Aerobics for the Hopelessly Uncoordinated

It's biased, I tell you. Biased! Aerobic workouts are great for the heart, good for burning calories and help get that ol' blood pumping. But what they are not good for are those millions of people in the world like me who are Coordination Impaired.

Instructors like Denise Austin and Kathy Smith make a 40-minute work-out look like a well-rehearsed stage production of A Chorus Line. Me, I turn it into the Tasmanian Devil hunting Wabbit. Arms and legs flail willy-nilly. Elbows jar at rakish angles. Feet kick in random convulsions. Forest creatures flee in my wake.

And this is only in my basement at home. Just imagine the kind of damage I could do if I actually subjected an aerobics class to me. They'd be Grapevining left, and I'd be off-stage right, trying to figure out how I spun myself into the coat closet.

So that's why I think we need Aerobics for the Hopelessly Uncoordinated. Something tailored specifically to the full-body-heave aerobics crowd. And while I'm not a licensed fitness trainer and would, obviously, need to work with one for any formalized instruction, I thought you all might enjoy seeing the sort of program I'm thinking about:

Warm up-- Get into your exercise clothes.
A great way to burn calories before the official exercising ever even begins is to try to actually get into some spandex exercise clothes.

First, put on the sports bra. Yes-- I'm well-aware a good 60% of Cabbages readers are men. But you don't think this excludes you, do you? Bah! No! You want to be a part of this class, you have to put some effort into it just like the rest of us. No whining!

I'll even give you some instructions on how it works. Think about it like taking a latex glove with all the fingers cut off...

Then try to stretch it over the head and shoulders of... oh... the Statue of Liberty.

Now that you're halfway through getting your sports bra over your head, note how you can't see, and you can't seem to find the right arm holes because somehow there are now 137 of them... This is a good time to do a few stretching moves.

It is also the ideal time to contemplate your greater place in the cosmos and how you will be spending the rest of your days on this planet trapped in the dark, half naked, with spandex on your head...

How your family or friends will find your lifeless corpse on the floor of the workout area, dried up and tangled in something black and clingy, and they won't be able to scrub that image from their minds for the eulogy...

Ah! There! That gave you the motivation to wrench the rest of the way into the sports bra, didn't it?

What, your muscles are strained from pulling this silicone inner tube over your head? And you say you can't breathe?

Perfect! Congratulations! Now do the same thing with your spandex shorts and you be well on your way to part two of the Aerobics for the Hopelessly Uncoordinated-- the Workout.

The Workout-- Freestyle Flailing.
Where so many aerobics workouts go wrong is by assuming you need to do all these different, specific moves to work various muscle groups. But anyone who is uncoordinated knows: simply by trying to follow the instructor, We the Few, the Proud, the Dangerously Clumsy are working more muscles at a time than all those graceful people who actually know where their feet and arms should go.

In trying to keep up... in trying to figure out why we'd ever want to put this foot behind that foot and do a shuffle-hop-step-clap-step-clap-step... we have managed to do two extra squats, wrapped our foot behind our left ear, elbowed our retina, and dislodged our colon.

And that's all in the first five minutes of the program! Just think of the kind of things we can get done if we can maintain that pace for the full 40.

And that's why I've developed Freestyle Flailing. See, when the instructions get too confusing, and you already have two black eyes and a bruised glutius maximus, you can choose to substitute the official move for any of these fun and exciting alternate moves which also will look ridiculous:
  • Modified Pee-Wee Herman Dance
  • Ride Thumbing with Feeling
  • Man Trapped in Box Mime Routine
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Mock-er-ena
  • The Bull-dance
  • Baby-circles
  • The Wave (not as visually stunning with just one person, but good for the thighs)
  • Stanley Cup Playoff High-Fiving
  • The Hokey Pokey
  • The Hand Jive
  • Develop-Your-Own
With Freestyle Flailing, you have a much greater choice in just how you wrench your back. And greater choice means less frustration and more days of working out once you get out of traction!

Now that we've done some flailing Our Way, let's move on to the last step in the program-- the Cool Down.

The Cool Down: Shouting Out Dried Blood Stains.
Ahhh... the relaxing cool down. This is the part of the program where we can take the time to wipe up those pools of blood from our head injuries, before they leave a permanent stain on the floor and walls. Take your time... now stretch for that blood spatter... hold it! There. Doesn't that feel good? Now start scrubbing the blood, sweat and tears from that sports bra.

Next-- pack ice on that wrenched knee... Gauze it... tape it... keep taping it. Ah! Yes, note how it now looks like a cancerous knot on a 100-year-old elm tree and you can't walk without the other knee bumping into it? Perfect!

Sure, it'll make getting those spandex shorts off difficult... but that's the final part of our stretching exercises.

I hope you've enjoyed these Aerobics for the Hopelessly Uncoordinated. We at Of Cabbages and Kings believe in promoting better health.

Now... can someone help me out of this spandex? Call the Emergency Rescue, we might need the Jaws of Life.



Sue said...

I consider myself somewhat coordinated but I can never get a sports bra on without great difficulty.
Funny post!

Jenn Thorson said...

Sue- I'm glad to know this difficult affects the coordinated folks, too. Sports bra resistance is apparently an epic battle of human versus inhuman manufactured fibers of death.

Chris @ Maugeritaville said...

