Ridiculous but true: one of the main reasons I exercise is so that I can look all tough and hardcore to others.
That includes the adequately fit but non-athletic husband. I love few things more than coming in from a morning run and shaking sweat off like a dog shakes after a bath, lunging around to show off what a badass I am for running, and reveling in the occasional lady grunt or breath-catching dramatics. Some days, when I feel wimpy, I just imagine how athletically crazyfit me and my tomato-face must seem to the non-sweaty onlooker and that can be enough to make me feel better about any over-10 minute miles or other such perceived wimpery.
Last week I was getting a bit down on myself for not doing enough strength training. Though strength training doesn’t create the rivers of sweat that I love to lord over the Husband, it does give me that “frenzied muscle machine” feeling, and it looks pretty impressive to the houseful of sweet Chinese neighbors who sit out eating chicken wings while I do all kinds of planks and leg lifts. However, I have gotten a bit lax in the strength training department since the post-Christmas knee glitch, when I cut out any moves that would basically move my knee, and even though my knee is (knock on wood, please!) 100% fine now, I’ve kinda lost the habit.
Now, I know my shape and genetics and have resigned myself to accepting a jiggle quotient. I mean, were I to get a rock-hard booty, I would find it difficult to walk from the cumbersome size of the boulders behind me. But I still want a bit more definition–and, more importantly, I do NOT want to get injured.
Long preamble short:
I tried YouTube Core Fusion today.
Mind you, I’d rather eat a handful of worms in soap soup than do an exercise video, as a general rule. I hate the studio settings, the lame music, the panning camerawork, the fake smiles of every exercise video I’ve seen. I hate the cheeriness and gentle zen-like composure of the demonstrators/gurus, and I hate being asked to feel my energy and such nonsense. If my leg has been pointing to the ceiling for over a minute and my butt is shaking like flan being wiggled out of the pan, the last thing I want to hear is a reminder to feel the muscle working–bitch, I KNOW it’s working, and it’s about to stop so I can turn the damn DVD off and send you off to oblivion. If presenters must speak, I’d rather they barked and told me to feel my pain/burn. No surprise coming from a woman who has pulled on a dentist’s tie during dental procedures; stuff hurts and I just want to keep it real, y’all.
However, I decided to put all my deeply-rooted and ridiculous misgivings aside and try the Core Fusion because everyone is agog about it and, most importantly, plenty of 10-minute segments are available on YouTube. Perfect! I could watch once, sketch out stick figures of each move, and do them independently without ever having to watch the stupid Good Chi People and their impossible abs ever again.
As I had no clue what kind of fool I’d look like doing goodness-knows-what moves, I took over the office, closed the door, and then resigned myself to exercise video hell. Because, you know, I have an image to keep up.
Safely locked away, I started with Core Fusion Pilates Plus, then did Body Sculpt and ended with a short Ab-Sculpt exercise (2:13 minutes of it was all youtube had for me today).
I did not die.
I also did not fling the computer across the room, though I did give the instructors the finger whenever they talked about how good it felt to feel your muscles work, nor did I start laughing at the cheesiness of the video and turn the thing off.
I was not totally feeling the Pilates Plus at the beginning because I’m like a coddling mother towards my knees and didn’t appreciate the kneel-and-lean-back business, but the donkey-kick-like exercises were good, and I most definitely felt them working.
I really liked the ab exercise I found, and my arms “got got,” in Wire-speak, by the arm segment; they got got so good, in fact, that swimming might be a challenge tomorrow.
As for my legs and soon-to-be-boulder-ass, I’m sure I’ll be groaning delicately as I get up from chairs tomorrow, but I felt that way already after today’s 4-miler, so we’ll see.
All in all, the Core Fusion gets a B in my book. Combined with a most excellent four mile run this morning–where I not only didn’t die, but sang to my music during the last mile!–I think my muscles are going to wonder why I decided to pay them any attention and wish I’d left them alone. After all, it’s not like they get much attention in dresses like today’s, where they can safely hide:
Then again, what do those lazy muscles don’t know about belts and shorter hemlines? [Cue evil laugh].