Monday, April 11, 2011


I’ve never been a hard-core or even a consistent exerciser, but the last time I had a real stretch of commiting to regular cardio was about a decade ago, when David and I lived in Los Angeles. You can’t live in LA as an actress without joining a gym. I believe it was one of the qualifications for renting our apartment, right after the credit check. It doesn’t matter how skinny or hot you are, you can always be skinnier and hotter, and you must try. So I joined a gym a few blocks from my house and I drove there almost every time. At that gym, I used the elliptical machine. I remember this being a kind of new fangled contraption which replaced the Stair Master. It was all the rage.

So last September when I resolved to work out 2 times a week, I headed straight for the elliptical machine. After a few months, though, I remarked to my mommy friend, who is an experienced exerciser, that I felt like the elliptical wasn’t doing anything for me.

“I don’t even really break a sweat,” I confessed, “And even though I like that about it, I have a feeling it is kind of pointless. “

“Yeah, forget the elliptical,” she counseled, “You need to do interval training, on the treadmill.”

Ohhhhh, that scared me a little. I saw other people using the treadmill. They sweated profusely, They panted. It exhausted me just to watch. But, I figured, if I was going to bother working out, I might as well lose my fat ass and floppy belly That was the whole point of the enterprise, anyway.

Turns out, I like the treadmill. I mean, it does cause problems, like when I was pumping my arms so desperately that I punched the control panel and the treadmill instantly stopped, causing me to lurch forward perilously. Also, it took a while for me to figure eout how to affix my IPhone to my person so I could continue listening to the galvanizing sounds of “All Things Considered” on NPR. I tired wedging it in my cleavage but then people looked at me weird when I had to pull it out to change the program. So now, I use a little backpack that was given to the kids on Christmas and stick my phone in there, where it rests securely at the small of my back. I know I look like a maniac but I’m sure I looked like one before, anyway, with all the huffing and puffing and groaning sounds I make.

The reason the treadmill – which Primo calls “that machine that makes you run and run but you never get anywhere – is such a perfect fir for my exercise needs is this: it forces you, on peril of serious bodily harm., to really work. This is convenient because the only thing that will make me work is, indeed, the imminent threat of serious bodily harm. If I stop running on the treadmill, my face will smash on something. The last thing I need, in addition to my fat ass and floppy belly, is a smashed face. So I run.

I’ll leave the elliptical to those self=starters. You know who you are.