Friday, January 22, 2016

The Treadmill is an Even Bigger Asshole Than I Remembered

And believe me, it's been a long time. But I finally said enough was enough. Last night, I decided I needed to move my lazy ass before I die while taking a crap or something. 

It would be just my luck, but I'd deserve it. There would be an autopsy (otherwise seemingly healthy 38 year-old woman, no previously known medical conditions), only to discover with the slice of a scalpel that my arteries were clogged beyond repair with Rice Krispy Treat granules and Cheez-It crumbs. On the "cause of death" field the medical examiner would type in that medical examiner-ish 11 pt. courier font: "Bad habits" and "manner of death" would say "Taking a crap." 

A dubious legacy at best.

Every journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step, and in my case, that step was on a shitty home treadmill while wearing mismatched socks and a pair of 2002 Nikes. Also, the journey was 1.8 miles, not 1,000, since my new "habit" was far more likely to be a rare cosmic exercise event than a routine occurrence.

Regardless, last night I announced decisively and amid much fanfare that Mommy was getting on the treadmill for 30 minutes, and everybody better leave her the fuck alone. (In a rare showing of willpower, I resisted saying the fuck part out loud). 

Isaac had his Nerf gun and Hot Wheels, Paige had her "Shopkins," and I had Spotify playing Beyonc√© remixes on my iPhone. In other words, we were each deeply engaged in our own pathetic, consumerist, gender and age-based First World stereotypes. My engagement, however, was scheduled for 30 minutes, and my kids' attention span is 30 seconds. 

This soon presented a problem. 

Despite my forceful admonitions that the children were MORE THAN OLD ENOUGH to entertain themselves with one of their ten zillion books or toys (or, better yet, an actual chore) while their dad cooked dinner, they were underfoot in no time.

"Are you almost done?" Paige asked loudly over the whir of that fucking asshole the treadmill, hovering over me as I pounded my sneakers violently onto its rubber belt, hoping that if I ran hard enough, the whole thing would just snap in two. 

"No," I gasped and wheezed in reply. "28 . . . more . . . minutes." The word "intervals!" suddenly popped into my head like "Eureka!," and I immediately reduced my speed and started walking in smug satisfaction at my fitness know-how.

The kids continued to screw around in the room where I was "running." Isaac proposed shooting a stubborn loose front tooth out of Paige's mouth with one of the foam bullets in his Nerf gun, prompting the ten-zillionth lecture from me--this one panted out between "intervals"--about real vs. toy guns and what we do and don't do with both. Paige had her little Shopkins characters arranged on Isaac's Hot Wheels track, and a fight broke out over whether his ambulance or her plastic cupcake was properly occupying the imaginary Autobahn.

All the while, I was trying to get some goddamn fucking exercise was that too much to ask. 
That's what I asked, and I asked it like this:
DO YOU WANT MOMMY TO DIE SOON?! DO YOU?! NO?!?! WELL THEN YOU NEED TO LET HER EXERCISE IN PEACE BECAUSE SHE NEEDS EXERCISE FOR HER HEART AND BODY AND IF MOMMY DOESN'T START GETTING EXERCISE AGAIN SHE IS NEVER GOING TO LIVE TO BE A GRANDMA AND MEET YOUR BABIES SOMEDAY. WOULDN'T THAT MAKE YOU SAD?!?!?!!?! 
The kids immediately stopped fighting and looked up wide-eyed. I managed to finish the last five of my 30 treadmill minutes in peace, at the cost of yet more fodder for my kids' future therapy. This morning over breakfast, Isaac said cheerfully, "Don't forget to do your 30 minutes on the treadmill tonight, Mommy!"

Mission accomplished. Another day, another self-indulgently inflicted petty micro-trauma for my kids.

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