It’s called working out because it’s hard

I just want you to know that I’m pretty sure the oak pollen is trying to kill me dead. I know this because I sneezed approximately 5,432 times yesterday. And you know that I never exaggerate.

And if the oak pollen doesn’t kill me then I’m pretty sure the huge packets of math homework that Caroline has brought home every day this week will. Especially yesterday’s packet that consisted of one whole page of problems dedicated to figuring out various costs and mileage of some family’s vacation that I neither know nor care about.

But maybe I’m just a little edgy right now. You want to know why?

Smart Barre.

My abs have been sore for three weeks straight now. And some days I’m not sure that my triceps aren’t going to just fall off.

As I drove to my 9:45 class Tuesday morning, I finally pinpointed my real issue with working out. You have to keep doing it to get and maintain results. You know who I blame for this?

 photo jane-fonda-work-out_zps843ace3b.jpg

That’s right.

(Side note: Look at the music on that workout video. Boz Skaggs? Sign me up.)

Until she donned those jaunty legwarmers and filmed On Golden Pond looking all tanned and toned, exercise wasn’t necessarily a thing. I mean, sure, some people did it but it wasn’t so much an aerobic workout as it was standing on one of those machine things with a large band around you that was supposed to shake off your extra fat.

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And so maybe those didn’t work out so well, but they did allow you the luxury of wearing fancy red flats with a nice pleated skirt. So there’s that.

But now there’s pressure to be “in shape” and “work on your cardio” and “quit eating ice cream for dinner”. Which is why over the last several years I’ve done Couch to Almost 5K (That’s my own personal version), the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels, and Body by Bethenny. There may have even been a few days I pulled out my Elle MacPherson workout video from college.

Then I went through a spell where I thought I could just workout at home and follow all the different workouts that I pin on Pinterest. But the problem is that pinning them doesn’t actually do anything. You have to actually do them. And it’s hard for me to get motivated because the following is how I feel a lot of the time.

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Anyway, enough of my exercise issues, the truth is that I actually don’t mind Smart Barre all that much. Except for when we’re doing the glutes portion of the workout and I’m pretty sure my whole backside is about to cramp up and I’m going to start screaming about Shetland ponies.

All this to say that I’m really not sure why it just dawned on me, at forty-one years old, that exercise is a lifestyle change and, sadly, not like doing your income taxes. Just a few painful days and then it’s all over for another year.

But I am pretty sure this illustration sums up my Smart Barre experience.

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  1. Jeannette says

    I love the last picture in this blog. It is so me! So, when are you going to get a tutor for Caroline?

  2. Susan says

    This is a fabulous post from start to finish. Golden. Because it is so true.

    Let me tell you something from my perspective at age 54 1/2 — don’t stop exercising.

    I did, and remember that line in Erin Brokovich where she makes the snarky comment about the receptionist with 2 butts. Yeah, that is pretty much me. (the receptionist that is, not Julia Roberts in a push up bra.)

    I’m thinking its too late for me and most of these workouts, but I do walk fast and my ticker is good. The rest of me, not so much.

    Also, as a non-math person to another, tutors are so good. But I’m guessing you know this already.

  3. says

    The ecard is my favorite. I saw it a couple of weeks ago (from our AbbyLane) and it has kept me motivated to hit the gym since then.

    Need I add some drama for you? It may keep you laughing during your next glute set. The classes I attend are taught in Mandarin. That means if I’m ever out of breathe, I can blame my skipping a step on lack of understanding rather than tiredness. Hence, most days I jog. With the good ole’ treadmill and a tv attached that, once again, only has Chinese stations. Hence, why I jam out to my pandora stations. And while I jog, I am surrounded by teeny Asian women in matching bright outfits who I don’t think have ever truly done a run in their lives and are half my size. Behind me on the treadmill, there is a larger than life poster of another young Asian woman, showing her ridiculously trimmed arms and abs while jumping rope.

    So what…maybe I should start jump roping?

  4. lindsey says

    You are just hilarious. And I’ll have you know that my upstairs neighbors have that machine that you put around your waist- and they use it. And they gawk and ask me ‘why?’ every time they see me out of a run. Awesome.

  5. Jane says

    Yes to every photo in this post: the Jane Fonda workouts (I had a 3rd floor apartment and was a fan of the 5 am workout back then … if I knew who was unfortunate enough to live under my living room on the floor below and where they lived, I would write and apologize for that).

    I bicycled long distance for several years, primarily for the cute outfits (cycling shorts with skirts, so cute) … and am a fan of any exercise regime where you can rock a PLEATED white skirt with your red flats.

    Unfortunately, the Pilates studio I attend has mirrors everywhere, so I know for a fact that I look like the elephant. But I FEEL like the hard-ab’d chick!

