jump to navigation

“You’re Out Of Line!” April 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, People.

SwimmingAt Water Aerobics last week, I listened to my body instead of following the leader’s orchestration.

As I did my own thing, I heard a resounding chorus of “Nancy! Nancy! Nancy!”

Alarmed that someone was drowning, I turned and heard, “You’re not doing it right.”  “We’re not doing that any more.”

I nodded and kept doing my own thing.

A few days later, as we rode our bikes around the neighborhood to check out the Annual Yard Sale offerings (more focused on socializing than shopping), we ran into some folks from Water Aerobics.

It was great chatting with them . . . with clothes on!

Donald-DuckaUntil one guy (who has hardly spoken to me before) asked, “Why don’t you do what everyone else is doing in Water Aerobics?”

Taken aback by the challenge in his voice, I said, “Well, if my shoulder is bothering me, I do other stretches.”

Dissatisfied with my answer, he rephrased his question, “Are you just not a good listener?”

“I listen.  But I listen to my body first and foremost.”

Ignoring my attempt to deflect the discussion, he continued with his cross examination, “Do you just not like to have people tell you what to do?”

Tigger-Looking-At-His-Tail“Well, I admit I don’t worry much about staying in line.  It’s not synchronized swimming after all.”

He kept at it, determined to discover why I am not doing what I’m supposed to be doing when I’m supposed to be doing it.


I’m not sure and I didn’t ask.  That’s HIS business.

Perhaps . . .

* I stepped outside the lines of what he views as acceptable conduct.
* He believes I am stepping on his toes by coloring outside the lines.
* He blames me for upsetting him . . . when he’s upsetting himself.

People like him are exhausting.  They require too much tending, insisting that we spend time mending broken fences that splintered under the weight of their expectations.

Mickey-SurferLife is short.  Feel free to ignore the Border Collies yapping at your heels to get you “back in line.”  Do what you want to do.  Let them think what they will.

They’re not the boss of you.

Unless, of course, they are the boss of you . . . in which case Listen Up!

Aah . . . that’s better!



1. suzicate - April 11, 2014

I can’t believe he was that pushy, but I love your response! Tis’ much better to listen to the body than people! When I did pilates I was amazed that the instructors could read my body almost as well as me. They could tell (which the average eye can not see) that I have a weakness on my right side (from a two week paralysis years ago). They always instructed to listen to your body and let it lead you. BTW, I love your free spirit!

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

Thanks, Suzi. It’s great when we find an instructor who sees us as an individual, with all that entails.

Unlike paid and certified instructors in pilates, yoga, tai chi, etc., our instructors are volunteers from the neighborhood who joined the class and learned the routines/moves years ago. They keep the class alive by encouraging us to stretch and reach.

2. Maggie - April 11, 2014

Reminds me of a time that I was “dancing” and when I mean “dancing,” I mean flailing around with no sense of rhythm but still enjoying myself. People were giving me odd looks and telling me I was dancing wrong, but I didn’t care. 🙂

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

Good for you, Maggie. If we want to engage in synchronized swimming or a chorus line, we need to stay in line. If not, we can honor the beat of a different drummer.

3. Life in the 50's and beyond... - April 11, 2014

Perhaps he’s just a bully on a power trip. Your responses were right on. Usually people like that just want to get you to the same point they are at….

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

Could be. Normally I stay in the shallows at the “back” of the class. Those around me are used to me doing my own thing during the aerobics portion. That day, I was in deeper water surrounded by different faces . . . his included.

What surprised me was that he hung on to “IT” for days ~ my conversation with him occurred 4 days after the class in question.

4. two engaging goldens - April 11, 2014

Perhaps if the teacher knows beforehand there could be an issue then it is up to her to acknowledge your issues, after all we go to classes to join in. If we wanted to do our own thing, then there would be no point in joining a class in the first place. My exercise class instructor likes to know what might be troubling each of us and happily adjusts the routine to cater for us all. However, unlike your unfortunate fellow, none of us is too concerned if anyone makes a detour to accommodate how we are tackling exercise that morning. Joy

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

This is a free class taught by volunteers with no special training other than that they know the routine/moves well enough to lead the class ~ they wouldn’t be able to adjust the routine to cater to 30 folks with different trouble spots. We are encouraged NOT to do anything that hurts.

That said, most of us follow the general structure of the class most of the time. It’s great to exercise outside, in the sun.

5. katecrimmins - April 11, 2014

He should come to my exercise gym. There is a circuit with prescribed things to do. Most of the women do their own thing which in some cases does not include exercising anything but their jaws. Either way, I’m ok with whatever they do. I can’t believe he kept pushing it. It’s one thing to wonder if you have a physical issue. It’s another to psychoanalyze you in a swim class. Perhaps he will send you a bill? 🙂

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

Your gym sounds like our class ~ lots of jaw exercises. Most people are OK with the “looser structure.” He may be the exception to the rule.

I think I stepped into his field of vision that week because I moved into deeper water. I won’t do that again.

6. Crowing Crone - April 11, 2014

“People like him are exhausting. They require too much tending, insisting that we spend time mending broken fences that splintered under the weight of their expectations.” Right there are some of the most wise words I’ve ever read!! Beautifully said. Now, I must remember this for when i need it most!!

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

Thanks, Joss! People like Bossy Bob think it’s our job to meet their expectations. If we don’t, they became upset and want to pin the blame for their being upset on us.

silly rabbits!

