How Not To Be A Workout Buddy

floor-exercises-825064_640So you’ve decided to get serious about going to the gym?  You know, one of the best things you can do to improve your exercise routine is to get yourself a workout buddy.  Studies have shown that people who exercise with a partner are more likely to reach their fitness goals.  After all, no app, tool, or supplement can give you the kind of motivation you’ll get from a workout partner who really knows you:

Little Blind Girl:  Hey, I know we’re supposed to go to the gym right now, but Skeeter’s Taco Shack is having this contest called “Guess the Fish” where you eat free if you can—

Friend:  Nope.  The last time we skipped our workout, you made me swear on Season Two of Grey’s Anatomy that I would never let you do that again, so go squeeze your doughy butt into some spandex.  We’re hitting the gym.

Little Blind Girl:  Nah, I’m gonna bail.  Sorry, but there is nothing that could get me into my gym clothes right now.

Friend:  (thinks for a second)  Remember how you wore your fishnet stockings to that party the other night, but they’d gotten so tight that you had little criss-cross marks all over your legs the next day?

Little Blind Girl:  Hand me that sports bra.

When you exercise with a buddy, gym time isn’t just more fun; it’s also more effective.  Your friend will know when you’re not challenging yourself and can give you that extra push you need:

(while going for a run )

Friend:  You sure you can’t go any faster?  Okay, okay.  Oh, hey, I’ve got a call.  (talking into cell phone)  Hello?  Oh, hi, Grandma.  How’d the surgery go? (pause) Me?  I’m just out for a run with the Little Blind Girl. (pause) Sure, you can join us!

Little Blind Girl:  Very funny.

Friend:  (still talking into phone) No, Grandma, your wheelchair won’t slow us down.

Little Blind Girl:  Your phone isn’t even on!

Don’t forget that you and your exercise buddy can help each other outside the gym, too.  After all, no matter how much energy you put into your workout, you won’t see results if you don’t maintain a healthy diet:

(at Skeeter’s Taco Shack )

Little Blind Girl:  Well, Skeeter, I’m impressed by the addition of sushi to your menu, especially at that price, but today I’m more in the mood for the pasta carbonara platter—with extra parmesan, of course— and if you could bump the portion size up to “Last Meal On Death Row,” that’d be great.

Friend:  Guess how long you’d have to stay on the rowing machine to burn off all those calories?

Little Blind Girl:  I’ll have the grilled chicken breast, please.  No sauce.

And when all that effort finally starts paying off, no one will appreciate your hard-earned hard body more than the person who was with you for every rep:

Little Blind Girl:  Check out my new arm muscles!

Friend:  All right. (puts hand on Little Blind Girl’s bicep) Okay, flex.

Little Blind Girl:  I am flexing!

Friend:  Oh.  Are you sure?

The buddy system isn’t just for crossing the street.  When it comes to diet and exercise, there’s nothing like a partner to keep you motivated and on track.  So if you’re serious about fitness, make sure that when you head to the gym, you bring along the most important equipment of all:  a friend.


[Image is in the public domain via]

10 Things I’d Rather Do Than Go To The Gym


image in public domain  (

Any time I need motivation to do some chore I’ve been putting off, all I have to do is tell myself to go to the gym, and like magic, I’m suddenly cleaning the bathroom grout. I don’t know why I hate going to the gym so much. I don’t hate actually being at the gym. Once I’m there and I’ve started exercising, I usually get into it. I certainly don’t hate the self-satisfied glow I get after I’ve been to the gym. Plus, then I get to stop off for a post-exercise smoothie and say, “I always hydrate after I work out,” and watch everyone who wasn’t at the gym look guilty.

I’ve had to start facing facts now that I can’t fit into any of my jeans. I don’t know why, but as far as getting myself to put on gym clothes and head toward the shiny, pretty building with the shiny, pretty workout equipment and the shiny, pretty people, I’d rather chew off my own hand at the wrist and use it to punch myself in the throat. Heh. I’d rather tattoo my entire face hot pink than go to the gym. Ooh! I’d rather walk through a room full of clowns than go to the gym. Hey, this is fun! I wonder what else I’d rather do than go to the gym?

Top 10 Things I’d Rather Do Than Go To The Gym

  1. Give a bath to five feral cats, all at the same time.
  2. Prepare, bake, and eat a dirty-sock pie.
  3. Find that video of me from my fourth-grade school play, the one where I’m wearing some sort of metallic tutu and have glitter on my butt, and post it on YouTube.
  4. Take a selfie. Any kind of selfie.
  5. Find the source of that weird smell in the refrigerator and lick it.
  6. Trim my toenails with my teeth.
  7. Run a resort for obese exhibitionist nymphomaniacs.
  8. Tell my parents what really happened to the Mercedes.
  9. Go through natural childbirth.
  10. Write a blog post about things I’d rather do than go to the gym.

