A workout would be great, if time allowed

Published 5:12 pm Saturday, September 21, 2013

Column: Pass the Hot Dish, by Alexandra Kloster

I nearly competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics. The balance beam was my best event. Sure Mary Lou Retton got the perfect score, but my floor routine set to the theme from “B.J. and the Bear” would have made me the emotional favorite. This fantasy was based upon my ability to almost do a one handed cartwheel and walk across a two by four held aloft by a couple of folding chairs.

Eventually my mom needed the chairs for a party, and my nephew used the two by four to build a fort. My wrist got really sore from the sort-of cartwheels and “B.J. and the Bear” faded into obscurity. I had to accept that I would never be a gymnast, a figure skater or very good at kick ball.

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Maybe I wasn’t an athlete, but like all health conscious Americans, I committed to start and abandon as many different exercise regimens as I could.

The best one I ever quit was yoga. Even as a novice, yoga made me feel like I had a head full of calm and a body full of even keel. Now that I have twin toddlers, I could use a little steady as she goes, and I’d like to try yoga again.

I have the time. That is, I have the minutes. I just don’t have them all strung together in one place. I had to get creative with what I have available to me, so I’ve developed my own workout. It’s not based on a continuous flow of energy like traditional yoga. It’s based on grabbing seconds of stillness throughout the day, and it’s called …

I’ve been trying to think of a name, but so far all I can come up with is, “The ‘Hey, Gwyneth Paltrow, this is the best I can do right now, so back off’ yoga workout.” It’s a work in progress.

Start your day with the prayer pose because you’re going to need it. I usually accompany it with the mantra, “Dear God, help me get through this day without doing anything to cause my children to write mean spirited memoirs about me when they grow up, but if they do, please, God, let Annette Bening play me because I’ve always wanted to be taller and married to Warren Beatty.”

Follow this with child’s pose because you want to trick them into thinking you’re one of them and you’re all in this together.

Then quickly leave the room and assume warrior pose because you’re not one of them. You’re in charge and they’re going to listen to you.

After 10 minutes, slip back to child’s pose. Clearly, they are in charge.

At some point during the day, remember you have a dog. Let him out, feed him and get into downward facing dog position. Look him in the eye, even though you are upside down, and say, “I’m really sorry about all this.” If he doesn’t forgive you, slide into cat pose and say, “Listen pal, it could be worse.”

Around lunchtime, after you’ve fed your toddlers, try tree pose. If you stand still enough it’s possible they will forget you exist and you can stuff some food in your mouth. Worst case scenario is they’ll try to climb you.

We save couch pose for naptime. Couch pose can be fallen into or dove into if necessary. Attempt couch pose with the remote control in one hand and coffee in the other for extra dexterity practice. Never skip couch pose. Couch pose is awesome.

Liberated pose is a bit of a misnomer. It takes a bit of pretending, but you can do it. When the babysitter arrives, imagine you are headed to the airport where you will board a plane bound for Paris, Rome, Madrid, wherever your heart desires. You might as well fly first class. This is a fantasy after all.

Then drive to the grocery store, glance in the mirror before you get out of the car and realize you have an unidentifiable substance streaked through your hair that will never pass for highlights. Clean yourself off as well as you can and forge ahead. For your cupboards are bare, and your sparkling personality isn’t going to fill any stomachs.

Finally, after you put your toddlers to bed, complete your workout by drifting into corpse position. No explanation necessary.


Woodbury resident Alexandra Kloster appears each Sunday. She may be reached at alikloster@yahoo.com, and her blog is at alexandrakloster.com.