January 29, 2016

The Warrior Princess Workout

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Driving down the road, you fantasize about spending your lottery winnings. In the shower, you have a flirtatious conversation with a hot movie star. Of course, in your mind you're never a flabby middle-aged woman in desperate need of a grey touchup. You are a Warrior Princess with rock hard abs and not a dimple of cellulite. You'd like nothing more than to trade your mundane existence in for a more exciting life, a more exciting you. These days are usually prompted by

Hormones – it comes and goes every month: those periods of such intense yearning that nothing will fill the hole in your soul but watching back-to-back Jane Austen movies or locking yourself away to drool over steamy pirate novels. When that hormonal cocktail is at its peak, you rediscover your old nemesis

Motivation – that which gets you off your duff and makes you think, for a time at least, that you can do anything you set your mind to. You are now Determined (with a capital D!) to take on the world. And the first thing you need to do is wrest back control of your body. You can't be a Warrior Princess if you look like the Pillsbury Doughboy's main squeeze, so you break out the hand weights and pop in a workout DVD. Fueled by hormonal urges, you are on fire…until you're sidelined by

Physical limitations – the vicious circle of soreness that hits after every workout. That nagging reoccurring pain in your shoulder, Achilles tendon or hip. Pain sets in for the duration – you find it hard to sleep, leading to

Exhaustion – that horrible, headachy feeling, like some psychic vampire sucked out all your energy and left you a mere husk trying to live your life. Getting off the couch is restricted to daily living; the simplest chores feel like you're climbing Mount Everest and just the thought of working out makes you want to dig your own grave and take a nap in it. It's now up to

Mind over matter – an elusive force, slippery as a buttered eel. It takes a monumental effort to get moving, but you still recall how it felt last week when you were in the yearning phase. You remind yourself that phase will return - and you don't want to start all over again, do you? But real life is quite rudely intruding on the fantasy and you're having trouble imagining the

Payoff – will it be worth it that your husband (whose beer belly rivals the pregnant lady next door) will find you more attractive? Is it enough that family, friends and neighbors will notice the new you? Does the prospect of living longer with your newfound health make you happy – or do you cringe at the thought of your workouts being

Endless. My God, have I only been on this friggin' treadmill for ten minutes? Ow…ow…what now? Feels like my knee is about to pop out of the socket! Okay, I think it's time for

Excuses – the opposite of motivation. You worked out hard all week like a good girl, so you deserve a break. And a hot fudge sundae…yeah…calories be damned! During the intense chocolate buzz that follows, you are truly happy for the first time in weeks. But it's doomed to be short-lived. You recognize that this is the first of many upcoming excuses which will disrupt your Warrior Princess goal…but you can no longer be bothered to care because now you're dealing with

PMS – we all get it in one form or another, whether we admit it or not. It heavily influences your powers of concentration, and just acting like a normal human being feels like an accomplishment. Especially since all you want to do is devour the contents of the refrigerator and kill everyone and everything that vexes you, most notably anyone who actually resembles a Warrior Princess. You glance over at your hand weights with deep, heartfelt contempt, pleased when you muster enough self-control not to hurl them through the bedroom window. PMS sheds bright halogen lights on

Reality – that which is impossible to ignore on a consistent basis. These are the imagination's darkest days, when fantasy's influence is on the wane. Power through! – is your battle-cry. And you do, because you have to. Then one day while driving to the grocery store it suddenly occurs to you that if you did win the lottery, you'd be mingling with the rich and famous. Best to get a jump on the body you'll need to pull it off. Time to get cracking on that

Warrior Princess workout.