The gym I joined has a class named Barre. This is a ballet term that describes a series of exercises that would be fabulous for my vestibular system: standing up straight, positioning feet, bending knees and standing on tip toes, moving arms, all without falling over.
When I was last at the gym I noted the time it took place: 5:30am on Tuesdays.
Last night I went to bed early and this morning I woke up at 5am. I really want to go to this class.
I got dressed and ate a light breakfast (cottage cheese and peaches) then tried to figure out what shoes to wear. I’ve taken ballet, both as a child and as an adult, but don’t have ballet slippers. I also don’t have tennis shoes. I do have house slippers. I grabbed some house slippers and slipped on some Crocs.
On the way to the front door I passed the window into the room where the class was setting up. I could see that people were wearing neat light tennis shoes, socks, and some ballet slippers. I suddenly felt frumpy. I try to take pride in the fact that I haven’t spent ridiculous amounts on the informal uniform of athletic clubs. The sleek black lycra with racing stripes. I really do need to get some appropriate shoes though.* House slippers? Really? But I really want to go to this class!
It also seemed as if the class, which was gathering, was full of petite athletic women. I look like a woman from a Wagnerian opera, except I don’t sing that well and I’m not blonde. Deep breath, I really want to go to this class.
Into the gym I dash, momentarily hating the sign “strong is beautiful.” Who cares about beauty? Why does beauty have to come into it? Why can’t strong just be strong?
Through the maze of exercise machines and over to the class room, I open the door, and the class has started. Probably only by seconds but started. I duck out like I’m lost. Try to convince myself to go back. Instead run away.
Next time I will get there early. Being in a rush, starting late, just increases the awkwardness beyond what I can stand. Next steps: appropriate (pretty), comfortable shoes, get there least ten minutes early, deep breaths.
*Appropriate shoes: my preference is to be barefoot. I admit that I wear the Vibram funny toe shoes. Now Vibram is paying everyone who ever bought their shoes money because they are sorry because people who wear Vibrams are stupid. I feel like wearing them is a big stupid mark on me. I like them though and have the hardest time finding any shoes that are as comfortable as being barefoot or Vibrams which is nearly barefoot.