Fit

I’m the least-athletic person you know.

No.

Really.

I’m sure I’ve told you that in elementary school, there was this poor lunking girl also named June who was somehow touched in the head. I’d like to think nowadays she’d have gotten more help. She was sort of out of it, and also she had really bad asthma, and they just kind of stuck her in school and made her duke it out with the other kids.

When it came time to pick teams, which I think might be the worst thing you can do to a kid, at the end it’d always be the touched girl and me.

Stupid team leaders would stare at us both, then sigh.

Gardens,” the stupid athletic leader kid, who I hope has bad knees now, would say, with the joy of a thousand funerals. I was always second-to-last. Thank god for the poor other June. She kept me from dead last.

Knowing you’re really bad at athletic things doesn’t encourage you to become an athletic thing. I wasn’t inspired to break through my issues and score the winning touchdown on the baseball field or whatever.

I have never known the joy of winning anything, other than the evident genetic lottery with all this hotness. And that is why, 19 years ago now, I trained for six months and ran a marathon. I wish blogs had been a thing then, because you would have had six months of me complaining about people asking, “A marathon? Are you going to run 26 miles, or…?”

THAT’S A MARATHON. YES. OTHERWISE I’D HAVE SAID a 10K or a — oh, never mind.

Believe it or not, my physique from running 26 miles (“Are you running 26 miles, or…?”) has left the building, the temple that is June Gardens. So that is why I once again picked up the mantle of athleticism and got a personal trainer in May. I get athletic once a generation.

One might wonder how I can afford to do that, hire a trainer, and I will tell you: I have $700 each pay period to throw around after I pay bills. And by “throw around,” I mean I have $700 for frivolous things like food and dog food and cat food and vet bills, but also for StitchFix, which I quit; and Netflix, which I quit; and Amazon Prime, which I quit; and pedicures and eyebrow waxes, which I quit. That manicure I got with The Poet last Friday was the first nail thing I’d done in an age. I used to go once a month.

So I gave up a lotta small things in order to have this big thing, which costs me $180 out of my $700 each pay period.

However, I just love it. She makes me do things I’d never do, like get up from the couch, for example. But also, if I’d gone to a gym, I’d never have tried to balance on that stupid half ball thing that looks like an enormous blemish. I’d have done zero squats. And plank this.

When I got in my accident and couldn’t go, I figured I’d have to start from scratch once I returned, but I’m happy to report that after three weeks back I look about the same as I did after three months of early workouts.

And here’s the best part, other than my Michelle Obama arms, and you can all suck it with your peasant woman dough arms. Okay, my arms aren’t Michelle Obama yet BUT THEY LOOK BETTER.

Anyway, the best part is, she’ll ask me to do something I couldn’t do a few weeks before. Like, this one thing? She puts down what looks like two paper plates only they’re made of plastic. And I have to do a goddamn plank and put my feet on those paper plates and move my legs about like a bug.

The first time we tried it, it was a bust. I couldn’t even do the plank part, much less the paper plate part. “Okay, maybe we don’t do these,” she said, shuffling me off to the giant blemish.

She got out those paper plates on Tuesday, and I was all, doesn’t she remember I can’t do these? God. And then I got into a plank and moved those paper plates around like it was no big deal. Like I was the fittest bug in town.

Also on Tuesday she had me lie on the floor with a thick heavy medicine ball in my hands, and I don’t even like medicine. I never even watched Dr. Quilt Medicine Woman or whatever it was. Anyway I lifted the heavy ball over my head, DID A SIT-UP and threw the ball at her.

“Does she honestly think I can–” I started, before DOING A DAMN SITUP WITH THAT MILLION-POUND BALL AND THROWING IT THE FUCK RIGHT AT HER.

Sometimes when I write “fuck” I think of gentle, faithful reader Tee who has put up with my fucks for 10+ years now.

So, my point is, other than on the day of my marathon, October 22, 2000, I think this is the most athletic I’ve ever been. I am available for all your soccer skirmishes and football contests if you need a third or whatever.

