Gym

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Hips don’t lie

Friday, January 14th, 2011

It’s clear from every wedding reception/bachelorette party/alcohol-fueled error of judgment that I am no dancer.  I’ve got rhythm, but I’m all kinds of awkward in my own skin – and this is never more obvious than when I am called upon to drop it like it’s hot.

But then there’s Zumba, the “Latin-based dance-fitness program” that has swept the nation.  I am, as usual, behind the times – tons of you have been on the Zumba train for years.  Case in point, here are my co-workers Emily and Kelli rocking their Zumba moves at Kelli’s wedding, because they are out-of-control awesome.

But I?  I’ve been too nervous to go.  Listen, I may be all lips and eyes, but I’m also all hips and thighs – two things that I don’t really feel like calling attention to.

But I’ve been hating the treadmill.  And last night, I was feeling brave, so I decided to try Zumba for the first time.

Our instructor was a Colombian man in a tight shirt who spoke broken English with a lisp, and said enthusiastic things like, “This class is crowd tonight!”  And it was – the room was packed from wall to wall.

And then the music started.

And then the dancing started.

And everyone was SO INTO IT.

Everything went so fast, and just when I would catch on to what was happening, the moves would change.  These people were like border collies, so attuned to their master’s instruction that at the flick of his wrist, boom – they were box-stepping.

I, on the other hand, was like a dog in socks, stiffly turning in circles.

Zumba is full of what some might call “uncivilized” moves – swivels and shimmies and gyrations (sorry for saying “gyrations”).  If it’s true that hips don’t lie, never has it been more obvious that I’m practically a Puritan.  I tried to be as “into it” as everyone else, and to just let my body do it’s thang – which worked for a little while, until I caught my reflection in the mirror and realized I was doing the Roger Rabbit.

But this burning up the dance floor apparently burns up the calories, and I have never had 60 minutes of cardio go so quickly.

So Zumba, you have not seen the last of me – or my hips.

Work it out

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Last week, I met with Gunnar, the Viking trainer man.  I had one free training session that was included with my gym membership – but wound up not signing up for the real deal, because I refuse to pay $50/hour to be tortured.

At one point, I said, “Gunnar, you are KILLING me.”

He replied, “No, Annie – I’m IMPROVING you.”  Then he had me do squats so rapid and forceful, it looked like I was driving a stake into the ground with my ass.

He put me on one of those slanted sit-up racks – the ones where your head is lower than your hips, as if to prevent pre-term labor.  Under those conditions, a single crunch would be difficult enough – but then he put a 25 pound weight on my chest and told me to sit up.

I held lunges and planks.  I jumped onto a metal box over and over.  I scissor-kicked.  I swung dumb-bells into the air, knowing that one sweaty-palmed slip would result in the death of an innocent by-standing body-builder.  In short, I did things that no self-respecting person would do in public.

When it was all said and done, my entire body was quivering.  I was like a terrified stray dog, completely incapable of self-calming – barely able to stand up, let alone walk back to the desk to talk nutrition.

Gunnar told me that to reach my fitness goals, I could eat no more than 1400 calories a day.

“But… how many do YOU get to have?” I asked.

“4500,” he answered.

Then the Lord and I had a chat about the injustice of it all.

Trying for triceps

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I have negative triceps. There’s, like, nothing there. If my arms were outerspace, there would be a black hole where my triceps are supposed to be.

Haha, PHYSICS JOKE!!! Science is sooooo funny.

I am 3 1/2 years older than my sister Becca, so when I was 15 and basically the same size I am now (massive), she was 11 and scrawny. She is still incredibly skinny – she turns sideways and disappears, just like Olive Oyl – and can wear clothes that the cool kids wear (skinny jeans, tiny dresses with leggings underneath, various Forever 21 garb), while I and my thighs are banished to more frumpy sensible attire.

I am not bitter. Then again, here is a picture of me as a child:

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I have always had those thighs and a scowl.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that when I was a full-grown 15-year old and Becca was her scraggly 11-year old self, she could beat me in arm wresting.

I have never had any upper-body strength. But I want that to change, because what if one day, I find myself dangling off a canyon edge? A single pull-up could save my life. And if that’s the case, it’s time to take action.

Take action to get action. That’s always been my motto.

Several times each week, I see the King of the Weight Room at the gym. You know exactly who I’m talking about: Stallone in “Cliffhanger.” The man who is bursting out of his muscle shirt. The guy whose neck is just a direct path from his ear to his collarbone.

This man is to triceps as Hunter Lane is to quads.

In other words, I have found my new trainer.

He just doesn’t know it.

YET.