Newfound Love for Working Out

Katiedid Langrock on

Like many kids, I was always afraid to show my mom a bad report card. Grades were not the most important thing in our house, but they were definitely important. A low score on an assignment or test was inevitably met with weeks of discussing personal drive, making work schedules and making study charts. It was worth excelling just to avoid the conversation.

But I will never forget the joy that accompanied my one and only final grade of a C in college or my fearlessness as I ran downstairs, tripping over my own two feet because I was beyond eager to tell my mom the wonderful news. My one and only C in college was in aerobic dance.

Yes, that's a real class. No, I did not want to take it. Failing it -- or, I should say, being average at it -- was probably the crowning achievement of my college career.

As part of our liberal arts education, we were required to take one activity class. My university had so many cool options -- ice skating, horseback riding, archery. The only one that fit into my schedule was something similar to Jazzercise.

Lacking any rhythm and with a deep aversion to sweating, I thought of this class as my biggest nightmare. Worse, it was filled with students who thought it was the best thing that had ever happened to them. An entire sorority joined our Tuesday and Thursday 11 a.m. dance room of despair. They wore the same pink shirts with sayings intended specifically for this class:

"The only thing that moves me more than aerobic dance is my sisters."

"Breathe. Groove. And Love Your Sisters."

Their makeup was always flawless. Each strand of their hair was impeccably pulled back in adorable ponytails that looked the same going into the class as they did going out. But that's not what made me hate them. I hated how, at the end of every class, each one of them would give me a sweaty hug and say, "Didn't you just love that?"

I would scream back, "No! That was the worst! You are the worst!" Well, I would have if I could have actually breathed at the time, which I never could.

Years later, I befriended and lived with one of these glistening optimists. She didn't remember we'd taken the class together. On the night of her wedding, donned in my bridesmaid dress, I told her our true origin story.


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