The first of the year is always depressing. For two months every magazine displayed holiday meals and desserts with clever, subtle promises of no weight gain. Pictures portrayed mouth-watering fare, pleasing to the eye, artfully camouflaging every calorie. Then all of a sudden, ads start to flow in abundance for weight loss programs. Gyms guaranteeing a body-to-die-for with a resounding - ‘just join now and start the new year right!’
In one of those low moments of self awareness, I did the unthinkable. I critically examined myself sans clothing in front of a full length mirror. Oh my. Everything had gone south. Literally. Those love handles overnight had mutated to rolls of cottage cheese!
I made a decision. I would join a gym. Tomorrow.
Funny how one day having a personal trainer sounded great. The next day I found myself rethinking the heroic delusion of grandeur, as I watched a hunk, about the same age as my son, walk--no, saunter--towards me, and realized he faintly resembled a heavily muscled action figure from my grandson's toy collection.
Yes, I was a relic in the making. This sober knowledge hit in its entirety when the mass of brawn smiled, showing his perfect pearly whites--some people really do have it all--asking in a rakish voice, “And what are we doing here?”
“We?” My voice squeaked much like an overgrown mouse who’d just lost its cheese. Quickly regaining control, I arched my eyebrow, hoping my stern don’t-you-make-fun-of-me-young-man look was totally in place.
“I think it should be more than obvious why I’m here. I am mid-fifties with everything going downhill on my body faster than I can drive!” I knew right away I was in trouble when my breath caught delivering the indignant reply.
Pearly whites provocatively agleam, he gently assured me that after he measured me, put me on a good diet, and exercise regimen, I’d be buff.
Buff? Did he mean naked? Did he say measure me? I began to sputter in earnest.
“You don’t understand. I don’t do buff. I don’t do spandex. I don’t do thongs.” Sighing deeply, I added, “Oh, and I don’t like to sweat.”
“Calm down, ma’am.”
Ma’am? I began to hyperventilate. This wasn’t what I had envisioned. I was supposed to walk in and a miracle would happen. My thighs would disappear while exercising gracefully in baggy sweats–barring sweat, of course. There would be no measuring, no buff, no--
“Excuse me, what did you say about bon bons?” I demanded as his words broke through my already exerted thoughts.
I finally recognized this first impression hunk, quickly becoming a demon of torment and pain, was actually laughing at me. “Do you want to be one of those ladies who watch soap operas from the couch while eating bon bons?”
Could he not tell I was a Snickers woman? Did he actually state I would learn to love sweating? Surely my overworked brain heard incorrectly. The gym, workouts, and a handsome personal trainer were making my brain sweat. I began to reexamine my love handles. Maybe they weren’t so bad after all.
As I followed the well-built figure of physical fitness on a tour, I couldn’t help but be a bit dubious of some of the so-called exercise machines. How on earth could one get themselves into these contraptions, I wondered.
“You what? You want me to get in that, that...thing?” I asked in a pitiful ‘oh-please-not-today’ voice.
Pearly whites evenly glowed over encouraging words of reassurance.
I did what I knew couldn’t be done. The impossible. I wadded my not-so-flexible torso into an extremely awkward and contorted position inside the apparatus while this specimen of a man proceeded with his tutelage of torture.
My first encounter with a personal trainer changed me forever.
I learned from this experience.
I am too old to be a pretzel.
Pass the bon bons.