Strong-armly,
June

42 thoughts on “Fit

  1. Omg. Yes. Picked last. Fuxk you school. I loved when I could actually jog..ish. I was so proud of myself. And, yes smaller size. Then knee. Now that I’m seeing a chiro every week and they set my knee (and other things) straight I wonder if this mature woman could jogish once or twice a week. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  2. I will be heading back to the gym next week. I have had injury after injury this summer and haven’t gone for about 2 months. I dislocated and broke a bone in my finger which laid me off for one of those months. Ugh. I have those batwing arms back now and I’m not happy about it, so cannot wait until that fixes itself again. I have to say that I have missed my workouts because I did look better after going there regularly. I felt better about myself, too.

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  3. Wow…really inspiring! I’ve been walking for a few months and am pretty happy with how I’m feeling. But, definitely think it”s time to do a little more,

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  4. Good for you June!!
    I remember in high school we had to run and I made sure I was running against the girl with the hole in her heart and the purple lips so I wouldn’t be dead last. She was faster than me!

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    • I just snorted unbecomingly at this. When I run at night I console myself with the thought that if I get attacked at least I can lie down.

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  5. I took gymnastics when I was 6 until I was 13. But I sucked at other sports. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t hit a ball in softball. I could only flip and tumble. Now I flip and tumble down stairs and break bones. Sigh.

    I wish I was motivated to go to a gym or get a personal trainer. I am losing a decent amount of weight on Keto, but I’m in terrible shape and I know I could probably lose faster if I worked out. I’m super proud of you!

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  6. So glad you are “getting back on the horse.” And quickly too! Go for those arms! I have found that you can get those kind of quick but you have to work at it every day or they leave just as fast as they came. Darn. There is nothing better than making yourself move – but it sometimes takes a few mind tricks. And a lot of bribery! haha
    You go girl!

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  7. Your athleticism is awesome! Way to go getting back to the trainer after having to stop for a bit. I only have two things that light me up right now. Talking about dogs and my lord and savior pilates. I am the strongest I have been in my adult life and it feels good. I like the comment about paying money now for the exercise or doctors later. That is where I was previously in my life, except the doctors were already there.

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  8. “…the stupid athletic leader kid, who I hope has bad knees now, would say, with the joy of a thousand funerals.” Can we all just say that most of us have had this thought before? Said the girl who could never pass the President’s Physical Fitness test, ever, because of that damn softball throw.

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  9. Looks like a giant blemish- ha ha ha! Love that. Good for you. I used to strictly walk. Now that I am old (um- in my 40s) (ok- late 40s) my pinky fingers are deformed and my sciatica sucks big time, but I do high intensity classes. I love it- mostly when class is over! I have NEVER even considered a marathon.

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  10. Congratulations on the muscles. I bet you will feel younger the stronger you get.
    The paper plate things sound like furniture movers my mom uses.
    We are moving her 20 yr. collection of junk from her house and I have found muscles that I didn’t know existed .

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  11. I am super impressed! I hated gym in high school. except for junior year when I lost 30 pounds and went to Elaine Powers to work.out with my favorite aunt. I do remember those wonderful feelings of accomplishment when a new exercise became possible, then easy. It’s been decades but I have great recall. Go YOU, June. I hope to try to be more fit and some future time. You are an inspiration to many!

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  12. Ooh, I hated sports, too. Especially dodge ball, if that can even be called a ‘sport.’ WTH was the point of having balls thrown at you? Geez…but there are other ways to move our joints and gain benefits. So glad you’re pursuing this, June. Always thought having a personal trainer would keep me focused. Just never got there. But I do walk 40 minutes every day, and it always makes me feel better after I do. Plus i get to visit with the neighborhood dogs and get my pets in; enjoy the fall colors and chats with neighbors when they’re out and about. Keep pushing. It’ll be short sleeve weather before you know it and you can show off those sculpted arms!

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  13. Personal training is my favorite, favorite thing but alas, does not fit in my budget at this time. But, I too am an adult-onset athlete. Since my forties, I have run several marathons, walked a marathon, received my first-degree blackbelt in Muay Thai Boxing, and done myriads of other things I never thought I’d do. It feels great, doesn’t it?!

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  14. I remember the pain of being picked almost last every time. Until one time I made a completely lucky catch playing flag football and scored a touchdown. Next time I was picked relatively quickly. Alas, is was short-lived. My catch was a fluke.

