Thursday, September 24, 2009

Freak and Geek

Something I never get used to about living in Oaxaca is how I'm, in essence, a freak. I'm a big tall lady with a big Jewish afro and I'm not, you know, a quiet person. In my most insecure moments, I think every laugh on the street is a laugh at me. But now I've joined a health club and I stand out even more.

I'm the type who gets bright red in the face and sweats when I work out. To the point that people in the U.S. even noticed at times. In Mexico, where many people not only do not seem to sweat, but they also do not appear to mess up their hair or clothes while working out, I feel like a sweathog. Yeah, I'm Vinnie Barbarino or probably Arnold Horseshack and I'm strutting in saying "Hey, Mister Kot-ter," while everyone else comes and goes speaking of Michelangelo.

It's not like I have ever aimed to be cool or anything, but I wouldn't mind the advantage of occasionally being able to keep a low profile.

It hit an all-time low this morning when I went to Pilates. The Spanish instructions had me a half beat behind everyone else. I towered over everyone, all the more apparent with my bright red face. And then they brought out the medicine balls. Is that what they're called? Those giant exercise balls. We were supposed to balance ourselves supine across them in order to lift or stretch or exhale or inhale, but I found myself uncontrollably rolling around the room.

Panic rose in my throat, but I kept one goal in mind: just don't roll over anybody. If I can get through the class without flattening my classmates, I can call it a success. But will I ever go back?

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