Crowing Crone - April 11, 2014

silly rabbits indeed.

7. Pix Under the Oaks - April 11, 2014

I guess I am just speechless. Why would he even care. Why isn’t he busy doing his water aerobics. Why wasn’t he happy looking at yard sale stuff instead of worrying about you? Exactly why I stay away from groups of people. I tried a step aerobic exercise group.. once. That was enough for me. I didn’t even do well in Brownies.. 🙂 I guess I wasn’t speechless.. 🙄

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

The best part of most weeks for me is water aerobics ~ getting exercise, outside, with real people who are connecting and laughing and splashing about in the NOW . . . with NO CELL PHONES in sight.

But if people start focusing on what I am doing, instead of on what they are doing, I may have to quit the class.

What I wanted to say to him: “Enough about me. Let’s talk about YOU for a while.”

8. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - April 11, 2014

LOL, I tell others that I’m modifying for my body. Which I am – I can’t always do what is being asked! And while you are right, it is his issue not yours, that conversation would have upset me just a bit. I would have needed some time to process why he was so upset at me and eventually I would have reached our conclusions that it upset him, but that it was HIS issue and I can’t fix his issues.
I’d like to get to the point where I reach that conclusion faster! LOL

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

He reminded me of a bulldog, refusing to let go of its bone. I wasn’t too concerned with what he thought of me, but it did make me wonder if others in the class found me “distracting.”

I’ve decided to stay at the back of the class in the future . . . around people who do their thing and allow me the same courtesy.

Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - April 11, 2014

I think that is the healthy way to go!

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

BTW: I get to that point faster when I step into the role of detached observer . . . watching THEM interact with ME (without feeling the need to defend ME from attack because ME doesn’t really exist ~ it’s just my reputation).

9. ericjbaker - April 11, 2014

Oh, Nancy. You’d make a terrible mindless cult member.

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

Take me to your leader!

ericjbaker - April 11, 2014

I don’t have one either.


nrhatch - April 11, 2014

I know . . . let’s form our own cult. The Church of Latter Day Cookie Monsters!

10. Grannymar - April 11, 2014

There is always one ‘Bossy Bob’ who thinks he knows more than everyone else and want to control everyone. Was he new to the group?

nrhatch - April 11, 2014

No, but I ventured into a different area of the pool and may have stepped into his field of vision. I won’t make that mistake again.

11. colonialist - April 12, 2014

I wonder how he would have reacted to being cross-examined on why he was doing what everyone else was? Did that move suit his need at that time? No mind of his own? Content to be pushed around? Incapable of independant thought? Etc.

nrhatch - April 12, 2014

Yes! Fantastic questions, Col. I’m going to borrow them if he continues to interrogate me.

12. jannatwrites - April 12, 2014

Ah, this is why I like animals more than most people! I know that sounds harsh, but sometimes people need to get out of others’ business and tend to their own issues (those issues are often so overgrown, the people don’t even know they exist…)

nrhatch - April 12, 2014

When nosy parkers get in our business and start to give us the third degree, we should just smile and say, “Why do you ask?”

13. William D'Andrea - April 12, 2014

I am in very good physical shape for a 68 year old man, and I don’t attend any gym. Among several simple healthy, daily activities, I walk outside at a vigorous pace, for about an hour a day, every day, going from one place to another. Nobody bothers me. It doesn’t cost me a cent, and it smells a lot better.

nrhatch - April 12, 2014

Glad you found a routine that works for you. I don’t go to a gym either ~ we bike, walk, and use the pools in our neighborhood to get fresh air and sunshine while we work out.

14. Carol Balawyder - April 12, 2014

What an obnoxious fellow!
Your spunk and spirit reminded me of Jenny Joseph’s poem When I Am Old

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me,
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals,

Here’s the entire poem:

Enjoy your day.

nrhatch - April 12, 2014

I love that poem ~ she’s got spunk! Old Age + Freedom = Perfect Together!

Carol Balawyder - April 12, 2014


15. sufilight - April 12, 2014

Gosh… that’s a pushy dude. I like the way you handled him, with detachment (read your comments). Thanks for sharing this as it’s also a lesson for me should I come across a personality like his.

nrhatch - April 13, 2014

Thanks, Marie. Taking a step back to “watch” the what is helps me keep things in perspective. “I don’t know this guy. So why should what he thinks of me hold sway over my day?” Practicing detachment is the best way I know to maintain inner balance.

16. Three Well Beings - April 14, 2014

Wow! I hate to make what is going to come out as a really ageist statement, but how old was this dude! LOL! I just know that sometimes we age and lose a few natural filters. 🙂 I loved your answers to him, listening to your own body which you know best, and in the absence of him listening, just letting him live with his discomfort. Isn’t it something how others can think they know best for us, or our own individuality can be an irritant to THEM. I’m shaking my head.

nrhatch - April 14, 2014

Bwahaha! Yes, I expect his age factors in to the equation. He is old enough to be my father . . . and may have felt it was his job to give me some paternal advice.

This time of year, the class starts shrinking from 35 to 10 over the summer because of all the snowbirds who leave ~ more room to spread out and more room for “improv.” I’m pretty sure Bossy Bob leaves for the summer.

17. bluebee - April 18, 2014

What a cheek! What a small-minded twit.

nrhatch - April 18, 2014

He wasn’t there this week . . . perhaps he’s flown home for the summer. Yay!

What Say YOU?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: