David and I joined the Jewish Community Alliance; the J.C.A. This sounds like a big deal, like we had to take a vow or get knighted or something, but it was mainly signing on the dotted line. Turns out, the JCA has an amazing community center including an indoor and outdoor pool, 8 group fitness classes a day, a huge gym, tennis courts, indoor basketball courts, handball courts, spin classes, and even a sauna!
I've been going to the Ball Pilates class this week. This is a class in which you do all the pilates moves, except you do them while balancing part of your body on a big bouncy ball. It's kind of like those ball jumpers with the handles we had when we were kids, but totally grown up.
I used to go to Bally's, and on occasion I attended one of their fitness classes. These included several of the most intimidating and miserable moments of my entire life. Beautiful, fit people walking around with their tall bodies and bare midriffs. And, of course, they all know the instructor by name. And have taken the class a billion times before so they know all the moves and equipment and they don't walk around in the middle of the class to get a mat or a block. The instructor even calls out their name during class. "This one's for you, Sharon!" And you're facing the wrong direction so you think she says, "Erin" and you flip around and laugh and say, "Thanks girl!" And then you unzip your skin and crawl out of the room in your invisible shield.
When I walked into my first class at the JCA, I was the youngest person in the room...by about 40 years. I was the fittest, the most flexible, and the strongest by far. I was bouncing around on that ball with one leg in the air and my head touching the back of my thigh. I was single best Ball Pilates student there! People looked to me for pointers and it was only my first day! The instructor even said, "Great job!" as I elongated my legs with my pilates ring (that I promptly grabbed at the beginning of class because I took the immediate inventory of everyone in the room when I first walked in). And I know it's not really fair to compare my pilates abilities to that of a 65-year-old man in a unitard, but who cares? I was the best. THE BEST.
And I popped into the dressing room after pilates where all the old Jewish women were showering and dressing and chatting. They didn't really say anything or acknowledge me, so I figured they just didn't relate to me because of my age. I smiled at them as I opened my locker. I grabbed my bag and washed my face and pranced around like a star. Look at me ladies! Mmhmm! Star pilates student!
As I walked out the door, one of them shouted, "You looked great in there!" I flipped my hair while I held open the door and shouted, "Thanks, you t--" and before I finished I realized she was talking to her friend. I think I ran out the door fast enough that she never saw me.
Still, joining the JCA was totally worth it.