by Carol Ziel
The lab seemed innocuous enough, buried in the kind of industrial complex where Kinsey Malone would have been comfortable chasing bad guys. The bad guys I’m chasing are fifty extra pounds congregating under my chin, belly and behind. They took my body hostage while I was selling my soul to sweets and chips. Kim Kardashian would be jealous of my derrière if it wasn’t balanced out by the equally large protuberance of my stomach . If I could give birth, it would be equivalent to birthing a second grader. The lab is going to be my midwife. The fact that it is next to the Watering Hole dog spa doesn’t make it much friendlier, although I have developed a yearning for belly rubs. Those would be so much more pleasurable than the tortuous experience I anticipate. I am about to become a “Lab Rat”.
I have had continuous gym memberships for thirty years. Clearly automatic withdrawals from my bank account for dues have not automatically withdrawn my craving for carbs or toned my tushy. I have to get up close and personal with those metal monsters lined up like soldiers in assembly: row after row of treadmills, upright bikes, recumbent bikes, rowing machines, lat machines, thigh, leg and back machines. And the free weights. There is nothing free about those weights since I have always paid with aches and pains as varied as a roll of lifesavers, but hopefully they will save my life, or at least enable me to walk without wobbling and climb stairs without hanging onto a banister.
The first sign that I am in an alternative universe is the welcoming plaque: Metalheads Sign In. My Senior Sneaker sign up sheet is cozied up alongside of it, just as I will be cozying up next to muscle-bound, testosterone fueled titans in the weight rooms. Other missives papered the walls like the deeply inspirational No pain, no gain; If it hurts, keep working; When my body ‘shouts’ STOP, my mind ‘screams’ NEVER; Pain is weakness leaving the body and my personal favorite You can’t flex fat so shut up and lift. It appears that what I thought was fat-flexing was fat-dimpling.
And so I’m committing my dumpling self to a relentless regimen of rigorously considering my exercise options. My daydreams of being Ms Senior America will be elaborate; they will be deliberate and specific. I will visualize a trim tummy, perfect pecs, and the legs of an exotic dancer. I will dedicate a journal for this journey. I will buy Velcro-strapped slip on gym shoes, and Lycra leggings in purple. I will buy a special alarm clock that will joyously launch me into my new morning routine. I will buy music to rev up my rhythms and distract me from the promised pain.
Or maybe I’ll just walk my dog.
Carol has been an SCN member for six years and is grateful to be nurtured by such wonderful women writers. She is also a gardener, grandmother, social worker, Quaker and Goddess-centered woman who primarily writes poetry but is branching out into more essay types of writing. More to be revealed.