It’s Tuesday and Two Writing Teachers is hosting their weekly Slice of Life writing challenge here . Check it out and join the fun!
Yesterday, my mom and I spent most of the day helping my daughter get organized to start her summer job. She will be working and living here at the beach this summer. My mom will be in charge of her as I will be back and forth from home, where my younger daughter will work. We went to the bank to open an account so she can deposit her paychecks. We went to the drugstore and stocked up on toiletries. We went to a gym to check out summer membership options. We drove around town so she could figure out where things are. And then, late in the rainy afternoon, I asked her if she wanted to try Jazzercise with me. She’s almost 18, and I’d be the first to admit that is not the crowd Jazzercise targets. But she said, “Sure.” She isn’t a gym rat, but would like to find a summer exercise routine that works for her.
The minute we walk in, several friendly women help us fill out forms and find mats and weights. There are just a few women there for the 5:45 class. Not another teenager in sight. “Oh well,” I think. Maybe she will like the music.
I don’t know if you have ever done Jazzercise, but it might just be the best way to get in touch with your inner Jennifer Grey or Olivia Newton John. Choreographed routines and blasting music. A room full of smiling breathless women, dancing their way to fitness. On this first day we both feel as if we have two left feet while simultaneously having a blast.
The music begins. The instructor, who must have been a cheerleader, or on a dance team in her youth, starts calling out moves, most of which we imitate badly. Shasse. Kick Ball Change. Grapevine. Whoa. Wait. Slow down. I’m just getting the hang of one and then she adds three more. And my arms- seriously? I have to concentrate way too hard on my feet to worry about what my arms are doing. I look over at my daughter. We laugh, at ourselves, and one another. We keep up well enough to break a sweat and get our hearts pumping. I see my daughter grinning from ear to ear, something she hasn’t done much this year. The music gets faster, and louder. The routines become more impossible. There are brief moments of brilliance, when we follow along perfectly. But those last for 10 seconds at most. We watch the instructor intently, and reset. My back and hairline are dripping. My face is hot and it feels pretty good, even though I am making a complete fool of myself. I watch my daughter smiling. She giggles when the instructor says between songs, “I wish my mom brought me to Jazzercise.” She looks at me and says, “This is fun. This is hard.” Yes.
We drive home, sweaty and tired and happy. She says, “I liked the music. I knew all the songs but two.”
“I knew two songs,” I reply.
“I really like it,” she adds.
And the best part is, we are going back today.