by Jackie Sizemore
Alright everyone, we are going to start with a warm up. I want you to log into your social media account and read the “All Lives Matter” article that girl from high school who never left your hometown posted. Remember you are just reading it, no responses yet, just a light jog through. And we’re running in place. Nice and easy.
You should be feeling your heart rate go up a little bit, maybe feeling a little warm? That’s good. Now, for our 80’s sliders. Imagine you are wearing socks and sliding across the glass ceiling that held the last generation of women in your family down. Let’s go for ten, the number of times your mother has called this week to see if you’re okay.
We’re going to move on to engagement squats, and I’m not talking about marriage here. Place your computer or tablet on a high surface. We’re going to respond to your future sister-in-law’s faux-unity comment on an anti-Trump Solidarity Protest page. Alternate each thoughtful sentence with a jump squat. Your favorite comedic news host told you to reign in your cousins and while it was a metaphor, you know she is going to be family someday because you have a really good feeling about the person you’re dating. Push through the pain, and remember to imagine the results of your hard work.
Now we’re going to work on something I hear about all of the time. Lie on the ground in your go-to “yearly appointment” position. We’re going to do chest lifts with an abdominal crunch, because we are multi-taskers who need to be able to open our own jars when the apocalypse comes. Grab two of your largest reusable water bottles for weights, and raise them into the air like you are lifting them out of an oil spill. Are you feeling it yet?
It is halfway through our workout and you might be feeling your energy flagging. You might be thinking, “Why do I have to keep doing this?” and, “I hope none of my conservative friends ever need access to reproductive rights and find themselves unable to control what happens to themselves.” I hear you! That is exactly why we need to do twenty supermans– I mean, superwomans– on the floor right now. Lie on your stomach and reach your arms and legs up like a turtle desperately trying to move and unwilling to hide inside its shell. Or like someone trying to decide how much extra birth control to buy before January.
Deadlifts. Ladies, we don’t do enough of these. Keep your legs straight as you bend over, and then as you come back up bring your arms into a bicep curl. Focus on the part where the booty meets the thigh, on the O’Reilly Factors you were forced to watch during family dinners from ages one to seventeen. Remember, having stretch marks is like having a Trump-supporter-since-the-primary in the family– everyone has them!
When we’re coming home from work and a circle of angry men surrounds us asking why we don’t all stay home where we belong, what are we going to need to be? Flexible. You’re going to want to do whatever you can to get out of that situation alive so that you can get home and get into your comfy clothes. Let’s get back on our mats and stretch our ACLs. Lay on the ground with one leg as straight as you can get it. No one’s leg is actually completely straight, so no one is judging you. Using pure willpower, gently let you leg drop all the way to the left. When you think you can’t go any further, try going a little bit more to the left for five seconds. This prevents injuries from sudden stops in progress, or a “change of direction.” Switch legs.
Congratulations everyone, we pushed through and stayed focused and strong. Let’s go into child’s pose, where you can cry in public if you need to. As you lay curled in a ball on your mat, think about all of the reasons you exercised today, and all the things you want for yourself. Imagine yourself in a world where you can change jobs any time you need to because you are no longer just working for the health insurance. Imagine your entire extended family not arguing over the holidays. Take long, slow breathes, and think about all that you can accomplish.
Warning: This workout is not effective in treating Trusting Mike Pence Syndrome or your Aunt’s autographed Sarah Palin picture.
Jackie is writer of fiction, essays, and poems. When she's not working on her first novel, she is running her consulting business while her Sheltie, Meeko, sleeps on her feet.