Probably one of the most intellectually challenging things I do during a typical week is go to exercise class. Its difficulty far exceeds any statistical problem I have tackled, any theological issue I have wrestled with, any parenting problem I have confronted. The challenge is this: how to make my body move without hurting myself or others. Some especially challenging moves are: jazz square, flea hop, and doing anything with my arms at the same time as my legs.
Jazzercise makes this easier than other exercise programs I have tried. I tried biking with my son, and he left me in the dust, even though I pointed out that I was his ride home (although that wasn’t quite true – he could have ridden his bike home). I tried jumping rope, but the neighbor let on that he saw me (from 4 houses away) so that had to stop.
In Jazzercise we exercise to the latest popular music, with choreographed moves announced and shown by the instructor. All my Jazzercise instructors are great. For starters, they face the class. I have been to other aerobics classes where the whole class, including the instructor, faces a huge mirror. Nothing can ruin my day faster than having to watch myself exercise and look at all the other more competent, more fit people doing it better than I. When I move my body to music, I am an embarrassment to the human race. This is a long-time feature of being me: in my kindergarten dance class, despite the fact that I was one of the shortest girls in the class, I was placed in the back row for the performance.
The Jazzercise instructors sacrifice a lot by facing the class. They have to learn the routine mirror-wise. For instance, when they instruct the class to go to the right, they themselves are moving to the left, so that the class can mirror their movements. If I tried to do that, I would get so tangled up I would have to sit down for a week.
My Jazzercise instructors are so talented, they can give us directions, dance opposite from those same directions, all while telling us astonishing facts about the world. For instance, who won the latest “Dancing with the Stars” episode, who is singing the current song, and how much the football player’s fine was for butting heads with another player. It was from my Jazzercise instructor that I learned that my own daughter’s math teacher was attacked by a deer. We also get to hear the fascinating examples of psychology that play out while she is at her other job at a major department store. The instructor tells us these things all without getting breathless.
The owner of my local Jazzercise class is retiring at the end of this month. I will greatly miss her able leadership. Her retirement might have meant the end of the class, but she has, with foresight and concern for us all, arranged for a talented and capable new person to take the helm.
The Common Household Mom thanks all her Jazzercise instructors for their high impact enthusiasm, their excellent attitudes, and uplifting relevés!