A situation has developed at the Y with the exercise class I attend that leaves me feeling amazed and sort of in shock, and yet wanting laugh out loud whenever I think about it. For most of my life, I have thought of myself as being a “follower.” I’ve always been content to be in the background, let somebody else be in charge, and be happy to do what I am told. But that has changed in the last few years. I have gotten much more assertive, and now seem to be quite happy to take over if nobody more assertive than me is around. I have also noticed that in meetings when decisions have to be made, I often “control” the meeting because I am usually the only one to offer an opinion and often the group agrees with what I want to do.
Now, to the funny situation in connection with the “active older Americans” exercise group that I attend thrice weekly at the YMCA. This is a picture of the women who mostly attend the exercise class. It was taken about a year ago at a going-away party for the receptionist. The men in the background are also regulars at the Y in the mornings when we exercise, and they were invited too. The class combines weight lifting and stretching with a low-impact aerobics routine on days 1 and 3 and a walking video on day 2 where we march along in place following the leader and the group on the video. On occasion, our leader is not there (that’s the short woman on the left hand side of the picture in the second row), and then Wanda takes over (red arrow) and leads the group with the stretching/weight lifting and the walking video. Only some of us don’t like the video that much, and during one period when our leader was gone for about 2 weeks, I opened my big mouth and said that I would be happy to lead the aerobics routine. So then a subtle struggle for power started between Wanda and me over who was going to lead the group when we do aerobics. This is not an “angry thing” though. I love Wanda to pieces. She is very funny lady, and we’ve had a few hilarious sessions (but I guess you’d have to be there to appreciate it), where everyone did more laughing than exercising as we tried to work it out between us who was going to lead. I think today we finally got it ironed out, though. She’ll do the stretching, and I’ll do the aerobics.