You know those infomercials that suck you in at two in the morning? You know perfectly well you should be asleep, yet there you are watching in fascination as ripped blondes and stunningly beautiful male torsos gyrate through a workout in a groovy converted warehouse gym while being shouted at by a former Marine drill sergeant who nevertheless somehow broadcasts his overwhelming approval by how his students are WORKING it as they leap high, drop to the ground, do a push up, and leap up again, over and over again.
Yeah, I’ve watched them too. And I’ve found myself thinking “Well, I’D like to have abs like that blonde lady’s.”
There’s always a passage where they show the “before” pictures, and all those buff bodies look just like blobby people before they surrendered their will to the drill sergeant. They looked like me. You too, probably.
So it’s simultaneously fascinating and shaming. After all, they once looked like me – and now LOOK at them. It must be my self-discipline; the only thing standing in the way of that eight-pack body is that I’m just lazy.
Then 60 Minutes or 20/20 does a searing exposé in which they uncover the fact that all the students have ALWAYS been gym rats, and the “before” photos were taken a year after a significant sports injury. Given the chance to sit on the couch and eat Doritos, even athletes will take it (even as they itch to get back in the gym and do more wind sprints) – and they, too, can blob up.
Of course, below their blubber is STILL an eight-pack – so when they sign the agreement with the drill sergeant and begin to melt back to their natural state, it LOOKS like a normal blobby person can do this, too. It’s a con, in other words.
I’m thinking about that because I HAVE A NEW OUTFIT to work out in. I’m pretty sure I love it, but there’s a chance I look like Botticelli’s “Primavera” about a year after a significant sports injury.
Primavera, for those not up on their Italian renaissance iconography, stands not just for spring but for youth, freshness, innocence, hope. (And now that I think of it, it’s entirely possible that “primavera” means “first greening,” which I think is the very best phrase for springtime I’ve ever heard. Don’t tell me if that’s not what the Italian word means.)
I assume she’s pretty buff, in her Renaissance “I’m pregnant like Mary” way; under her flowing robes there’s the 1500’s equivalent of a six-pack. (She’s too modest to show off the eight-pack; you have to show a LOT of belly to see the lowest striations in the fascia.) So say she pulled a hammy at a Maypole dance and had to sit out the festivities for a bit; think she’d come back looking a bit like this outfit??