James Dean, The Fonz, Johnny Depp, Jay-Z…
I don’t care who you are.
There’s not one male icon of cool, living or dead, who can look like anything but a boob while prancing around in one of those aerobic, girlie jump-about exercise programs.
Nevertheless, I decided to try something different (the opportunity to run into some athletic young Williamsburg ladies being no small factor) and headed down to the Metropolitan Recreation Center for one of the free Shape Up NYC classes that the city is sponsoring.
Minutes later, a large group of us were standing in stunned shock in front of “Dyan,” our pretty, charismatic instructor, as tears poured down her cheeks.
“I cry a lot,” she had warned before diving into a heartfelt soliloquy about the challenges in her life and how she refused to settle any longer. “I just can’t do this anymore!” she implored, reenacting a discussion she’d had with her boss earlier in the week.
As a modern urban hetero male I was of course torn between being horrified and driven to uncontrollable laughter. I looked around at the sea of empathetic women, their big eyes welling up with tears of understanding (there were two other men in the class besides me- One who smiled adoringly in my direction and the other, the token black dude who watched impassively.) Was I the only one who found this to be reminiscent of a hilarious scene from a Woody Allen film?
Soon, though, Diane was imploring us to “shake it all out,” and know that we were strong and bellowing loudly that nothing could stop us, and we could do this, and we were worth it, and so forth.
“I can do it, I WILL do it… I”M HAPPY WITH MY LIFE!”
Rhyming exhortations were parroted back in rhythm from the bobbing, lurching class, in a military style, as our tireless leader barreled on only semi-audibly over the blaring techno-dance soundtrack about overcoming struggles and battling the hardships of (presumably) being a young woman in New York City.
It was great fun. I found it particularly relevant as I was just beginning to deal with a new set of issues regarding my return to the music biz and I really wasn’t sure I could pull off what I needed to. Plus, I’ve always been a fan of all that “positivity” schtick so integrating it with movement and exercise made perfect sense.
By the end of the workout I was surprised to find myself dripping with sweat. The lunges, swivels and dance moves didn’t feel so strenuous on their own, but the overall program definitely seemed to pack a punch.
And at free hundred dollars, it’s a pretty sweet deal. In a related aside, the Metropolitan Rec Center’s membership is a paltry $75 for an entire year of swimming and indoor gym use, among other perks ($50 without pool.)
It’s unbeatable in New York City. But regardless, the Shape Up NYC Programs are completely free ane one needn’t be a member of the facility hosting it to take part. Hunt down the program nearest you and try something different today. You’re strong, worth it, and you can DO IT!
Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict: YAY! YAY! YAY! YAY!
Details: Check link above but details are scarce: It’s fun and free is all you need to know.