Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Aerobics Instructor


Some of you may wonder what I spend my time doing after school. Unlike most of my Japanese co-workers, I DO NOT stay at work and pretend to be busy until 7 or 8 at night. I go home at a reasonable hour and between 7 and 9 you can usually find me at the gym!

I went last night and took the aerobics class. I take the aerobics class about once a week now, as it provides a break to the monotony of weight lifting. In the summer time, I run outdoors, but during Japan's cold winters, I'm stuck on a treadmill. So I thought that I would be able to do some of that cardio excersize doing silly dances with a bunch of giggly middle-aged Japanese women. A couple of the single middle aged men do the aerobics, but I suspect their motives aren't as noble as mine.

The gym I go to is actually quite small. They have a very crowded weight room with a set of circuit trainers, some stationary bikes, and 5 treadmills that are ALWAYS being used. Like all Japanese gyms, you have to change your shoes before you can go inside. There is a pool with 5 lanes that is 13 meters long on the first floor. One must turn around after only 4 strokes. You have to wear a swimcap or they won't let you in. There is also a room where they do aerobics, dance classes, and yoga. It really is too small to properly do aerobics, but we do it their anyway. Because I find the other instructors really annoying, and I don't care so much for their taste in music, I only go to Aerobics on Tuesday nights. I went yesterday only because I had nothing better lined up.

I suppose it isn't much different from an aerobics class in the states, except that its all in Japanese. The aerobics instructor is too thin, too energetic, and too happy, even for someone of her chosen profession. My biggest problem is that my Baptist heritage and heredetary skin color severely inhibit dance moves and rhythm. Sometimes its quite difficult for me to coordinate my legs and arms with the speed of the music. I can do legs OR arms, but I can't seem to do both at the same time. A couple times, the instructor looked at me during the class and started her counting and instruction in English (she isn't very good at it), probably thinking I couldn't understand her. I could understand her Japanese just fine, I JUST COULDN'T DO IT!

That class was particularly difficult, as I can usually hold my own. Here is a video you may find amusing. Rest assured, my workout is much more intense and lacking in lame English lessons! The Amusing Video

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