The Out of Synch Story

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The acrid tang of chlorine touched the back of my throat as I walked the humid hallway between the change room and the pool doors. As part of the Cross Fit program, we had to take part in a deep water fitness class. My fear of dancing was lifting with every step I took as I exited the change room in a whoosh of stagnant chemicals. I breathed deeply before rubbing my hands together at the thought of normally yoga clad bottoms floating around in bathing suit bottoms not big enough to keep bikini stubble dry. At least for one class I would be able to keep up with the movements and when I couldn’t I would just hide under the water and pretend I was doing something other than making the air fart out of my inflated pockets.

I saw only one person from class standing beside the pool as I made my way toward the deeper water. She was clad in a swimmers suit which while clingy was far too covering for what my brain had imagined would be a ring of synchronized camel toes rising out of the water to Madonna’s “Celebrate” with me in the middle spinning lazy circles. She had a bemused look on her face as she looked at the group already paddling around. She turned and arched an eyebrow at me and I gave her a half-smile before I turned my gaze to see where she had been looking.

There were at least a dozen women already in the pool. I think the youngest of them was in the neighborhood of sixty. There was more wrinkled white skin than the giant vat of Wonton soup at a Chinese buffet. My brain immediately went to the assumption that their class was finishing up and they would be getting out of the water. They were laughing and joking in that way women do when they have seen each other naked one too many times.

I saw the young aquatics instructor wheeling a speaker towards the pool and for one gleeful second I thought she planned on dumping the electric monstrosity into the pool to cook the entire floating mass like some geriatric bouillabaisse.

” Okay, who do I have from Cross Fit?,” she asked and the few of us brave enough to actually show up raised our hands.

“Well don’t be shy,” she laughed ” Join the class.”

I felt a nameless dread. Well, there probably is a long German name for it, like Geschpooklichkeit or something, but I don’t speak German. Anyway, it’s a dread that nobody knows the name for, like those little square plastic gizmos that close your bread bags. I don’t know the name for those either. I heard a splash and saw Dave the Ginger bobbing along beside the Menopause Mafia. There was no way I was going to be upstaged at this point so I cringingly slipped into the water. I swam out to the deepest point and stayed afloat as the music from “Sweatin to the Oldies” started.

I could feel the eyes of the women flicking over to me as I tried to keep pace. Treading water while doing spirit fingers above your head might seem easy but I assure you it isn’t. I began to tire fairly quickly and looked at the clock. Twenty minutes of an hour class had passed. I knew at that exact moment I was going to likely drown and be resuscitated by the Little Mermaid’s grandmother. I began to cheat my way over to the shallower water and sighed a little as I felt my toes touch the bottom of the slope.

” Okay, lets lay on our backs,” I heard the instructor call out and I flipped belly up. I was grateful for the rest as the last series of exercises had been rough. I stared at the ceiling as the next set of instructions were called out. I wasn’t completely sure what I was doing so I lifted my head out of the water to see pasty white flesh rising in unison. I came to a couple of shocking revelations at that moment.

First, I saw the reason why I was nearly drowning and no one else was even losing their breath was the simple fact they were all wearing flotation belts so they didn’t sink to the bottom.

Second, when women raise their legs out of the water when they are laying on their backs a bathing suit bottom doesn’t necessarily cover all of their bottoms. Or their fronts. Or anything in between.

I inhaled sharply and sucked in a huge lungful of water. I coughed harder than a sleeping dog farts trying to expel the liquid and nearly choked myself faint in the process. The instructor blew her whistle once and I saw life guards that I have underwear older than walking towards me. I waved them off and swam slowly over to the edge of the pool. I pulled myself up on the ledge and took a couple ragged breaths.

“You okay,” the instructor asked as she knelt down beside me. Every eye in the entire pool area seemed to be trained on me and every ear listening to my wet coughs.

“I think so,” I answered as I felt tears roll down my cheek ” It’s just the chlorine in the pool.”

I kept repeating “It was just the chlorine, It was just the chlorine” the entire drive home.

The Last Man Standing Story

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Cross fit must be the anti Fight Club because the first rule of Cross Fit is you never shut up about Cross Fit. I don’t know anyone that has taken even a single class that cannot bring it up in every conversation they have with absolutely everyone.

Last summer, I had trained for and competed in a Zombie Run that was essentially a five kilometer uphill climb of three lengths up and around a ski hill. I turned in what I figured was a respectable time for my first timed race and was standing at the finish line panting like a dog in heat watching lesbian poodle porn when I say a group of high fiving young men who could have been on the cover of any issue of Modern Fitness Modeling For Douches. Each of them were wearing a black form-fitting t-shirt emblazoned with the name of the newest Cross Fit gym in the area. They had absolutely crushed the course and looked like they had barely broken a sweat. I was utterly exhausted from cross-country sprint but promised myself that my next race would be a much better result.

