Dear Diary...looking back now I don't know how I did all those classes, plus all the preparing for a session everyday. After my son went to school, I would spend an hour going through the routines I would be doing on that evening before doing the daily chores, always making sure I had a nap before my son got home from school, which was important for me to be alert.
Evening classes would normally start around 7 pm, so I would just have time to feed hubby and son, then I'd be off in the car, music blaring out getting me in the mood for the evening. Generally I'd be singing along working those vocal chords as I was driving, by the time I got to class I'd already be in high spirits.
One of the ladies would always sign people in and take the money for me, while I set up my equipment which would take me all of five to ten minutes depending on how many new ladies attended, and if I got chatting to one of the newbies before a class which was normally the case, I couldn't be rude and just ignore them, so would quickly respond with: “I'll speak to you after class about anything that's worrying you.”
When the class began I would give out the usual tips of; “Please ladies listen to your bodies, don't try and compete. Smile, be happy, be safe.” To which we would begin. I don't know where the hour would go, but before I knew it, we'd be ending and sadly it would be time to pack up and head for home.
It was 1990 and I was no longer on my own, the ladies who came to my class put in as much enthusiasm as I endeavored to pass on. You could feel the energy and our bodies were at their fittest.
I remember at the time feeling like there were no limits to what we could achieve. Oh! The buzz I got from dance aerobics. Sometimes when we were in the middle of doing the cardiovascular workout, I would be so energized it would be like all my endorphin's were coming out to party, if I'd had wings I felt as if I could have just flown away. But of course it didn't last, we'd wind down and pretty soon the feeling would wear off, we'd be ready to get our mats and do some floor work, but the energy was always there no matter what.
I never dreamed in a million years that one day I would lead a group of woman from my classes – who became very good friends, up onto a stage to perform a routine in front of a panel of judges, I don't think the girls ever imagined they would be part of something so special either.
We'd been practicing my routine for weeks before the event, in a temporary local Community Center where I would take three classes a week. It wasn't a big hall and not very practical, in fact if I had more than fifteen people it could get pretty crowded, but I refused to turn anyone away believing that no matter how tight the class became there was always room for one more, so I would work around the space we had.
Anyway, after our Wednesday evening classes five of the girls would stay behind after a session and we would spend some time perfecting the routine I'd made up. I had to keep it simple as I didn't want to bewilder the ladies with too many confusing movements, we had to be in sequence otherwise it wouldn't have looked good at all and I certainly didn't want to embarrass the girls.
I also had at the back of my mind that many of the other groups attending the weekend were more professional and it would be hard to compete with them, but we'd have a dam good try at least, for us it was the taking part that was important.
Finally the weekend of Saturday 14th May 1990 arrived. We'd hired a mini bus and one of the girls drove us down to Pontins, at Brean Sands, where other like minded people would be gathered for a weekend of fitness. There were even tug-of-war teams, which I have to say had some pretty impressive, fit guys that were extremely pleasing on the eye.
Upon arriving, we signed in and collected our keys, then went on the hunt for where we would be living for the next few days. Pontin's had rows and rows of chalets that all looked the same, I couldn't fathom or comprehend how we'd find our way back when darkness set in, but for now during daylight hours we eventually found the right door and entered, straight away we all rushed to the bedroom to bag a bed, it was a free for all as we made ourselves at home.
You can imagine how confined it was with six women sharing such a small area. There were four bunk beds and a couch that turned into a double bed, I had a feeling it would be a real test of our friendship with the restricted room we had.
The kitchen was tiny and there was only a limited amount of water that we were allowed each day, which we only discovered later. The bathroom never had a shower just a bath which we found to our utter disbelief that if we filled it right up, there wouldn't be any hot water till the next day.
So on the Saturday night before going out dancing, we decided to have a couple of inches of water in the bath each making the most of it, I have to say that it was like trying to bath in a puddle.
Perms were all the rage back in the early nineties, a style that lingered on from the eighties, though I have to say it ruined my hair and took me years to grow the lengths out, but was beneficial at the time – in fact that our hair stayed curly, dry and looked tidy we never needed to wash it on that weekend. Thankfully the bathroom antics didn't give us that much of a problem and we all managed to keep our cool and had a lot of laughs in the process.
Getting ready to go out dancing on the Saturday night was most definitely fun. We'd open a box of wine while putting on our makeup. Once ready, we'd sit and watch Blind Date with Cilla Black on the small television. I don't know why but that show always got us in the mood for a good night out. After Blind Date finished we'd then proceed to take many photos of us all posing together, I have so many fond memories that linger when I look at those photos now, thinking of our crazy nights out.
But here I am way ahead of myself. I need to go back to the morning of Saturday 14th May 1990. It was never a good idea to do a workout after eating breakfast, so once we'd woken up we decided it was the most important meal, which was followed by mugs of hot coffee to see the day out, knowing we would need all our energy to perform our routine later that afternoon.
We then decided to take a look around the camp and see what was on offer. We found the kiddies play park where we decided to act a little crazy climbing on the frame, having a go on a seesaw, going down the slide and other of the playground antics, basically feeling like little kids again and mucking about taking more photos.
Once we'd had enough fooling around, it was decided the beach was the next place on our agenda. The sand was perfect and just across the road from the camp which was ideal. There were some horses on the beach waiting around for riders, so we decided to go back to the chalet, get changed into something more suitable and head back down to the beach. It would be fun to have a canter, though after my last escapade at riding I was somewhat reluctant, but the others persuaded me it would be fun, so now, here I was getting back up on that four legged animal which was something I'd promised myself I'd never do again.
I managed to bag myself a pure white horse, that seemed to take a shine to another horse of similar color. The owner had to tear the two apart as they insisted on nuzzling, now I haven't any idea whether this was a show of affection or anger, but the owner seemed to be getting annoyed at their display and was eager to be off. It wasn't long before the others – apart from me and one other lady, were cantering up the beach, while the two of us stayed at a gentle trot which suited us down to the ground, though I have to say my behind had a few moans and groans at the up and down motion, but once we'd dismounted and were on our way back to the camp, the aches soon wore off and I felt proud that I actually mounted a horse again.
To be continued...