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Jabali African Acrobats Come to Wooster

The Wooster Activity Crew (W.A.C) invites everyone to see the Jabali African Acrobats on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. The Jabali African Acrobats are an acrobatic troupe from Mombassa, Kenya, and they have performed for NBA and College basketball halftimes, former President Bill Clinton, and the Late Night Show with David Letterman, to name a few. Their performance is a perfect combination of athletics and the arts, and audience participation is always included. The event will be free to students, faculty, staff and families with no tickets required and will be held in McGaw Chapel. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. This is a show you won’t want to miss!

I think I’m in better shape than my self-esteem lets me believe, at least for the most part. So, when I first approached the idea of attending Super Fit, I made jokes about how it was going to go, envisioning something relatively fun, like Jazzercise or aqua aerobics. Oh, how wrong I was.

For those unaware, Super Fit is an aerobics class that meets Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Fridays at 6 p.m. in the P.E.C. Hotbox. The classes usually last for around an hour and consist of myriad physical activities. All of this is instructed by a small woman whose name I never got, but it is better that way. A name would humanize her, imply that she has a family or a life outside of her cold automaton actions.

“4, 3, 2, 1 and kick” she would say before executing the exercise with ruthless efficiency. She never stopped, she never seemed to tire and she never half-assed the movements. She’s a machine, that’s the only possible explanation. But a benevolent one, for she never reprimanded me for accepting failure or screwing up a movement. She just calmly and flawlessly carried on.

I, on the other hand, was a travesty. I was a grotesque pile of limbs on a yoga mat so badly off rhythm  it was nearly a crime. Things started slow, with everyone running in place while a remix of “Run the World (Girls)” played – what was ultimately an inauspicious start. From there, we were down on the mats, working inner thighs with kicks and lifts and I suddenly had a searing pain in my hip for some reason.

From there, we moved directly into abdominal work that nearly converted me to Christianity. We were on our backs, heads forward and legs suspended, and it felt like my torso was about to go on strike. Out of the eight people participating in the class, including a friend I dragged along, I was certainly the weakest link.

Around this time I noticed there are no clocks in the Hotbox. This had the effect of rendering it impossible to determine how long I’d been on a yoga mat, staring at a wall with my legs up and my head in my knees. It could have been 10 seconds or perhaps several nights. Instead, the only measure of time is the continued counting in sets of four and eight. Four counting down the seconds until you start an exercise, and counting up to eight, and then down, for the exercise itself. It made zero sense, but then I don’t think any of Super Fit necessarily makes sense.

It certainly was a strange part of my Friday night when, near the end, the group was running around the gym to a remix of “We Are Young” and everyone’s face had a different expression of exhaustion, though maybe I was projecting. This was immediately followed by jumping rope, which I learned I lacked the hand-eye coordination for, almost tripping three times. I remember coughing at one point and finding that doing so hurt my abs, and then wanting to curl up for a while and not do anything. I pressed on though, continuing to mess up at jumping rope. Somewhere, a fourth grader laughed at me.

In the end, though, I came around to the idea of seeing Super Fit as a rewarding experience. The other participants certainly seemed to enjoy it and I didn’t hate myself afterwards for going. Plus, it’s a solid workout and produced one of the more satisfying drinks of water in recent memory. I think I’ll go again this Friday.

Your move, ladies.

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