Funny Side Up
By Charleen Earley
I really thought the treadmill would change things … mainly my thighs. Instead, I now have a new $300-clothesrack with cup holder (for my chocolate shakes), parked strategically in front of the TV.
Good intentions quickly convert into 'not intended for those purposes' real quick-like in my pad.
I see myself getting up, mummy-style, before the rooster crows (or the upstairs neighbor starts showering). I do 10 minutes of brisk walking, then five of running at 3.2 miles per hour. Sweat begins dripping three minutes in, excessive gasps for air rapidly replace the garbled snoring just 15 minutes earlier - then I wake up, treadmill still cold from non-use. Do you burn calories while you dream of running?
Just weeks old, fresh from the big, bulky box (resembling my body) it had been yanked from, this apparatus, this melter-o-flab machine, this torturous hunk of metal with indicator knobs and a circulatory floor mat, bring tears to my eyes and guilt to my conscience. Yes, I pay happily and willingly for infliction of pain. I pay for self-chastisement too. But at least I envision the pay-off. Who doesn't?
See, what I'm really doing is paying for privacy and good (stuffy) apartment air. Unlike the gym, at home I can run 24/7, with or without make-up, and watch “real” women on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Added bonus … I don't have to chat with a complete stranger-dude who doesn't know that turning 10 shades of red coupled with extremely heavy panting is biological charades for, "I really can't talk right now bozo."
Treading at home means I can wear my cute outfits (that don't fit cute anymore), without having to don an extra-large cotton tee shirt to cover up what I’m trying to lose. And, I could run, hop, skip and jump (off the unit) with no threats of annihilation from a trainer-slash-salesperson wanting me to get on a "program," down protein powders (now sold in Costco-sized containers) and pop meal metabolizing pills with the healthy foods I'm supposed to be eating. Back off junior-experts with commission checks, I only down Mexican food in those large quantities.
In my humble who-cares-what-I-think-anyway opinion, working out in public (without the trim, fit, you must be starving yourself-bods) is like performing a comedy set without using words or worse yet, in underwear-only. I'd rather go on stage "fit" and prepared (and fully clothed), than vulnerably exposed. The Full Monty, in this case, is just not my idea of weight loss.
Meanwhile, back at the apartment, my newfound dust-collector piece of furniture has potential. It promises me a thinner tomorrow, a private adventure towards a more energized me, and a healthier, cardiovascular circulatory system just begging to challenge any 10-year-old to a race … to the nearest ice cream shop.
Charleen Earley is a freelance writer, humor columnist, comedienne, and high school journalism teacher. She can be reached at email@example.com.