February 1, 2006

For teaching in anything but a very small room, aerobics instructors generally use a head-worn microphone:


Depending on the microphone, there is often a battery pack attached to it with a cord:


Since it’s not really feasible to hold the battery pack in your hand while dancing around a plastic platform, most instructors also use belts:


So of course, when I showed up at the gym to sub a step class the other day and realized I had lost my battery-pack belt, I panicked. The room was big enough that attempting to teach the class unamplified would have wreaked havoc on my vocal cords; furthermore, the class was pretty full, which meant the music volume had to be pretty high. The gym had no extra belts around, and class was supposed to start in a minute and a half, so I did the only thing I could think of, which was to shove the battery pack down the front of my shorts. For ten or fifteen minutes, everything was fine; the class was enthusiastic, the microphone worked well, and the battery pack stayed put.

Then it started to inch its way towards the leg opening in my shorts.

For another twenty minutes or so I taught essentially one-handed, indicating directions with my right hand and yanking on the cord with my left hand every fifteen seconds to keep the battery pack from moving any further.

Then even this stopped working. For a brief period I just held the thing in place by clutching my left shorts leg, but eventually I had to let go for some reason or another and the battery pack immediately fell out of my shorts. I actually reached into my shorts and adjusted it, but to no avail; some cruel god out for vengeance had decided that this class should think my penis was a black plastic parallelepipedon.

This happened a few times until I could stand it no longer; I told everybody to get a drink of water, went into the corner and, while pretending to change the CD (that “pause” button can be really handy), readjusted myself so that I could hold the battery pack in place with my ab muscles, and continued teaching. It was at this point that the connection between the battery pack and the microphone started to fail.

I ripped the thing off and shrieked at the top of my lungs for the rest of the class.

Afterwards, as I collected my equipment and headed for the shower, I saw that the battery pack actually had a clip on it, so I could have just stuck the thing on the back of my shorts and been done with it.

But that wouldn’t have satisfied the cruel god out for vengeance, so I suppose it’s just as well I didn’t force him to take more extreme measures.

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8 Responses to For teaching in anything but a very small room, aerobics instructors

  1. Adam875 says:

    Oh honey, when are you going to learn to call me in these situations? Before I was halfway through this post I was thinking, “Doesn’t it have a clip?”

    And if it didn’t I could have come to your class and laughed.

  2. anapestic says:

    What did you do to attract the attention of the vengeance god? If this was about the time you wore the black socks to teach class, I don’t think he’s done with you yet.

  3. Uncle Zoloft says:

    the moral of the story: your abs are dangerous.

    question: did it pass your mind to hold the pack between your butt cheeks?

  4. I think the real moral of this story is:

    Try not to be surprised when an aerobic instructor uses the word “parallelepipedon” in a sentence without breaking stride.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “so that I could hold the battery pack in place with my ab muscles”


  6. Mush says:

    Are you quite sure you’re a redhead, and not a blond?

  7. David says:

    True. If you had clipped the battery pack to the back of your shorts, the god of vengeance might have caused your ass to fall off. Then where would you be?

  8. Kenny says:

    That’s worse than the day back in college when I walked around with my shirt on backwards. It was a v-neck.


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