My mom and I were discussing an aerobics class she is taking, and the challenges the class provides as we age. My mother, who turns eighty this year, gave the following as her key aerobic challenges:
- Standing up. Mom’s aerobic instructor told her that when she first started class mom scared her because she fell all over the room much like Woody in Toy Story. She flailed around without much control. Mom says she looked a lot like a newborn calf.
- Mirrors. Mom says, “the whole wall that we face is a mirror, which I find downright vulgar and discouraging.” At one point the instructor told my mom to look in the mirror, and mom yelled “NO!” Tough room.
- No Muscle Memory. Mom remembers dancing on her skates as a kid, and now her muscles can’t remember to help her keep her balance. The good news is that she’s getting her rhythm back. Soon we’ll find her snapping down the sidewalk like the dancers in West Side Story.
- Leakage. Another concern, according to my mother, is when the class participants’ clothes get damp. She says no one is quite sure if they are sweating, drooling, or having another kind of leak. She has learned to just describe it as “water coming from somewhere,” and leave it at that.
I would like to suggest that she join with a lot of other women in the class and form their own flash mob. Most of the women are significantly older than my mom. Can you imagine the choreography? They could work in walkers and canes and big, dark glasses.
Now if they’d just take down those mirrors.