that's me - Stephanie Boman!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Confessions of an anal-retentive exerciser

The first in an on-going series . . .

The fact that I even exercise is amazing. This feat is accomplished only because I joined a women's circuit fitness club which has set up the workout for me so that I have to do zero thinking. All the effort I have to put into it is to drive there and get my sorry saggy butt in the door (which is a challenge in itself).

This nation-wide chain is popular with the older set, and my club is no exception. Perhaps you have heard me rant about being stuck in the circuit behind the senior with the walker. I have many tales to tell about my escapades with the exercising elderly. Today's involved The Odiferous One.

The Odiferous One (T.O.O.) must be pushing eighty, though her hair is still as red as it was when she was twenty. Grandma cannot seem to come to the gym without a dousing of old lady perfume, despite the many signs posted about the place asking the women to refrain from wearing scents to the club. I'm not normally sensitive to smells; I wear a spritz of O oui! myself from time to time. But this chemical, vaguely floral, smell is a sinus assassin.

T.O.O. has an uncanny knack for showing up whenever I choose to workout. I've tried to vary my workout times in vain. But today I thought I pulled a fast one on granny. I'm on the last leg, thinking, "oh, yeah, olfactory freedom at last!" As if that were her cue, she pops in.

T.O.O. starts about seven spots ahead of me in the circuit. I'm on my last round, I figure I can tough it out. The problem is, T.O.O. is so slow she moves one station for every two the rest of us do. It isn't long before I'm slammed up against her on the circuit - and my head is about to explode with every inhale. So I skip the last few machines.

Curse you T.O.O.! My butt will forever be saggy because of your old lady scent.

At least that's the excuse I like to use.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The awkward years

Junior High sucked.

That's what I remember about seventh and eighth grades. Kids from several different elementary schools converging to be educated in six separate periods a day, with dress down P.E., combination locks and no outdoor recess to speak of, was way too overwhelming for me. Just the concepts of a before and after school snack stand and dances were hard for my twelve-year-old brain to get around.

There was too much information coming at me from too many sources. Combine that with the onset of puberty and you've got pre-teen John Hughes movie material.

I hated it.

Okay, there are a couple of good memories: Mr. Franzen praising my science report presentations as the most entertaining and informative he ever heard (I can tell you some interesting facts about black rhinos), getting to know girls who would become lifelong friends, and being introduced to real literature.

But the scale tipped far towards humiliation more than anything good. I have disturbing memories of face-planting in the gym while chasing a boy (do not ask me why I was chasing a boy, I still have no idea what possessed me to do such a foolish thing when it held so much potential for embarrassment), a fear of not having something to do during lunch break (i.e.; a group to walk around with and belong to), having my new pair of swishy sweatpants borrowed and ruined in P.E., losing my temper and storming out of a classroom after having enough teasing and being labeled (deservedly so) as emotionally fragile forever on, square dancing (holding random boys' hands? Seriously?), joining the basketball team without having a clue as to how the game was played, and a P.E./dance teacher obsessed with Steve Perry (Oh Sherrie, indeed) and Chaka Khan. The horrors.

So Wee One starts middle school on Monday. I have high hopes for her. I know it will still be an awkward time, but she has a large group of good friends and more confidence than I did at the age. I'm pretty sure the biggest anxiety will be learning to shave. But we'll get through that together.

That may be the biggest difference: parents who are able to be involved. My single mom did what she could just to provide for us physically. Wee One is blessed with a great dad and a mom who doesn't have to work to support her family. I plan on taking advantage of that to help navigate her through the beginning of adolescence as gently as possible.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Guilty pleasures

My favorite kid thing to do is color, especially in Barbie fashion coloring books - even though I'm thirty-nine. Coloring is very relaxing. I love the feel of the wax gliding across the paper. It's a zen thing for me. Unless I mess up and color her arm blond because I thought it was part of her hair. Happens.

How about you, what is your favorite thing to do that could be considered "childish"? Watch Spongebob? Swing? Eat Fun Dip? Tell me I'm not the only one who does stuff like this.