Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Rocky Balboa Recession Proof Workout

Just like the goldfish that is surprised by his little neon castle at every lap around his bowl, it always shocks me this time each year that swimming-pool weather is around the corner. Like any mammal worth their salt, I feel it’s my duty to pack on a layer of fat in the wintertime and hibernate until spring or at least until American Idol is over. But unlike the Grizzly bear, I won’t be burning off my winter layers hunting down wild game unless you count trips from the computer to the kitchen as exercise. So I did what any self-respecting modern day mammal might do when faced with the reality of bathing suit shopping in ninety days; I joined Weight Watchers and started working out.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go all “Oprah” on you and drag out a wagon of fat or tell you my detailed plan to become svelte before summer because I don’t really have one. I’m not much of a gym rat, nor do I have the extra funds for a membership or a personal trainer at the moment. So I’m kind of making it up as I go along, like Rocky Balboa sans the raw eggs and steer punching. I’ll just share a few DOs and DON’Ts I have learned over the last month:

-"More cow bell?" I say "mo kettle bell." This 10-lb iron bowling ball-like object with a handle can easily take out a window or beloved pet, so be careful. Children and small animals should instinctively run from the room, if not, DO remove them manually for their own good. If you love your flat screen, DO grip your bell very tightly on the upswing. This exercise alone has given me such “guns” that I have resorted to the behavior of a pre-teen boy and randomly ask friends and family to “feel my muscle.”

-DO take a Zumba class. Where else in a small southern town can you pelvic thrust to Latin music at 9 in the morning without threat of arrest? I will add, unless you are a member of the Pussycat Dolls, DON’T look at yourself in the class mirror. Keep your eyes directly on the instructor at all times. You won’t turn into a pillar of salt, but the image of yourself attempting moves like Shakira will stop you mid-gyration. Just have fun with it. Everybody else is! If you can't pay the occasional ten bucks, download some bad Ricky Martin and make sure the shades are down.

-DO try “house jogging.” Yeah, I’m serious. Unless you live in a dorm room or suffer inner ear dizziness, it’s really not so bad. I have never thought of myself as a runner. Trying to keep too many things from going in too many directions is just not my idea of fun. But when it was too cold to walk one day, I cranked up my iTunes and started jogging a loop through my house. My dogs, very disturbed with this decision, immediately started chasing behind me. This was good incentive to pick up my pace. Our 14-year-old dog that is deaf just laid in the floor like a rock, which served as the perfect low hurdle when I hit the kitchen area. When my seven year old walked in to see the crazy conga line snaking through the den to his favorite Iggy Pop song, he could not join in fast enough. And so it went for the rest of my play list until I realized that song by song I had actually jogged about a mile. Sure the scenery was limited, but like the goldfish, every lap around my bowl was a little surprise.

*For those who like to combine the physical with the spiritual, check out THIS  North Mississippi duo with a new reason for cuttin' back on your breakfast foods.