Lycra and spandex are great for working-out, not so hot for wandering eyes...
Legwarmers, L.A. Gear sneakers, Spandex tights, synthesized cardio-motivating music, you get the picture.
Many years ago a good friend of mine related this story of his first and last workout experience, during the 1980s. It was a time of plastic reconstruction and redux, the Space Shuttle Columbia was nestling satellites around the earth, the Cardinal's beat Rollie Fingers and his Brewers in game seven of the world series, Northern Ireland decriminilized homesexuality for anyone over 18 years of age, these were heady times.
More specifically, the year was 1982. Steve Miller's Abracadabra single rocked the charts. Aerobics was the new, big thing, if you can imagine that: Legwarmers, L.A. Gear sneakers, Spandex tights, synthesized cardio-motivating music, you get the picture. This was shallow-materialistic-bliss-meets disingenuine-hair-spray-infused exercise. Although some might say aerobics began in the 1960s by one Dr Kenneth H. Cooper, an Air Force Colonel, it didn't really come into it's own until the 1980s when millions of people joined the craze.
1980 Ford Coupe, wrongly maligned for a rear positioned gas tank...
With this jealousy of course comes a very passionate sexuality and love of an unearthly variety, an intimate lust for life, the quintessential randiness...
Anyway my friend, we’ll call Jay, was getting a little overweight, and his wife, we’ll call her Monica, brought up to him, that it might be a good idea if they joined an aerobic workout club. So Jay and Monica, had a very jealous streak in their constitution. Not the mild kind of jealousy that you might see in ordinary, dispassionate folk. No, I'm talking about fierce jealousy, raging rugged, gnashing of teeth late into the night in a fiery cauldron of dark imagination, kind of jealousy.
With this jealousy of course comes a very passionate sexuality and love of an unearthly variety, an intimate lust for life, the quintessential randiness that poets and artists are born out of, or at the very least, aspire to emulate.
My friend Jay responded to his wife Monica by saying, in effect, “I don't know Monica, I don't think aerobics is for me. I just don't know… I don't think it's a really good idea… I do a lot of walking for work already and… I don't know."
Monica, persisted though, and insisted, "Come on Jay, we have to lose some weight, everybody's doing this now! Let's give it a shot."
Jay capitulated, "alright dear if that's what you really want, I'll go to one of these aerobics things."
Big hair and leg warmers have been proven to be irresisteble to the male libidio
Monica was quick to notice, her eyes darting back-and-forth like lasers at a disco.
The date was set. Monica bought some turquoise Spandex tights and pink legwarmers. Jay dug up his old racing-stripe gym shorts and matching navy blue tank top.
They drove to the aerobics studio in their Ford Pinto merrily missing a rear end collision that unbeknownst to them, may have ended their lives in a fiery, gasoline fueled explosive fire-ball.
As they rounded the corner to the studio the giggling voices of many women could be heard. Monica leaned over and said to Jay, "this is going to be great I just know it."
"I hope so", Jay replied as he felt his palms sweat and his eye twitch.
The naïve couple walked in to the aerobics studio and there they saw, stretching and getting ready for the work out, twenty women in tights and legwarmers. Turns out Jay was the only man with balls enough to enter the aerobics workout studio that night.
Monica was quick to notice, her eyes darting back-and-forth like lasers at a disco. Jay being the clumsy gentleman that he was and is, and also being the husband of a jealous wife and being a jealous husband himself, did all that he could to avert his eyes from the twenty, scantily clad women before him. Their flesh snuggly bundled in space age polyester netting, beckoning madly.
Abracadabra, I wanna reach out and grab ya!
Monica glared at Jay, and Jay tried his best to look away, but the siren song of gyrating hips and buttock was too much
The aerobics studio Instructor was having people sign in on a clipboard and so Monica walked over and signed her and Jay in. Trying to blend in, and to distract from his gender, Jay began to try to do some old-school stretches, toe-touches, arm swings, leg swings what have you.
No words were spoken at this point, only the occasional nervous glance from the corner of each other’s eyes. Monica grabbed Jay by the hand and walked him towards the back center of the aerobics studio as the other twenty women squared up in position to workout.
Without much adieu, the aerobics instructor announced to the group, "Well let's jump right in. You all just follow my moves!” Her permed blonde curls bounced when she spoke. “ I'm gonna play this sweet new Steve Miller music that just came out, I'm sure you've heard of it."
