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Several days ago Helpful Husband said to me, “Look in the mirror.  Just look.”  Thinking I had food on my face, I looked and saw, well, just me. 

Me:  “What?” 

HH:  “Your face.” 

Me:  “Yes?” 

HH:  “Your face is really getting thinner.  Look how your hair falls around your face.” 

Hmmmm.  I looked more closely.  Saw some chubbiness, covered by some loose skin where chubbier cheeks used to be.  Was HH trying to compliment me?  Give him the benefit of the doubt. 

Me:  (with suspicion)  “Well, I hadn’t noticed.  Um, doesn’t really seem that way to me, but thanks.” 

HH:  (clearly proud of himself)  You’re welcome.

Twenty-four hours later, I was still trying to determine what he’d REALLY meant by that statement.  Then it hit me.

Me:  (sweetly, approaching HH who’d been snoozing in front of the TV)  Honey, remember yesterday when you said my face looked thinner?

HH:  (confused)  Um, yeah.  I guess.

Me:  Well, I was wondering if you said that because you’d looked at the rest of me and were noticing how in spite of all the running I was doing, my behind was really NOT getting thinner.

HH: (clearly alarmed and terrified that he’d been boxed into this position so quickly)  What?!  I never said that!

Me:  Yes, but you only said anything about my face.  Clearly you meant that my butt was still big.

HH:  (awake now,  nearing panic.)  I did NOT say that!  What are you talking about?!

Me:  Don’t you remember complimenting me on my face being thinner?

HH:  No, I was complimenting your hair.

Me:  WHAT?!  Now you’re taking back the compliment you I did give?  Are you saying my face doesn’t look thinner?

HH:  I was talking about your hair!

Me:  So now not only my butt is fat, but my face is fat too?!

HH:  I was talking about your hair!

Me:  You’re even saying my HAIR is fat?!

HH:  I never said any part of you was fat!

Me:  Yes you did, I heard you.

HH:  I cannot believe this!  I bet you don’t remember all the times I’ve complimented you on how great you’re looking over the past few months.  How proud of you I am.  How…

Me:  All I can think about right now is that you’ve just called me fat three different ways.

HH:  I cannot believe this!  This is so unfair! 

Me:  I feel a blog post coming on.

HH:  Oh no.

Me:  I’ll only print the truth.

HH:  I’m planked.

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***UPDATED at 3:25 PM CST***Scroll to bottom for Update***

 

sbWalkPlank[1]

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At some point in this running drama, I began to think that it might make a difference if my muscles actually were stronger.  That this difference might help me move along with more speed and efficiency. This is the kind of the difference between a cheetah and a walrus.  Walrus’s move, they just carry around a lot of extra, well, blubber.  So I figured, the more muscle, the less blubber.  And the more cheetah-like my running would eventually become. 

Nearly every training program recommends some form of strength or resistance training.  Actually, every program I’ve seen recommends this, however, I am still holding out hope that I may one day come across a program that can provide the strengthening results without the nasty resistance training. (This is the same part of me that hopes that money someday will grow on trees and the laundry someday will get up and do itself, mind you.)

Some people love weight training or resistance bands or sit-ups.  I am not one of these people.  But I have yet to find a short cut, and at some point I began to look for exercises that would help me be stronger, thereby making my runs more efficient and enjoyable (and less walrus-ish). 

A short while into my research, my friends Chris and Shelly were talking about this thing called The Plank.  Sounded like it belonged on a pirate ship with damsels in distress and sharks (as in “walk the _____”).  Since I prefer swimming only to drowning, this Plank thing really started out with some bad mental imagery for me. 

As it turns out, The Plank had nothing to do with water or pirates at all.  Chris explained that it was part of Pilates, which sounded like some kind of pastry to me, so I was getting pretty excited about the prospects at this point.  Sadly, Chris sent me an email with a link to a Plank video, and my hopes of abs-of-steel-through-pastry-eating were dashed.

I did try to find the Actual Video that Chris sent to me, but I’m sure that somehow I accidentally-on purpose deleted it.  Oopsie!  In any case, I’ve found another video that can share the joy of Plankdom with you:

Now this was pretty much consistent with the video that Helpful Chris sent to me.  Didn’t look too hard.  Not at all.  Easy-peasy.

What they didn’t show was the New Plankster.  The Plankster whose arms shook, whose sweat dripped of her forehead in buckets, whose stomach and fanny muscles wailed in pain.  And this was all after holding the position for a grand total of about four seconds. 

Now the exercise worked.  It was very fast and effective.  Which of course, explains exactly why I stopped doing it and resigned myself to more of a walrusy kind of running experience.  (Not really, but there’s no legitimate explanation at all, so I just made up a Ridiculous Response instead.) 

But things have changed now, and I’m afraid that I’m going to have to venture back to Plankdom and pick up where I left off. 

Since I’m actually going to Run A Marathon (there, I said it again!), I’m going to need all the cooperation from my body that I can get.  That includes my stomach, back and fanny muscles, which are now officially on notice that it’s time to get with the program. 

I predict The Plank Experiment will be a success.  And, other than unsightly character flaw of wanting to slap the woman in the video who can do the stinking exercise without so much as breaking a sweat, I’m sure that the effects of The Plank will be well worth the effort. 

And everyone will be happy.  Except perhaps for the walrus.  Who, quite frankly, can go plank itself.

[UPDATE:]

This just in.  An Actual Conversation heard in the Smith household today:

Helpful Husband (HH):  Great post, honey.  Are you, um, actually going to, um, start DOING that now?

Me:  (With a just a hint of sarcasm, flavored with my best June Cleaver tone) As opposed to what?  The way I’ve already been cooking up all those tasty recipes that everybody’s sent in? 

(Fact:  Haven’t even been to the grocery store yet.)

HH:  Oh, yeah.  Well, never mind. 

Determined to not have my hypocrisy underscored in my own household, I actually got down on the floor and did The Stupid Plank.  For 10 seconds.  Human seconds–not Violet the Cute Little Exercise Sadist Extra Long Seconds. 

And here’s what I’ve discovered:  when the stinky dog has been laying on your carpeting, right where you choose to do The Plank, it becomes So Much Easier to refrain from collapsing your exhausted body to the floor with your face in the carpet. 

The Moral of the Story:  There is something worse than The Plank.  It’s The-Plank-Over-Stinky-Dog-Carpet. 

The End.

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