Sunday, February 08, 2009

Coming Out

So, the time has come. I need to come out.

I Jazzercise.

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.


Lucky Fresh said...

I'm so glad you're into it. I don't do it myself, and have struggled to find an exercise that actually works for me. But lately, I've found a walking buddy, the interim lady preacher from the Episcopal church down the street. We meet halfway in between at the Baptist church and walk on their track twice a week for 40 minutes. It's good.

But really, I think the only embarrassing thing about Jazzercise is how cheesy the name is. I mean, it's pretty cheesy. Do you think you would have thought twice if it were called aerobics and everyone just knew it involved music? And, actually, is it different from aerobics?

Laura said...

As I recall your initiation into the JazzerCult, I was thinking about showing off the Y and something that was nearly religious for me. I never wanted to miss - I never wanted to miss exercising - There's a powerful statement. In the middle of nowhere Red Oak, Iowa, there is a place where the music is not the music heard on the local radio station, where we can be a little transported to something that feels a little like a girls' night out at a club, only with less painful shoes. I think it was the collegiate athlete thing that made me think you'd be ready for a workout after the Hamburger of Your Life moment.
And, LuckyFresh, it is a cheesy name, but a very good brand that everyone knows. Barry White can even make it sound sexy when he says it. Those TV ads for Core Rhythms and Turbo Jam make me think of Jazzercise, but Judi got there first!

I miss Jazzercise! I think it's in the family genes now. I Jazzed pregnant with my nearly 8 year old daughter and you should see her dance! Judi, Shanna and I all share great-grandparents. (somehow I missed the Swedish Stewardess stereotype looks that they obviously have)
Pope Laura

LiturgyGeek said...

Wait, you're RELATED to Judi? I never knew that! And, you are definitely the initiator of me into the cult, for which I am daily (or at least weekly) grateful.

Thanks for reminding me that it was the same day as the Hamburger of My Life event. I miss you, Pope Laura!