When advertising works on me, it really works.

I’m an early riser. (That adage “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” doesn’t apply to me. Early to bed and early to rise makes me useless and cranky after 8:00 p.m.)

While I’m doing chores early on the weekend, sometimes I surf the TV channel listing to see if there is a movie on that I like so I can have it on in the background as a distraction. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t. When there isn’t, I broaden my surfing scope. There may have been 57 Channels and Nothin’ On in 1992 for Bruce Springsteen to watch, but in 2012 it’s more like 157 channels and nothin’ on.

On occasion, I end up selecting a channel with a TV Exercise infomercial. Over time, I got interested enough to look them up on the web. I checked out the DVDs and their ratings. Eventually I wondered if I should purchase a program and then I transitioned to asking myself which program did I think would work for me. (When advertising works on me, it really, really works. Shh, don’t tell anyone!)

After much internal debate (about 5 minutes), I realized there was no chance of me buying a DVD and standing in front of my TV for 20 minutes (or 30 or 60) each day. No chance; none. Hubby would snicker and the dogs would howl outright. There had to be another answer. Maybe going to a class? I like all kinds of classes: writing, watercolor, acrylics, sewing, quilting, agility, tracking, and yes, even exercise classes.

Most of the early morning exercise infomercials don’t have a structure that includes classes. But Zumba does. There are about a gazillion Zumba instructors out there.

After three Zumba classes, I have a few observations. One, I am sore. (ha ha ha, duh) I didn’t think I was a couch potato but it sure feels like it now. Two, I forgot to take water to my first class. Woo-wee, not making that mistake again! About half way through the class, I noticed a water cooler in the hallway. Between songs, I bee-lined myself over to it, as I did several other times during the class. At the end, I was considering trying to position my head so that my mouth was directly under the spout. I refrained — just barely — and used the conventional plastic cup they provided. (See, you can take me out in public.)

Also, I am not “bendy.” I confirmed this in the mirror that covered the whole wall. (There was no getting away from that mirror anywhere in the room.) Touching my toes in the warm up and cool down sessions? Surely you jest. Wiggle my upper body and my lower body, left and right, up and back? Not so much. I looked like a tree trunck with limbs blowing in the wind. The Ents from Middle-earth in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings are more limber than I am.

Are my elbows and hips supposed to know what the other is doing? Mine don’t. I could star in a movie titled “White Woman Can’t Dance.” But I’m going back. Turns out, they will let just anyone in, even me.

It’s The Humidity

I must the only human being on the planet to gain weight while exercising.

When I can, I go for a walk on weekend mornings. I weigh before walking. On occasion, I weigh myself again after walking.

Somehow my birthday suit weighs more after an hour’s walk than before. I step off the scale and back on, giving it a chance to reconsider. I wonder if my scale is related to my GPS, Missy, who loves to tell me that she is recalculating.

As an aside, Missy isn’t as smart as she presents herself to be. She can’t find my house, for instance. She doesn’t show any roads south of FM 1327 in Creedmoor. I suspect she thinks the world is flat and that I will fall off when I turn south. I turn south anyway and manage to arrive home without her help.

However, my scale does not “recalculate.” Even after my stepping off and back on, it doesn’t change its mind about the number it presents. Pfft!

I didn’t drink or eat anything since I weighed before my walk. How is it that the scale result is higher? I don’t know, but there it is. The only thing I can figure out is that all those water-laden molecules I inhaled during my walk infiltrated my bloodstream and expanded. (Remember, water weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon and it’s very humid in central Texas. Very humid.)

When I go in for my annual checkup and my doctor mentions my weight gain, I’m going to tell her the truth: It’s not me, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. PFFT!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship

Here we are, two Muddy Buddy buddies in 2008, after crossing the finish line/mud pit. I’m the muddy Muddy Buddy buddy.

The best part of the whole Muddy Buddy experience was when Shelly (with sunglasses) got this photo from the photographer and wondered “who that was standing next to her.” True story.

Just this week, someone asked us if we were sisters. I don’t think we really look alike, do you? Although, in this photo, we are dressed alike. Underneath all that mud on me is a pink shirt just like Shelly’s. True story.

Two Muddy Buddy buddies, one really muddy

Two Muddy Buddy buddies, one really muddy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship

Bat Slobber

In my jogging days (back when I was young and in my 40s), I often jogged on the Town Lake trail. (Town Lake is now known as Lady Bird Lake.) It’s a wonderful trail, a set of loops, actually, with the longest loop measuring 10 miles. Depending on where you start and how far you want to jog, you can choose from a 3-mile, 4-mile, 5-mile, or 10-mile loop. You can mix-and-match or just do an up-and-back jaunt.

It’s wonderfully shaded, well maintained, has distance markers, and restrooms and water fountains. It crosses under the Ann W. Richards Bridge (formerly known as Congress Avenue Bridge), among others. What makes the Ann W. Richards Bridge famous is the Mexican Free-Tailed bat colony that lives on the underside of the bridge. It’s the world’s largest urban bat colony.

The bat colony is one of Austin’s tourist attractions. It’s quite a sight when they leave the bridge at dusk. Hmm, somehow the returning of the bats at dawn doesn’t seem to be as much of an attraction. Austin’s former professional ice hockey team was named the Ice Bats. Austin has all kinds of t-shirts, mugs, and postcards with the bats on them.

The bats live under the bridge from spring to fall, March to November. The jogging trail passes under the bridge and therefore so did I, when jogging that particular loop. On one particular uncoordinated occasion, I stumbled over a pebble while jogging under the bridge, and fell.

Ow. I scraped my hands and knees. Nothing to worry about, I thought, until I noticed where I was: underneath the bat colony. I could hear them and I could smell them. I wondered if I had fallen into some bat slobber — or worse. I washed my hands and knees thoroughly when I got home. Several times. That was years ago, so I’m guessing that there was nothing in the bat slobber to make me sick. But if you’re ever in Austin and underneath the bat colony, watch your step so that you don’t fall!