A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: exercise

Sweaty Beeyotch

This post was originally published on 9/14/2008, but the timing felt right to dust it off and air it out. Hope you enjoy!

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Me: “It’s 8:15 (AM).  Where are you?  Am I waiting in the wrong place?”

We were going to meet halfway between our houses and drive together.

Laura: “No, I’m on my way.  I’ll be a few minutes late.  We’ll make it though…we just have to be there 20 minutes before the class starts.   Did you bring a towel and a mat?”

Me: “What?  No!  I didn’t know I was supposed to do that.  DAMMIT!  They are totally not going to let me through the door.”

Laura: “Relax, Debbie Downer…wah-wah-waaaaaah (she injects the Debbie Downer trombone sound from the SNL skit).  It will be fine.  I’m throwing the minivan into turbo drive….I’m working the spoiler.  It helps.  People move out of the way when they see a minivan with a spoiler.”

OK.  Exhale.  We’ll make it.  This will be an adventure. Iris and Laura’s Most Excellent Sweaty Yoga Adventure.

So I waited.  And I waited.  And I waited.  And no Laura.  She was more than a few minutes late, which she says is so unlike her, but I find that hard to believe.  Laura and I are one and the same.  And I am never on-time.

During our ass-hauling over there we giggled about how sexy we would be coming home to our husbands all sweaty and stinky with our chakras aligned and pulsating.  Then Laura strategized out loud about not wanting to position her mat downwind from me, given my recent battle with prescription-drug induced flatulence.

Well, of course, it was further away than we realized, even with my masterful knowledge of the suburban back roads and short cuts.  We squealed into the parking lot of Bikram Yoga at 8:55 AM….five minutes before the start of class.  This was when Laura got a whiff of me and said, “Oh, did I tell you you’re not supposed to wear lotion or perfume?”  Ehh, noooooo.  I had on both.  And some really pungent Aveda hair stuff that is supposed to tame my white girl afro.  Yeah, there is no way they are letting me in.

But my fears were quelled at once when I saw the place from the outside.  The three cute awnings above the three windows read: “It’s”… “Hot” … “Stuff.”  Perfect.  I like this place already.  We were both pretty intimidated about doing “Sweaty Yoga” for the first time, but SO looking forward to it.  Hailed as the hottest new workout, literally, you basically do 26 poses of yoga in a heated room for 90 minutes. Supposedly, it is designed for all ages and all levels.  It increases flexibility and burns shit-loads of calories at the same time (up to 600 of ’em, dang!).  “The ideal complete workout.”  And even though we were both terrified about our vaginas not cooperating with the inverted poses and making all kinds of inappropriate noises, what with each of us birthing three ginormous babies a piece, we were gonna give it a shot… a hot, swampy, fog-horn sounding shot.

We watched a really normal looking guy walk in ahead of us with just a towel, no mat, and flip flops.  We agreed that he didn’t look very intimidating.  Maybe this wouldn’t be so scary after all. And look, there is a quote on the pamphlets by the door:

“Never too bad,
never too late,
never too sick,
never too old
to start from scratch again”
-Bikram Choudhury

OK.  Cool.  “Never too late.” This place is going to be awesome.  Deep breath.  Maybe they’ll cut us a break about being a little late, you know, just for good will.  Yogis are supposed to be so balanced and flexible. I bet they’ll be really nice.  Or maybe they’ll look at us and not be able to tell it is our first time there and not stress about how late we are. This will be ok.  Another deep breath.  No turning back.  Let’s do this!  Purposely, with confidence and enthusiasm, we pulled open the door.

And this is when we came face to face with HER….the Bikram Yoga Nazi.

“Don’t tell me this is your first class,” she spat in her heavy Eastern-European accent. “You’re LATE.  You are supposed to be here 20 mintues early for your first class.  I cannot possibly take care of you if you are not on time.”

