Friday, March 05, 2010

Leg warmers nostalgia

We're "sleep training" the baby this week. Which basically means we're all sleepless zombies while trying to teach baby the difference between day and night and how to become slightly less nocturnal. So far... baby:1 parents: 0. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, the fabulous Maria Grazia Swan (who has had enough sleep to be coherent) has agreed to guest blog day. So, take it away, Maria....

Remember the good old days of Jane Fonda’s fitness videos and leg warmers?

Back when gyms where the place to see and be seen in our endless quest for the perfect mate?

Those days are gone. Today’s gyms are still the place to go in the endless quest for a perfect body, but now it is our own perfect body we’re after—not that of the buff guy spinning next to us in class.

In the early nineties, while writing an advice column for singles I told my readers that the weight room was a good place to meet a man in good shape and men should join aerobics classes to meet the active, fit gal. And, oh my, did I make people mad. I was accused of making men sissies and women buff!!!!

But I still say those were the good old days, when I wore a full face of make-up to the gym. Some of the women even sported false lashes. Aerobic instructors were always female and we moved to the sound of classical music.

In today’s unisex gyms, we all wear the same style shorts and plain t-shirts. Men and women are seen ‘spotting’ each other when lifting and a yoga class is often 50/50 by gender. So how have all these recent exercise habits changed our mating habits? The flirting is less open, and there is more sense of camaraderie. One thing that hasn’t changed is that when a “gym couple” breaks up, one of the two cancels his/her membership.

The concept of meeting a mate while exercising isn’t dead though, it has simply moved headquarters. In Phoenix, where I live, most of the flirting and courting takes place on hiking trails. People tend to hike at the same time, on the same days, to accommodate their work schedules. You end up running into the same faces and after a while the “hello” on the trail becomes “how are you” and “Want to get a cup of coffee?” On one of my favorite hikes, I often run into Jim also know as “the bartender”. Not because he serves drinks but because he knows all the regulars and stops to chat and listen to everybody. He told me he’s been doing the same trail, same time, for 5 years now and he is a rich source of information. He can recognize the true hikers from the “looking for a date” crowd. Perhaps one day the hiking trails will succumb to the sanity that seems to have overtaken the gyms-men and women hiking together with nothing (well, almost nothing) but fitness on their minds. I’m sure the day will come, but until then I’ll still put on a swipe of mascara and a touch of lip gloss before I lace up my hiking boots.

Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy fat women

Sylvia (Nicole Hollander)

~Maria Grazia Swan

Maria Grazia Swan is an author and motivational speaker who shares
relationship advice and guidance for women re-entering the social/dating
scene. Maria empowers and encourages single women to be bold, fearless, and
sexy in their pursuit of life and love after age 45. An award recipient from
the Women’s National Book Association, Swan is the author of Boomer Babes:
True Tales of Love and Lust in the Later Years (Leisure Books). Visit


Anonymous said...

Teilweise ziemlich verwirrend!

Maria G. Swan said...

Dear Anonymous, I imagine it would be, especially if you don't speak the language.

Tori Lennox said...

I wish I had the space and money for a home gym. At least, y'know, until I get into good enough shape I don't mind going out in public to work out. *g*

Maria G. Swan said...

Dear Tori, have you considered joining a women only gym? You may feel more comfortable. I know i do.

Anonymous said...

Hm hm.. that's amazing but actually i have a hard time seeing it... wonder what others have to say..