One of my favorite things to do when I’m traveling is to take a local exercise class. I know it’s kind of strange, but it accomplishes two goals — the more boring goal of fitness and the really fun goal of people watching. I have travelled a lot and I can you there is no better place to people watch than an exercise class. Sure, an outdoor cafe is great to check out the locals, but think about checking out those same locals as they grunt and sweat over a balance ball wearing shirts that say things like, “Chefs do it with pastry bags” or “I love BBQ”. (Both shirts I’ve seen in exercise classes.)
Before I go anywhere, I google “great exercise classes” in whatever city about to travel to. I’ve found that most of the time a big, fancy gym is the place to find them and you can usually get a day pass for about fifteen or twenty dollars.
Los Angeles has the most astounding exercises classes around and the people watching is beyond, beyond. The people are incredibly fit and the plastic surgery is off the charts. It’s like exercising with a bunch of super robots with big, fake boobs. They also have the most extreme classes, combining things you would never think would go together like, “Whore dance/restorative yoga”. So if you’re ever in Los Angeles, you have to check out the classes.
On this Florida vacation, I’ve taken classes in two different locations — Miami and Gainesville. Here’s what I’ve seen —
Miami — I’ve taken a spinning class and a yoga class. The people in Miami don’t go to the gym in just a pair of sweats and a t-shirt — no, no. What’s the fun of that? The people in Miami bling it up to sweat… an average outfit contains no less than five pounds of studded diamonds, bangles, bedazzled socks and shiny gold or silver lycra work out clothes. Full make up must be worn and the perfume of choice seems to be a gallon of whatever you have lying around — just make sure it’s enough to make the person on the bike next to you dizzy and nauseous. I loved this dress up approach to fitness. I’ve never seen anything like it before and half-way through my spinning class in my boring black shorts I was contemplating going online and buying a Bedazzler.
Gainesville — This is a college town and I found myself surrounded by students wearing shirts that say, “Class of 2017″. Needless to say, I felt approximately a thousand years old and I tried extra hard in these classes to make sure these girls could see that “granny still has it”. Before class, one of the girls suggested that we have an 80’s themed class. She said, “You know, we could all wear those Jane Fonda leotards and have really big hair.” They all laughed and mocked a decade none of them had ever lived through and I wanted to shout, “Can we just get this class started? I suddenly realized I don’t have much time to live.” Gainesville is also gun country, so during one muscle pumping class the teacher kept saying, “Get your gun out of your holster” — meaning doing a bicep curl. I was hoping she would continue with the gun metaphors with things like, “Put your rifle on your shoulder and shoot that lily liver in the back!” (Do a shoulder press.) Or “One more shot and then you’re out of lead, troops!” (Class is over.) But unfortunately, she didn’t and I was forced to focus on balancing on a wobble ball while lifting weights. (Which for this cowgirl, was hard.)
We’re in Miami for five more days and I’m going to try to sneak away for a kickboxing class or some other martial art that involves rolling around on the floor with heavily perfumed and glammed up strangers.
Here’s to sightseeing while exercising!