The other day, I went to the gym. I know, that’s unlike me to actually exercise. I've always said I’ll exercise if someone pays me to do it. Then, a mystery shopping company offered to pay me. Shoot. I should choose my words more wisely.

For this assignment, I had to attend a group exercise class. Oh, joy, my favorite. Exercise combined with talking to people in the morning. Fabulous. My choices were a class that had “combat” in the title or a water aerobics class. I decided anything named "Combat" should be avoided at all costs, so water aerobics, it was. I showed up half an hour before the class. There was another water aerobics class going on at that time, so I figured I could observe what I was about to get myself into. For posterity sake, I decided to record my thoughts. Okay. The times might be off a little, but you’ll get the idea. (And by the way, punctuation police, yes, I know, technically, there should be quotation marks on these, but I didn’t want to put them. Besides - for once - I did not say my thoughts out loud.)

9:35 AM Okay, here goes nothing. I’ll just sneak in and see what this class is like.

9:36 AM Why is the lifeguard looking at me? I’m not joining the class yet, lifeguard. Leave me alone.

9:37 AM Maybe if I go to that end of the pool and watch from a distance, I won’t be so obvious.

9:38 AM I’m the only one not swimming laps. Maybe I should swim laps so I blend in.

9:39 AM Yeah. Right.

9:40 AM How can I possibly have to go to the bathroom already? I went right before I came out here!

9:41 AM Those ladies look silly doing that. I hope I won't look like that.

9:42 AM Pardon me, little boy. No, no. Don't worry about kicking me. I love to be kicked by small children.

9:43 AM Why does the lifeguard keep looking at me? Maybe I should dance for her.

9:44 AM That would be a sight.

9:45 AM I wonder if I should dry off and go to the bathroom?

9:46 AM
Nah. I'll be fine.

9:47 AM I didn't know that dance was called the Cuban Shuffle. It looks really silly underwater.

9:48 AM Kid, if you kick me again, we're going to have a problem.

9:49 AM Does the mother not see him? Hello! Your child is kicking me.

9:50 AM I wonder if I should put on sunscreen? It’s still morning. I should be fine.

9:51 AM Maybe I should get out and go to the bathroom.

9:52 AM I wonder if there really is such a thing as dye that turns the water blue if you pee-pee in the water?

9:53 AM I guess I'd better not find out.

9:54 AM I'm pretty sure blue water would blow my cover as a mystery shopper.

9:55 AM I remember when suntan lotion was oily and actually made me burn. It’s a miracle I survived my childhood.

AM If I end up with skin cancer, I'm totally blaming my mother.

9:57 AM I'll just blame her for everything anyway. It's all my mother's fault.

9:58 AM I wonder what the Goose and the Beetle will blame on me? They have so much to work with....

9:59 AM Oh, crud. She’s ending that class. I guess I should go over there.

10:00 AM It’s all old ladies in this class. I should be fine.

10:01 AM You can do this. You're a survivor.

10:02 AM They are all talking to each other. No one is talking to me. Is it because I’m too young for this class? I wish I knew someone. Then, I'd have someone to chat with.

10:04 AM That one’s coming to talk to me. Please don’t talk to me.

10:05 AM I really should have gone to the bathroom.

10:06 AM (As the old lady talks to me) She knows I’m not her age, right? I mean, I really don’t fit in this group.

10:07 AM This isn’t so bad. Moving in the water – I can handle this.

10:08 AM I wonder if I keep doing this if my thighs will be as fit as the teacher’s thighs?

10:09 AM The teacher isn’t even in the water. How is she so skinny?

10:10 AM She probably goes to the combat class.

10:11 AM It has only been 11 minutes? I’m going to die.

10:12 AM I’m old. I do fit in with these ladies.

10:13 AM My arm flaps are making waves.

10:14 AM Everyone else has arm flaps too. I’ve found my new home.

10:15 AM This isn’t so bad. I could do this for a long time.

10:16 AM It has only been a minute?

10:17 AM The lifeguard is looking at us. He probably thinks we’re a bunch of old fat women. How embarrassing. Should I tell him I’m really not that old and that I can still wear my earrings from high school?

10:18 AM People are watching us. At least the water hides most of me. What would I look like right now if I were in the combat class?

10:19 AM I would be in an ambulance right now. At least I would be finished exercising.

