By Gena Oppenheim (Writer)
I view my gym membership much the way many view that hot-pink sweater in the back of their closet that they just know they'll wear...someday. I go in brief spurts, to feel like I'm not just donating to NYSC. Recently, when a friend mentioned excercise classes as a good way to ease into things, I excitedly pulled a schedule from the recycling bin. As fate would have it, a class called, S. Sneakers, in the lowest degree of difficulty column, was starting in twenty minutes! I threw on my gym clothes, which were conveniently the pajamas I had yet to change out of, and ran to get my fitness on.
When I entered the class area, I noticed it was just me and one older gentleman, who had leaned his cane against the wall. I smiled and he looked at me oddly. Soon other folks began to trickle in...since it was my first class, I didn’t think much of the fact that the median age in attendance probably voted for Roosevelt (either one.) The teacher introduced himself as “Turbo” and my new pal with the cane whispered to me, “Did he just say his name was Turban?” Turbo clicked on music, which was a delightful Doris Day number, and began to do the grapevine.
As the class went on I reveled in the fact that not only could I follow the dance moves, but also how, for the first time in my life, I was the most-cordinated person in the room (a lavender haired lady in a gold tracksuit was a close second.) Had I finally found the place I was looking for? As the final song, "Don't Rain on My Parade" finished, Turbo turned around and said, “Silver Sneaker Seniors, y’all are killing it today!" As the parade of folks went to grab thier walkers, Gold Tracksuit came up to me and said “Sweetie, you really need to work on your grapevine.”
GENA OPPENHEIM Gena is a fourth generation New Yorker who teaches second-grade. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received her MFA from NYU Tisch's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. http://twitter.com/#!/genabeans