Have you ever felt like you weren’t supposed to do anything more than sit in a chair? And not for long, either, because a child will call your name if your rear end grazes a seat of any kind. According to a few humorists, a chair cushion contains a silent alarm that only kids can hear. If they see you sit or even sense that you’re sitting, they’ll find a reason to request your presence.
Yesterday afternoon, I had one of those moments. All I wanted to do was work out for 30 minutes. I just needed to sweat off some stress and spaghetti. I just wanted a half-hour to exercise! Was that too much to ask?
Yes. Yes, it was.
Do you remember my blog post about committing to lose 40 pounds by my 40th birthday? Yeah, well…that didn’t happen. And it’s not for trying, I assure you. The minute I started a program, my teaching schedule didn’t mesh with the gym’s hours. Then, the girls finished up the school year and I wasn’t able to take them along because it was a private facility. So that contract had a short shelf life. After that, I decided to try to lose the pounds on my own. I went to the track and walked at least four miles, four days a week, until I got busy with a writing project that took up every daylight hour. I began to wonder, “How do working people – with children – stay fit?”
I’ve got it figured out now. They have exercise equipment in their own homes and they rely on DVDs like “Biggest Loser” and “Insanity”. But I also found out that simply trying to get to the basement to turn on the TV was more challenging than being screamed at by Jillian Michaels.
Here’s a clip:
* I went to my Auntie’s house to move her flat-screen TV to our rec room. But first, I had to trip over the cord and bend the prongs on the plug end.
* I got the TV set up in my basement area, but the electrical outlet was fried from the last storm. I had forgotten this.
* I moved the TV to another outlet, which worked, but it was located too far away from the nearest table.
* I found an extension cord and got everything hooked up, but then I noticed I didn’t have the remote control. Back to Auntie’s I went — sweating (at least I got some exercise). The remote control was no where to be found. Thirty minutes lost. Curse words spewed.
* I bought a universal remote and figured out how to coordinate the TV to the gadget, but the internal DVD player wasn’t able to recognize the brand new video. I turned it this way and that, but had no success.
* I drove to Target and picked up a cheap DVD player, brought it home, hooked it up, and then discovered that I didn’t have two AAA batteries for that remote control. From here, I drove to the pharmacy at the bottom of our hill and bought enough Energizers to electrocute the bunny.
* With the TV on and the video playing, I couldn’t keep my feet planted squarely on the hardwood floor, because I had cleaned the heck out of it anticipating my new exercise routine. I needed a yoga mat for stability — but it was far shorter than it used to be because the Beagle ate half.
* Three minutes into the five-minute warm-up, I was met by my youngest daughter, who was crying and complaining of what was most certainly swimmer’s ear.
* I gave her Advil for pain until the pharmacist (at the same pharmacy) could fill a prescription. Maryn curled up on the couch, whimpering, while I wondered what some guy named “BOB” was doing in Phase One: Cardio.
* When she settled down with Sour Patch Kids and Phineas and Ferb, I raced downstairs to finish my workout. That’s when the telephone rang and my husband announced that he would be late for dinner. Dinner?
At this point, I turned off the DVD player and the TV, rolled up the yoga mat that could’ve been used to open a stubborn jar of pickles, and kicked off my (new) cross-training shoes. I was exhausted and I needed to sit on the couch, where the alarm would sound as soon as my ample rear end brushed the fabric.
Frustrated and out of steam, I flipped channels and discovered a fitness show on PBS. “Sit and Be Fit.” I inched to the edge of the couch cushion and began flexing my foot, toward the ceiling and down toward the floor. Repeat. Ceiling. Floor. Ceiling. Floor. Other foot. Ceiling. Floor.
“That’s all for today,” the instructor chirped. “See you tomorrow!”
Sigh. Five minutes is better than none, I guess. Maybe tomorrow I’ll aim for 10. Or, I could strap a pedometer to my shoe and walk around the house until I get to 10,000 steps. I’ll have that knocked out by lunchtime.