Ginger's Cardiovascular Workout
So I wake up and stretch and do my morning exercises, right? (If you're an Alpha male, you might call them "calisthenics." If you're modern, you might call them "aerobics." If you are seriously into "workouts" and "weight training," you'd probably call the few exercises that I do a mere "warm-up.") A friend of mine, my age, lost like 80 pounds running and, of all things, rowing. It helps him "meet chicks." Actually, it's just good for his heart, his head, and his diabetes. And he looks like he's going to live longer now. Me, I don't have diabetes, so I just exercise (none of that rowing stuff) for my heart. My old, black, tobacco-stained heart. And it makes me feel good. Take it or leave it. (If you're a "fat chick" or a "Big Beautiful Woman," you should probably take it and work out more. If you're a slender, wild-haired French woman, you should ignore exercise and just go on partying and smoking and eating French fries and stuff.) Alas, I digress.
So I finish up my humble morning workout by riding my exercise bike. And, of course, I switch on Turner Classic Movies (the best damn channel on all of television), and they're showing Fred and Ginger in Flying Down To Rio (1933). And the Carioca dance scene is just beginning. And I over-stayed my usual time on the exercise bike, because I was watching Ginger's butt. I admit it. Ginger Rogers wasn't much to look at face-wise, but in motion she was a sight to behold. I know she worked very hard to make all that dancing backwards in heels look so utterly effortless. I know she worked until her feet bled. I know that the costume designers spent lots of time with the fabric of her dresses, so that the dresses would move right and cling right and make Ginger's rump look sensational. They experimented with little weighted beads sewn into the hems of her dresses. They made dresses out of feathers. They created long black dresses that often worked better than your garden variety "little black dress." And all of that work paid off, because Ginger in motion mesmerizes me on my exercise bike 75 years later, which is good for my heart.
Here a Top Hat clip. Watch the dress.
By the way, the word calisthenics comes from the
Greek kalos beautiful + sthenos strength. And
that, I think, describes Ginger Rogers pretty well.