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A Bizarre Gym Experience

Monday, November 11, 2013

From my outside blog, elizinjapan.blogspot.com . Living in Japan has had its share of weird moments.

Today, I had one of the weirdest experiences of my life. And I've had a lot of weird experiences here! This one may have just topped them all. It's at least in the top 3.

It all started when I was reading the special lesson list for the gym. About once a month, a class called furomashin pops up. It happens in the pool, and I've always wondered what it is, and if it is fun. Recently, I've tried several classes in the pool, and I have enjoyed all of them. But furomashin was one I'd never attended.

In Japanese, I had been reading it wrong. I thought it had something to do with formations (visions of synchronized swimming appeared in my head). Last night, I pointed it out to a friend to see if she knew what it was. The way she pronounced it made it sound like flow machine. But neither of us knew what it was. So we asked a gym staff member, who said that it was like waves and water aerobics.

We looked at each other. "Do you want to try it?"
"I don't know, do you want to try it?"
"I'll go if you go."
"OK, let's try it."

So today, we headed off to the gym for the class.

It had nothing to do with water aerobics.

And my friend is a native speaker of Japanese.

All the class members had to link arms. The ends of the human chain grabbed onto what looked like a big waterski rope handle. Then, a big current came from the furomashin and blasted us away. Basically, we looked like a tight knot of people trying to survive a disaster together. One member held on to the middle of the bar and really tried not to drown.

My friend and I were pretty much like, "What the heck is this class??"

Spending 45 minutes linked together with strangers is not exactly my favorite way to spend time. Yikes! On the other hand, if I ever fall off the ferry with five strangers and one friend, I now feel prepared to hang onto a life ring and be dragged behind the ferry until they can haul us in.

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