Friday, January 22, 2010

Basement boot camp

It was supposed to be a simple 30-minute introductory routine for a new fitness program.


It turned out to be the Gateway to Hell.

“What’s wrong with you,” my husband asked when he saw me planted facedown on the carpet in front of the television, a small sliver of drool dripped onto the floor to land in a puddle by my face.

I briefly opened my right eye (because it was the only body part working right at the moment) and answered, “Jakbje fweedleber.”

He cocked his head and leaned over for a closer look, “I…uh…didn’t quite catch that.”

I growled and tried again, “Hekjl squathery.”

He straightened up and asked, “Did you drink expired NyQuil again?”

Dear God, if only I had. At least I would have fried all the nerve receptors in my body and induced a rather effective method of pain management.

Instead, every muscle I owned was locked in a burning mass of indescribable agony normally reserved for Dante’s seventh circle of hell.

I snorted (which hurt, by the way). At this point I would have welcomed Dante’s seventh circle of hell. At least I wouldn’t have been alone. There would have been others around who shared my pain. There is comfort in numbers, you know. Kinda like going to the DMV on the last day of the month and discovering you’ve left your checkbook and the renewal slip at home. Loser.

I felt my fingers twitch and realized my left hand, which had been trapped under my stomach this whole time, had decided to go to sleep in protest. Good. Maybe the rest of my body would get the hint and follow suit.

Curious about my physical state, my husband reached over, touched my shoulder and proceeded to give it a light shake. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!

“DON’T TOUCH ME!!” I screamed with every fiber of my being.

And like the 95-year-old, 92-pound grandma that lifts a ’57 Buick off a baby on the highway after a car accident, the adrenaline surged through my body and I launched off the floor and landed like a cougar ready to pounce.

Hands up with a “Holy crap, I angered it!!” expression on his face, my husband slowly backed away and desperately attempted to avoid eye contact.

And that was it. The tiniest bit of energy left in my body was expended, and I melted to the floor. “Jumping jacks,” I managed, “will kill you.”

My husband laughed and said, “You did this just by doing a few jumping jacks?”

In my defense, it wasn’t just a “few jumping jacks.” I had to do TWO MINUTES of them. That might sound like a walk in the park to you. But try it. See what happens. Go ahead.

I dare you. Then get back to me. If you’re able.

The new fitness program began by asking the user to perform some exercises to help measure heart rate and to design a fitness routine tailored to what works best.

It started out easy enough. The program instructed that I would spend 30 minutes setting things up. I thought that seemed a bit much, after all, it couldn’t need more than height, weight and age to make this thing work, right?

Geesh, even a chimp could do that in about five minutes. I laughed in my woeful ignorance and thought, “This is a piece of cake.”

And that’s when it turned ugly.

Do jumping jacks for two minutes.

Followed by 50 squats.

And jog in place for 10 minutes.

Then top it off with 50 push-ups and 50 leg lifts.

Jesus. It was like Boot Camp in my basement without the blessing of having my head shaved first.

After I shared my tale with my husband, he only laughed and said, “Two minutes of jumping jacks? Big deal. I can do that.”

He made it to 17 seconds before collapsing on the floor beside me, lungs heaving, gasping for air, with the vein above his left eye twitching hard enough to look as if his eyeball would soon pop out and fly across the room.

I reached over and patted him lightly on his arm, “Next time, we drink NyQuil first.”

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