Monthly Archives: September 2013

Working on my fitness

“Hi, excuse me. Are you Theresa?”

“I am!”

“Hi, I’m Allie. You the instructor, right?”

“Yes! Nice to meet you. Is this your first time doing Pilates?”

“I tried Yogalates once. It was hard! I’m super inflexible, it’s a problem.”

“That’s OK! This class will be more about our core, anyway, but just go at your own pace with the stretches. That’s why we’re here – to get better.”

“Oh, thank goodness. I swear, Theresa, this class had me trippin. Thought you was gonna be all up in my jock, mad cause I couldn’t stretch it out.”

I had this conversation Monday afternoon, 15 minutes before my first Pilates class. I had gone early to meet with the instructor and tell her about my disflexability. Theresa had made me feel better; she knew I was stiff, and she was willing to roll widdit.

By the time the rest of the class had showed up and we got started, I was feeling good. Though I knew it’d hurt, I also knew it was good for me. The first move Theresa had us do was a warm-up stretch. She had us sit with our legs sticking straight out and our backs perfectly erect. Then we had to reach our arms out and lean forward, making sure our backs and legs stayed straight. Everyone in the class seemed to be handling the position just fine.

I was dying.

I am the stiffest person I know. When I tell people I can’t bend over and touch my toes, they say, “It’s just because you have long legs.” No it ain’t, mofo.

Just because I’m tall doesn’t mean I have long legs. I actually have disproportionately short legs. I’m approximately one-half torso, one-quarter neck, and only one-quarter legs. If anything, my goonly torso should make it easier to touch my toes. It don’t.

Unedited

Twenty-fo, thirty-six, twenty-fo

So, while I struggled with the simple warm-up stretch during Pilates class, I noticed that good, sweet Theresa kept on looking in my direction. I thought she would offer encouragement secretly directed toward me. Instead, trick started laughing.

“This isn’t supposed to be the hard part, Allie! Everyone, look. Look how dumb Allie is. That girl right there, with the red shirt and goonly torso. Look!”

And that’s exactly what everyone did. They looked at how dumb I was, and they all started laughing.

Fitness classes generally go this way for me. In college, I tried out Butts and Guts and Yogalates. I had to stop going because the instructor got too pissed at me. Every time I tried a move and messed up the form, the instructor would come over, yell at me, and yank my limbs into the right position.

Last winter I signed up for a 30-day trial at a bikram yoga place in Portland. Bikram yoga is 90 minutes of yoga poses in a 105-degree room. Imagine contorting your body in painful ways for 90 minutes, while breathing in hot, butt-flavored jungle air. That’s bikram yoga.

Surprisingly, it’s not that awful. I mean, it’s the worst thing in the world, but after it’s done you feel like you just did something good for yourself. You feel like Bill Murray at the end of Osmosis Jones. You know, right when he’s about to die and his daughter cries into his mouth and Osmosis Jones the white blood cell gets swept away in her tears and he carries the hypothalamus chromosome back to Bill Murray’s hypothalamus and saves his life.

That’s what bikram yoga feels like. Like all the sweat you just sweated saved your hypothalamus. Probably Bill Murray’s hypothalamus, too. I like that feeling.

What I don’t like is when yoga instructors step all over my bidnass. And by my bidnass, I mean me. I don’t like it when yoga instructors step all over me during the middle of class. They seem to do it a lot.

During my 30-day trial at the bikram place, I only saw one other yoga-goer get treaded upon, and only one time, but I got stepped during almost every class. The instructors would walk right over to me and start dancing jigs on my feet and legs. I’ve done some Googling on the matter, and I haven’t found any explanation for it. Alls I know is that fitness classes ain’t for me. It’s sad, really, considering my aspirations as a child.

(Warning: Actually, this is actually the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever shared on this blog. Who would’ve known that whoa-ing lessons could be so mortifying?)

In case you don’t have Shazam, the song I’m singing during the dance routine is Lil Kim’s “The Jump Off.”

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Let me upgrade you

A few weeks ago my brother-in-law, Matt, sent me a link to MrMoneyMustache.com. It’s a blog written by a “freaky financial magician who retired along with a lovely wife at ago 30.”

In his “Start here” post, Mr. Money Mustache (MMM) says if you can save 50-75% of your paychecks, then you’ll be able to retire real quick. The best way to cut costs, says he, is by not buying crap. Luxury and pampering, says he again, is for pansy ass bitches who drive when alls they really need is a bikecycle and some facial hair.

