Wild Thing – You Make Everything Groovy

Posted on March 26, 2012

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Everything's groooovy!

The cardio portion of the workout is ramping up, just as the sing-along begins:

“Wild thing … You make my heart sing … You make everything groovy … Wild thing. (doo-doo-doo-doo) Wild thing … I think you move me … But I wanna know for sure … C’mon, c’mon …”

Like finding that perfect, comfortable pair of jeans, the group of gals I regularly exercise with know me and accept my shortcomings. It’s a great fit. Our group, called the Fifty-Plus ladies, have been meeting regularly over several years, our class numbers growing from about a dozen initially to now close to forty women. We are obviously a reflection of both the growing demographics of our area and the desire to age more gracefully than our parents. The fitness industry, it seems, is recognizing the potential of keeping us seniors active, and it’s trying to capitalize on it more and more. For me, it’s really about age denial and attitude, keeping the ol’ ticker in good condition, and keeping the “droopies” at bay for as long as possible. (After a certain age, Sir Isaac Newton’s gravity principle inevitably kicks in with the body – which sucks.)

There’s certainly a wide age range within our group, everything from late-40’s to late-70’s, with a few amazing women who could challenge a twenty-something in a cardio workout, to those older ladies who come mostly to maintain muscles and balance (equally positive).  We’re old enough to know better, but not always remember the question. Thankfully, our instructors give modifications for our cardio and weight routines to accommodate the various levels of fitness within the class. (We are reminded again and again that sweat’s a good thing, injuries are to be avoided, to listen to our bodies. And the last thing any of us want to see is a defibrillator rushed in!) Those bothersome residual aches and pains are typically discussed in the locker room like badges of honour and achievement, comparable to the weekend-warrior jocks down at the local Y.

What makes our group of ladies really shine, though, is the honest concern we have for each other and the social element to our gatherings.  While it isn’t unusual to have the majority of the class join in and belt out rock tunes from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies (like “Wild Thing” with or without an air guitar and headband), we keep motivated to continue the workouts as a shared experience. It’s been communicated to us more than a few times that we are much more unreserved and opinionated than our fresh-faced, perky, marathon-running, younger members of the gym. Coming from varied backgrounds, some gals work part-time or have shifts, some are single or divorced, and a few are widows. A common thread of this sisterhood is that we all appreciate the comradery of our weekly lunch dates after Thursday’s class. It’s a melting pot of commentaries about our daily lives and loves, travel, politics, grandparenting, food and trivia. (And as I mentioned earlier, it’s an ideal time to commiserate over aging bodies too.)

To a casual observer, any one of our Fifty Plus ladies may seem not that spectacular or flamboyant, but if they could just witness the rock-star within, (given the right musical prompts), they’d sure smile. “Wild thing … You make my heart sing …”

Some styles are best left in the past

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Posted in: Mid-Life Quirks