There, I said it.
I used to blame "Pope" Laura for this. When I interviewed for the church I currently serve, she, the chair of the search committee, invited me to join her for a class. Maybe partly to show off the new Y, and partly to see how I dealt with strangers? I saw it as a test, kind of, and thought it'd probably be good if I went. Well, everyone was super-friendly (it is Iowa), no one yelled at my ridiculously poor rhythm, and when they asked if I'd be back, both Laura and I kind of looked at each other and said, "Hopefully." As in, hopefully I'd get called to the church, and hopefully I'd want to go back to Jazzercise. I really wanted the former, but I wasn't sure about the latter.
I'm a little ashamed to admit that before I moved to Iowa, I had a rather snobby attitude regarding Jazzercise, seeing it mostly as something that white, middle-aged Midwestern women did to try to stay in shape. It's the vestige of being a former collegiate athlete, I suppose, but I saw Jazzercise mostly as a gateway activity until I got myself motivated to run or swim more consistently. The music is pretty good and the moves are all right, but I always found myself snickering on the inside (and sometimes on the outside) when I confessed to Jazzercising. I was embarrassed to admit it, especially to my running friends.
Well, five-plus years in, and I'm ready to come out. First of all, I admit that I had a lot of misconceptions about Jazzercise. In our community there are tons of young people who Jazzercise - I've met most of my friends in town there. (Also, when I visited Backbencher in Georgia, the class was very multicultural.) Second of all, the workouts are pretty good. If I went more often, I'd probably be in better shape. You should see what Judi Sheppard Missett looks like - she's as old as my mom and she is hotter than ... well, she's in outstanding shape, let's just say that. (Or, judge for yourself.) Our instructors, Sandy, Carrie and Tina are also incredible, each in their own way. Third of all, the main instructor refers to me as "the stripping minister" and everyone thinks it's hilarious! Especially me. Sandy is a riot. If nothing else, your abs will get a great workout from all the laughing. Fourth of all, my friend Shar's little sis sometimes teaches Jazzercise. And anything connected to Shar is automatically cool.
We lovingly refer to becoming a part of the Jazzer community as "joining the cult." And, I've drunk the Kool-Aid. It is a great community and I'm no longer ashamed of who I am.
Oh, and unlike teh gayz, we recruit. See you in class, 5:45 pm most evenings at the Montgomery County Y, 8:45 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you are insane, join Tina at 5:45 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tell them "the stripping minister" sent you - they know me there.