I was googling Richard Simmons the other day, as one does, when I came across this video (below).
This video is truly magical. It opens with an elaborate circus scene. As the camera pulls back, you see a sign for "Sweatin Land".
Then Richard Simmons steps right up and buys two tickets. "One for me and one for YOU!"
Soon Richard is surrounded by his ragtag crew, and everyone starts sweatin to the oldies. It actually looked really fun, so I decided to give it a try.
Oh. My. Goodness.
This routine is much much harder than it looks! I could only make it through two songs. I tried it again the next day and made it through a couple more. Finally, this morning I sweated through all the oldies. I really love this exercise video, but there are a couple things you should know before you begin.
WHAT TO WEAR: You can wear anything from Spandex to Hammer pants. Skidz are great if you have them.
You can wear matching socks. Or not. Just make sure to scrunch them. Denim might not seem appropriate for an aerobic workout, but if it looks good, just go for it. And if you have white-washed denim overall jean shorts, by all means wear them.
There is no judgement in Sweatin Land.
PREPARE TO BE HUMILIATED: I made the mistake of sweatin' to the oldies in front of my kids. You should not do this. They will lose all respect for you. Just shut the blinds and do it by yourself.
THE ROUTINE: Sweatin' to the Oldies is not so much an exercise video as it is a musical production. Richard Simmons is backed by a full band. He even has his own saxophone man (who also plays jazz flute.)
And the aerobics… this is some Fosse level choreography. At one point he yells, “Don’t you feel like you're in Chorus Line?!” (YES!)
But don’t expect Richard to explain what he is doing. His instructions are just a series of nonsense words and non sequiturs. “Circle Tap!” “You’re hot! You’re HOT!” “Now swim!” “Ooooh no! Here come the cow bells again!” Actually that last one makes sense. There really are a lot of cow bells.
But that doesn’t really matter. His enthusiasm and encouragement make it all worthwhile. He ends with a cool down set to California Dreaming, by the Beach Boys. As the music swells he intones, “Don’t you ever quit. Don’t you ever quit from reaching, cause you’ll get there. You’ll get there.”
IN CONCLUSION: I sweated to the oldies, and I’ll do it again.