This is what my furbabies do while Peggy is torturing me.

I have a head cold. This is important for a variety of reasons which will become apparent.

This writing thing tends to have me sitting on my behind. A lot. I’d guess at least 8 hours a day if not more. Horrifying, I know. I’ve tinkered with the idea of writing standing up, but so far haven’t acted on it. Which leaves me in a permanent bend from sitting.

It’s not good for fitness, for the behind, or for the heart to contort your body into a permanent bend. I decided as part of my New Year’s resolutions that I needed something close-by to encourage me to move around during the day. Santa obliged by bringing me Your Shape for the Kinect for Christmas. It might not be a 2 hour yoga class, but it’s something, right? A little movement here and there, and then for a serious workout I can go to the gym.

If any of you have tried some of the Kinect games you are probably laughing at the serious workout comment.

When I hit a stopping point this morning I thought “now is the time.” Here’s how it went.

First, a stern lecture from my internal editor:

“Get up, out of the chair.”

But I just want to check this blog post.

“That will wait. Get up. NOW.”


March over to the TV. Realize I can’t find the remote. Set off on a 5 minute hunt. It turns out to be lodged neatly between the sofa cushions and covered by a quilt. Turn on TV.  No signal. What do you mean no signal? Oh, the cable box didn’t turn on. Click. Ah, picture. So far, so good.

Not the right picture, it turns out. HGTV is fun, but it’s not fitness. Click buttons until the Kinect menu screen appears. Realize it’s playing golf. Not exactly what I had in mind.

Locate Your Shape disk. Mutter about how my shape is round, as anyone can plainly see. Switch golf for fitness.

“Ah there you are,” a female voice sings. The Kinect tuner sizes me up. While it does this, my inner editor informs me “You have been weighed. You have been measured, and you have been found…wanting.”

Kinect finally recognizes me, and displays a menu with previous achievements (there are none) and work out options.

Warm up. Yes that seems like the thing to start with. Click.

The warm up is 2 minutes. It felt like 20. One minute in, I start coughing and have to go get water.

“Where are you going?” The female voice chimes. I’ve decided to call her Peggy. She sounds like a Peggy. Happy. Cheerful. Obviously skinny.

“Can’t you hear me hacking over here?”

I guzzle some water and hurry back.

“Oh there you are.” Do I detect a note of derision?

The “warm up” continues. By the time it’s over I’m wheezing, coughing and can’t get air through my nose. My mouth is dryer than a desert after a drought. But, I’m not discouraged. Oh no. Now, let’s work on…another warm up. Yes, that’s it. I need practice. This time I try Hula.

“Spin your hips to keep the balls in the air.” Peggy sings.

Sounds easy. I don’t have to move my feet, always nice. I make it through this part without even throwing a hip out of joint. Encouraged, I select another warm up. This time Hurricane.

“Spin your arms in circles to keep the balls in the air.”

Have you tried to spin your arms in circles for 2 minutes? Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait.

My arms screamed at me by the time it was over.

OK, OK. Enough warm-up. I’m 6 minutes into my workout now and I’m winded, coughing, wheezing. But now my nose is clearing up. A bonus!

What next? Oh, let’s do yoga. Why not? I love yoga. Or I used to.

That is, until I got ahold of Peggy the Torturer.

“Bend those knees!” Her tone is nice and soft, but she might as well be shouting at me.

“They ARE bent, you sadistic hun!”

“Get those arms higher!” Peggy taunts.

“Bite me.”

The worst part of all this is the screen shows an image of you, as seen through the Kinect tuner, as you do the pose. So you can get your arms and legs arranged in the right order, I assume. All I notice is how I’ve managed to gain 100 pounds since I turned the stupid thing on. Do I really look like that? Good Lord, I used to do this in public!

“Remember to breathe,” Peggy chants.

Well, sure, I’d breathe, if I could get air through my nose and wheezing lungs. As a bonus, the next pose is Standing Forward Bend. I bend over, and my nose promptly starts running. Not just a dribble, mind you. A river. How is it possible to have a stuffy nose and a runny nose at the same freaking time? I have no idea, but I’ve managed it. I rush off for kleenex.

“Hey, where are you going?” Peggy calls after me.

“Listen, Bitch, I have a cold! And I’m out of shape. Stop hassling me!”

Peggy and I have a lot of conversations like this. I consider this a pretty healthy relationship with my trainer.

I drag myself back to the mat.

“Welcome back.” I detect a note of sarcasm. I’m sure she’s thinking I’ve been gone more than I’ve been present by this point. Judgmental jerk.

The yoga session ends, and I’m invited to “punch those calories away.” I’d rather punch Peggy.

At this point it seems too short to call a real workout so I subject myself to one more choice: “African Dance.” I think it’s meant to be a type of Zumba. I choose the Dance for Dummies section. The will show me the moves, presumably so Peggy doesn’t laugh at me when I try the real class.

I learn that I am, in no way, able to do African Dance. My warrior hop looks more like a frog croaking. When I move my hips forward all I really see is my tummy wiggle. When I do the Victory Dance, the Kinect never sees my arms. I’m guessing because they blend in with the rest of my body.

“Wasn’t that fun?” Peggy asks. I hate her.

I punch the remote “off” button to shut her up.

I grumble back to my chair. Now my nose is running, my chest wheezing, I have sneezes so powerful they make me lose control of my bladder, and I’m hot and bothered but not in a good way.

Fitness. *Snort*