Every year the driving force that gets me to get into the pool is when my best friend from Syracuse calls me to tell me that she and her four kids are loving the pool time and it is only 70 degrees up there and they consider it hot. She always talks about how lucky I am to live in Florida where I can swim year round. If only she knew that I don’t like cold water and would be more than happy to never touch water below the temperature of 90 degrees. It might be 110 degrees outside, but I feel like I should be a member of the polar bear club right before I get in a pool. I shiver just thinking about the water.
But hearing Meg talk about how much fun she is having swimming with her four kids, I feel a sense of obligation to jump in the pool with mine. Like clockwork, the first week in May, I got the dreaded “pool time” phone call from Meg. I decided to go ahead and dust the cobwebs off of my bathing suit. Since I am not a big swimmer, I have not invested in one in a long time. As I pulled it out I could see why my girls laughed at me last summer. Even I have to confess that perhaps a bathing suit with a skort is a little out dated. The thought of trying on a bathing suit makes me a bit nauseous, and I think I would have a hard time pulling off wearing a full body black diving suit in shallow end of the local swimming pool, so maybe I am going to have the face the fact that I need to go buy a new bathing suit.
If I am going to be serious about getting my groove back at forty, then doing a little bathing suit shopping might be a great step. But first things first. I decided to really devote one month to exercising. I don’t mean iron man training, but a little run each day. It took two days before I realized that people who talk about how your endorphins kick in after a few minutes of pain must be lying and laughing at all of us suckers who are sweating and working our butts off waiting for these endorphin things to kick in. Or maybe my endorphins went on vacation and have not come back or perhaps I was born without them and never realized until now that I was missing them. Regardless, I would rather stick a fork in my eye than run.
So the kids pitched in and got me a Wii Fit for Mother’s Day. I should get an Oscar for the delight I portrayed. I would have been happier with a setting of salad forks for my eyes! But they were so excited and encouraged me to try it out. So I did. If you don’t know what a Wii Fit, is let me explain it through the eyes of a mom (without the forks in them). You create a cartoon character to represent yourself. It will look nothing like you, but I have always wanted to have dark, wavy hair and brown eyes, so I actually enjoyed making my person. The kids named me “Happy” because they know me well enough to know that is what I won’t be while I exercise. Then, you stand on the Wii board which is like a wiji board for weight. Without actually being a scale it analyzes my weight and body fat. I held my breath and sucked my stomach in as it scanned me. Suddenly your weight and body fat pops up and it tells you if you are in the green, yellow or red zone. I teeter between the green and yellow. I asked my son if the thing on top of the TV is what was scanning me. He laughed and said, “No mom that would be my phone”. “The Wii can’t really see you”. That made me feel better. Then you set up a goal for how much body fat you want to lose and the fun begins. You can choose aerobics, yoga, stretching, or the special Wii Fit exercises. The girl that did the stretching annoyed me so I decided that I would really experience the cartoon fun and do the Wii exercises.
First off, a short run. That was fun. I ran in place following a girl character and I enjoyed looking at the little cartoon village I was running through. Suddenly there was a dog on the screen chasing my character and I had to speed up. Really, a cartoon dog was going to get my heart rate up? Maybe this was working. After each exercise it tells you how many calories you burned. I only burned 20.
The next exercise was one for your body and mind. I knew right away that was going to be a problem. I am the queen of multitasking. But for this exercise you have to swing your hips to “bump” a number, sort of like pinball except you are the pinball. You have to bump the two numbers that added together make 10 and you only have a few seconds to do it. Do you know how long it has been since my hips have moved while my brain added? The kids were on the floor laughing and now I am going to need hip replacement surgery from getting so frustrated and throwing my hip out. The stupid Wii Fit actually failed me and asked if adding to ten was too challenging for me.
Next, I decided to conquer the step aerobics and did really well. My feet followed along, and I was keeping right up with the cartoon character. Suddenly it said to start clapping in addition to stepping and I fell off. That was when the Wii Fit called me a tater tot.
If you see me at the pool this summer I will be the mom in the bathing suit with the skort. I plan on wearing that thing with pride. My Wii Fit is under my bed where it belongs with Suzanne Somers’ “Thigh Master,” my book on the “South Beach Diet”, and the Victoria’s Secret catalog that I keep to draw cellulite lines on all the models while I am eating my all my delicious carbs because it makes me smile. So what if the Wii Fit called me a tater tot? After all, maybe this summer while sitting by the pool in my skort, this tater tot might even meet her Spud.
See you by the pool!