This morning my body is in revolt, and it’s all Jillian Michaels’ fault.
I have never been an exerciser. High school gym class jumping jacks and 8-minute buns? Sure. But cardio? Circuit training? No sir.
At the old house I at least had walking. We were three miles on the dot from my office, and as soon as Spring was sprung I’d power walk at least one way a few times a week. If I got on a fitness kick or SEPTA went on strike I’d do the entire six in one day, sometimes pretending to jog for a few minutes in the middle.
I hate jogging.
The new house is seven miles away from the office, and I don’t forsee myself making that walk quite as frequently. Or, you know, ever. I’m in a nice neighborhood for jogging, but I really, really hate jogging.
So now I’m an exerciser. Out of necessity, really, because I don’t think guitar playing counts as enough cardio for me to maintain my boyish figure. I naively thought that – with the natural reflexes of a trained assassin and the freakish untrained flexibility of Spider-Man – I would be able to jump right into P90X.
Yeah, about that. My co-workers told me that there was a pre-test on the P90X website to gauge your level of fitness. I took it.
I failed the pre-test, y’all. That’s the first time I’ve failed a test since AP Calculus. Apparently my untrained reflexes and flexibility were nill, and god help me if I had to elevate my heart rate. My physical skill amounted to being able to walk any distance at a constant speed of 5MPH, and that was it.
Basically, I had the physical fitness of a pack mule.
Now I am exercising several times a week with Jillian Michaels, which is a whole post unto itself. Let’s just say I had no idea who she was, but I liked the sound of getting “shredded.” Thanks to Jillian’s undying support and fierce, carnivorous smile that tells me that she preys on the weak once the cameras stop rolling, my aspirations have grown beyond managing the size of my supple bottom to perhaps one day being worthy and able enough to make it through the P90X gauntlet. And what if… what if I had actual abs? Like, abdominal muscles you can see through my skin. You know, like Brad Pitt in Fight Club?
I was repeating that abdominal mantra to get to sleep last night, because my abs were trying to declare their secession from the rest of my body. I did my longest Jillian workout DVD yesterday, and about halfway through my abdominal section decided it had enough of the circuit training, the added resistance, and being a “strong core” for my legs and arms.
My “powering through” the rest of the workout only worsened the tensions between my abs and I. Despite ample stretching, an hour later I felt like Jillian Michaels was walking up to me and kicking me in the stomach about once every twenty seconds.
I described my agony to E, seeking comfort. “Is this what cramps are like,” I moaned pathetically?
That was a tactical error.
She scoffed. “Like having cramps?! Are you curled up in a ball on the ground, crying? Does it feel like something is trying to tear itself out of your stomach for days on end?”
“Um…” I considered bringing up the whole abdominal secession issue, but it seemed imprudent.
“Then, no, it is not like cramps.”
I went to sleep, abs still throbbing with phantom Jillian kicks, on the back of a new mantra:
“No, it is not like cramps.”