Wednesday, September 16, 2009


For a long time I've been considering getting back into shape because while my children have lost all their baby-fat, I haven’t lost mine. Let me be real--I just didn't feel like expending all that energy when there's so much good, bad food to be had! However, I have lost all ability to "suck-it-in" so I was at the "considering" stage of joining a gym. Imagine my surprise as I surfed "Craigslist" for freelance writing gigs when I came upon this listing: Looking for writer to do PR/fitness articles in exchange for personal training 3x's a week. "Wow!" I thought as I took another white-trash sip of beer from my long-neck bottle of Bud and shoved a handful of Lays potato chips into my mouth, "That's just what I'm looking for!" (BELCH!) So I responded.

The next morning as I over-buttered my ginormous "flagel" and poured waves of half & half into my soup-bowl-sized coffee mug, I checked my email and there it was— It essentially read, "You’re the one." Then it occurred to me. Of course I was “the one.” In fact, I was probably the only writer to respond because most of the writers I know are notoriously lazy and quite content to sit in front of a computer all day eating whatever the candy machine has to offer. However, I decided to give it a shot.

I used to be incredibly active. I ran competitively throughout high school and college; ran road races anywhere I could find one. Then came kids. And their tasty little salty snacks. I think it was the "Goldfish" Crackers that pushed me over the edge. Those smiling orange fish are notoriously deceiving -- they look tiny and harmless, but they're really sharks and I hold them responsible for at least 10 pounds! (God they’re great with chilled white wine!)

I didn't know what to wear to my first class. I searched the trunk in the attic that held my old workout and maternity clothes. I pulled out enough spandex pieces to start my own '80's rock band! And then came the question--does anyone wear spandex shorts anymore? Even if they have a Nike swoop on them? I didn't have much of a choice--it was either that or a maternity dress. So I stuffed my torso into the black tubular hell that was now strangulating my small intestines and made the best of it.

At the gym I was greeted by Tony, an extremely fit and muscular boy. (I can't help it; it's really hard to refer to someone who could be your son -- if you drank one too many Jell-O shots in college -- as a man.) Needless to say, he kicked my black spandex butt. I did more things with a yoga ball than any human should have to do; we ran; we kick-boxed; we squatted; we weight-lifted; I think I even hauled a Chevy pick-up, but that might have been what it felt like right before I became delirious.
Seriously, when the burn of a "good workout" turns to cold flashes, 9-1-1 should be called. When I felt as if I could take no more Tony shouted, "Keep pushing, I can already see some definition in your abs." Now, when a sculpted boy-man tells a gelatinous baby-mama that he can see definition in her abs, Baby-mama wills herself not to faint! I hated to tell him that the "definition in my abs" was actually the Big Mac I ate for lunch making its anticipated ascent up my esophagus. When he declared our session over I took my bottle of water and, like a bizarro-world scene from the movie Flashdance, poured the water over my head before collapsing to the floor.

But you know something? When I felt like the need for a defibrillator was lessening, I actually felt great. Really Great! Even though I can’t walk without wincing. Or drive sitting down. Oh, and my 7 year old has to tie my shoelaces because I can’t bend down.

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