Another job-hunting survival tactic that helps to keep me sane is going to the gym. I try to keep, well, fit – although in London if I said I keep well fit, you’d think I was showing off.
I do a few classes a week at our local gym, and while it keeps me fit and not too flabby, it also provides a truckload of material to write about!
At my Pilates class the other evening, we had to do a move where, from a seated position, we had to lift both legs at about 45 degrees from the ground and from each other, and then hold on to our ankles. If you think it’s a mission explaining it, try doing it! I could see the reflection in the mirror of a middle-aged lady in the front of the class, and she was grimacing and mouthing “ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow!” That was very funny!
People are often also quite liberal with their personal gas in this class; a move like I’ve just described could be deadly.
Body conditioning is another fun class I do. A few weeks ago, the young woman in front of me seemed to be struggling with several of the exercises. She spoke to the instructor a few times, and after a while, the instructor said to her, “I think it’s probably best you go home, now.” I thought she might have been ill, or recovering from an operation. As she left the studio, the instructor said, “That’ll teach her to eat a jacket potato before coming to the gym!”
And I think my all-time favourite is my Friday evening class – the most invigorating, fun hour of Latin aerobics. The Argentinian instructor is unbelievably – or, as she would say, SO endearingly, unveliebavly – enthusiastic! What a fabulous dancer, an excellent instructor, and she gets our whole class – who, for some reason, are all females – totally caught up in the Latin rhythms and sassy dance moves! I keep my eyes glued on her for the entire hour, and end up thinking that I am dancing like she does … the little bit of fantasy helps, as well as, of course, blood, sweat and tears!
I made the mistake of coming home and demonstrating to my husband what we do in the class – I suddenly realized it wasn’t such a good idea (you had to be there, really) and slumped, in a scarlet-red blush, into the nearest chair while my husband laughed till the tears rolled down his face. Yes, it definitely helps to keep my eyes on the instructor! Fantasy is good.