My freshman year at BYU my roommates and I would occasionally pop in a Tae Bo video and kickbox with Billy Blanks for a bit. Of course, we didn’t really care to hear Billy tell us to go “double time!” or to “reach inside ourselves and grab something,” so we muted him and turned the stereo on full blast. We’d close the blinds, and, with six girls in the apartment and the occasional friend or neighbor joining in the festivities, it would sometimes get a little sweaty. Sweaty enough that some of us would shed our shirts and complete the exercises in our sports bras. Which is how a group of guys found us one evening when they stopped by to remind us of a ward activity. At the sound of the knock, some of us dove for cover, others scrambled for shirts. Somebody turned off the tv. And after they left we were breathless and slightly hysterical from the surprise.
I later found out that one of the guys told his roommates that the girls in 134 were dancing around to the Dixie Chicks in their sports bras, and somehow this seemed like a much better thing to have been caught doing than mirroring Billy Blanks and his crew. The joy and spontaneity that would have resulted in a shirtless dance party is something to be proud of, while playing “Do as I’m Doing” with blue-spandexed Billy for 24 minutes is, in my opinion, not.
I remember that incident whenever I resort to putting on my Tae Bo dvd, which I bought before I was comfortable enough with our Hawaii neighborhood to go out running on my own, before I could actually run for more than 8 minutes at a time, before I became a running snob. Now Billy and the Gang are relegated to the shelf except in extreme circumstances. Extreme being: 1. The weather is colder than 40ish degrees or extremely windy/icy/snowy/rainy (and definitely if there is a “light wintery mix” coming down). 2. It has been too cold/extreme for more than a few days. And/or 3. Simon is being a pest and won’t let me put on his socks/shoes/coat/pants and I am not in the mood to fight him over it.
When I put in the dvd, I feel a little silly. I’m all alone in my apartment (except for the small child) and I’m mimicking a bunch of people on my computer screen hoping that even as my brain rots, my body will remain fit. Pathetic. But my mind needs to think that my body has gotten some exercise or else it will blow a fuse and I’ll likely have a nervous breakdown and end up acting like my almost-two year-old, so I do it anyway. But maybe one of these days I’ll forget about the dvd, crank up the Dixie Chicks, and rock out. Double time.