Why include background when you can link?
So, anyway, Les Mills is offering a free three-week trial, and I figure I can get the job done in 10 days, max.
Not that it should be necessary to do additional work to get ripped.
Getting in and out of your La-Z-Boy recliner, opening and closing the beer fridge, and walking the Moosedawg should be more than enough to keep a man fighting fit, even if he’s done basically nothing but fly a desk for the last 30 years.
But, as it turns out, it is not enough.
Alas, I have abs of pudding that prevent me from seeing my toes or getting too close to this computer.
In truth, I probably had held fast for a couple of decades at just five pounds overweight, which was not too awful bad, even for a Hobbit.
But things sort of got out of hand five or six years ago when Junior and I last visited the good ol’ US of A and I got pregnant. That, or perhaps it was the fact that I submerged my head into a vat of TexMex for a month.
The Cookies Are Calling Me
Or the weight-gain might possibly be related to my working from home for the past two years, never being more than a few steps away from the Oreos, which call out my name.
So as I type this, barely able to reach the keyboard, with a stick, I am 11 pounds overweight.
At my gut’s current rate of expansion, my wardrobe will consists solely of tarpoleons and five-man Coleman tents by the time I am 60, which, sadly, is not that far away. About a biscuit’s throw…
So like it or not, a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to Get Physical. (Right after having a few more donuts. Nom. Nom.)
It was perfect timing, because Les Mills, New Zealand’s fitness empire, was offering a free *”all you can eat” membership for three weeks.
Now, because I am basically as fit as your average Sea Elephant, with bad knees, you might think “he will go slow at first.”
To which I would say, “We haven’t met, have we?”
For you see, I am from an alcoholic family. And I have worked on insane deadlines for 30 years. Moderation is NOT in my vocabulary.
Which explains why I did three Les Mills workouts in a 24-hour period.
Yep, half an exercise class on Wednesday night, weights and banging on a body bag on Thursday morning, and miscellaneous Gym Bunny stuff on Friday night.
I have to tell you that it made me feel just GREAT.
Because if I told you the truth, that the only things that were not cramping in agony were my eyebrows, you would say I was a few French Fries short of a **Happy Meal.
So I took Saturday off. The paramedics insisted. Then on Sunday, I scoped out the various classes on offer.
Super Bowl Wienies
On Level 2, the big workout room was filled with men and women who could easily kick the entire Super Bowl winning buttooskies of the New York Giants.
The instructor on stage was a Pacific Island Manbeast with a serious tattoo, who was doing very hard and fast exercises, while holding a huge barbell over their heads and verbally urging them on. And, aided by a blaring Techno Pop song, the collection of giant ripped Himbos, Bimbos and Gymbos kept pace with the Manbeast.
Not for me.
So I went up to Level 3 and watched more reasonably sized people doing what appeared to be kinder, gentler exercises. I forget what whizzy marketing name the course was called, but it was sort of a combination of Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates and The Medieval Rack.
The class had been going on for about 20 minutes, so I figured I could Man Up to all the yoghurty taichi people.
General George Armstrong Custer made an equally sound decision at Little Big Horn.
Are Spasms Technically Exercises?
It soon became obvious that this class was as grueling as the kung-fu I studied in university, back when I had hair. After about 10 minutes, my entire body was spasming. So much sweat was cascading down my temples, I was afraid I’d short-out my hearing aids.
I prepared to meet my maker when we were doing a New Agey stretching exercise called something like “Drink from Sky Mother’s Lifegiving Milk While Shooting Positive Karmic Rainbow Arrows into the Chakra Zen Unicorns from Planet Nirvana Naboo.”
We started in a wide squat and then…
“Make sure your ankles are behind your knees, and gently twisting until they imbed in your spinal cord. Now gently hug the universe with both arms, carefully dislocating your shoulders. Now pivot your upper body round and round, like the twist tie on an organic whole wheat loaf of bread before moving into…”
The End Is Nigh
I must have lost consciousness at this point because I don’t recall the name of the next exercise.
If I were to name it, it would be called something like,”Dragging Shards of Broken Dr Pepper Bottle Glass Along Every Nerve-ending in Your Body for 24 hours or Until A Rusty Bear Trap Slams Shut and Your Personal Organs Squish Out Onto the Mat.”
It was during this exercise that our instructor noticed I was in some difficulty.
I am not sure whether the giveaway was the shower of sparks shooting out of my sweaty grandpa brand hearing aids, or my body taking on the consistency of a giant puddle of dinosaur poo. The squishy kind.
Our instructor — a man-woman-cenataur beast with half-inch long spiky electric hair — was perhaps the fittest, carbon-based life form ever to breath on Mother Earth. It took every teflon-coated, carbon-fiber thread in her skin-tight Spandex suit to keep her tendons and muscles from ripping right through the entire building.
Yet her soft, warm, empowering voice was the most calming influence you could ever imagine. She sounded so nurturing when she looked across the room at me and said into her headset microphone:
“How you doing there, young fella?”
I was not embarrassed, not in the least.
Because, right then, all I could think of was a wise Native American belief: “It is a good day to die.”
*Using the all-you-eat analogy almost certainly has deep Freudian TexMex meanings.
** Another food analogy? Blame it on my Oklahoma niece.
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