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ex·er·cise n.

According to Webster:

"Activity that requires physical or mental exertion, especially when performed to develop or maintain fitness"

According to Dave:

"The masochistic method of creating extreme pain in regions of your body that until said punishment has been administered, have not transformed from it's fetal stages."

What do you do when you have lost weight that is equivalent to that of a 4 year old? Besides the obvious, brag... strut and preen... you attempt to mould your body into something resembling that of "Good Shape". How do you go about obtaining this state of mind and body?


Too many letters to be a "four-letter word", but it enforces the exact same meaning, in my humble opinion.

I don't "do" gyms. 90% of them are simple fashion shows with Twiggy shaped females, and Van Damme cloned men, flexing and unflexing as a member of the opposite sex passes by. I prefer the sanctity of my living room. That way my non-existent muscles are flexed for my eyes only.

Donning the classic black cotton/spandex tights with matching black sports bra, I stand in the living room. It has been years since my last aerobics class, but the routines are seemingingly identical now as they were then.

Placing a tape in the machine, I flick on the television. Almost immediately, a perfectly manicured, coiffured and perfectly made-up female version of Hercules appears on my screen. She smiles at me. I smile back. She seems very nice, and even states that she wants to help me.

She directs where I should place my feet, how far up to reach with my hands and how to "march on the spot" in time to the music she plays in the background.

So far so good. At least that's what she said.

"You're doing wonderfully! That's it!"

I'm beaming. I'm doing wonderfully and she says so. Except it's only 5 minutes into this routine and I'm winded.

Now she has me running on the spot with 5lb weights in each hand, bending and unbending my arm.

"4 more.... 3 more.... 2 more... 1 more...."
"Wonderful work!"

YEAY! I must be done! My arms are killing me but all in all I think I did a good job, and prepare to have a shower.

"Take your mat, lie on your back, feet shoulder distance apart"

Oh. Ok well if I'm not done, at least I get to lie down now. She really is looking out for me, and I find myself really appreciating her kindness.

I look at the screen to see her pedaling an imaginary bike, while lying on her back, and bringing her elbows to meet her knees as she peddles. All while twisting her body this way and that. I attempt to do the same.

"That's it! Very good!"

She's not even winded. And she starts to pedal faster.

My stomach muscles are exploding, I'm going half speed, my elbows are not reaching my knees, I'm sweating like Jerry Lewis in a room full of mothers and female comedians and really resenting the fact that she doesn't even have a hair out of place.

"Faster now... c'mon, lift those legs... squeeze that tummy!"

She peddles. I don't.

"Very good! 4 more... three more..."


Finally she stops the idiotic peddling and has me lie flat again. Knees bent, feet shoulder width apart flat on the floor. Actually this is comfortable and I feel calmer toward her again.

"Now lift that butt! Squeeeeeeze it tight.. hold it... hold it... and lower. Lift squeeze release. Lift squeeze release."

I do this, over and over, lifting, squeezing and releasing, thankful Mr Happy isn't there to see this. This isn't so bad at all!

"Now lift and HOLD IT! HOLD IT TIGHT! Squeeze tight and put your feet together, put your knees together... now lift squeeze release"

This... is a virtual impossibility. Yet there she is, lifting and squeezing. I struggle and feel muscles in my butt screaming at me. My face tenses, my hands fist and I hold it, just like the sadistic SOB tells me to.

"Hold it tight! Make it burn!"

Something is going to burn, but it's not going to be my butt. It will be her soul, the blackhearted witch. I hate her again and want very much to step on her hair while she gets up, shakes her supple limbs out and goes for the cool down.

I simply lie there on my back, panting, sweating, feeling every single muscle in my entire body laugh at me and unable to lift my hand to click the vcr off. I listen to her speaking to me.

"There now! Don't you feel better! I'm so proud of you! Jump into the shower and we'll meet again tomorrow!"

She prances off.

I'm immobile. I can't even crawl to the shower much less "jump" into it. Slowly I drag myself to a standing position. Hunched over, one hand on my butt, the other grasping pieces of furniture. I hobble to the vcr and take the tape out. With the last of my strength, leaning against the couch, I yank the film from the tape. It gathers in a curled heap at my feet.

As I am doing this, Mr Happy walks in the room and looks at me.

"What are you doing?"

I look up at him and smile.


 T O P

M O R E from D A V E


Unless otherwise specified, all material Copyright 2000 by Dave



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