Immediately Jay knew what was coming. All the women in front of them in Spandex and legwarmers began to bend over and gyrate as the saccharine sweet sound of Steve Miller's hit single Abracadabra came in to the air. Like some kind of spicy, greasy massage oil, the lyrics called and mingled with the highly sexualized aerobics only to produce a combination of innuendo no mere mortal man could resist.
Steve Miller sang out from the silver colored Boom Box, “Abracadabra… I'm going to reach out and grab ya. Abracadabra."
Over and over again the Steve Miller band sang his lustful words while twenty woman bent down in front of them, swaying hips menacingly, lifting buttock impossibly. Jay could barely take it anymore, "Abracadabra… I'm going to reach out and grab you".
Monica glared at Jay, and Jay tried his best to look away, but the siren song of gyrating hips and buttock was too much. The song ended. Jay knew what was best for his neck and marriage and marched out of the aerobics studio with Monica in tow. It was all they could do to put out the inevitable forest fire of jealousy.
They immediately went to Gilles custard and ate a burger and ice cream cone, leaving lustful aerobics songs to Steve Miller and his army of Spandex work-out warriors. Time went by, and they both laugh at it to this day. I hope you do as well, as sure as I do. Abracadabra.
The most important events of 1982 in a nutshell
The Commadore 64 is launched
Las Vegas Nevada
Chariots of Fire wins best picture and three other academy awards
Los Angeles California
The first compact disc and player are released: Billy Joel's 52nd Street
The first emoticons are posted by Scott Fahlman ;o)
John Delorean is entrapped then arrested for selling cocaine to FBI agents
Dunburry, Northern Ireland
Michael Jackson releases "Thriller" the biggest selling album of all time
Neverland Ranch, California
"The Aerobics Program for Total Well-being : Exercise, Diet, Emotional Balance " is published by Kenneth H. Cooper
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This aerobic anecdote is dedicated to my friends "Jay and Monica" as well as aerobic guru Kenneth H. Cooper, Abracadabra!
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on February 21, 2017:
I love the story of your scandalized grandma SweetiePie ;o)
Strangely many people are still as bewildered as your grandma about the topic of lycra.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on February 09, 2017:
Thanks My Girl Sara! I was born in the 70's but my teenage years were in the 80's and so that's where my inclination towards satin must come into play ;0)
SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on September 29, 2016:
Back in the 80s women here in Southern California used to go check the mail after jazzercise class in lycra spandex leggings and leotard thongs. My step-grandma was so scandalized by this sight because she had never seen anything like it in Kansas.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on June 01, 2015:
As far as fashion, I don't think we are smarter now! haha, glad I could provide a laugh, that's how I felt too!
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on May 26, 2015:
Thanks Jodah, I remember it well too, my friends depicted in the story were in their late 20's-early30's, I was in my teens. I recall wearing a satin red jacket, putting in Michael Jackson's Thriller casette tape, and walking down the street with a certain swagger acquired from the 1980s haha!
Thanks for reading my friend.
Cynthia Lyerly from Georgia on May 26, 2015:
Are we smarter now? Are we going to look back and laugh at all the stuff we're into now?
Yeah, I was a child of the '80s too...good times.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on May 23, 2015:
Great hub, very funny...I remember the eighties so well, spandex, lycra, weird hairstyles, flares etc. Seems like yesterday. Voted up.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on May 22, 2015:
Thanks you Suzanne, true story! I appreciate the accolade, I was a child of the 80's!!! I had an Australian girlfriend in Amsterdam in the early 1990s, she was a genuine sweetheart!
Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on May 22, 2015:
This is a crack up! Good story, kept me reading all the way through and the fashions of the 80s regarding aerobics were very distinct I thought, not something I'd want to replicate today! Voted awesome and added to What The Hub on Google+
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on February 07, 2015:
Thanks Shyron! I'm glad you did and that you can relate to it. Sounds like you have your own story there!? I may never know if it involved Spandex...
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on February 06, 2015:
Ben, I thoroughly enjoyed this and can relate to it.
Voted up, UABI and shared.
Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 16, 2015:
Thank you warmly, Miss Rose. Some of it survives but minus the day-glo colors I think? This is from a true story, the identities of the characters have been changed to spare them from owning this hilariousness. ;0)
Nell Rose from England on January 15, 2015:
lol! love the story! oh yes that spandex and stuff back then, can you imagine it today? funny stuff, enjoyed the read!