Me: I saw you birthed. You were purple and covered in more goo than Slimer. 16-year-old Sister: Let’s never have this conversation again. Also, what’s a “Slimer”?? Me: I’m old.
“TurboKick? P90X 2? Both?? What do you wanna do?!” I nearly hypervenilated with all the possibilities. Laura put on her brave face and answered, “Whatever you want to do, I’m up for it.” My sister Laura is my best friend. She is also a trouper. This past weekend she flew in from out of town so she and I could kidnap our baby sister to celebrate her 16th birthday. (Yes I have a 16-year-old sister and because I was 17 when she was born I got to be there to see her pop out. Which might have been awkward except that my mom is the same person who when she had her hysterectomy the following year saved her uterus in a jar and handed it to me “because I thought you might want to see where you came from.” Let me tell you, holding the uterus that expelled you in your hands is a singular experience. I have a marvelously open family.)
Laura (on the left) is actually giving bunny ears to the random guy from the improv show we’d just seen but because of the camera angle it just looks like she’s busting a move on him…and I think he likes it. My baby sister is in the middle and that’s me doing my best hunchback impersonation on the end – ironic considering I wore my new boots with the 2 inch platform plus 5 inch heel! Of course this is the only pic we got of all three of us.
Uteruses in jars aside, Laura not only let me drag her through P90X2 (we did the Total Body Workout and were… not impressed. Again.) but she also let me Experiment all kinds of other things on her. She tried foam rolling wherein we discovered that my inability to feel it at all does not run in the family. She went and got adjusted/analyzed by Dr. Dan my chiropractor of psychic fame and got way more excitement than she bargained for. She even tried T-Tapp with me for kicks and giggles! (She had a really interesting experience with her first T-Tapp workout and has agreed to continue with it to give me more info.)
Here’s the catch: Laura is not a fitness nut like I am. Her type A tendencies tend towards being PTO president and Cub Scout leader – you know, things that actually better society. She likes to exercise (she’s been doing Rachel Cosgrove’s workout for several months now!) but she’s just not crazy about it like I am. So when she collapsed on my couch and sighed, “You know I thought I was in shape until I came here. I’m torched!” it was with an air of failure.
Except that she’d done anything but fail. Just trying all those new things is huge and of course she was exhausted! This idea of “being in shape” is such a relative term and one I’ve come to seriously dislike.
I love these girls!
“So if you’ve been doing all this fitness stuff for the past five years, then shouldn’t you be in perfect shape by now?” a cheeky friend recently asked me. If the universe was fair, then yes, by now I would be Gisele but while knowledge is cumulative (sometimes painfully so), exercise sure isn’t. One of the most common mistakes people make about me is to assume that because I try all these different workouts that I’m some kind of super athlete. The truth is that doing something for 30 days gives me just enough knowledge to be dangerous but not enough to save me from myself. Or to put it more succinctly: I’m good at everything, great at nothing. Which in my mind is a small price to pay for all the fun I get to have.
What it means in practice is that I get my butt handed to me on a regular basis. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sighed, just like Laura, “I thought I was in shape until…” Sometimes, like when I went to the CrossFit St. Paul gym, I expect to be killed. (And boy was I right on that one. We alternated thrusters and ring pull-ups until death seemed preferable.) But other times it surprises me, like how the Physique 57 Barre workout from last month’s experiment made my butt so sore I walked like a penguin with an egg between its feet for two solid weeks. Nothing like a surprise arse-kicking to make you humble!
Now it’s your turn! Finish this sentence: “I thought I was in shape until…” You did 200 burpees? Tried MMA? Picked up the Men’s Shakeweight in Wal-Mart only to nearly club yourself with it and have to drop down to the stupid pink Women’s version?? (Ahem.) What surprise-kicked your butt? Anyone else have a really open family??
Gratuitous kid shot! We made crafts so I could pretend I’m one of those awesome moms who comes up with fun activities instead of giving them the Wii remote and telling them to go nuts (which is what usually happens). Also, please note that after this pic was snapped I “lost” all of Jelly Bean’s binkies and she hasn’t asked for them since. I fretted about it for weeks and it ended up being just that easy. Kids.