past lives

Sheryl Sandberg Taught Aerobics at Harvard

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Lean in and step touch? Before Sheryl Sandberg empowered corporate women with her feminist manifesto, she empowered Harvard students trying to stave off the freshman 15. Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks brings up Sandberg’s stint as an undergraduate aerobics instructor as proof that the Facebook COO has always been at war with idleness. Brooks thinks it may be “ruining life for the rest of us.” She wrote in the Washington Post:

“Did we know Sheryl Sandberg?” I asked my friend Suzanne, who was also in my college class.

She gave me a funny look. “Well, I knew her. Don’t you know if you knew her?”

“I can’t remember.”

“If you knew her, you would remember,” said Suzanne. “She was one of those people you would definitely remember. I used to go to an aerobics class she taught.”

That explained it. Some college students, like my friend Suzanne, take aerobics classes. Some college students, like Sheryl Sandberg, teach aerobics classes. Other college students, like myself, lie around the dorm reading novels. Sheryl Sandberg was already busy leaning in. I was busy leaning back on my sofa, with a good book and a nice cup of cocoa.

Read more about Brooks’s counter-manifesto (“Women of the world, recline!”) at the Washington Post. A former Defense Department advisor and Los Angeles Times columnist, Brooks appears to have done okay for herself in spite of the cocoa.

Sheryl Sandberg Taught Aerobics at Harvard