Sweat Shop

I recently celebrated my 56th birthday. Right, I celebrate fiber. Seriously, lately I’ve really been feeling older than my age although my body feels like that of a teenager. In other words, it doesn’t do what I tell it to do.

One morning, I looked in a mirror and decided I needed to slow down nature’s clock. Coincidentally, that day I was speaking with Mindful Moments columnist Alice Inoue, and she told me about a fitness program she thought I would be able to do.

It is a “boot camp,” of sorts — an accelerated program that, if I stuck to it, would bring me results in 28 days. They were running a special with a money-back guarantee, so what did I have to lose? Just so happens they had classes near where I live. The only problem is the class starts at 4:45 a.m. That’s a.m. as in, “a.m. an idiot for doing this.”

I was told to bring a water bottle and a towel. On my first day, the challenge was lifting myself out of bed at 4:15 a.m. When I got there, I looked around and the place was packed. It was mostly women, but there were a few men. I was possibly the oldest person there.

I placed my towel and water on the mat like everyone else and tried to keep up. These people are amazing, as they are at such a high level of fitness that I looked like I was unconscious by comparison. Many of the women around me were helpful coaches, and I was kind of embarrassed as I wasn’t representing the man club very well.

The man club was well-represented by the other men in the class, so I gravitated toward them with the hope that, if I was going to look bad, it would be next to men and not a bunch of fit women. Ten minutes in, I was drenched in sweat. I was delirious as I gulped down some water. I grabbed my fresh towel to keep from dripping all over the mats.

As I wiped my face, I noticed the towel was unusually moist. That’s when I realized I grabbed someone else’s towel, which was identical to mine. Unfortunately, I deduced that it belonged to the sweatiest man there, other than me. That almost took the wind out of my sails, which then became completely deflated when I realized my water bottle also was identical to his.