Well, I’ve got me a tricked-out bikecycle, a few black hag hairs on my chin/neck/upper lip, and I’ve read about six of the MrMoneyMustache.com posts. Plus, I saved 37% of my last paycheck — nearly 50 whole dollars! I figure I’m five years or less from retiring.

And, although I’m looking forward to my retirement, I’m not looking forward to giving up crap. I like crap. You should see the crap I’ve collected over the years! Mini skateboards! Snorkels! Studded boots! Bachelor’s degrees!

Beyond saving money, MMM teaches his readers how to solve problems. I’m proud to say that I’ve figured out a way to save money and keep my crap. You get other people to buy your crap. All it takes is:

Caring friends and family. These are the people who will buy you things.*

A healthy dose of not-giving-a-shiz. By not giving a shiz, you’re committing yourself to dressing poorly and being dirty. Then, the people who care about you will feel bad and/or be embarrassed to know you, and they’ll buy you things to make you less smelly/filthy/rat-like.

There is, however, a fine line between the salvageable and the hopeless, and you’ve got to walk it carefully. If you ever become hopelessly careless, people will give up on you and leave you to your armpit stains and dirt feet. For instance, I have an uncle who keeps a skunk for a pet. The skunk’s name is Francis, and he lives under my uncle’s front porch and eats his leftovers. The same uncle wears hats found on the side of the road and decorates them with feathers and Dunkin’ Donut straws. His name is Uncle Jellyfish.

Uncle Jellyfish don’t care, and nobody tryna make him.

How to barely care just enough:

  • Let your butt crack run wild. Have at least one to two inches of butt crack exposed at all times. If you’re in a setting where you can’t crack your crack, like school or work, wear very high underpants and bend over a lot. Exposed underpants is only one step up from butt cracking.
  • Keep your pits stanky fresh. If you’re lucky like me, then your pits stay ripe all the damn day long, deodorant or not. If deodorant actually works for you, then you’ll have to give it up. Work hard to leave yellow stains in your clothes. Go a week or two without shaving. Flail your arms. Dance like Tiffany. 
  • Wear your parents’ old clothes. Go through the old bureaus in your house. Dig through them until you find your parents’ old T-shirts. When you find them, try them on to make sure they’re baggy and have bleach stains and mouse holes.
  • Walk hard. Actually, no. Don’t walk hard. Stomp hard. Stomp like a mothereffer.

And there you go. That’s all it takes.

Case study:

Since age 11, my butt crack has never not been showing and my pits have never not been sweating.

Two of my four favorite T-shirts are my mom’s from the ‘70s. My other two favorites are my dad’s from the same decade. I’ve worn them to Fourth of July parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, dates, and dinners with long lost friends. I would have worn them to Disney World, too, except the one time I tried my sister yelled at me.

I also stomp hard. I don’t do it on purpose, I’m just enormous and extremely sensitive to gravity. I also have Haglund’s deformity, which means I have cowboy spurs built into my heel bones. Shoes hurt, so I often have to walk funny to compensate for the pain. As a result, I go through shoes quickly.

Pedicurists love me
Pedicurists love me

What’s so special about that? You see butt cracks, stinkpits, old T-shirts, and busted shoes everyday. However, when you combine them together and throw in a pinch of family love, what was everyday becomes eXtRaOrDiNaRy.

Other than my dad, no one in my family can look at me without making a comment about how poorly dressed and/or smelly I am. Take, for instance, these comments made by my mom. The first is from October 8, 2012, the second from September 11, 2013.

And you know what my mom did after she made those comments?

She also offers me her iPhones.

She offered me her phone, too. I ain’t ask for it.

Every pair of shoes I own were given to me from people who pitied my footwear. Same thang goes for my work clothes.

I get upgraded.

(Those hoop earrings are bracelets taped to my ears.)

(AND YEAH IT’S A COLD SORE, SO?)

*If you don’t have caring friends and family, then I’m sorry. That’s sad and you deserve them.** Maybe I can be a caring friend. I can’t buy you things, because I’m trying to retire, but we can go for bike rides and talk over free coffee and tic tac containers of toenails.

**I don’t actually know if you deserve them or not, I’m just assuming that you do. If you’re evil and mean, then you don’t deserve them. No wonder you don’t have caring friends or family! Quit being so terrible!