Back To The 80s
Maybe I have too much time on my hands at the moment. But I am a bit concerned about putting on weight while in isolation, so I’ve been thinking of changing up my exercise program. It’s a good idea to change it up occasionally, so your body doesn’t get too comfortable. My mind very quickly went back to a memorable time in my life. A time when aerobics had a huge following. Back to the 1980s, when I was a gym and aerobics instructor.
Who remembers aerobics classes? How about Aerobics Oz Style on TV? I loved it so much and can remember being devastated when it finished. Not that I was able to exercise along with them. Most days I had classes at the gym. But I did follow their routines and workouts. I was devastated when it finished. I remember it being on TV, mostly in the 80s and early 90s, but it went much longer than that. It finally ended in 2005. I didn’t watch any episodes after about 1995, as I became a bit jaded with aerobics from the mid 90s, . I’m probably biased but I loved the form of aerobics we did in the 80s. It was high impact and it was mostly fast.
I was involved from the start, when aerobics first evolved from simple classes with dance steps instructed by dance instructors. I never participated in those, but I know I would have been hopeless. I remember when I first noticed aerobics. I was in the gym doing a weights workout, when the first official aerobics class started. There was fabulous music, running, jumping, and other cardio moves, along with floor exercises. The next day I joined in wearing a daggy pair of tracky pants and an oversize t-shirt. I didn’t care what I looked like. Immediately I was hooked. I loved the high impact movements but was slightly frustrated that there weren’t more of them in the class.
At the time there was no qualification for aerobics instructors, and looking back, now that I understand exercise movement, some of the movements that were in those classes do make me shudder. Many of them would not have been approved as safe exercises. Even though classes and the exercises peformed were safer, after the instructors were qualified, that didn’t mean that classes were easier. My classes were always advanced, difficult, fast and high impact, but with very little co-ordination required, mainly because of my hopelessness at being co-ordinated. Because they were difficult classes, I very quickly picked up a following of footballers and netballers and it wasn’t before long that the clubs asked me to train them on one night each week. I look at this period of time as being the best time of my life with fantastic memories.
But times change, and in the 90s, high impact classes were no longer accepted. The new classes were low impact. Aerobics classes also became franchised, when Les Mills classes began in gyms. This came about because until that time, instructors choreographed their own classes and set their exercises to their own recorded music. I can remember spending hours devising new routines and choosing music. New copyright rules for music made it no longer possible to record music. Gym owners then had to pay for the music that was played in their gyms.
Today, you can go into a gym, anywhere in the world on the same day, and find the same Les Mills class being taught. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed Les Mills classes. I also enjoyed low impact classes when they were combined with weights. But I did yearn for a session of hard and fast exercise that a high impact class would give. I suppose, I was getting older, and almost at the end of my aerobics career and still preferred the early fast days of the 80s.
Fast forward to last week, when I heard that people in self isolation were exercising to Aerobics Oz videos on You Tube and 10Play, which is an app for Channel 10 TV. My ears pricked immediately. I hadn’t thought of Aerobics Oz in years, but I just knew that those videos were going to be part of my exercise program from now on.
The next day I did an Aerobics Oz workout and I was so happy. Yes, I was re-living my youth and yes I wasn’t as fast as in the old days. Actually I was quite slow, but I didn’t care. Aerobics Oz has energised my workouts and increased my enjoyment. I couldn’t stop smiling at the end of the session. I know now that when I go into the gym for cardio, I will be turning the clock back to the 80s and that makes smile and feel joyful.
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