The Child Inside

Today at the office I decided to create an obstacle course. I took my group of middle-aged women into a conference room for their regularly-scheduled exercise session. Quick summary for those first-time readers: I am studying to be a group fitness instructor and during the day I work at a publishing company. There’s a group of ladies who expressed interest in light cardio sessions during our break since we sit on our rumps all day. I love doing this as planning these sessions is the only creative thing I get to do at my workplace.

Visual: The conference room is big enough to hold 5 long tables (like those long fold-up school cafeteria tables). There’s thin carpet on the ground and the chairs at the tables have wheels. The room has one long aisle on the outside of the tables.

The course: A Styrofoam cup is placed on each table. The victim (that’s what they like to call it) must run to the second table, stack that cup into the cup on the first table, then run to the third table, stack that cup into the stack at the first table, and so on and so forth until all the cups are stacked. They must then crawl underneath the series of tables on mats I laid down. Once they are done with that, they pretend to be Frankenstein (hands out, palms down, alternate straight leg lifts) and walk across the room. Then they run over to me on the other end of the room where I’m sitting in a chair with a big stupid grin on my face, holding a very heavy box of magazines. They push me as fast as they can all the way across the room and then all the way back. Finally they do 10 supermans (Lie face down on your stomach with arms extended out in front of you, legs extended behind you. In one movement lift the arms and legs up towards the ceiling making a U shape with your body).

So, what are the other people who aren’t running the obstacle course doing, you might ask? I have stations set up around the room away from the course where they lift light weights, use a resistance band, or use a jug of water to get some strength training in until it’s their turn to rotate and do the course.

One of my regulars (and biggest complainer) decided to be a sourpuss when she saw what today’s plan was. “I’m NOT doing this,” she stated, and crossed her arms while frowning as hard as she possibly could.

The others protested and tried their best to get her to stay. She said it wasn’t that she felt she couldn’t do it or that she was too overweight. It was because she didn’t want to look like a fool, act immature and do child-like things in front of the others. She was “too old for this shit.” After her cold, unfortunate announcement, Mrs. Grump turned up her nose and went back to her cubicle.

The rest of the gang had a great time and there was much laughter. They forgot that they were, in fact, exercising. We all agreed how much fun it was to go back in time and act like kids again. I’m here to remind you how important this is – to be young at heart. Don’t be like Mrs. Grumps…she’s going to rot away far more quickly than the rest of us.

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Myself on the left with some friends. We’re nearly 30 years old, so what? I like to keep props around for impromptu photo shoots.

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