I’ve never been the biggest one for exercise. My school reports always said something like ‘Emma would be good at sport if she put in some effort’ or ‘Emma doesn’t seem to see the point of team games’. I remember once telling my teacher that I would call Childline if she made me run around the track again.
When one of my student’s mother’s asked me if I fancied joining her for some exercise, of course, I said yes immediately. Mainly because I had used up all my excuses (though saying ‘I’m too lazy’ is pretty difficult to argue with). One thing I’ve learnt in Vietnam is that saying yes, even to things you wouldn’t normally do, can have surprisingly brilliant results.
On Saturday night, we headed to the studio to do an Aerobics class. I should point out that I have tried Aerobics in both the UK and Australia. The most common result is me sneaking out the back while the others are still grapevining. It is just too embarrassing. Not only do I have next to no coordination or balance (even walking on a level ground has proved troublesome in the past), but I’m always put off by the group of keenos (they’re in every class) flaunting the fact that they know the steps better than the instructor. The pitying looks I get floundering around at the back like a snake having a fit are not fun.
When we walked into the class, I felt like we had walked into the 80s. The women were wearing little more than neon swimming costumes. The room was huge, filled with tiny, good looking Vietnamese women looking into big mirrors, and me in my shorts and t-shirt, a head taller than everyone else. I took a deep breath, and told myself not to over think it. It’s just aerobics.
After a reassuring smile from my friend, the dance music started up and we were off. And I could (just about) keep up! The moves were a LOT more sexual than Western Aerobics: lots of hip grinding and flexing. In fact, once I got going, I felt like I was in a Beyonce music video (though its doubtful that I looked like that, unless it was the Mr Blobby comic relief special).
None of the women seemed remotely interested in what anyone else was doing, and I relaxed and just went for it. The chances of running into anyone I knew were zero, and the feeling in the room was one of camaraderie: no sly glances at other people to see if they were keeping up/falling apart. And once I let go, it was brilliant! By the end of the class, I was Shakira in my mind, and I was properly worn out.
I loved it so much, we’re going back on Tuesday.