Surrounding the Nazi in the reception area were about 20 very smug looking veteran Bikram Yoga enthusiasts in perfectly coordinated exercise ensembles drinking water from aluminum bottles and getting their well toned limbs and silicone boobs into the zone. Gawd, a public bitch slapping.  I hadn’t felt this unwelcome anywhere since the time I showed up at an AA meeting wearing my boyfriend’s Wheel of Fortune-style “Sometimes Alcohol IS the Answer” T-Shirt.

Absolutely SHOCKED by this kind of full-frontal confrontation so early in the morning, Laura and I both immediately assumed the “deer in the headlights” position. “Ummmm….Ooooo-Kay.  Well, can we have a schedule or something so we know when the next class is?”

“Fine,” she seethed, and practically threw two schedules into our stunned faces.  We turned on our heels and slunk out the door with our chins to our chests.  After the door hit us in the asses on our way out, we turned and faced each other and burst into the most delicious belly laugh we had shared since Palin’s nomination. “Wow, that is not at all what I was expecting.  Come on.  Let’s go get some Krispy Kremes or maybe some pork rinds.  And a drink.  Is it too early for tequila?”  I can’t remember who said that… I think I have post traumatic stress disorder.

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Epilogue: We never went back to that place. I took up running instead. Then quit. But now I’m feeling like a slug and need to start exercising again. And one of my friends just started doing yoga (at a different place than the one described above), so I’ve been thinking about joining her there. And that reminded me of this story. The end.

Happy Monday!


© Copyright 2008 and 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Sweatin’ with the Oldies

This was originally published in May of 2009, but a funny post over at Declutter Daily reminded me about it and I think the timing is right to crack it open and dust it off

Know what I hate more than anything about going to the gym? It’s not the pain, it’s not the time out of my busy child-rearing/husband-wrangling schedule, it’s not even the increased risk of contracting necrotizing fasciitis… it’s having to socialize while I’m tired, sweaty, stinky and nasty. Shoot, if I wanted to do that, I could just stay home and have sex with my husband. Meh.

But alas, it’s almost swimsuit season and I’ve got to firm up these buns and thighs before someone tries to throw me on the grill and baste me at the Memorial Day Pool Party. Besides, my extensive team of psychiatric advisors tells me that daily physical activity is good for all that ails me. And by daily physical activity, they mean more than just lifting my wine glass to my mouth repeatedly and/or drying my kale. Dammit.

So on Monday, I shimmied my goodie basket into a pair of painfully high-waisted yoga pants and headed off for the YMCA… a.k.a., the “Y-ABC,” according to my scrumdeli-icious toddler Bucket Head. And after a very concentrated and effective 30 minutes on the elliptical and three sets of “ow-this hurts” on the machines, I managed to make it almost all the way to the front door without having to chit chat with anyone while pretending there wasn’t a big ol’ pool of sweat collecting around my camel toe, when what did I hear but, “Iris? Is that YOU?”


Of all the people! It was Saint Margaret. She is seriously, no joke, one of the nicest people I have ever met in my whole life. And for some unknown reason, she likes me. She really likes me. And we hardly ever see each other anymore, what with all her volunteer work, and church-going, and tennis lessons and my rampant alcohol dependence, and clutter hoarding, and therapy appointments.

But there we were, sweaty face to sweaty face, doing the “So, what’s new with you?” dance. I was clearly in a hurry to skedaddle and extract the lycra from my crotch, so she suggested we meet again later this week and do a class together.

“Uh… I don’t really do the classes, Marg.”

“How come?!”

“Well, the last time I did one, it totally kicked my ass. I couldn’t walk for days. And not only that, but it was humiliating. I couldn’t keep up and I was embarrassed. I ended up slinking out before the end of the class with my tail between my legs.”

“That’s why you have to do the classes! The peer pressure forces you to go further than you normally would on your own! And if you do it with a friend, you will be less likely to sneak out before the end of the class! You’ll see results so much faster!”

“Ugh… really?”

“Yes. Do a class with me. It will be great! Only three more weeks until summer!”

