Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Night With Richard Simmons

I finally plugged in my scanner so I could tell you about my Richard experience! I know everyone has been waiting with bated breath! Hopefully this won't get too long winded!
One of the reasons I wanted to go to the west coast for our vacation this year was because I have been wanting to take an exercise class with Richard Simmons. He teaches 3 nights a week at his Slimmons studio and it is just 12 bucks!But I didn't want to go just to have a fun story to tell, I'm actually a huge, non ironic, Richard Simmons fan. If you were to ask me my three biggest influences, this is who I would name. My own little holy trinity:

One thing they all have in common is they all preach some version of loving yourself and not being afraid to be a big weirdo. Like most other humans, self acceptance and love is something I've struggled with for most of my life. These three have been instrumental in the progress I've made in the last few years. (We have tickets to see John Waters in December and you have NO IDEA how bummed I am that the meet and greet tickets were 100 dollars. Maybe if I lurk outside for long enough....) But back to Richard. I've collected most of his work out tapes (and there are a LOT) in my years of thrift shopping. My favorites are Sweatin' to the Oldies 2 and Dance Your Pants Off. It is really the only kind of exercise I will do willingly. I have the Sweatin' To the Oldies DVD box set, which is great if you are interested!
I also REALLY love his autobiography, Still Hungry - After All These Years. I reread it at least once a year.
All the reviews I read online said to show up to Slimmons about an hour early to guarantee you get in the class, since it is first come first serve. I had the time wrong and as we were rushing to get there only 40 minutes before the class started I was FREAKING out. I couldn't miss my one chance to see Richard! It was all for nothing though, we were there in plenty of time. We changed into our workout clothes and waited around awkwardly. Richard made his entrance dressed as a mermaid! Red wig, sequin tail,  sea shell top and everything! He made the rounds, kissed everyone on the cheek, asked if we were from out of town, then he started the class.
It was a little over an hour and wonderful! He doesn't play oldies in his classes, mostly modern dance stuff, which was fine with me! Richard spends the whole class mugging and dancing and screaming and telling people to "Move up move up move up!" You aren't allowed to have your phone or camera in the building during class, probably because they don't want his antics all over the internet. It was great, we laughed through the entire hour.
After class Richard stays to take pictures and talk to whoever wants too. As you can see by the end he is out of the mermaid costume, and into a sparkly tank top and shiny scale leggings. I got in the end of the line so I would be able to talk to him a little. This isn't the cutest picture, since we worked out HARD for an hour (we were both sore for days!) but it's still pretty great! (I think I ended up with 110 "likes" on Instagram, including Richard himself!)
And with Travis, of course!
I started crying within moments of talking to Richard. He read my aura, I totally believe he can do it, he said things about me that no one but Travis knows. It was wild. He wasn't all unicorns and sparkles like I had expected, but he told me things that I needed to hear. It was pretty emotional. He talked to me for almost 10 minutes and it ended with a long hug that I will remember forever. Here is the photo he signed for me. I'm going to frame it and hang it in my kitchen.
It was such a great experience. If you are in the area I totally recommend it, even if you aren't a Richard Simmons fan, you will be when you leave! And you can pick up a great "I Sweat With Richard" t-shirt, and towel! Our California vacation was one of our best trips ever, and our night with Richard was a highlight for sure!


  1. I am beyond excited to read this even though you had pretty much told me most of this already. I am so jealous that you got to meet one of your icons. That is incredible. I have never really looked at him through the angle of being a king of self acceptance...but now that seems totally legit! I am kind of sad that there is so photo documentation of him in a mermaid tail and shell bra...but I will settle for him giving an awkward side hug to travis.

  2. Awwww... this makes me so happy you have no idea. I grew up watching Richard Simmons workout videos with my grandma who just adored him. I miss her so much. So awesome that you got to have that experience. :)

  3. I got to admit I got a little teary eyed reading this. My mom and sister have told me that I used to dance to Richard Simmons videos when I was in diapers. What did he write on the picture? I can't read his handwriting.

    Also, please note this blog entry has nothing to do with me, but I'm commenting.

  4. Yay, Richard Simmons!! I've been waiting for you to post about meeting him. I've got to say, I just love him and I always have. He just seems to be a person who has a great sense of humor and no problem being himself. It's so cool that he's still teaching classes.

  5. What fun for you to meet someone you've admired for so long....

  6. I could NOT be any happier for y'all if I tried! I love Richard and I love y'all for loving Richard. This whole post just made my year. I'm so glad that you got to meet him and gah, exercise with him! It's been on my list for a long time and girl, I'd better get to making it happen. These photos are just the greatest!

  7. What an experience for you and glad he was just as spectacular when you met him in person!

  8. I am so jealous. What a dream come true to meet him. You guys look so happy. I hope you get to meet John Waters. He is such a lovely man. I can't believe they are charging $100.

  9. What a great story, Rae! Richard is certainly an inspiration!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave me a comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...