Farewell Letter: Ode To My Personal Trainer
I recall being deeply distressed the summer I turned seventeen because I had to replace my retiring gynecologist AND my globe-trotting hairstylist at the same time. Replacing the gynecologist didn’t upset me nearly as much as replacing my hairstylist. I mean, my hair stylist knew how my hair ticked, so-to-speak. She introduced me to the permanent wave and myriad new-fangled hair beauty products that promised to make my limp hair lush and my curly hair sparkle. Anyone with the will and an M.D. could tend to my vagina, I reasoned. I mean, at least at that point my vagina was kind of on auto-pilot and didn’t require much attention. I didn’t have to face my vagina in the mirror every day. The hair was completely on display, unlike my vagina, I’m happy to report. Hair is important. It’s a personal reflection of your character as a person. Very unlike the vagina. Who really cares about the vagina? But knowing how to approach my hair? That shit was crucial, and a real skill not easily duplicated by just anyone.
I was reminded of that traumatic teenage summer recently when I checked out a new exercise class at the YMCA. You see, I have to replace my personal trainer. For the better part of a year I have been working out with my same friend, Letetia, and the personal trainer we’ve both developed an affinity for, Beau. I populate my calendar on days we work out with “BeauTetia”. They complete me. The three of us are like a (polyamorous) old married couple, finishing each others’ sentences, looking the other way instinctively when some sudden move reveals more of the jiggly bits than intended. Accidentally letting out a curse word on purpose during a strenuous move.
Beau knows we hate Credence Clearwater Revival when it pops up on his rotating play list but that he can crank up the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He would never expect us to do leg squats to “Bad Moon Rising.” The three of us working out together are like a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. We just go together, all the flavors complimenting each other. We are the drugs, sex and rock-n-roll of the gym, so-to-speak. A triple force with which to be reckoned. We are so comfortable, in fact, I could let one loose and we’d all just laugh. Not that I’ve done that. Because I haven’t. Beau was supposed to get me in shape before my next high school reunion this fall. Turns out he has dreams and goals that don’t include the firming of my buttocks or the reduction of my waist band. Bastard.
And these people in the exercise class I was trying out, they all knew each other and I was the outsider. And people kept stealing my shit! That’s my exercise ball, dingus! I got that thigh band out for my own use! Hey! I’m sitting on this mat! They weren’t doing the exercises right and didn’t know I wasn’t being lazy on that thrust move because of that back thing I have going on. Their little digs at each other were annoying because they weren’t my digs. They were all insider jokey. As if. I mean I could deliver a verbal zinger Beau’s way with aplomb. And there was much rejoicing. I know I’ll find my way eventually. My sad, sad belly may not, but I will persevere.
I wish you well, Beau, my friend! If my gut expands after you enter this new chapter of your life, I will have only myself to blame. Though, let’s be honest. I am totally going to blame you.