10:20 AM I really should have put on sunscreen.

10:21 AM Oh good. We get to use swim noodles. This will be fun.

10:22 AM You want me to do what with the noodle?

10:23 AM These old ladies are putting me to shame.

10:24 AM I am sitting on a swim noodle in a public pool, pretending to ride a bike. This is a new low point in my life.

10:25 AM I think that little boy just pointed and laughed at me. Shut up, little boy, or I'll kick you.

10:26 AM Who cares? I’m 41 years old. Why do I care what people think? Laugh, little boy. You’ll be 41 one day.

10:27 AM 41. Ugh.

10:28 AM At age 41, you would think I would know to use sunscreen and to go to the bathroom before class.

10:29 AM I wonder if I’m really 41? Maybe my birth certificate was printed wrong. I’m really 31. That sounds better. My birth certificate probably is wrong. I'm sure it's my mother's fault.

10:30 AM I look pretty rough for 31. It’s probably because I didn’t use enough sunscreen.

10:31 AM I’ve made it through half the class! I can do this!

10:32 AM I’m not going to make it. I’ve got to go to the bathroom, and all this bouncing and water is not helping. Maybe I should test the blue dye theory. Nah. I'd better not.

10:33 AM How can pushing a swim noodle underwater hurt that much? This teacher has evil powers.

10:34 AM She may be evil, but she has nice thighs. I wish I still had nice thighs.

10:35 AM That’s why I’m here.

10:36 AM Okay, actually I’m here for the paycheck.

10:37 AM Maybe if I join this gym and keep coming back, I’ll have nice thighs.

10:38 AM (Looking around at my classmates.) Maybe not.

10:39 AM I’m too young for this class.

10:40 AM I should have gone to the combat class. I could have left to go to the bathroom.

10:41 AM Is that my skin I hear sizzling?

10:42 AM Is this class ever going to end?

10:43 AM Oh, look, the lifeguard is doing the motions to the YMCA song with us. I wonder if he would be able to see it if I used the bathroom in the pool?

10:44 AM Is he mocking us? How many of these women have used the bathroom in this pool?

10:45 AM That’s not nice, lifeguard. We’re trying, you know.

10:46 AM Old Ladies Who are Trying – that should be the name of this class. Better yet: Sunburned Old Ladies Who are Trying.

10:47 AM You want me balance on one foot in the water and do what? I’ve got to go to the bathroom! There is no way all these old ladies have gone this long without going to the bathroom.

10:48 AM I did it, and I made it look easy! I think I’m going to need a shower to wash off the pee-pee water when we are finished.

10:49 AM See? I am younger than my classmates, AND I managed to hold my bladder.

10:50 AM I hope the lifeguard saw that and realized just how young I really am.

10:51 AM I really wish I had used sunscreen. I could have put it on when I went to the bathroom before class.

10:52 AM Oh! She just said we would start the cool down!

10:53 AM How long do we actually have to cool down? We’re in the water. We aren’t hot.

10:54 AM This is never going to end. My flesh is burning, and I’ve got to go now!

10:55 AM Give myself a hug? Really? That’s weird. If I squeeze too hard, I’m going to pee-pee.

10:56 AM I guess it’s no weirder than riding a noodle bike in the water. I feel so light in the water. I'm a butterfly!

10:57 AM This was kind of fun! Now, I’ve got to go.

10:58 AM I would do this again. It's fun to float like a butterfly.

10:59 AM One minute to go! I’m going to have to run to the bathroom. I could fly since I'm a butterfly.

11:00 AM I made it! That was awesome! I want to do the next class! Which way to the bathroom? I'll flutter my wings and fly there!

11:01 AM (Getting out of the pool) I'm a hippopotamus! Do my arms and legs way 1000 pounds? Make way for the hippo! She's got to go!

11:02 AM Could someone please just carry me to my car? Better yet, can you take me to the bathroom?

11:03 AM The old ladies are moving just fine.  Rock on, old ladies! You’re my heroes, but don't any of you need to go to the bathroom?

11:04 AM Check me out with my bad self! I survived the class, and I made it all the way to the bathroom. Yay me!  

So, if ever you see me in public and wonder what's going on in my brain, you're probably better off not asking. Join me next time in water aerobics class, and you can think with me. Just be sure you go potty and put on sunscreen. You'll regret it if you don't! -Al