    You maybe just need a new cute outfit for SmartBarre. A cute outfit is an excellent reason to exercise. And not just something you wear AFTER you exercise but WHILE you exercise.
    (Says the woman who packed 2 sizes too large yoga pants and a 15 year old sports bra for yoga class today. Not inferring that constitutes a cute outfit.)

  6. says

    I can totally relate. I started a TRX class 3 weeks ago and have been sore every day since. The one motivation: new clothes for the Allume conference in October. Yup, that is why. :)

  7. says

    This cracks me up!!! I can SO relate. I’ve just vowed to begin a healthier, more active lifestyle and it has been everything you described. Thanks for a good laugh and the feeling of knowing I’m not alone! =)

  8. Amy in PA says

    Unrelated to this post but wanted to let you know that, as per your ‘advice,’ I made & recently fulfilled a New Year’s Resolution to watch the entire Friday Night Lights series. It wasn’t that hard of a resolution to fulfill because AWESOME! Love the football, the Texas (& I’m from Pennsylvania & only been in TX long enough to change planes) and all the characters, esp that Tami Taylor! Thanks for the recommendation – that you probably didn’t even know you made :-)

  9. says

    Pinterst has some funny takes on exercising. Cracks me up. I am feeling your pain right now though. I just (day before yesterday) bought an entire room worth of workout equipment not thinking about the work that needed to be done just to move it all and OH MY WORD THE SORENESS.

  10. says

    This is absolutely hilarious, especially because I decided to run yesterday (I am not a runner) and cannot move today.
    Funny stuff:)

  11. BethA says

    Oooooooohhhhh. You mean that my joining the Y doesn’t constitute exercise? Or laughing as hard as I do every morning to your posts? Hmmm. I guess that’s why I haven’t dropped any weight. Oh brother, it’s April 18th. I guess I need to get started. Excuse me while I go crank up the Boz Skaggs 8-track.

  12. Colorado says

    I’m on day 7 of my new workout plan. I’ve lost 1 pound — only 1. I’m killing myself for this? There’s got to be a better way to “get in shape for swimsuit season”……. with over 6 inches of new snow this morning swimsuit season is a long way off.

  13. Wendy D. says

    Thank you so much for the planking pictures. You don’t know how much I needed that today!

  14. says

    My grandma had one of those machines — we kids called it “the fat jiggler.” (Nice.) You know where they kept it? In the basement, gathering dust, like 80% of all exercise machines ever invented! So perhaps it wouldn’t be the miracle cure you’re envisioning after all . . .

  15. Laurel says

    So funny! I did the Couch to almost 5k too! Everyone kept telling me just keep doing it and eventually you will love running, Um, no.

  16. says

    Hilarious blog and on so true about exercise. My yoga studio does not have mirrors and the two plank pictures are perfect for how I feel and how I probably look doing plank. So funny!

  17. Jill says

    Beyond hilarious! I think you and I were best friends in another life….or maybe we were twins separated at birth. Either way, I’m right there with you, from the 4th grade unholy Math homework to the workouts that leave me begging for mercy…or a tranquilizer gun…or anything that will put this girl down and let me sleep for just one more hour. Thanks for the blog!

  18. Denetta says

    I laughed as I read this. I’m sure this echoes 98% of women’s feeling on exercise. I can never get past the sweating part. Why should I want to do anything that causes me to sweat, which causes my hair to frizz up. Which then means I have to wash it and spend another hour straightening it. The thought of exercise is a work out.
    Keep writing! I love your perspective.

  19. Rosemary Huneycutt says

    Sooo funny!!! Sooo true!!! lol!! Thanks for making my morning- may God bless you in your exercise!!!

  20. says

    So funny! So true. I just started a beginning tap class and am SORE. From tap class! I even got blisters from my tap shoes. I’ve been doing the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. Maybe it’s time to move off of level 1.

  21. says

    I just started an “Absolute Beginners Ballet” class. Whatever. Some of those girls are *not* absolute beginners. When I’m doing the exercises I picture myself as a true ballerina. Then I look in the mirror. I look like the elephant in the plank pic except with pink slippers.

  22. Cassie says

    so true-every- stinking- word and isn’t the truth the best laugh. I happen to be doing Jillian right now. I pray the 30 day thing works cause it is mid April man and my kids will be expecting the pool soon.

  23. Debra D, says

    LOVE me some Boz Skaggs! Only thought I hated the dreaded plank until the sadist I pay to train me introduced me to the SIDE PLANK. Oh, Sweet Jesus, have some mercy!

