Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Working out

I try to work out in the mornings before work. Clearly I am crazy to do so, because that means I must drag myself out of bed at 4:45 am, in order to get everything in before I have to leave for work. When my husband is home and the weather is nice, I walk/run around our neighborhood. Otherwise, I have a variety of workout videos to use.

This morning, I broke out a new video, which my sister gave me for my birthday. Given that it came from my sister, it cost a maximum of $1*. Therefore, you know it's high quality! Apparently, it's British in origin. I could tell by the accent and because the pasty white woman performing the exercises was dressed in a black sports bra, black shorts, black ankle socks, and black shoes. (Aside: Now I know why my husband makes fun of me when I wear shorts in summer. I still don't care.) American exercise videos rarely include people who aren't tan. That particular shade of ghostly is generally reserved for those of us with ancestors from the UK or Ireland.

The second difference in this video from all of the American videos I own is that it is narrated by someone who is not performing the exercise. The monologue is not exactly concurrent with the action on the screen. That makes things a little difficult to follow. As an added bonus, the camera is frequently focused on anything other than the footwork, especially during a change in exercises. Makes things more challenging, I guess.

The third difference is the set appears to be the gym from my elementary school, with screens disguising the less attractive portions. They have the same chin-up ladders attached to the wall, the same hardwood floors...I didn't see a basketball hoop, but I assume it is behind the screen. The only difference? Their mats are more colorful than the ones stocked by the Chicago Public Schools/Park District.

However, the most striking difference is the description of the muscles that should be used during the exercise. I only did the ab portion this morning. Not once did anyone mention upper abs, lower abs, or obliques. Nope, it was "Tighten your stomach," or "stretch your side." During the pelvic tilt portion, I thought I was hearing things when the narrator told me to tighten my vaginal muscles and then my stomach. And that's vag-eye-nal, not vag-(short i)-nal. I'm sure I will be equally entertained tomorrow morning, when I discover how they describe the gluteal muscles.

While this is extremely entertaining and a refreshing change (and I get an extra ab workout from the chuckling), I think I will have to break down and buy that Shred video, so I can be like Aunt Becky.

*Lest you think my sister is cheap...well, she is, but not about gifts. She gave me a bag of 40 items for my 40th birthday, and this was one of the items. I also got a can of Mountain Dew, and some giant novelty sunglasses.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Show and Tell

I had a great topic for a post this morning on my way to work. However, by the time I actually got to a place where I could write down my idea, I had completely forgotten about it. So instead, I give you

BABY ELEPHANTS! (click to enlarge)

The zookeeper was offering bananas for performance (second picture), but the darker gray elephant was uncooperative. She must be a teenager.

On our first trip to the zoo, one of the elephants had a 5 or so month old baby. It was very distressing because the mother and baby elephant were separated from the father elephant by an electric fence. The mother and father were clearly trying to get back to each other, and spent all their time pacing in front of the electric fence. On this visit, mom and dad were reunited, and the young'uns were on the other side of the fence, happily looking around for food. On the visit just previous to this one, we got there right in time to watch the male elephant poop. My little one talked about that for weeks. There's always something good to see at the zoo!

Check out what everyone else is Showing and Telling!