Pumping iron and polyester pants
“That’s it — you have to go,” Husband-Head announced as he walked in the house the other evening. “You made a New Year’s resolution and I want you to go this week.”
“You can’t make me,” I retorted. “I’ll go when I’m good and ready. Besides, you’re not the boss of me.”
I punctuated my statement by sticking my tongue out at him.
He was referring to the fact that even though we had joined a gym with lofty fitness goals for the new year, I had yet to see the inside of the place.
“It’s a total waste of money if you’re not going to use it,” Husband-Head reasoned. “But maybe we should just cancel your membership and use the money to buy you a wardrobe of big polyester pants with elastic waistbands.”
He knew the thought would horrify me.
“With a pair of orthopedic shoes to complete the ensemble,” I imagined out loud. “And I’ll wear pink sponge curlers in my hair…garish red lipstick…and hang out at a bowling alley…”
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go to the gym, I just considered it a workout simply writing the check to join.
But Husband-Head is a weightlifting fanatic and goes to the gym religiously several times a week for an hour and a half.
“Come on, you’ll like it,” he said, still trying to persuade me. “They have lots of classes you can take with the other women. There’s even one I think called ‘pirates.’”
“Of the Caribbean?” I asked, confused. “I thought that was a ride at Disneyland.”
“No, I think they sit around in a circle with a patch over one eye and take turns saying ‘Aaarrrggghhh,’” he replied.
“Or you could take a yoga class,” he suggested and started to do a little dance. “You put your left foot in, you put your left foot in and you do the hogi-yogi and you turn yourself about…”
Obviously, he’d been sitting in the steam room a little too long.
“And then afterwards they all get together and eat yogurt,” he informed me knowingly.
So to appease Husband-Head and get him off my back, I decided to start going to the gym.
“What is this?” I asked him as he showed me the various pieces of equipment. “It looks scary — in fact, it looks like a guillotine.”
Husband-Head rolled his eyes and took me through each of the machines, telling me how much weight to put on and which muscles were being worked.
“I don’t think my body has that muscle,” I decided as I struggled on one machine to make it even move.
We did leg exercises, arm exercises and chest exercises.
“I am not getting into that position in public,” I said, putting my foot down on one exercise meant to firm the ol’ gluteus maximus.
An hour of torture later, it was all over and all I wanted was a cold drink.
“There!” Husband-Head said when we were done. “That wasn’t so bad now, was it? And think how good you’re going to feel.”
Yeah, until the next morning.
“I’m pretty sure I’m dying,” I declared as I lay in bed, unable to get up. “I feel like something the cat spit up. Everything in my body hurts. I think I need a wheelchair.”
“Oh, don’t be such a wimp,” Husband-Head scolded. “That just goes to show how much you needed it. The soreness will go away in a couple of years. Remember: no pain, no gain.”
So now I’m on this exercise program, which, I swear, if I don’t look like a runway supermodel in a few weeks, I’m going to give up.
“OK,” Husband-Head said, raising an eyebrow at my loft goal. “But if you quit, don’t come crying to me when you’re wearing polyester pants.”
Heidi Rice is the editor of the Citizen Telegram. Her column appears weekly in that paper and when the PI editor feels like it in the PI.
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