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  15. I’m very impressed. I wish I had the motivation, but exertion can give me a migraine which I fall back on as an excuse BUT IT REALLY HAPPENS. Still, it might not if I did it more often. Michelle’s arms are definitely a goal.

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  16. I finished your post feeling all satisfied and proud and then I remembered it wasn’t me, it was you. You deserve to feel all satisfied and proud.

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  17. Thanks for the excellent update with the trainer. I remember how *strong* I felt when working out with a trainer. Also, early in the morning. It seems like my best fitness endeavors are early morning (trainer, Masters swimming, TRX, get-it-done-before-work on the bike/treadmill/weights, etc.).

    I started PT last week for an arthritic shoulder, with a side serving of rotator cuff tendonitis. Ugh. It came on suddenly, which sucks big time. He said I could do yoga and Pilates, which I like, but no planks for a good bit. Wake up call. Time for some serious changes.

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  18. That is great, June. So proud of you! I was very athletic when I was young and was one of only two girls who won an athletic award in school. Elementary school, but still. Now I can barely walk and only shop where there carts I can use to help me maneuver throughout the stores.

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  19. I love it!! I started a diet that’s going well, but have had a hard time with the exercise part—trying to stick with it!

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  20. Add me to the list of those chosen last in elementary school. In Red Rover the opponents would always try to break the line where my skinny arns were. Ouch!

    The stupid athletic leader kid DOES have achy hips and knees, a bad back, and at least one shoulder/hip/knee replacement. My trainer (a hot man of color 30 years my junior) says we who were non-athletic types in youth and early adulthood are the ones who at retirement age are best able to live free of pain. I’ll take that as a win. Trainers are a big expense, but we pay them now or pay the doctor and hospital later. Good for you for sticking with it!

    “Winning touchdown on the baseball field…” Why do I get the feeling that you know much more about sports than you let on? It reminds me how it takes a great deal of knowledge to get every question wrong on a multiple choice exam. But a knowledgeable discussion of sports wouldn’t be entertaining and you’d end up with Hulk as your only reader.

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    • This is so true of the athletic leader having problems now. My husband was in football his whole high school career. He has had back surgery and a hip replacement already and he is only 55. He has pain all the time with his sciatic nerve too.

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  21. Way to inspire us, June! After years of walking SadieDog up and down our hilly neighborhood, I’m good with that, but unless I can learn to walk on my hands, I need to work on upper arm strength and balance. Until then, just call me peasant woman with the dough arms.

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  22. I have a good friend that’s approaching 80 and she planks! I’m afraid I would fall and break something, like my nose.

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  23. I appreciate your acknowledge. I just try to jump over the f words. I’m right there with you about being non-athletic and being the last kid selected for any athletic game. I was usually the smallest person in my class, and had two left feet, I could never hit the soft ball and I was always the first one hit when we played dodge ball. I always thought dodge ball was so rough, in fact, a good friend’s granddaughter just got a “mild” concussion playing that game.
    I’m really impressed with your physical/athletic accomplishments. You go girl!

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  24. Lovely post, Coot.

    You see in my school it was the parapeligic kid and then me. So I get the non-athletetic thing. Also and too on days when we played some hard hitting game like dodge ball or everyone hit Gladys with a hard baseball, she would send me on errands for her. I would dutifully carry a note to Mrs. Whatshername on the other side of the campus. Then I would wait like a midevil page while she wrote a reply. Then I would slog the 3000 miles back to the playground where my teacher would answer and send me back. Hey wait. I bet they were blank or just setting up a time to go get a beer. She was just making me get exercise..

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  25. I don’t know what to say other than, WOW, and way to go! But I mean it sincerely!
    I am similarly athletically inclined and you may have just inspired me. I will sing Wind Beneath My Wings to you when I can jog from my car to across the yard to my door without being winded.

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  26. Did I ever tell you you’re my hero? I’d like to think once I get my casts off, I’ll start working out, but I’m just as likely to win the lottery. Way to go Michelle!

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  27. Yay! That’s amazing, June!! I started working out again in June and same thing – I was cussing the woman out with the core workout and there was no way I could hold a side plank. Now I can hold it and can start to think about moving my arm up too! I’m not at the stage where I can move the top leg but baby steps! Way to keep at it! ❤️❤️

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