Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Hidden Danger of Fist Pumping - a Morality Tale of My Return to the Gym

Notice Robert's use of the underhand
fist pump. It is well executed with just
the right mixture of humility and
Since I missed so much workout time with Brian being sick, I was really anxious to get back to my normal routine. Since I'm not training for anything specific (half-marathon got derailed due to taking care of Brian) I could go do anything active I wanted my first day back. It was like trying to choose a favorite child, y'all. (Sike, you know Ab Lab won hands down.)(Just don't tell the pool.)(Or the bike.)(Or all the lovely free weights that have been so down since I've been gone.)(Literally down.)(Because they haven't been lifted up.)(*accepts my Worst Joke Ever award*)

Of course the first thing that happened to me, cementing any remnant of middle school fear I still had firmly in my heart, was that I forgot my locker combination. I planned on getting to the gym early to do a few miles warm up on the bike before the torture Ab Lab began. Instead I stood at my locker trying every combination known to man (full disclosure: I tried the same wrong combination close to 30 times because I was so sure I was right and obviously the locking mechanism was just being stubborn and was going to realize, by my persistence, that it should just give it up and open already) for almost ten minutes. I was at the point I was deciding that my lock was broken when I had an epiphany. The kind of epiphany that comes with the memory of the correct combination. You know, the one that is nowhere near the one I tried 30 times.

Lock = 1, Kelly = 0. By this time I'd missed any chance at a warm up, but could hurry and make it to class.

I was thankful I was coming back to Ab Lab on a day Kathy would be teaching. Kathy is everything I want to be when I grow up. She takes good care of herself, makes fitness a priority, and I'm pretty sure that God gave her my portion of coordination, because she is a genius who can not only do step aerobics, but teach them as well. In fact, Kathy calls out step instructions while mirroring what she calls without any hesitation. In all likelihood that's a Super Power.

I strode confidently into the Ab Lab studio (ok, I was late so really what I'm calling "confidence" was really just hurried preoccupation with making sure I got my favorite spot) so I missed that Kathy was not teaching Ab Lab. I settled nicely on my mat with seconds to spare only to find myself looking at Janice. *the lights dim and a spotlight shines on my face as the camera zooms in to capture the look of horror before I release my Jamie Lee Curtis-like scream* (Just kidding. Y'all know I have the wussiest girl scream ever)(camera zooms in and catches me lip-syncing the most horrific scream ever)(and then the public strikes back in outrage because first it was Ashley Simpson on SNL and then Beyonce at the inauguration and seriously what is this world coming to if even Kelly is lip-syncing her blog fantasy screaming?)

What is the problem with Janice teaching Ab Lab? Normally nothing. Janice is amazing. She is a retired physical education teacher, and she's my favorite Boot Camp instructor. (She also makes me simultaneously love and hate Spin Class with such intensity I wonder if I have Multiple Personality Disorder.) Janice is a really involved instructor. She believes in injury prevention by using correct form. If you read between the lines of those last two sentences you know that Janice will tail you and correct your form at any time. (And truly I am thankful for that. At least, my knees are thankful for that.) Consequently? Janice scares the heck out of me.

Janice once *literally* kicked my tush because I was "making a tee-pee" while holding plank and told me to "get your a** out of the air." She also chased me during sprints yelling, "YOU CAN RUN FASTER THAN THAT! RUN LIKE I'M STEALING YOUR GAS CARD!" (Listen, she's older, cut her some slack on her insults.)(And don't worry, she'll make up for it in the next few paragraphs.)

If I could sum up Janice with just one story it would be this one. Because Janice's classes are so popular, we often have to "squad up" to run our drills simply to save space. (Ohmylanta, remember "squading up"?) This means that at any given time, five or six of us will be doing the drill while everyone else suffers through some form of cardio nightmare while observing the chosen few do the burning OH LORD MAKE IT STOP drill Janice planned for us. One day we were doing moving squat jumps. The key to healthy squat jumps is to land soft in order to save your knees. Janice is a visual learner/teacher. The best way to teach soft landings according to a visual learner is to watch for *ahem* tush jiggle. Soft landings don't have any jiggle.

I wouldn't say my most awesome moment in life was doing squat jumps in front of forty people while being shadowed by a 50 year old woman in much better shape than me who yelled, "I CAN SEE IT JIGGLE" ("IT" =  my hindquarters) every time I landed, but it ranks up there as Pretty Freaking Awesome.

So what I really mean is I love/hate Janice. Mostly I love her. But I don't know if I was ready for a "first day back to Ab Lab" with Janice. But guess what? It totally didn't matter if I was ready. It was happening. Game on, son.

My fist pumping is much more in the style of
Sean Connery. It is overhand and about ear
high. My face is much less subdued. I mean,
we can't all rely on our James Bond past
for cool points, can we?
In the end, I survived. I modified a lot. Plank on the BOSU ball? I looked a bit like I was trying to jackhammer the floor with the ball. It was ... seismic. My hip flexors are still alllllllll a hot mess, so while doing "clock" abdominal leg raises I timed out at 3:00 and 9:00 respectfully. (20 Awesome Points for a clock pun.) I left Ab Lab a whimpering, sweaty mess still excited to go run, so success.

I don't why I expected the run to be so hard. I had not done any running in almost three weeks, but my two previous runs were a six mile run and a ten mile run. I almost drove myself into a panic attack thinking I wouldn't be able to run three miles which.was.ridiculous.

I was about a half mile in when I started to feel like a rock star. Why was I so worried? Here I was - my first day back - owning the treadmill and solving puzzles with Pat Sajak and Vanna White like nobody's business. (Seriously, why is Wheel of Fortune always on at my gym?)(And why won't anybody ever change the channel?)(I know my gym gets HGTV.)(Hasn't anyone ever seen Property Brothers? It's waaaaaay better than Wheel of Fortune.)(Why don't I go change the channel?)(*next fitness goal planned*).

This is really closer to the
model I follow.
So there I was, back at the gym, Queen of the treadmill, clearly seeing the puzzle answers in record time, you know, generally winning at life, when I looked down to see the entire three miles had passed before I even realized it. I hadn't lost my fitness after all. I raised my arm in a triumphant fist pump (a subtle one - I'm not *that* girl)(I'm totally *that* girl) because I'd just finished my run without needing to convince myself to finish it even one time, when I noticed the woman next to me giving me a dirty look as she wiped herself off. Turns out she's going to feel really bad later when she realizes the sweat I'd accidently flung on her when I fist pumped was the sweat of a mother-freaking champion. 

There's really not a whole lot to say after you fling sweat on someone. Usually "I'm sorry," is customary, but next time I would stop short of adding, "I promise I don't have any weird diseases." (FYI - that totally doesn't help the situation.) (You'd think I'd be a pro at this kind of thing after the mishap at the San Diego Zoo.) I finished my cool down in the kind of awkward silence where we both pretend we are really excited Jeopardy is starting.

With the exception of the last five minutes, it was a fine first day back. As for my little social blunder, I think we can all learn a little something here. I got a little too big for my britches on that treadmill. Understandable, being good at Wheel of Fortune can do that to you. But you know what they say: Pride goeth before the sweat falls on a stranger.


  1. You're a rock star. So inspired! Now that my knee is all scoped, let the fitness begin!

    1. I saw your pics! How are you feeling?

    2. Much better! Working hard in physical therapy. Hopefully back to Yoga next week! :-)

  2. Great job all the way around!! And plenty for me to giggle at. ;)

    1. Thanks, Steph. If you can slow it waaaaaay down I'll run with you, and maybe you'll be blessed with a "Kelly Shower". :)


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