I have never ever wanted a six-pack. That’s not my style. I have always wanted to own a tiara. Like, a real one. One that looks almost too heavy to keep on your head so you maybe can’t stand up straight. I want a tiara that’s so heavy I have to be in a safe demi-plÍe when I wear it. And I want to wear it mostly to the trash Starbucks on the corner of my street.
But other people? Other people want to be fit and have six-packs and defined “glutes” which is so close to being the word “gluten” although I’m here to tell you these are two different words. And here’s the thing: I think this is wonderfullllll. You do you. I’ll be over here, eating my fresh Krispy Kreme for breakfast, already pondering dinner.
And then this really awful thing happened called like, aging? Actually no I take that back. Getting older is awesome, save for the unfortunate downhill turn your metabolism takes. That bit’s awful. I’ve always been a curvier adult woman, I’ve always had muscles instead of lean, toned arms and legs. But as I’ve gotten older, it’s harder to “maintain” for lack of a better term. So I have done what my therapist* calls a pattern of distorted thinking called black and white thinking, an “all or nothing” approach to life. I’ll go completely off bread, completely off processed foods, alcohol and fun. Or, I run every day for six months straight until my right knee gives away. Or, I decide that I am only eating bacon and celery. Every day. One time I did a five day detox where I only ate bananas and this disgusting cabbage soup. I smelled so bad. I smelled like wilted cabbage and mushy bananas. I smelled like that old person who’s room is being stalked by the nursing home cat with magical powers who knows you’re about to die. It was bad.
So I’m trying to live with more balance or whatever. Kickboxing was fun, and I got it on a Groupon (heyooo) so that made trying something new all that more delightful. Aside from that, leaving my comfort zone of gentle running/basketball/yoga hasn't happened. Until recently:
Alex: Hey Take my slt class, it's free.
Me: I AM THERE.
It’s important you know that I thought SLT was an acronym for “Salt Lake City” until I looked it up. Oh. This seems problematic because there seems to be a sort of massage table of torture involved in this workout class. I thought it would be more of a power walking class with cool Mormon bloggers from Salt Lake City who would teach me how to fishtail braid. So then I texted her bout it:
Okay. Alex says I can do it. I can do it. Or at least I am going to try because it’s important to try new things, like when you switch up your conditioner.
I get to SLT class like, 27 seconds before it starts. A very toned pixie-cut sprite of a human hands me a waiver of consent. This is not a good sign. It signifies danger. But I sign it because I now have 1.98 seconds before class starts.
Alex, who is looking wicked cute and tan and toned (wait, does SLT make you tanner?) in a white bra top and matching leggings and a Britney Spears late 90’s head mic guides me to my machine. I say hello to my friend Shina to my left. Shina doesn’t look completely sold on this class, she looks semi-nervous and this is VERY VERY bad because Shina is basically Wonder Woman. She is so strong and fit and her muscles have muscles and they are the kind of muscles that aren’t braggy and all in your face. Her muscles have won the Pulitzer but can still smile politely and make you feel smart when you want to discuss Real Housewives.
To my right is Cullen. And to his right is Skeleton Pants. I don’t actually know the name of the last woman because, tardiness, but those pants were great and she had an ass that wouldn’t stop.
Alex: Okay! Welcome to class you guys! Everyone get on your fancy massage tables in a position that immediately hurts in that area where you should have more core strength!
She didn’t say it like that, but this is how my mind has remembered it. Attention to detail left the minute I touched the massage table of death. We proceed to hold this position for 30 seconds while Alex talks us through, making adjustments (mostly to me) when needed. Alex says you can do anything for 30 seconds. I’m feeling like a regular human can only do this position for 5-7 seconds but what do I know.
We move to a new position. This one involves a tabletop back with arms outstretched in front while your lower body is on the center part of the table. But there’s a catch: the table can move! And Alex wants my top body on one part and the bottom part on the moving bit of the table. And she wants to add different color weights. And then she wants me to pull my whole lower body with only my upper body while the table is, literally, being pulled out from under me. Shina looks terrific. Skeleton Pants is killing. And fuckin Cullen. Cullen is basically an Olympian or some shit because he doesn’t seem to think this is hard at all. It’s like he was born to pull his body weight around on this liar massage table. Cullen knows where to put his feet. He knows which straps to pull at the right times. He can control how fast or slow he’s going, utilizing the resistance aspects of all the moves. Cullen is my enemy and Cullen will never be invited to my sleepover birthday party.
The positions continue. At about the fourth move, approximately 20 minutes, in to class a thought crosses my mind:
You know what’s never hurt me, physically?
I continue down this train of thought. Donuts don’t make your side muscles pinch. Donuts don’t induce sweat. Donuts don’t make you wince, or question all your life choices. All a donut ever wants from you is a sweet sweet smile of satisfaction. Donuts are great. Donuts for President!
A new position. This one involves a lunge with one leg on the ground (Oh hey lovely, stationary ground of dreams! How I have missed you!) and the other leg on the damn moving massage table that has the colored weights added to it. And now we’ve added resistance band weights and those are keeping me from falling over while simultaneously causing arm strain the likes of which I have never known before. I am sweating all over myself and everyone in class and anyone in midtown east.
And Cullen. Cullen looks like a vampire god with his ginger hair and his long, lean muscles and perfectly sculpted calves and his fancy posture. I hate Cullen. I know I shouldn’t hate Cullen but
I hate him because he makes this look really easy and he probably makes everything look easy, like one of those people that can pick of foreign languages and instruments quickly. I bet Cullen has a really successful blog and and a savings account too. Fuck Cullen.
I’m still in the lunge position of doom when I feel something happen to the right side of my groin. I hold the move, determined to not let Cullen win our nonexistent SLT race. The pain gets stronger, creeping down my right pelvic bone area to my lower gut to oh my god I just popped an ovary, I know it. My right ovary, possibly ovaries are all popped and gone. I will never conceive a child. I will never know motherhood. My other remaining ovaries will pop in solidarity with the others, as payback for taking them to this class. My body will revolt entirely, I will whither away and wrinkle overnight and grow an old lady mustache, my hair will gray and I will look like a Babushka and no one will ever love me again and this is all somehow Cullen’s fault I know it.
Alex: Okay guys you did it! Great work from you newcomers and thank you for coming to my class, take the last stretch in Child’s Pose and can’t wait to see you all again!
Wait. Class is done? You mean to tell me that my mental downward spiral and unjustified hatred towards unassuming Cullen has gotten me through my first SLT class? Oh. Maybe I can do this? Maybe I could be one of those women that take classes and wheat grass shots, who meditate. Like, really mediate, not just close their eyes on the subway for ten minutes and listen to India.Arie and call that “mindful meditation.” I don’t know anyone who does that, by the way. That was a hypothetical...
. 1) Alex is a great teacher, you should take her class.
. 2) Cullen is not out to get me
. 3) Pretending Cullen is out to get me got me through my first SLT class
. 4) I don’t like things that move that look like they should be stationary, that doesn’t bode well.
. 5) You can’t pop an ovary. That’s not how that works.
*my therapist knows NOTHING**
** MY THERAPIST KNOWS EVERYTHING