It was only somewhat shocking that there was no confetti cannon put into immediate use when I announced to my family that on Monday, Ultra Health Blast 2011 would begin.
I supposed I can’t really blame those around me for not responding appropriately. After all, in the past I had announced the beginning of:
Health Blast 2011: A New Beginning
Mega Health Blast
Healthy Living Jamboree
Festival of Health with Power Food Boosts.
By “in the past” I mean since January of this year.
What can I say? I enjoy making theatrical announcements while wearing brand new Spandex.
I get inspired to begin dramatic new programs of health after being temporarily derailed by a migraine, dental surgery, airline travel, company, or outside temperatures below 50 degrees.
Betty, a simple creature, needs only a whiff of motivation. It could be one good dose of Dr. Oz, one issue of Prevention magazine warning of the dangers of unhealthy living, or one good look in the cruel department store mirror. I then decide to implement a whole new way of living.
Rest assured, there is a schedule, people.
First, the Alert then goes out to the general public. My resolution is made clear.
Then comes the obligatory two-day period of preparation in which I finish off the economy bag of Ruffles, clear out (via mouth) my stash of Mounds Bars hidden in my sock drawer, and drink an extraordinary amount of Diet Pepsi accompanied by a large order of fries.
I then go to the store and purchase large amounts of green leafy things.
Exercise? Oh, it’s always a part of the plan. That’s most likely where I get into trouble.
Now, I can walk like nobody’s business and I like doing it. No problem. I live on flat land—no hills. Walking is a breeze. My lower calf muscles are honed and ready to go.
It’s those other 716 muscles that give me problems.
A Sad but Totally True Story:
Years ago, I took a rare trip to the gym and decided that instead of just treading on the trusty treadmill, I would be like all the cool women who get on the elliptical machines. It looked easy. It looked fun. I wanted to be in the in-crowd.
I stepped on the machine between two other groovy gals and snuck a peek at their times. One had been on for 30 minutes and the other for 40 minutes. I poked around at the buttons, and started movin’ and groovin’.
I smiled to know I had joined my people. I was one of the pretty, athletic ones.
It took me about 50 seconds to realize the muscles in my upper thighs were hardening and were about to burst through the skin, popping forward and flapping around like Red Vines. I quickly calculated that at the rate I was going, it would be a mere two minutes before a momentous event that would result in a call to 911.
Ever the proud one, I rapidly decided the best, face/thigh saving plan was to pretend that I had not realized what time it was and that I was obviously late for a Very Important Appointment.
Fueled by a powerful combination of embarrassment and pain, I went into Crazed Mime Mode. First, I dramatically looked at the large clock on the wall and pretended to be shocked. Oh! How well I feigned surprise and dismay! I looked at the imaginary watch on my wrist and then popped my hand up to my open mouth! OH MY! I turned off the machine and quickly gathered up my things. For good measure, I threw in another overly-animated mime-like sigh, a head shake, a throwing up of hands and a big sad face to show just how disappointed I was at not being able to complete my exercise routine.
I am sure I fooled everyone around me.
A Shorter but Equally Sad Tale: A Teacher’s Confession
There are times in my classes at which I need to write copious notes on the whiteboard. I’ll be up there, my arm extended, writing away when I suddenly realize that the muscles in my arms refuse to keep my abnormally heavy humerus bone in the air any longer.
My brain is sending me the urgent message: Lower the arm soon or die.
Yes, I have more to write, but I must listen to my brain which now vividly registers the pain by sending me images of sharp-toothed creatures biting and gnawing on each and every tender pink strand of muscle in my arm.
It is at that point I decide a class discussion is in order. In a voice high and strained from the throbbing pain, I start repeating what I have placed on the board, and asking for feedback on it. My students, hearing my tone of voice, look concerned and somewhat alarmed. From my overall expression, they conclude this information must be much more important that they thought.
My hope is to appear to be a concerned and dedicated teacher, reinforcing what I have just written.
My secret is I am actually just a weak-armed ninny, unable to raise my arm in the air or speak normally again until the creatures relax their strong jaws.
According to many scary articles, our muscles are turning to strawberry jelly with each passing year unless we strengthen them.
Ah well, all this is about to change with Ultra Health Blast 2011.
I am motivated. After all, my children have promised me a party if I make it to 100 years of age. I intend to be one old lady who can hoist a giant tube of bright red lipstick up to smear across her nearly nonexistent lips.
So bring on the exercise. Bring on the salad. Let Ultra Health Blast 2011 begin.
(Oh, that salad looks sort of heavy. Could you just put it right down there on the table? Thanks so much.)