I was leafing through the program book at my gym when I saw they were now offering a “Cross Fit” style course. Apparently Cross Fit is a copy righted name so unless you have express written consent to use it they send a group of compression shirt wearing thugs in day glow green shoes to your house where they beat you half to death, impregnate your daughter and steal all the change off your dresser unless you promise never to utter the word again. I knew if I wanted to close the gap between cross-country running on my island and the ridiculous fitness level I saw that day I was going to have to find a way to push myself.

The night of the first class, I geared up and popped my headphones in. Pounding drum beats filled my ears courtesy of Avenged Sevenfold and I shook my testicles into a more comfortable position. I was ready for anything the class had to throw at me. I stalked down the hallway like a wolf hunting prey and rounded the corner towards the doors already open awaiting my arrival.

I was greeted by a tall, smiling woman in the shortest yoga shorts money could buy. Her bright and cheery demeanor completely disarmed me but not as much as the other people already waiting for the class to start. I entered the room to see a group of young women clad in matching yoga pants and tank tops. It took less than half a heart beat to notice a very distinct lack of penis in the room. I shrugged and hoped at least one other guy would show up albeit fashionably late but realizing that a guy who showed up fashionably late on purpose was likely going to be wearing yoga pants and wishing his outie was an innie.

” Okay everybody,” the instructor called out as she adjusted her headset ” My name is Kim and welcome to instability training.”

A chorus of clapping and woos responded to her and I chuckled a bit. Woo girls. Just my luck.

” If you will all grab a BOSU and a set of weights we will get warmed up,” Kim said as she motioned to the blue mushroom-shaped half balls. Before I could make an ill-timed joke about blue balls, I looked at the stack of small hand weights. The heaviest they had been ten pounds and there was no way I was going to get much out of that.

” I am gonna grab some weights from the gym,” I said in a tone that must have channeled Chris Farley in “Tommyboy” looking for the weight room because Kim gave me a look normally reserved for three-legged kittens with a hair lip.

” I will be right here,” Kim replied enunciating each word and nodding after each syllable to be sure I understood. I could tell she was looking for an excuse to pat me on the forehead.

I walked down the hall wondering which of the Little Rascals was her favorite and grabbed a couple of heavy dumb bells. If I was going to do a girls workout I was at least going to look like a guy doing it. I had just made it back to the place I had picked out in time to join the gyno Canadians in the warm up. I snickered as the beads on sweat started to show on everyone else and I hadn’t even taken a deep breath yet. Then my worst fear was realized.

I can’t dance. I have about as much rhythm as lava lamp and am just as wobbly. Watching me was like watching someone dry heave. Kim led the group through a series of steps that left me gasping to keep up. I was bouncing on the hall ball in what I figured was perfect timing only to have my feet tangle up with the girl beside me resulting in some unintentional butt touching.

” Okay,” Kim called out, ” Let’s grab the heavy weights.”

Finally, I thought. Something I could handle.

What followed was a disaster of recockulous proportions. Ten reps into a combination move that involved balancing on a giant rubber ball doing shoulder presses while at the same time executing what must have been the crane kick from “The Karate Kid” with a yoga pose that could only be described as “Crotchal Nightmare”, I was a sweaty mess. I looked at the clock. Twenty minutes into an hour class. I looked like I had run the New York City marathon pushing a wheel barrow full of pickled pig’s feet. My muscles were screaming from the weight but there was no way I was going to let a bunch of jazzercising girls see me go down.

” Everybody ready to take it to the next level ?” Kim laughed into her mic while eyeing me in the mirror. A round of “woo”s that would have done Ric Flair proud covered the sound of my tears hitting the floor. We all dropped our weights and sat down on the floor. I resisted the urge to vomit into my water bottle so no one saw.

” Feet up on the ball,” Kim called out and I laid back on the floor.

“Thrust up,” I heard and turned my head to see yoga clad crotches sky-high. I burst out laughing. I was Robinson Crusoe trapped on Camel Toe Island. A series of moves followed after the thrusting that brought my eye line to Gina Town with nowhere else to look. I couldn’t help but continue to laugh. I decided I only had one safe place to look. Right at my groin. I figured if nothing else all the girls in the class would think I was a typical guy and fascinated with my junk.

Mercifully the class ended quickly there after. Apparently time flies when you are laughing at floating vulva. The girls were continuing to woo it up and I just sat on my giant blue balls staring at the floor. I wiped the sweat running from my bald head and saw Kim giving me a look I was unprepared for.

It was almost pity. She had kicked my ass with a class I had never seen a single guy take and likely with good reason. Especially those of us that can’t do the Running Man while holding a weighted bar in our butt cheeks.

” You okay ?” Kim asked as I gracelessly stood up.

” I think so,” I replied with a shake of my head that indicated the opposite.

” Well I hope you come back next week,” Kim said with a smile ” It’s yoga boot camp. You should consider getting some yoga pants so you can keep up with the rest of the girls.”