Sunday, July 3, 2011

Slouching Toward Cadavercise

Exercise: we’ve all gotta have it, but where do people with shattered nerves get it? Take me for just one crazy example: I joined Pervs (aka Curves) with all good intentions but had to quit because of the hideous, pulsating music. After that I joined a gym and had to quit THAT because of, no kidding, the hideous music.

That’s when I realized I needed an exercise class designed specifically for the shattered. Or the closest thing to it: the geriatric. A class whose teacher would understand that a vicious bass beat might very well kill off her tottering students. A class whose teacher might well play a harp. Not an actual harp, but the soothing sounds of a harp’s gentle strings emanating from some harmless boom box. Music to Not Want To Kill Yourself By. Music they play in tea rooms and Heaven. And, believe it or not, I looked on line and I found it.

My Cadavercise class is held, as it most certainly should be, in the bowels of a hospital, and the first time I went there I felt out of place. Since I feel out of place in my living room, this is hardly worth noting, and yet I must note it because this “out of place” was notably different: I was either the youngest one there by ten or more years, or simply the one who’d treated herself to the most plastic surgery, or possibly both.

When a woman of, say, 75 sidled up to me and asked if I wasn’t “too hot” in my outfit, I realized I was the only one in the room (besides the 30-ish teacher) whose arms weren’t fully covered by sleeves. Was she accusing me of wanting to show off my arms, never mind that they look like twin mortadellas? Or was she just put out because I wasn’t old enough yet to want the heat turned up every minute?

Either way, I figured she was trying to tell me that I wasn’t quite senior enough to be in the class, that I was not merely an impertinent interloper but the worst kind of young snotty whippersnapper.  So I quickly informed her that, even though I still colored my hair, I was a person “with issues.” The main one being the benign brain tumor that took half my hearing and half of my balance, the other one being that even at birth, and no doubt before, I was way too shattered to strengthen my biceps to the shrill screams of “Funkytown"---i.e., that I was Born Old and, thanks to the tumor, now qualified as Officially Ancient. She seemed to accept this and sidled off again back to her mat.

It's been a few months now and I can honestly say that I truly love my Cadavercise class. It meets twice a week for an hour and if I had my druthers, it would meet every day. I relish the slow easy stretching, the slow easy squatting, the crazed pelvic tilting, and yes, the lifting of weights to the sounds of the harp. Of course I have to sit two inches away from the teacher in order to hear even one thing she says, but that is true wherever I am, and my fellow cadavs don’t seem to mind.

Indeed, some of them have been so inclusive as to try to engage me in small talk, but this never goes very far because, naturally, they tend to talk about family, and naturally, since I don’t have one, I tend to talk about Anthony Weiner. 

Which, since I’m pretty sure they’re all rich Republicans (or merely people who take lots of cruises), you’d think they’d enjoy, but I don’t think they do.  Perhaps it's my youthful delivery.  Or my occasional  lauding of Genius Bill Mahar.  Not that it matters.  The point is they allow me to stay and have not, to date anyway, tried running me down in the parking lot.  


  1. Maybe your classmate meant "hot" in the Paris Hilton sense?

  2. You ARE so hot!

  3. Going to the gym? Let the stories begin...

  4. I carry ear plugs with me wherever I go. It makes me able to tolerate all kinds of places I couldn't otherwise :-)