Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sweatin' with the oldies

Despite trying to subsist on granola, yogurt, and raisins, I have unfortunately still managed to gain those lovely few pounds that living in a foreign country always brings. Thus I found myself on a rainy Tuesday night, pledging a kidney, my firstborn, and some free language lessons to the smiley receptionists at Chatan Sports Center. I can't believe my 6 am workouts weren't enough.

With gestures and dictionaries being used at every turn, somehow I ended up getting paperwork filled out and soon found myself upstairs in the actual fitness area. After figuring out the locker room successfully, I was quickly attached to machines to measure my blood pressure, weight, all that jazz. You could see the excitement on their faces. "Oooh, what does an American weigh? What is her BMI? Oh, sugoi." It was quite the frenzy of dictionaries being pulled out, mine and theirs. And everyone was all smiles.

After the initial lab rat period, I was taken to the weight/exercise room where I was tested on all of the various machines and all of my repetitions were placed neatly on a chart so I can keep track of my progress. I actually love that part. The lady helping me was hilarious at trying to explain what kCal means. Ummm.."Calories?" "Hai!" So, after showing my prowess on the weights and examining the magazine selection (actual People magazines! Did you know that Christopher Reeve died????), I was ready for my first aerobics class in Japan. I tried standing around casually waiting for it to begin but was pounced on by one eager little lady with gray hair and pigtails. She doesn't speak much English and we all know how great my Japanese is, but somehow we established the crucial information needed to become friends. And then all of a sudden crazy mixed music comes on (unfortunately, I can't remember exact titles) and we're throwing our arms around, pouncing and parading, gliding, and jumping. And, thanks to my training at Bodyworks Fitness Center (which I MISS), I was "mamba-ing" with the best of them. The cute instructor kept making sure that I could see her properly and she was really energetic and fun. Before I knew it, I had completed one hour of aerobics conducted entirely in Japanese. Give me a sticker.

By this time, it's 8:00 and I haven't had dinner yet, so I say "onaka ga suita" (I'm hungry), but am quickly cornered by the pigtail lady. Somehow, and I'm still trying to piece it together in my mind, I ended up agreeing to tea on Friday at 6 with her driving me somewhere? I am pretty sure that I am being used for English lessons. In fact, I'm positive her thought was, "YES! My sweet little perky pigtail routine finally worked! I've snagged me an American!" and then went to recruit the rest of her family for lessons.

All in all it was great fun and a couple of the girls who work there have already told me that I will help their English and they'll help my Japanese. And there are always random people who speak quite good English. One of them told me I was a great dancer. Mind you, in this country I could have been standing in the corner hopping on one foot and picking my nose and would have been given an ovation.

Tonight --- Fatburning Class.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

i want to get down on these aerobics lessons with you, cuz Nancy's jazz-a-business is just too far away. would i also have to pledge my firstborn to the county of chatan? what are the prices here in yens??? can you pay by class, or must join monthly? is this place close to the 58? wait i'm going to go write you an email.