Guest post by Laverne H. Bardy whose humorous, often irreverent, slant on life in general, and aging in particular, draws a large readership. She has been syndicated with Senior Wire News Service since 2004 and you can find her columns on the Huffington Post. Her book, How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old? was released in January, 2012, and is a compilation of the best of her columns.
Every day, the media reminds me that I am out of sync with the rest of the world. The government is presently designing a dollar bill that has running shoes replacing George Washington’s face. Sweat was officially added to the list of American symbolisms, along with apple pie, the flag and Mom. Ellen DeGeneres is promoting a line of bridal warm-up suits. Antiperspirants are being phased from market shelves and replaced with cans of Instant Sweat Aerosols.
Last week, I hosted a support group for ten 50-plus men and women who shared a bond — their utter disdain for exercise. They entered my house, one by one, lethargic and overweight. There was a time when they accepted who they were, but the world’s obsession with physical fitness had interfered with their sedentary lifestyle and left them feeling disgraced, embarrassed and diminished.
One woman, Portia Portly, claimed that she just didn’t fit in. Everyone she knew took aerobics, yoga or spin classes. So she went to Sports Authority and bought several spandex outfits that she now wears around town. Suddenly, her social life has exploded because people assume she is either going to or coming from an exercise class.
Portia’s success was applauded, voted on and accepted as standard policy.
“I joined a health club,” confessed a rather pudgy business man, “just so I can tell my macho associates I’m a member. They don’t know I only go for the saunas and massages. There’s no reason for them to ever know.”
I felt compelled to cleanse my conscience.
“When my husband completed his sixth marathon, he returned home and found me lying in the yard. How could I admit that while he’d been running over 26 miles I’d been sunbathing, on my back, motionless? I told him I had sprained my ankle while doing jumping jacks and was waiting for him to carry me indoors.”
“A perfect example of prejudice towards non-athletes happened to my cousin, Martha,” announced a woman who preferred to remain nameless.
“Martha devised an inexpensive source of fuel by extracting energy from several diet pills she found lying in her medicine cabinet since 1952. She received presidential praise and was up for a Nobel Prize for Great Achievements.”
And then the bomb dropped.
“An in-depth interview with Martha revealed that she not only wasn’t committed to being physically active, given the choice, she would scoff down apple pie rather than an apple. Consequently, her credibility became suspect and she is currently under investigation by both the CIA and Richard Simmons.”
The meeting lasted only 30 minutes — as long as it took for everyone to finish off the donuts, brownies and Cinnabons, and run out of new business to whine about.
If you feel out of place because you don’t smell from perspiration, don’t need a knee brace, don’t have shin splints, aren’t getting cortisone shots and don’t own a terry cloth head band, join us next Saturday at 10:00 a.m. in front of the YMCA.
Be prepared to march for THE RIGHT TO BE INACTIVE.
Please be prompt, as the parade is scheduled to last only ten minutes.
The local first aid squad has kindly volunteered to be on hand for those requiring treatment for exhaustion.
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