Whip It!

Senior citizens rocking to Devo? Why, yes!

There was something different about the morning aqua fitness class. I sensed it from the moment I strolled from the change room to the pool’s edge. Lap swimmers like myself shared the pool with the middle-aged and senior crowd. I, apparently, was in the quieter group.

Depending on the class, their music sometimes was low, so the instructor’s commands could be heard. Other times it was loud, drowning out the splashes and speech of the instructor. On occasion, it was too garbled to make out the words of the song at all.
Today, the music was loud and upbeat but not offensive in the least. The song was “Whip It” by Devo.

Yup, the seniors were exercising to Devo, an artsy punk rock band I saw perform over 30 years ago. I’d never seen a more enthusiastic aqua fitness group. Perhaps it was the very fit young male instructor with the nice smile that reeled the class in. I’m sure he won over the women easily. Even the lone male participant paid attention.

The instructor seemed to be having the time of his life, laughing and moving about. And, so in turn, did the older crowd. I notice these things. Even with my head under water, I observed them moving their legs energetically. Not one bored soul just going through the motions.

I have to hand it to the instructor. He had the best class participation I’ve ever witnessed. Love what you’re doing, be happy and people will love to be around you. For sure.
But, what about the choice of song? Very upbeat and positive:

“When a problem comes along
You must whip it
Before the cream sits out too long
You must whip it
When something’s going wrong
You must whip it
Now whip it
Into shape
Shape it up
Get straight
Go forward
Move ahead
Try to detect it
It’s not too late
To whip it
Whip it good!”

No moaning or feeling sorry for yourself. Nope. Not today. Gotta problem? Whip it! Into shape!

The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced the instructor was onto something. Not only did he have the most “energetic” participants, he was having fun. This wasn’t work. This was play. And, what a playful group he had before him. He held their attention well!

And, as for “Whip It”, it played through my head throughout the day. The song is catchy like that. I picked up some strawberries, raspberries and whipping cream late in the evening.

I told my hubby, “I have a treat for us. Couldn’t stop thinking about whipped cream today!…Do you remember seeing the band, Devo? That sure was a great concert wasn’t it?'”

Great music from a great band still enjoyed 30 years later.  I wrote Devo to request permission to use their lyrics for Whip It. Their response?

“Long live aqua fitness!”

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