Updated: Feb 7
Jane Fonda is 82 now and gives me the pips! She has announced that she has finally given up plastic surgery - good for her! - and that she has had three hip replacements.
I have only had one so far and the year before that ordeal was excruciatingly painful. I hung in there, hobbling around whilst waiting for the surgeon’s knife, and I stopped getting physical with Jane.
Religiously for years, since the 1970s, every morning I would insert the worn-out cassette into the ghetto blaster and clear the floor of dangerous obstacles - all set to swing, jump, protrude the buttocks and toss the body flab to the four winds.
A one and a two, and a three and a four - feel the beat! Harder and harder and again and again! And one more time!
I puffed and creaked and moaned and stretched. Eventually, it became easier, and I could follow Jane’s voice blindfolded and progress to the B side - the Advanced class where the speed quickened and the arc of swing widened - and quite frankly Jane wore me out.
However, anytime I saw her on television - I thought: I too will look like that at her age; toned, unlined, sprightly and looking sickeningly 20 years younger.
But sadly, I didn’t have her resources to keep up, and lethargy crept in. I became more interested in her political activism than in her taut butt in leotards.
I have found a new guru in Mother Nature - letting her take her course gently and succumbing to the inevitable.
And when I think of Jane, I swing my remaining natural hip around and around in a bigger circle than the metal one, and I feel good about myself.
Go Jane - Get Physical. Gerdette Rooney
‘Let’s get physical’ she says.
I stare at the silken blonde hair, the breathtaking good looks. Sleek alluring legs, splendid thighs.
Olivia! Gym junkie angel.
And that arse? Is she serious?
She’s etched in my memory forever.
The moment between glass hitting the ground and shattering. The train carriage sways from side to side as the man levels his knife at my chest. Not five seconds before and he’d just been an angry stranger, standing to stare.
The train jumping again nearly throws me. I shift a foot, catch my weight, hold his glare. Of course, it’d be the one time I didn’t run my mouth. I guess knowing better isn’t self-defence. Every other occasion some guy had puffed up their chests, in fact or imagined, they’d yelled a bit and maybe swung an arm.
Instead, this guy in suit pants and a dress shirt is trying to staunch me for sitting in the same car.
I raise both hands in front of me like an oracle over a crystal ball, elbows by my ribs. The man could be tweaking or I could be seeing things. Before I can place it he lunges forward.
The world splits into two.
In one timeline, panic stabs me. My instincts throw me back, away from the point of the knife, barely, but something catches my legs and gravity takes my hips. I tumble into a blackhole.
In reality I hold my base. I bring my hands together and catch his wrist in the fork of my thumbs, pushing the line of the knife up and to the left of my face. One motion blends into another as I turn, step, bring the man’s elbow down and over my shoulder. His arm breaking cracks through the carriage a moment before his scream.
Hours later, sitting on the edge of my bed with electricity running the surface of my skin, I wonder again about all the imaginary fights I’ve had in my head, and how that fell apart by actually training. At what point do words become actions, and thoughts get physical.
Nowadays my body tells me, ‘Let’s get physical,’ and I say, ‘Yes,’ wholeheartedly.
This week, I attended four dance classes and I’m not happy with myself. My target is six a week and I normally average five.
Time runs away from us all too quickly and we need to look after ourselves. I’m a dance junkie these days because I can’t afford to not be good to my body.
In 2019, I spent a considerable amount of time in doctors’ offices and underwent two procedures. Last year was about my body hitting the reset button and giving me a second chance. I’m grateful and I’m taking this second chance seriously.
I look back at the way I lived over the previous four decades and shake my head at how invincible I thought I was – all those late nights, all the fatty food and alcohol. Nowadays, they are fortnightly treats rather than a daily staple.
This morning I attended Zumba online and Dua Lupa was singing, ‘Let’s get physical’. As I bounced along, I smiled and mouthed the words.
Let’s get physical and let’s keep moving our bodies so our bodies allow us to achieve all that we desire.
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