I run almost every day. I’ll typically go between three and eight miles, depending on the mood of my Kempo-clobbered knee. But here’s a secret: I hate it. I run only to counteract the effects of so many delicious In-N-Out burgers. If junk food were calorie-free, I’d hang up these shoes forever and meet you for beers and a plate of deep-fried potato skins with extra bacon and cheese.
apartment complex is a lovely park with a large fountain at its center. This
park is well landscaped and rimmed by a packed-earth one-sixth-mile* walking
path: ideal for joggers. Each day I’ll see the same folks: the bony college
chick with the bad nose job; the Burka-clad
Persian women playing badminton (wtf?); the dude who looks like a pudgy Slater from
Saved by the
Exercise Girl is a fairly average looking late-twenties pony-tailed brunette perpetually clad in black spandex.
Though aesthetically plain, I find her mesmerizing. It’s her exercise regimen. It’s freakin riveting.
Girl has the most fascinating running-form I’ve ever seen. Hey, I’m not
stickler for form. I don’t pay it much mind. My form is:
go-easy-on-the-effin-knee-for-cryin-out-loud. My arms sorta swing back in forth
with the rhythm of my strides.
But Exercise Girl is a maverick. Her running form goes something like this: She stands motionless at one point in the path, and bobs in place for a few seconds; her eyes transfixed straight ahead. Suddenly, she blasts into a full sprint. But here’s the thing: she does NOT swing her arms. At. All. She dashes around half the circle at top speed with her arms firmly frozen at her sides. I swear if you saw this from only her waste up, it would look like she was zooming by on a skateboard.
Then she stops.
Repeat five or six times.
finishes skateboar—er running, she’ll find a quiet corner for her
“calisthenics”. The word calisthenics is in quotes because I’m not exactly sure
how else to describe her array of exercises. I will list my favorites.
Using my descriptions, try and work out along with us.
The Semaphore: She stands at attention, arms at her sides (of course). Then, in one quick motion, her arms snap straight above her head, thumbs together, palms forward; like a diver preparing to plunge. Then, keeping her palms forward, she quickly swings her arms to the right, back above her head, then to the left, then to the center and finally back at her sides. She repeats this pattern for a minute or two. My shoulders hurt just thinking about it.
The Pee-Wee Herman: Arms at her sides, but elbows slightly away from her body. She then hops back and forth on alternating legs. While hopping, her arms stay at waist level swinging in front of her body, then behind, then in front, then behind. It’s hypnotic.
The Heads-Down-On-Desks-Reverse-Leg-Lift: She folds her arms and leans forward against a tree. Then, she tucks her head into her folded arms. Next, she lifts her right foot, bending at the knee. (Like when women are kissed by Cary Grant). She then puts the right foot down and lifts the left. Back and forth. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. It looks like slow motion running in place. Against a tree. With your head tucked in. She will do this one for a LONG time.
It’s all truly stunning and pretty distracting. Is this some new type of Pilates or Park Yoga? The funniest part about her workout is her facial expression. She is not self-conscious about any of this. Quite the opposite. Her look is deadly-serious, engrossed, focused. As if she can hear the theme song to “Chariots of Fire” in her head.
She’s so stoic that I almost feel silly jogging around and around in a circle. Who knows, maybe she’s creating the Next Big Exercise Craze. The next Sweatin to the Oldies? The next Tae Bo??
Maybe. Check your gym schedules for “Group Pee-Wee Herman Dancing”.
* How do I know it’s one-sixth of a mile? I used Google Earth to calculate the circumference. Duh.