I’ll be honest, that got a little disturbing. But we’ve all got our dark secrets; some of us just choose to make them available to anyone with an internet connection and basic literacy skills. So what is it that you would rather eat a dirty-sock pie than do? Clean out the garage? Get a tetanus booster? Go see that play your significant other is in that you’re trying to be supportive about? Come on, leave me a comment with your shameful confession. It’ll be just between us! And if you believe that, I’ve got a truly impressive workout routine I’m going to tell you I did. Now, to round up five feral cats….

Attack of the exercise buddies, or: How I ended up running in the rain


Dvstransomsnow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey, blog people!  I missed you!  I had a computer-intensive project that killed my eyes for a while.  The perils of being a little blind girl.  But I’m back, sort of, with yet more adventures to share with you.  Let us begin:

When I got up this morning, I didn’t intend to go running at any point during the day.  Yes, yes, I know I told my doctor I would, but I’ve been really busy, and then I got food poisoning, and then I was really tired, and then I had a date (+60 points, by the way), and then I just didn’t feel like it.

But a couple of colleagues of mine run after work, and today my office mate convinced me to go with them.  I’m still not sure how it happened; one minute I was downing my third mug of Red Bull, the next minute I’d agreed to throw on my ratty exercise clothes that I’ve had since I was in school and go run laps.

I lost count of the number of excuses I found not to go.  It’s raining; it’s been a long day; I couldn’t possibly leave before this person calls me back; I can’t see the track without my glasses; I think it might kill me.  I’m amazed my colleagues didn’t brain me before we ever got out of the office, but they didn’t, and I ended up at a nearby track in the rain, blind as a bat and ready to run.  Well, if not exactly ready, at least too stubborn to back out.

I didn’t run the whole way.  I did at least keep going the entire time, even though I walked the majority of the way.  I ran sporadically, and I found time to regret not having planned this a little better as I realized that, in the decade since I last exercised regularly, the elastic on my track pants has–shall we say, relaxed a little?  Or a lot?  Seriously, the minute I’d break into a jog, my pants would start slipping down my hips.  I kept having to grab them and yank them back up.  Trot, grab, pull, repeat.  For a mile and a half.

I made terrible time, but at least I didn’t end up performing an unintentional striptease.  That, combined with a wet t-shirt from the rain, would have turned my pathetic attempt at exercise into a totally different experience!  I think I’ll go again the next time my colleagues go.  Next time, however, I’m wearing spandex.  And maybe something with a drawstring.  Do you think it would be going too far to run in suspenders?

Wait…what??? (Obligatory post-Freshly Pressed blog entry)

Bambi (character)

Bambi (character) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There I was, peacefully putting away my groceries (all healthy, worse luck.  I think my doctor reads my blog) and chatting with my mother, who was in town for a visit.  She went off to do something else, and I sat down to check in on my blog.  I pressed the stats button…

I recently got a new pair of glasses.  I thought maybe they had malfunctioned.  I’d had how many page views?  Suspicious, I took off my glasses, rubbed them, put them back on…yep, same number.  I checked out the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress and, sure enough, there I was!  With a blog post that I’d put about five minutes worth of thought into and basically consisted of me blowing off steam about my new diet and exercise plan!

Though, come to think of it, that’s probably a pretty universally interesting topic–not diet and exercise, which are just universally torturous, but being annoyed and frustrated by them.  Yes, I cunningly picked this topic of common interest, came up with a nifty list, inserted a colorful visual, all with an eye toward getting Freshly Pressed…no, I didn’t.  But it’s still fun that it happened!  I had the following conversation with myself after seeing my tiny little blog up there with the big boys:

Little Blind Girl:  Oh, wow, this is so cool!  Look at all these page views!  Look at all these comments and all the new followers!  Thanks, WordPress!

Voice in Head:  Wait, they picked this post?  I have, like, fifty other posts that are way better.

Little Blind Girl:  Oh, don’t be a buzzkill.  This is awesome!  I want to do a backflip, except that I’m pretty sure my body doesn’t bend that way anymore.

Voice in Head:  I’m just saying.  You wrote a sonnet to Johnny Depp, actually in iambic pentameter, and they go for this one?

Little Blind Girl:  This was a good post!  It may never get included in an anthology of insightful, provocative essays, but it’s not bad for an evening’s work.

Voice in Head:  You mean twenty minutes’ work.  Thank goodness I proofread.

Little Blind Girl:  Yeah, I kind of feel like a mother who tells her kid to wear clean underwear in case he gets in an accident and has to go to the emergency room.  “Now, blog, I’m going to make sure you don’t have any typos, just in case you get Freshly Pressed.”  “Aww, come on, Little Blind Girl, that never happens!”