“Oh…kay.” (with a heavy sigh)

And so less than 48 hours later, there I was, back at the gym with Saint Margaret, walking into a class called “Stability Ball.”

I know what you’re thinking… but don’t worry, apparently being stable isn’t a requirement. And they supply the balls.

Neither of us had done this class before and had no idea what we were getting into, but we guessed it was going to work our abs and I’ll do anything to reduce the size of my stretch-marked-muffin-top… well, anything except refrain from eating an entire bag of Boy Scout “Unbelievable Butter” microwave popcorn every night in a reclined position while The Gatekeeper flips back and forth between Law and Order SVU and Law and Order Criminal Intent and Law and Order Mail Fraud Division. Whatever.  Just fucking shoot me.

Now this next part is going to sound a wee bit agist, and it is. So to my more mature readers, I apologize in advance. When Saint Margaret and I got to the class, I noticed a few, ahem, “older” ladies getting settled in. With the exception of seeing their varicose vein covered legs ballooning out of their lycra short-shorts, having them there gave me a great deal of comfort. If the cast of Cocoon can hang with the Stability Ball class, hopefully, so could I. Maybe I wouldn’t have to sneak out halfway through and spring for a new tube of Ben Gay.

Anyhoooo…. two things. First off, I now see why they keep the music up so loud in these classes: to disguise all the noises coming from the hot pockets in the room. Seriously guys, can’t someone design some workout clothes for women that include some kind of cork-like apparatus for the hoo hoo? No? Well then, how about some soundproof yoga pants? Hey, that is a great idea! I need to patent that. You heard it here first, peeps.

And number two… why do instructors save all the really hard moves for the end of the class? It started off so easy… we were each sitting, SITTING, I say, on a big rubber exercise ball, lifting little three pound weights up and down, up and down. I especially liked the sitting part. Piece of cake! Then we were doing sit ups with our backs on the ball. Also, not so bad. I was hanging in there! But then, the class got a little bit harder. No more sitting, we were suddenly on our bellies, rolling forward on the ball, doing PUSH UPS with our hands on the floor and only our feet on the ball. I kid you not. You know you are doing something dangerous when the instructor says: “Protect your faces!” Yikes! Excuse me, but any kind of exercise where I have to protect my face is not eligible for The Bearded Iris Seal of Approval.

I was pretty impressed with myself that I could hang with the modified pushups. I looked at the clock… only ten minutes left! YES! I was going to make it! And then, we entered the Sudden Death Round. Seriously. After 45 minutes, who has the energy to take it to the next level? This crazy bitch instructor (who could not only do all these moves while talking, smiling, and squealing “Whooop-Whoop” to the music) told us to lie on our backs, hold the balls straight up in the air with our feet, and pass the balls back and forth to and from our hands, like inverted jack-knives opening and closing. I never felt so stupid in all my life… including Senior Prom Night 20 years ago, but that’s another story.

To add insult to injury, not only could I not do the ball handling jack knife move, but one look in the wall-to-wall mirror showed me that everyone else in the class was doing just fine with it, including the three Golden Girls. I’m only 39 years old, and every single person in that class could have kicked my ass with one liver-spotted arm behind their back. Dammit. No wonder my Wii Fit Age enables me to receive a virtual AARP discount card.

But am I a quitter? Especially with the end so near? You betcha. Once I realized there was no way in hell my arms, legs, back, abs, and hoo hoo were going to cooperate with that jack knife move, I snuck outta there faster than you can say “queef.” I was like the old timers at church on Sunday who take communion and keep walking… right to their cars… you know, to avoid the traffic. I’ll just tell Saint Margaret that I sprung a leak and had to go change my Poise Pad. Maybe if she thinks I’m incontinent, she’ll be less likely to invite me to another class and I can go back to exercising the way I like it: alone and without shame, pain, or embarrassing noises. If you don’t hear from me for a while, just assume I pulled a muscle and am nursing myself back to health.

noisily yours,


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