For my most recent birthday, my mother and father bestowed upon me a very unusual gift. They decided that I would really love to have 6 pre-paid sessions with a personal trainer with whom they had recently become involved. My first inclination was to sputter with righteous indignation,"So you think I'm fat?" Holding my caustic tongue, instead I smiled and thanked them profusely. The truth was that I really needed a jump-start to get me back into a regular workout routine, and I knew that forced involvement with a trainer was probably just the ticket. I have been feeling really well physically since the start of the great vegetarian experiment, but I have been extraordinarily lax in my exercise habits since my tumble down the garage stairs in November. So, I sucked back my cynicism that my parents were trying to make a point about my body image, and when I returned to the southern home I contacted Oscar.
Oscar seems to have jumped right out of those commercials for bullshit fitness equipment. He is a seemingly soft-spoken Venezuelan with a perfectly toned and tanned body and a beautiful smile of perfect white teeth. He is the type that makes sweatpants look good, baldness sexy, and earrings still masculine. I love how he struggles to say my name without an accent and how he has no compunction about relaying his philosophies of health and fitness. Oscar is 40 but looks 25, is oozing with charm, and it would stun me if women didn't fall all over him. All of this was my first impression. Then our first session began. When he is working, Oscar becomes a Nazi. He has no patience for slacking, cheating or pain. I think that he sees it as his personal mission to attack every part of my physical ineptness, and to wage war on my not-so-hidden desire to spend the remainder of my days slothing. I squatted and lunged. I pushed-up and I pulled down. I lifted and crunched, and I found myself moving parts of my body that I didn't know still worked. I spent that first hour with Oscar sweating harder than I ever had on the treadmill, and when it was over I had a sense of satisfaction that was rarely experienced in exercise. I was swaggering and smug when I booked my next session for two days hence. STUPID STUPID STUPID!!!!!
By the evening of that first workout day, I could hardly move. My legs and butt felt as though they were being poked continuously with tiny little fire-hot pitchforks. I was in spasm from my abdomen on down to my ankles. There wasn't a position on any chair that made me comfortable, so I spent many hours wandering around the house and halls of the building simply to avoid the agony of bending my legs into a sitting position. Getting up was even worse, so I finally decided that bed was the answer. NOT! Sleep was not an option. I couldn't turn over without screaming like a banshee and every breath, cough or sneeze was a new experience in pain. I tried to take a jacuzzi, but the jets seemed to be inactive. (An aside. Why is it that every single time that I am down here by myself, something in the house breaks? Could it be that The Husband is sending messages through telekinesis about how much I really do need him? Hmmmm!) I decided that a hot bath would still be a great help to relax the muscles, but climbing into the tub was kind of like trying to get out of a back-zippered dress without help.
The next day was worse. Stairs? Forget that. Elevators were invented for a reason. Oscar had made me promise to do a moderate walk on the treadmill, but that was obviously overly ambitious. But, in spite of all of the problems confronting me and all of the new muscles that my body had discovered, the absolute worst experience of all was sitting on the toilet. Think about it. What is physically involved with this seemingly benign activity? (Don't get gross or anatomical!) I am simply describing the simple act of sitting or squatting. Toilets are not generally designed as really high seats, unless they are being utilized in accessible facilities. Squatting that low down for somebody coming off of as many sets of lunges and squats as was I was a new type of pain. Rising was worse. I decided as I was getting up from one such experience in full-throated scream, that it would have been really great if God had decided to give women the option of standing while urinating. I think that we would have been way better at then men. Women would know how to concentrate effectively so that the pee ends up in the bowl and not on, under or beside it. Women would never neglect to lower the seat, because we all know the feeling of cold water on our asses at 2 in the morning. Women would love the idea of a urinal if it meant never again having to line up for a stall at the theatre. Finally, women are already half-way there in our quest to stand and pee. Ask any woman if she fully sits on a public toilet, or if she does a mid-legged squat.
Oscar continued his torture yesterday, and as such yesterday was another day when I avoided the loo to the best of my ability. I figure that one of two things will come out of this wonderful birthday gift. Either I will become incredibly ripped and toned, or I will develop a killer bladder infection because of my inability to sit on the can. Thanks Mom and Dad. Next year remember that I really like chocolate.