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Exercise Is For Girls

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As I sit in my chair today, my back is sore, my legs wobble, and my arms feel much heavier than they did yesterday. Today I will be confined to the home, drinking tea and licking my wounds. All because my wife wants me to feel better. I can tell you today with great confidence– it’s not working, dear.

My wife works all day at her desk, rarely able to get up off her comfy chair. So, when she gets home from work, she is a ball of fire. She has all this energy, and she bounces around the house until 9 p.m. most nights. In the summer, we both stay very busy in the yard and garden. But in the winter, on days like today, I hunker down and hope for warmer weather.

“C’mon up and exercise with me!” she says with a grin. Now, I have been writing full-time for the last year or so, and this sedentary activity has put more than a few pounds on me. So I thought, “Why not try this exercise thing?” It doesn’t look that hard when I watch her do it. So yesterday, I accepted her invitation.

I got into my sweat pants, reflecting upon the irony that this is the first time I would actually “sweat” in them. I tied my tennis shoes to my feet. I put on the headband I used to wear in the ’70s when I was in the band “Jarred Heat,” and I was ready to go. My wife popped in an exercise tape, and there was Jillian from “Biggest Loser” in her tights, ready to work out with me. “This should be fun,” I told my wife. She just smiled. She knows I like Jillian.

Then it happened. Jillian turned into a drill sergeant, barking orders, telling me I wasn’t going fast enough. I thought to myself, “How does she even know?” but I stayed with it, doing knee bends and holding my flabby arms high in the air until they went numb. Just when I was ready to pass out, she let me put my arms down, guiding me into a sort of a yoga move in which my arms and legs twisted and stretched around each other. I held that pose, which I affectionately called the “human pretzel” pose, until I collapsed on the floor. My wife giggled as she held her pretzel pose perfectly.

The next move was a backwards leg lift push up thing, which worked out well, since I was already on the floor. Jillian barked at me every time my leg touched the floor. “Hold that leg up! Do you want to be fat?” At this point, I was re-thinking my whole stance on how cute Jillian was. She was turning into a monster before my very eyes, even taking on the look of a tiger ready to eat me if I made a wrong move.

Just when I thought I could take no more, Jillian told me to sit cross-legged and take a few deep breaths. I thought to myself, “Thank God this is over.” I got up– after a minute of breathing deep, feeling as though I had climbed a mountain. “That wasn’t so bad,” I told my wife as I started to walk away. She laughed out loud, and then told me, “It’s not over, silly, we just got through the warm-ups.” I pretended not to hear her and went downstairs, collapsing into my easy chair.

And as I sit here today, every muscle in pain, I have a new respect for my wife, and I have a new enemy in Jillian. Maybe that was my wife’s plan all along.

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