The 30-Minute 10-Minute Workout
It happens, occasionally. I’ll get out of the shower, see my Buddha belly in the mirror and decide that I really need to lose weight. The girls remind me of this, as well, while they’re tying my shoes because they’re afraid I’ll pass out if I do it. What they don’t understand is that it’s the most exercise I get each day. I know, it’s a pretty sad situation.
I wasn’t always this out of shape. I was pretty slim until about five years ago when the weight started to creep into my midsection. I was active, as well. We went swimming, played volleyball, and my job required quite a bit of walking and moving about. However, last year I quit my paying job and became a writer fulltime, which meant my backside remained fixed in a chair for the majority of the day - every day. After two months of my lack of activity, my belly began to swell like a pregnant woman in her final trimester. The girls still aren’t convinced that I’m not carrying someone’s love child. I tried exercising on my own, but when I did a push up, all I did was teeter-totter back and forth over my stomach. Sit ups were impossible unless the girls each took an arm and pulled while another sat behind me, pushing my back. Matters were only getting worse.
Then one day, while we were watching late night television, we witnessed an ad for the 10-Minute Trainer by Tony Horton. I wiped the butter from the popcorn off my hands and hit the rewind button to watch it again. From what I gathered, it was a condensed version of the P90X workout from Beachbody that would fit into anyone’s busy schedule. I could get fit for only ten minutes every day based around my hectic schedule. This was great! We had a membership to a gym, but never used it because we just didn’t have the time to drive over. Now, I could exercise in my own living room with a personal trainer DVD. I figured I could squeeze ten minutes into my day since I didn’t have to leave the house or even get dressed, so I had the girls order it.
Within a couple of weeks, the small brown box arrived. There were three DVDs inside as well as the resistance band. I began sweating just looking at it.
We had decided to have a 10-minute Trainer viewing marathon before jumping into the exercises. We figured it would be smart to watch it first to see what was involved so that the girls would know what to tell the coroner when he arrived to haul my bloated corpse away. So, after dinner that night, with bowls of ice cream in hand, we popped in the first DVD and pressed play.
The first segment up was a 2-minute warm up. “Is this part of the ten minute workout or on top of it?” I licked hot fudge off of my fingers as I asked my question. “Because if it’s on top of it then the 10-Minute Trainer is really twelve minutes and I didn’t agree to twelve minutes.”
“You have to warm up before exercising, Robbie, or you’ll get hurt,” one of the girls said.
“Exercising is painful to begin with.”
We kept watching and by my second helping of Chunky Monkey with extra chocolate syrup we reached the final installment, which was a two minute cool down. “Wait. We’re now up to fourteen minutes. That’s not ten. This is false advertisement!”
“You can’t just stop exercising. You’ll get cramps in your muscles and hurt something.”
I was already close to hurting something. Still, we kept it and I was determined to give it a fair shot even though it had lied to me. I slipped on an old tee-shirt and a pair of gym shorts that the girls had bought me five years ago when they were forcing me into a gym to get into shape. Round is a shape, but they weren’t having it. They never like my logic.
With the house empty, I slipped in the first DVD. I didn’t want witnesses to my first attempt at getting into shape, much preferring that the girls discover my sweating corpse as opposed to hearing me grunt and wheeze. I had agreed to do the workout right, so I found the two minute warm up and pressed play.
The warm up was also a lie as it wasn’t a warm up, but felt more like a full blown workout. I was already breathing hard with sweat dripping off of my forehead. I took a one minute break before jumping into the official workout, which was twice as fast as the warm up, so I can see why an “expert” would think they were different. It was hard to keep up. As I was finally figuring out the position I was supposed to be in or how to use the resistance band, they were already on to their next exercise. By the time it was over and they were into the two minuet cool down, I had only managed to get 1/3 of the routine done. I skipped the cool down and just laid there moaning.
“You have to ease into it, Robbie. You can’t go full force right at the beginning.”
Perhaps they are right. I should do one minute the first week and add a minute each week after until I can do the full ten minutes. Of course, I have to take into consideration the warm up which is a full two minutes, so I won’t even hit the real workout for two weeks. It should only take four months to manage the entire workout. That’s not too bad, right? I’ve gone this long with a keg belly instead of six-pack abs, so what are a few more months?
When it comes to our health, most of us are looking for shortcuts when, to be honest, there aren’t any. Like anything else worth having, our health is a commitment that takes time and persistence. You have to work at it every day, marking it on your Day Planner in ink and not pencil. If you waited too long, like me, then you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time playing catch up. Still, if you don’t start today, you never will. Whether it’s a full workout, a little weekend activity, or simply walking around the neighborhood, add some form of exercise to your weekly schedule. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll add quality to your life you hadn’t noticed you were missing.
See you at the gym!
* * * * *