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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Monday
Apr272015

I'm not hiding my shame under a bushel. A shame-bushel. That's the saying, right? 

I was in okay physical shape, once. At least for me. I don’t know if that equates to anything resembling “okay shape” for other humans. I kind of doubt it, but let’s pretend that I’m somewhere in the realm of normal. Pretend along with me! Make me feel good. Look, you don’t have to pretend. I won’t know. 

When I was in okay shape and I didn’t have time to hit the gym (the gym was something I “hit,” back then. It’s a figure of speech, you understand. Coined when people were so satisfied with their working-outs that they’d slap the gym wall and say, “that’s a good workout, by gum!” Then they’d drop their comical barbells, peel off their woolen unitards, don their three-piece suits, and set off for a mustache-steam. I don’t have a good handle on what old-timey people did)— 

—ANYWAY, when I didn’t have time to slap the gym I would do that 7-minute workout the New York Times told us was the only workout we ever needed. The New York Times told us that science said it was so, and I believe whatever the New York Times tells me that science says. Except this workout was kind of easy because I was a smug gym-hitter. So I would (smugly) do two of them. Sometimes three. Three workouts all in a row, like a SUPERHERO or something. 

FAST FORWARD TO NOW, about six months after I started my job, and I haven’t been to the gym in…hey, six months! What do you know! I’ve been pulling my own leg with lies like “Walking is like working out, only slower and less sweaty” and “Sucking in your gut is like crunches but standing and you can wear nice pants.” Turns out, though, that walking won’t help you do a push-up, which I learned last week, when I did one (1) 7-minute workout. And could barely do a push-up. AND the next day, all my parts hurt. At one point, I was sitting down, and I won’t say I couldn’t stand, but I had to think about it. And I could pretend this is the declaration that's going to motivate me to return to my former glory/okay-ness but really I just wanted a topic to write about, and my first thought was, "Hey, my sore butt!" 

I feel so close to you all right now.

References (13)

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Reader Comments (18)

Okay so I'm the most in-shape I've been since I went crazy postpartum and got skinny and fit by going to yoga all the damn time (to fix the crazy) and I STILL cannot do a single goddamn push-up. Life isn't fair is what I'm saying.

April 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHillary

Hate to ruin your life with this news but walking is actually better than more rigorous exercise. Ditto swimming. I'm waiting until sitting makes the list.

April 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuzy Soro

I've missed you! This is so funny because it's SO TRUE. Why does my mental fitness not atrophy with my physical fitness? It always leads to embarrassing situations.

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBarb

This made me think back to your "Everything, it hurts" post of 2011. (How do I know it was 2011? Because I just did a "toilet" search on your blog. Yes, that was me.) Anyway, anytime I'm sore, I remember that little gem, and I give thanks that we don't have a full-length mirror in the bathroom.
Good to see you posting again!

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

Walking isn't working out, Alice? Are you implying that my robust exercise regimen of walking around the local park once every three weeks is not hacking it? WHUT ARE YOU SAYING RIGHT NOW.

I recently signed up for a membership at the YMCA. I plan to do the things you are supposed to do at the YMCA really soon.

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterwhoorl

I stopped working out two years ago and I did not get fat. And, more importantly, when I see people working out it looks ridiculous! Trust me, the pioneers are all laughing at us.

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKristin Nilsen

My husband and I used to go to the gym. Then the next day, I'd say, "Oh man, I'm really feeling that workout! It's like I flew to Paris for a course at the Sor-bum."

I am a laugh riot.

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNora

I recently dusted off my DVD of 30 Day Shred and the next day everything hurt so very much. I could not drive because moving my foot to the brake pedal was just not something my leg was willing to do. So, yeah.

April 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I'm in the same boat plus I seem to be acquiring my middle-age metabolism. Things are not good in the midsection, dammit.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermary clare

Alice, you're just so funny.

I'm glad I read this because I laughed.

Not glad since I want to keep fooling myself that walking and sucking in are exercise.

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteralexandra rosas

I'm always happy to read a new post by you! I personally, am enjoying the trend of health articles stating that sitting = death. Because I use a wheelchair. So I'm always like, HAHAHAHAHA, R.I.P. LISA.

May 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLisa W

Every six months or so I think, "I'm tired of having upper arms that flop around like sails in a weak wind. I'm going to really do the 30 Day Shred for the whole 30 days this time." This, instead of 6 days, which is my average in the 5 years I've had the DVD. Then I do it for 6 days, which is barely long enough for it to stop hurting to lower myself onto the toilet. It's also when I start to notice my arms toning up from the "push-ups," my version of which look more like that dance move The Worm from the 80s. Then I stop. And six months later, I do it again. It's a mild form of self-torture. It's a 15 minute workout. I spend more time than that on a Crest whitening strip. What's wrong with me?

May 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Lisa: BEST COMMENT EVER.

May 5, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteralice

So when you said, "the next day, all my parts hurt" I read it as "all my pants hurt." Which may or may not also be true, I suppose. But do not burst my "fast walking IS exercise" bubble, please and thank you. It's all I got!

May 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterR

You know they always say as you age you have to choose: face or figure. I feel like now when time is tight we have to choose: body or bank account.

I've missed you!

June 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteramy

Come back, Shame-Bushel!

July 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna

I just started back at the gym after a months-long break, myself. (I'm never confident about punctuating a sentence that ends in 'myself.' I'm trying to sound all folksy and down-to-Earth, and I feel that I just end up looking uneducated.) And I feel you, Alice. After all those squats I did yesterday, it's almost as if you are sitting on my shoulders right now.

September 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

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