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Since my birthday last August I’ve become obsessed with the idea of getting fit by 40. Yep! I’ll forty this year. Actually, I AM TURNING 40 YEARS OLD IN SIX MONTHS!!!!

I have never been stressed or worried about my age. I know it has everything to do with the fact I’ve always looked years younger than I actually am (all credit to good genes and melanin!). But, 40 IS a big deal isn’t it?

So, like I said, I’m trying to get fit by 40. Not just physically fit, but mentally and spiritually too. Why? No clue. I just feel that I’m reaching a mile stone and should do something more with life. But, before you think I’m taking you down ‘Oprah-Winfrey-lane’(my apologies if you’re an Oprah fan) or over to ‘Zen-crescent’ don’t panic. I won’t be taking you anywhere near either.

I have cut out cursing for the most part and begun attending Church services more regularly. Also, at least three times a week I somehow manage to haul myself out of bed by 5:15 a.m. (yes, a.m. as in EARLY morning) to head to the gym to run on the treadmill before work. Then on Monday rolled around…

On Monday evening I took up my friend M’s invitation to meet her at a gymnastics studio for an exercise class. At a cost of $5 for an hour long session how bad could it be right? Well, let me tell you how bad it was!

Before I get to just how painful the class was let me remind you that I’m a grown woman. Sure there are some women that swing around poles for a living with their woo-woos on display for all to see. And you know what? God bless them because it isn’t easy work swinging around like that. I tried a pole dancing class once (for fun once again, then as now there was no man on the scene) and can tell you it takes a lot of strength to climb a pole with nothing but your inner thigh muscles and crotch for support. But, I digress: in the real world grown women are not meant to be swinging their bodies about trying to be pole dancers or gymnasts. Ladies, this is a no-no.

The class began with light stretches. These were fine. They were civilized activities. A little cardio was next. Nothing too strenuous. Then before you knew it this woman had us lying on our backs swinging our left leg up in the air as our right arm swung towards said leg. Later she had me leaning forward with my hands on a foam box expecting I’d somehow complete a push-up, quickly swing both legs out behind me, jump up to bring my legs forward AND then do another push-up! What the hell people?! I had to stop and ask this Mistress of My Suffering if she was joking because while I was sweating from pain she keep laughing while shouting more ‘exercises’ for us to do.

My suffering lasted one hour and 16 minutes. Through it all I had three thoughts constantly going through my mind:

1. Is M upset with me about something?

2. This class better bloody well make me fit and toned by my birthday.

3. I think I’m going to come back next Monday for another session (and no, I don’t do drugs of any sort!)

As I’m telling you this story it is late Wednesday evening. It is now two days since that class. My entire body is still sore. Even my armpits hurt. But, my greatest pain is in my bottom and legs. I was a mess getting out of my car this morning. In fact, an 80-something year old woman came over to me and asked if I needed help. She had a walker. I accepted her offer. What? If you were in my situation you would have accepted her offer too!

M keeps sending text messages telling me that this class will get me toned and fit by summer. She even added that this might boost my confidence and help me find a decent man too. But right now this exercise class is on par with a Brazilian wax: you do it because it’s supposed to make you feel and look better, maybe even help if you have a special someone. But, the truth is that both leave you sore, miserable and wondering if it was all worth it.

And if you were wondering: yes, I’ll be back handing over another $5 on Monday …

Talk to you soon,

Mantha

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