LET’S GET PHYSICAL

Girls, this a wraparound post.

What’s a wraparound? Well, it’s a discussion, chat, presentation, series of thoughts, brainstorming exercises, call it what you like, of a number of things. To stitch things together, like a well-knitted wool jersey, these chats stick to one theme. The theme here is female health and fitness. So, whatever emerges in this post can be classified as sub-themes. And so, what are your thoughts on (female) health and fitness?

What do you think about the title I chose for this post? Is it cool or what? Anyone remember that cool eighties song by Aussie singer Olivia Newton-John. Anyone remember her movie version of fifties era high school days called Grease? Nah, don’t suppose the majority of you would. But the few of you who do, care to share some thoughts with us on the eighties icon. What does it mean to you? Does it inspire you in anyway?

Okay, enough questions for now. Let me start with Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical. If you listen to the song today, you might just go mad. For me, listening to this song today is like when someone scrapes his dirty fingernails on the chalkboard and it goes eeech! It gets on your nerves, doesn’t it? The voice sounds raspy and the background track plods. It doesn’t inspire me to want to get physical. But back in the day, it did inspire my mom.

Even if they weren’t actually doing any aerobics and exercise ala Jane Fonda, they were still wearing the fitness gear; a fashionable sweatband around their heads, leg warmers and silky satin and very sexy shorts to wear over their even more sexy leotards which behind them were stretched somewhere up to Paris. Most of the time our moms would be wearing their gear to the supermarket or around the house. Not so much that they were our mothers but more to do with the fact that most of them were flabby in all those places on a middle-aged woman’s body that normally go all flabby.

Some of us girls, if we were old enough, were allowed to wear the gear during our gym classes at school. During the winter months, we wore our leg warmers over our jeans, and you know what, it actually worked, those leg warmers actually kept your legs warm. Grease brought out another fashion statement altogether. Most of us were wearing the outfits because our mothers (and fathers) thought we did look respectable in it.

It was sort of like an old school look; jumper jerseys with sleeves pushed up to our elbows to make us look like we were busy students. Floral or polka dot skirts that revealed just a flash of our ankles. Short, white tennis socks with our tennis-styled sneakers, also white. Long hair was tied at the back into ponytails, one or two. I was much too young at the time to wear any of this stuff, but I remember enough about it.

We knew nothing about the later controversy that the Let’s Get Physical song lyrics caused at the time. Self-righteous fundamentalist thinkers revealed that Olivia Newton John was not sounding a clarion call to all the ladies to get out on the gym floor to get fit, but was rather in an underhand way suggestively saying that it was time to have sex. Most of you must remember a much later song called Let’s Talk About Sex.

I still think it’s a cool song.

What a feeling!

That’s got to be the most inspirational song of all time for me. It’s from that movie, Flash Dance where Jennifer Beal’s character auditions for a part in a show by putting on a ritzy and highly seductive performance. And then some of the girls and guys out there are saying that white men still can’t dance or jump. Come off it guys, get rid of your prejudice. Who was Olivia Newton John dancing with the whole time in Grease? Why, Mr. John Travolta, of course.

And before Grease, there was Saturday Night Fever, and boy did this dude dance. Don’t forget Kevin Bacon in Footloose, and hands up any of you who’s still in love with this handsome gentleman. He’s been dead a few years and I still miss him. I fell in love with Mr. Patrick Swayze the moment I laid eyes on him in Dirty Dancing.

So, this post stuck to only one sub-theme, dancing. It’s very good exercise anyhow.