If I could outsource one thing, it would be exercise. I’d schedule it on my Google Calendar, and categorize it under Home-7:30-8:30 am, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I’d set an alert on my phone when it was complete—not too loud, not loud enough to wake me up, but strong enough that it would sink in. I’d probably incorporate it in a dream.
I’d be able to tell instantly if the exercise was working, in which I’d IM the outsourcer, scathing, “Brandi, sweetheart, my jeans aren’t fitting me like they should—you’re going to have to up the reps of roundhouse kicks.” And then I’d roll over and finish my bag of M&Ms. It sounds perfect.
Truthfully, I enjoy working out. It’s the prep work it takes to get out the door I dread. I hate the hassle of finding something to wear—not too tight, not too loose, and something flattering as much as spandex can be. I struggle with how much is too much makeup to wear, and how much to eat beforehand or if I should eat at all.
After the workout, however, I feel great. I’m empowered! I marvel at why I don’t exercise every day, all day long? The question is answered the next morning when I can’t move—oh yeah. That’s why.
I like my new kickboxing program. It’s thirty minutes of heart-thumping and arm/leg-pumping, in which I pray while doing knuckle pushups for the ceiling to collapse and save me from doing one more Burpee. It’s followed by thirty minutes of kicking and punching a bag. And I’m painfully aware of how uncoordinated I am doing it.
When it comes to violence, I’m just awkward. I don’t jab with my right; I tap with the tip of my lobster claw-looking glove. I don’t left roundhouse kick, I twist and toe-touch the bag. I drive my trainers crazy.
“Come on Elizabeth, show me what you got!” they scream over Eminem blasting through the overhead speakers. In which I blush, tap, blush some more and giggle that stupid nervous laugh of mine.
I’m just not physically violent—give me a notepad and pen, though, and I’ll show you violence, all right! I’ve always had some aversion to my athleticism.
I used to jog around my old neighborhood. For some reason, every time I got to a corner house on my route, I’d throw up in their yard. Not out in the middle of the lawn or anything, just over their two-foot picket fence into the landscape island of tree bark mulch and under a Crabtree.
I was horrified. I didn’t know what to do about it. Knock at the door, and apologize, for sure, but what could the homeowners do? Hose off the tree mulch and find me disgusting? What is the etiquette for something like that anyway?
I read a long time ago if you clogged a toilet at a party, it was bad manners to confess to it. Couldn’t a little regurgitation in the vegetation follow the same logic?
It was my cowardice that propelled my legs onward. I know. I would berate myself the whole rest of my run and tell myself that it was a one-time fluke. It wasn’t. I did it three more times.
Nothing mattered, not a different route or at a different time of day; it didn’t matter what I ate before I ran, I’d get to that house and have to pitch myself over that picket fence and hurl into that Crabtree island. Maybe it was Pavlovian? Could’ve been, I have a history of it.
I can’t keep a bag of M&Ms in my house—they’re my gateway candy. Peanut M&Ms are the key that lets that fat girl-scout-cookie-eater inside me, out. I worked hard to lose sixty pounds and then another twenty after that and I haven’t visited Lane Bryant since. I want to keep it that way!
So, I’ll go to my kickboxing class—I do love it—and I’ll work out just like everybody else, or at least try to. But I’m not going to stop dreaming of how to get out of it, that’s my prerogative.