  24. says

    Ok…Did you like read my mind? This post could be mine. I am taking a fitness class myself- Next Level Xtreme Fitness and have barely been able to walk for the past ten days. And the part about continuing to work out to see results. Well, I’m right there with you on that. I keep checking myself in the mirror to see if my stomach looks flatter (not even!), and then remind myself that this class session lasts for ten weeks – 5 times a week of torture. Burpies, pushups, squats, lunges, pain. My high school work out video that I resort to from time to time is Hips, Thighs, Buttocks with good ‘ol Denise Austin. I thought it was excruciatingly painful in high school, but I think it would seem like a walk in the park now.
    And….if you’re in need of a workout, you could check my pinterest board. I’ve only tried a handful of them, but they all make me feel healthier.

  25. says

    After the whole divorce thing, the Divorce Diet kicked in, which is really just a nice way of saying that when I forced myself to eat, my body said, “No ma’am, none of that in here!” So I spent the majority of my time either in bed or in the bathroom.
    As the pounds fell off, I started to get excited. Perhaps I was meant to get a divorce for THIS VERY REASON. I started working out like a fiend. I couldn’t watch tv or read books because all of that crap had some hint of romance in it, and I didn’t want to hurt anyone. (Well, anyone other than him.) So working out was a great distraction.
    I was probably in the best shape of my life. I would show him!!!
    But then things settled down and I discovered television and reading again. My body started to like food again, and well, it’s back to the drawing board. Only this time, it’s like remembering the pain of child birth. I sure don’t want to do THAT again. So I keep putting it off. I’ll make that lifestyle change tomorrow. I mean, every day has a tomorrow, right?

  26. Alyson says

    This has got to be right at the top as one of your funniest posts yet! OH my, I am dying!

  27. says

    Amen, sister!! I keep trying to jump back on the exercise band wagon, but I fear I keep sitting somewhere near the back, just over the broken wagon wheel, and get bounced off while the rest of the wagon train heads west…or to the gym…or wherever they’re going. Anyway, I recently had this same thought after completing a step aerobics class.

    Like WAHOO! I did it! Surely, I am now in shape and I’m pretty sure I shed 15 pounds in that class! I should be all set for awhile now.

    Your pictures in this post and your analogy with tax day was hilarious. Loved it!! :)

  28. Christine says

    Wait, what?! I can’t eat ice cream for dinner! Ack! How about lunch?! Lifestyle change my ear…can’t I make that lifestyle change, still have Chubby Hubby for dinner (with the chubby hubby) and call it even, somehow? Please…? I feel your pain. I think you’re right…we should be able to just do this quarterly and be done with it, like taxes. I have a feeling if we did that though, we’d be in kicky red flats and a pleated skirt in less time than it would take us to count all the calories.

  29. Tara G. says

    It’s me and Judy Jazzer.cise each morning. Or Gin Miller. She was so cool in the Step Reebok days. Which reminds me of tennis shoes and did you ever have a pair of Kangaroos? You know the kind that had little zippers on the side circa 1980….

  30. Sue S says

    I cried reading this post because I was laughing so hard!! I noticed the lady’s outfit before you commented on her red flats. My skinny best friend worked at a “gym” that was a room full of those machines when we were in high school. We thought it was hilarious. And the Shetland pony comment did me in! I am so thankful you take the time to write this blog! You are loved and appreciated!

  31. Angela says

    Oh, my! Too funny!!! I, too, am ‘on the road to getting fit’…and MAN! It is a beast! I told myself, “It’s time to get serious, Angela. From now on, it’s 4 mile runs. With sprint intervals.” Really? Sprinting within a 4 mile run? Those two do not go hand in hand. But I felt like this is the only way to burn that fat. Well, silly me. After two days of THAT workout, I cannot walk like a normal person. (Did I forget to mention that I ran on the balls of my feet the entire time? Thinking I’d “really work those calves”…?!) So, yep. I’m walking, or more like shuffling. Like an elderly person. And cannot walk up OR down stairs without wanting to shout out in pain! Crazy. That’s what working out does to this girl. I think I should just stick to my college VHS tape of Cindy Crawford and her “brutal” workout. 😉

  32. says

    This is priceless. You inspired me to see if there is a Pure Barre class in Edinburgh, Scotland where I live. When I typed it into google, all I could find was links to actual bars (pubs) – I don’t know why I’m surprised…

  33. says

    So my parents were going through my grandma’s house, getting it ready for an estate sale, and they found that Jane Fonda workout album. So I have it if you ever want to borrow it. It’s FANTASTIC and hilarious.

    I’ve found the same problem with home workouts. It means I have to do them at home. The place with all the other things to do. So I finally re-joined the gym. And even though I do pretty much the same workout at the gym that I would do at home, I’m actually DOING it. Without interruption. Without kids and dog jumping on me. Without the chocolate screaming at me from the kitchen (it doesn’t actually scream, but it might as well be).

  34. says

    I’m always pinning exercise stuff and then realizing that I don’t do them. It’s much easier to workout if you are in a class or with friends, which is why I don’t think the pinterest stuff works to our advantage. I do hate working out though and totally relate to this post!