the granddaughter’s enthusiasm and encouragement, I went out on my own to try regular aerobics and a “boot camp” class that previously intimidated me by the mere military-like mention of its name. It was bittersweet, though, when I realized not having rhythm didn’t matter when it came to crunches or squats and that I was surrounded by more people my own age rather than my granddaughter’s age.
It just made me miss her — and the laughs we shared at my expense — even more. I’m anxiously anticipating her trading the boot brace for a boot camp workout with me.
Years from now, she can tell her own grandchildren about her old ski injury.
And I can tell them about my old Zumba injury.
But does it really count if it’s just my pride that’s wounded?
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at

Published in The Messenger 1.28.11


Leave a Comment