Crow's-Feet Chronicles: Silver stinkers to the rescue
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Dec 4, 2017
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Membership at the nearby family fitness center has changed more things in my life than my pathetic body. In three months’ time, chlorine in the pool has turned my black swimsuit to the cock-eyed color of heliotrope, and it has caused my silver gray hair to become a subdued shade (and consistency!) of harvested wheat.

Yes, I’ve tried the purple shampoo; and yes, I’m using clarifying shampoo. The dry and brittle strands of my hair can break sturdy combs, even though I use high-powered & high-priced conditioners. A hot-oil treatment will infuse oil into my hair and will not stop until it has saturated my junior high gymnasium.

The latest idea came from a friend who has lovely silver hair. After complimenting her and asking for her secret, she said, “I use regular shampoo, but when my hair begins to turn yellow, I wash it in lye soap.” Huh? LYE SOAP??? Found it at Cracker Barrel. Will let you know.

As you recall, I was attending a yoga class twice a week. Not surprising, I was the oldest one in the class. Things were challenging for me, and I realized I was out of my league the day my right eye was pressed against the back of my left knee. It wasn’t natural to force my body in such a contortion, even though the other supple women in class were coiled into graceful pretzels as they merely became dewy. I, on the other hand, was melting like a small vanilla cone on an August afternoon.

The soft Purple Flowers harp music was much too quiet for me, as the oldest member of the class by at least 20 years. There was no Jackson or Lanny to blame for my sudden bodily noises which erupted during the Extended Puppy Pose, the Happy Baby Pose, or the Garland Pose. It was apparent that I could no longer blend in to the woodwork.

The exciting news is that the family fitness center also offers a Silver Stinkers group, which has my name written all over it. Trixie, the instructor, leads us through geriatric-friendly moves to the tune of “Greased Lightning,” “Y.M.C.A.,” and Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.” The volume is loud enough to drown out the uncontrollable geriatric bleeps of our bodies, and the tempo is a watered-down pace that suits us baby boomers.

Our class is part cardio with dance gyrations and part strengthening via weights and stretch bands. Again, it’s all with the accompaniment of loud music. So liberating. I shared with Trixie that I felt out of place in the regular yoga class because I was constantly on guard (if you know what I mean). She made me feel much better about joining Silver Stinkers.

“In a yoga class, you’re not doing it right if you’re not passing gas.”