Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Hornet from Hell

This is the tale of how I came to see myself as the hornet from hell.

To maintain my national aerobics certifcation, I have to complete continuing education courses. Most of these courses cost a ton of money (About $100 per every 2 hours) which is hilarious since aerobics instructors don't make dick-all as far as money goes. We make a lot an hour, but it's not a 40 hour a week job.

So I was very impressed and excited when one of the gyms I work at offered free continuing education courses--the catch? One of the sessions is...aqua aerobics.
I hate public pools and it normally takes an inordinate amount of beer and pestering from my friends to get in any sort of communal water. Lakes included.

Furthermore, I certainly would never let my aerobics participants see me in a swimsuit. But, since abdicating my corporate job, I can't afford NOT to take free certification courses. So I begrudgingly signed up on the gym's intranet and committed myself.

I don't own a one-piece swimsuit. I only have 2-pieces from a couple of years ago when we went to Jamaica.

So, I had to endure what all women hate more than anything--swimsuit shopping.

Given the fact that I will never, ever teach nor substitute an aqua aerobics class, I was looking for a normal black swimsuit on the cheap. Walmart didn't have anything remotely OK to wear in public. I had to head to the infernal hell that is...Academy Sports and Outdoors.
I know it's odd to have a really strong opinion on a sporting goods store, but I HATE this particular Academy. Of course, it's the only sporting good store on my way home from teaching aerobics back to the house.

Why I hate Academy:
  1. Preponderence of White Trash. Maybe it's the deer lures, the camoflague clothing, or the ammunition, but this particular Academy is always packed with white trash on their way to/from the deer stand. I have to park my little import car next to stacked up trucks that have intelligent stickers on them promoting guns, god, and government. Guess this isn't so different than any place I go in Texas, but the difference is marked.

  2. Expensive Workout Gear. As I stated above, I don't make a lot of cash in my aerobics job. So seeing beautiful Nike workout clothes that cost the amount I make over four classes is just torture. I typically buy my workout gear from Target or Walmart, I'm not ashamed.
But I was there, taking deep cleansing breaths while trying not to smell the white trash.

There I stand in front of the Nike and Speedo stand with the swimsuits thinking..."I can buy four or five of these and take them home to try them on, of course, and return the rest. After all, I live close." Then, the devil on my shoulder pipes in with, "Do you really want to come back here if you don't have to when you can just try it on now and get it over with?"

That's when it hits me....Not to give TMI, but I have to go commando in the pants that I wore on this particular day whenever I teach. This is because we do a lot of squats in these two classes, and no aerobics participant needs to see the whale tail of their instructor's thong. No civilized person would ever try on a swimsuit commando. And while sometimes I'm hardly civilized, I'm not disgusting.

It occurs to me that there is a way around this--I could always try on the swimsuits OVER my gym pants. Undesirable, but as sanitary as it gets in the north Houston Academy store. So I root through the racks, trying to figure out sizing (I think they're European sizes--36 and 40s? Is that hip width or what?) and I pick a selection of different cuts on the bottom--from modest to scandalous and head to the fitting room. Which by the way--are not divided up by gender.

Let me set the scene. I had taught two aerobics classes that morning, once at 5:30AM and another time at 8:45, so I was looking pretty frightening in the light of day. Even scarier in the glaring flourescent lights of white trash Academy. No makeup. Frizzy hair. Sweaty clothes.

I jump in with the "conservative" cut swimsuit in the largest size (I guess) that I pulled off the rack, in a beautiful teal color. Holy hell. This suit was like something out of a movie from the 1930s. No matter your body type, this cut is not flattering.

3 more suits were tugged viciously over my aerobics pants. I was doing that tap dance you have to do in order to loop the shoulder straps over your shoulders. With socks on. Quite sexy. (No WAY would I take my socks off in the Academy!)

The second to last suit was black, with yellow stripes down the side. It was also the smallest size I had yanked off of the rack. Being so short, I have no clue what size I am in general, it's a crapshoot dependent on the designer. I did that little dance trying to ruck it up over my shoulders, and when I did, I laughed out loud. In the fitting rooms, surrounded by kids trying on baseball pants and women trying on workout pants. I was almost hysterical. I could hear other people shifting in the rooms, unnerved by the hysterical laughter emanating from my room.

I have always lived under the premise that...if you don't'll cry.

I truly looked like the hornet from hell in this suit.

The antennae were my frizzy hair, shoved out in all directions from the disgusting Houston humidity, the makeup-less face, the fact that I had on a too-tight swimsuit over gym pants, with black wee socks on. All I'll say is this--bulges everywhere.
At last, I found the best I could do--in a larger size, and certainly not with yellow details. With red racing stripes.

Thank god this particular Academy is next door to a liquor store.

Coincidence? I think not.

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