Hilarious, Jenn! This is a great piece. And my sympathy goes out to you. I'd suggest staying with an exercise bike, or maybe a treadmill. But if it makes you feel better, get a treadmill with a TV so you could watch one of those aerobics shows while you're walk/running.

Jenn Thorson said...

Chris- Hey, thank you for the sympathies. I might be able to manage an exercise bike, but I suspect a treadmill might end up sending me into the next county on accident.

Can people DIE in an unfortunate treadmilling accident? Um, probably not. But I can definitely see me losing a limb or going projectile.

C.B. Jones said...

I'd buy that just to see the mime routine.

Jenn Thorson said...

C.B.- Ah, have you always secretly felt like a Man Walking Against The Wind? :)

chyna said...

Best part of your routine is that there will be no perky anorexic instructor screeching "Woohoo". I have been known to walk out of classes once the woohoo's start.

ReformingGeek said...

You've just described me trying to swim. Getting the swimsuit on is synonymous with the sports bra, right? Flailing? Yep. Need the Paramedics because lungs are exploding? Yep. Trying to remove wet swimsuit with arms that no longer work: priceless.

Fun post!

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- I'm such a hazard to myself and others, I haven't been to an aerobics class since high school. I fortunately have been sans-woo-hoos. :) Yes, that would be the breaking point for me...

Well, if the breaking point didn't involve fractured limbs.

ReformingGeek- Ah, yes, I can see the similarities there. I think the sports bra is a little more challenging simply because it has to go on over the head. But yup! Non-natural fibers will get you every time!

Da Old Man said...

I was laughing the entire time reading this. The Mrs has a thing for her back. All she has to do is lie on the floor, and put her legs on it. She probably gets more injuries than the thing cures thanks to her to total lack of coordination.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- I understand poor, dear Mrs. Crotchety's anguish over this. I truly don't think you can turn klutzes like us into ballerinas. It just goes against the balance of nature.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...


I got bruises just reading this.

And are you serious about 60% of your readers being men? How did that happen? Is it because you're hawt? It is because you're hawt, isn't it. Or is it that your blog appeals to men because they subconsciously feel they soak up testosterone because of the "Kings" part of your blog title?

Great post, Jenn!

Shawn said...

@ Nanny: It is because she's hot.

I chose to do the hambone for my freestyle flailing maneuver. I would have gone with the modified Pee-Wee, but I once was sent to the principal's office in shame for doing that very dance on a table in school.

I learned a great many things that day, including the difference between people laughing "at" you and laughing "with" you.

Though frankly, I'll still take either one.

The Mother said...

Now you just need to package it into a 90 day (with DVDs) workout system, and market it for an obscene price, and you'll make a fortune. Guaranteed.

Jenn Thorson said...

Nanny Goats- Based on regular commenters, I'd say it's about 60%... But I'D suggest it's because of the zombies and the tech-mockery and just being a bit mad in general...

Also I pay them. :)

Like Shawn here... CLEARLY a guy who received my payoff from Paypal.

PS- LOVE the Pee-Wee Herman story! I would say, tapping into my inner grade schooler, that perhaps you had received punishment from the world of adults, but you had to have become a hero to many for the daring statement of "Tequila."

Mother- Maybe I can do like those computer Professor CDs, where if you don't say you don't want another one, they just come and you get charged for them. :)

Skye said...

Oh Wow, that is hilarious! I hate to say it though, sports bra's are the only bras I wear! I find them incredibly comfortable, no annoying hooks to do up, and yep, easy to put on :D Guess it helps being almost

Me-Me King said...

Hysterical! Sounds a bit like me, I can barely walk without one of my knees making that "snap, crackle, pop noise. I think "chair aerobics" would be about the right speed for me. Awesome post, Jenn!

Jenn Thorson said...

Skye- Hm... But my problems lie more in the Over-the-head-trapped-shoulder area... (sigh) well, maybe I'll get the logistics of it someday. :)

Me-Me King- Ah, now, there's an idea-- chair aerobics could be a whole DVD of its own!

nipsy said...

I feel your pain. But forget the aerobics. Ever try Yoga for Klutz's? Yeah that's me. I once attempted the Praying Dragon and ended in the Doggie Style. Not quite sure how that happened, but I'll blame it on the man yelling out the instructions.

Jenn Thorson said...

Nipsy- Heh, perhaps you were a little toooo relaxed. :)

JD at I Do Things said...

HEE! Do you have instructions for getting a sports bra OFF? Once I'm all sweaty, sore, and stiff, it's practically impossible.

Jenn Thorson said...

JD- No, that's why I need the Jaws of Life...

I wish those darned emergency rescue people would HURRY UP! :)

Anonymous said...

You are too much.

I'm just picturing someone in the middle of Freestyle Flailing. Not only would that make workouts much easier, it would also make them fun.

I'll be waiting for you to put out a video.

Jenn Thorson said...

FreetheUnicorns- I recommend everyone try a Modified Pee-Wee Herman dance in the middle of their workout routine. See how it works for ya! :)

jay said...

"Then try to stretch it over the head and shoulders of... oh... the Statue of Liberty."


There is now absolutely zero chance of me getting myself into (and more to the point out of) a sports bra. Wrecked shoulders will do that to ya! LOL!

Jenn Thorson said...

Jay- Oh, I can only imagine what fun a wrecked shoulder would contribute into the mix!

Barbara said...

Just found this by googling "too uncoordinated to exercise."

I have laughed off the requisite calories for the day. So very, very true.

I'm now off to flail.