Voice in Head:  Until it does.

Little Blind Girl:  Exactly.

Voice in Head:  So we’re just ignoring the fact that you’re having a conversation with yourself?

Little Blind Girl:  Just like always.

Voice in Head:  Right, then.  Hey, don’t you have a policy about responding to every comment on the blog?

Little Blind Girl:  Yes.  (Pause)  Why?  How many comments are there?

Voice in Head:  Fifty eight and counting.

Little Blind Girl:  ….

Totally worth it.  Thanks to all the people who read, liked, commented on, and followed my blog, new and old readers alike!  And a special shoutout to my favorite comment, which was by laurenwhitney91:  “you are insanely hilarious. thank you for being you!”  Seriously, that’s the comment!  Best comment ever.  I love being Freshly Pressed!

Also, for those of you who read the hilarious blog The Waiting:  welcome to the world, Miss C.  You’ve got a really cool mom.

How many calories can you burn playing Angry Birds?


weights (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In addition to tweaking my diet, I have to start a more intensive exercise program.  To this end, I’ve been looking at guides of promising-sounding activities and how many calories they burn, and I’ve noticed some serious omissions, really a complete lack of any activity I’m at all likely to perform.  To rectify this alarming deficiency, I would like to contribute my own list of everyday exercises that you (and, more importantly, I) can do at home or in the office, with a loose estimate of how many calories they’re likely to burn:

Little Blind Girl’s List of Everyday Exercises

  1. Banging your head against the desk/table/wall for five minutes:  15 calories
  2. Walking down to supply closet, forgetting what you went there for, walking back to office, then remembering and walking back to supply closet:  25 calories
  3. Doodling on legal pad while not really listening to tedious phone conversation:  20 calories/half hour
  4. Losing important file and cursing profusely while stomping around looking for it:  15 calories
  5. Losing important file and trying not to curse profusely because boss is around:  40 calories (note:  not recommended for extended durations)
  6. Searching for keys in the morning:  20 calories
  7. Transferring items from one purse to another (may qualify as weight training):  10 calories
  8. Throwing pen across room because it refuses to write smoothly:  5 calories, if you include walking over to where it fell and cleaning the mark off the wall
  9. Panicking over missed deadline:  15 calories
  10. Reading blogs when you should be doing work:  60 calories/hour

I am shocked that these have not yet shown up in the lists of common activities on the exercise sites.  Next you’ll be telling me that caffeine isn’t a vital nutrient!  We can’t all be professional athletes; get your exercise where you can, that’s what I say.  This list would make for an interesting exercise log, don’t you think?

Yoga in the time of ramen

Yoga Wii

Image via Wikipedia

I’m a devotee of yoga.  I especially like how I can do it indoors with the heat/air conditioning going full blast.  Also, no special shoes required.  As a matter of fact, no shoes required at all.  I’ve attended many classes over the years, but when I first started learning, I used an instructional video of a yoga “class” and played it in my friends’ dorm room as we all stretched and focused our minds in innocent ignorance of what was to come.  For, alas, I had chosen a Power Yoga video.

The instructor was a little weird, but I suppose most video yoga instructors are.  This one was a guy with long curly hair pulled back into a ponytail and the most ill-advised tank top I’d seen in a while.  He liked to start demonstrating a pose, then have his assistants finish showing how to do it while he rested his hand on one of their asses, which would inevitably be shoved up toward the ceiling while their wrists and ankles intertwined in some unfathomable and presumably mystic way.  I should add that all the assistants were young, attractive women.  Nice work if you can get it.

So my friends and I dutifully settled ourselves on the floor of the tiny dorm room with two beds, two desks, a dresser and a sofa crammed into an area the size of a utility closet.  We saluted the sun and felt the spirit of the earth pervade our limbs.  And then the serious poses began.  “Ow,” I heard muttered quietly somewhere behind me.  Then, “OW! (*crack*)  Oh, that didn’t sound good.”  Then, “Wait, what are we supposed to do?  I can’t see the screen while my head is under my knees.”  Then, “Ow ow ow, I don’t think I’m supposed to bend that way!  Pause the tape, I can’t get my legs off my neck!  Crap, I’m gonna fall!”  WHUMP.

If you haven’t already guessed, that last one came from me.

The next day, I signed up for proper yoga classes in a spacious gym with an older female instructor wearing a tee shirt and stretch pants.  I explained things to her, and she promised solemnly that she would not let me fall, nor would she rest her hand on my backside.  If she laughed at my sorrowful tale, she had the grace to wait until I’d gone. But, oh, the bruises I got from that first time!