In the beginning, there was Body By Janis, at the Racquetball Club with babysitting for our toddlers. The upstairs exercise studio had a suspended wooden floor covered with thick blue mats and floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
The songs “Whip It” and “Maniac” allowed me to scale mind-boggling heights.
All right class,
Shoulders Back and Down,
Now drink water; ready
for a new song?
I was stunning in spandex,
with matching leg warmers and bare feet,
my shoulder length hair wrapped tightly in a bun.
As I sidestepped right and left,
my pulse would begin to climb, waiting for that first crescendo,
to whistle and wail, reach a familiar threshold and cross
over into the Zone.
Side-to-side, jumping jacks, grapevine,
lunges, and pivots, kicking forward, back, left, and right.
Cued to go faster and faster
until the pounding in my brain,
bubbled to ecstatic
rejecting previous limits.
Knowing that once I had crossed over the ache, into the music,
there would be no pain.
To jump, bounce, dance,
until sweat poured from my brow,
clouding my lenses and stinging my eyes.
Nothing else mattered I was with my tribe,
I was Ms. Aerobic,
salty but satisfied
until the last notes stopped echoing and
I sprang across the floor to
gulp down more water and air, surrender ever so slowly back to reason.