Just by looking at me you can tell that I don’t participate much in physical fitness programs. It’s not that I don’t want to but I have yet to find a program where you can either sit the whole time or lie on the floor for the whole hour. Add watching Zombie movies and I’d be the first to sign up.
I wasn’t always such a couch potato.
When I was little, I tried being like all the other kids.
I ran..I fell. I biked….I ran into the back of a parked car with my little sister in my basket. I took swimming lessons…until I jumped from the diving board into 8ft of water and panicked cause I didn’t touch the bottom to push myself back up and tried to scream underwater. I ice skated…..fell and hit my head many times on the ice. I went sliding…..crashed into trees. I went horseback riding…..horse just sat down and I was terrified I’d fall off the back. I swung….and fell off. I teeter-tottered…..fell forward….fell sideways…and had my tailbone slammed on the ground many a time by other kids getting off while I was way up high. I played dodge ball….got hit many times in the face and head with the basketball they used. Tried basketball….sucked. Tried ping pong…sucked. Tried handball….got hit too many times in face and head. Tried jumping hurdles….foot caught hurdle and I crashed bruising many ribs and knocking breath out.
The one thing I could do as a kid, without injuring my self was bowling. I started at the ripe old age of 6 and continued on until I was 12. I even won two trophies. One year my team came in first in our division and I got one for “Most Improved Bowler”! I think my average went from 23-66 that first year!!! I bowled at the old Goodfellowship Club where there were four lanes and we had “pin boys”. The pin boys had the task of sitting behind the pins and after you had sent your ball down the lane and hopefully hit some pins, the pin boys jumped down from their perch and manually sent your ball back and picked up the fallen pins and put them in the pin holder and after your second ball, they had to gather up all the pins left and place them in the holder and then lower the holder and release the pins for the next person! I think they got 10 cents a game. There was even a “foul line person” who had a perch up in the wall where they could see if you stepped over the foul line and they had a big silver whistle that they would blow! That was a coveted position. I was never a foul girl (I once had a foul mouth, but that was not the same).
In high school, I became a Pom Pom girl. We would dance with these big yellow and blue crepe paper pom poms that we had made while the school band played during football half-time and basketball breaks (what are they called???). I was even co-captain in my senior year and was responsible for making up the routines. I don’t think I ever fell during a performance, tho I do remember once being hit by another Pom Pom girl during a dance routine and my pom poms flew in two different directions!
I hated gym with a passion. Hated, hated, hated it. I could never climb those stupid ropes. I could never do a back-bend. I could barely do a single somersault. And to watch me try to do a cartwheel was just plain painful. (If any of you watch, “The Middle” on ABC, I was the Sue Heck of my gym class.) And burpees….who in the heck invented burpees. I was never in sync doing jumping jacks….while everyone else was jumping, I was jacking. Even though I was in the “in” group, my girlfriends knew I was hopeless at anything physical so many times they left me in the pick line until it was either me or a super-nerd. My favorite part of gym class was the weird dances we had to do in a circle with our pinkies holding the pinkies of the persons next to us.
The gym locker room was a nightmare to me. I was very modest and did not like to undress in front of the rest of the girls eventho I was quite thin. We were required to take showers after gym class and only the really weird girls would actually get NAKED and take a shower. The rest of us just kept our underwear on and tried to hide our bra straps and wrapped those tiny hand towels around us (dear Lord, at one time it actually covered my whole body…now it wouldn’t go around one thigh) and would gingerly put one arm and one leg in the vicinity of the shower spray and call it a day. We must have had “the curse” more times a month than was anywhere near normal because if you had your period, you got to go into a private shower and dressing stall. Loved that place.
After high school, I tried lifting weights and even bought myself a bench and barbells and books on how to “pump iron” (nowadays the only way I pump iron is when I am actually ironing and I use the pump on the iron to shoot water on my wrinkled clothes!).
I took ballet lessons from the Minnesota School of Ballet. Good grief. As my room mate and good friend Lovely Lisa, leaped across the floor like a fairy, I jumped and landed like one of those hippos in “Fantasia”. The instructor would yell out, “UP, up, down” and I would go UP, UP, CRASH….UP, UP, CRASH.
Then someone talked me into playing softball. I could not catch a ball to save my soul (I was afraid of being hit in the face so I would shirk away from it when it was coming my way) and when I was out in left field (the place where I live today), I would pray that the ball would not come my way. My batting skills were hit and miss (pun intended) and if by some strange force of nature, I actually did hit the ball, I would get so excited, I would carry the bat with me until I heard someone screaming, “Drop the ^%$# bat” to which in my race to first base, I would fling it away with too much force and get yelled at for that. I never knew when to steal a base and many a time I was in that limbo land between bases and the basemen would throw the ball to one another before I could get back to that base.
Since being in left field didn’t work well for me, they thought I should try being the catcher (what sick joke is that? I am terrified of the ball and they put me in a position where the ball always comes and it is imperative that I actually do catch it? What were they thinking?) The first night’s practice as catcher didn’t go too badly though now on top of being afraid of being hit in the face by the ball a new threat looms ahead. Getting hit by the bat! That fear took precedence over the ball in the face fear.
The next morning I got up, or should I say, I “attempted” to get up. Do you have any idea how badly your thighs hurt after hours of crouching and getting up and crouching and getting up. I could barely walk. Going down the stairs was sheer torture. I do not believe I have ever been that sore in my entire life. Jane Fonda would have loved “the burn”.
So it’s my first night playing catcher and things are going ok until one of my team mates throws the ball home and I over-jump and it hits me square in the forehead. I am laid out like a rug over home plate and people are screaming at me, “Get the ball!” “Get the ball”! Seems no matter what state the catcher is in, the game continues. Who knew? Obviously not me. People are screaming, people are running over me and I am trying to count the stars that are circling my head and I feel this really large lump growing out of my forehead. And the damn game is still going on.
Next practice the coach decides that maybe catching isn’t my bag so why not try pitching. Now that I think back, why didn’t they just say to me, “Listen kid, you ain’t got what it takes to make it in the softball league”. Probably cause I paid my fees to get in and they needed the money. So I try to get the hang of “throwing” the ball. My teammate hits the ball and it whizzes right past my head. Am I destined to be some kind of “head magnet?” As I was thinking maybe, just maybe, I might not be cut out to play ball, I get a softball to the back of my left ear. Seems the first base person was attempting to fire the ball to the third base person and they must not have seen that my head was in the way. There are those darn stars again……and why am I laying in the dirt. At least this time no one was screaming at me or running me over. I was taken off the field and given an ice pack and that was the end of my “glory days” as a baseball player. And “I cudda been a contenda'”.
So I will just continue on with my “Psycho Exercises” and be content that unless my brain gets a cramp or farts, I will not get hurt. I can live with that!
Your physically challenged Queen (whose butt is getting tighter by my Psycho Exercising!)