Freudian Slips: Sneak Peak At Personal Training

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

December 20, 2007

Sneak Peak At Personal Training

At the turn of every year, millions of overweight Americans pledge a New Year's resolution to lose weight. Such a pledge had me back at the gym working extra hard. There is nothing like taking a personal training session with a hardcore certified fitness instructor. Julio’s chiseled physique resembled that of a professional body builder. His baritone voice possessed boot camp qualities. Although my mind drew different conclusions, I did whatever he said during the hour long session.

“Take this 15 lb. medicine ball and slowly move it laterally across your torso. Do it with your feet anchored to the floor.” He demonstrated flawless form then handed me the ball.

“Joe, I said slowly move the medicine ball not swing it.” His pencil thin mustache wrinkled when he spoke. “There how does that feel?”

“It hurts like bad medicine ball.”

He corrected me. "It is a good hurt, the right kind of hurt to get your body back into shape. I don’t want to see you sticking out your belly.” He pressed on my stomach with his open palm. “When you are talking to me, feel your core.”

He waiting for me to ask the question. “My core?”

“Drop the ball. Now suck in your stomach and hold it. Look at yourself in front of this mirror. Go on.”

I looked twenty pounds lighter in the full length mirror so long as I held my breath. While he continued to study me like a work in progress, I opted for oxygen the first time he looked away. With his eyes back on me, I sucked in my gut.

“That’s right. Now that is the upright midline position I want you to adopt.”

“Joe, how do you feel?”

“On the verge of fainting or getting a hernia, sir!”

“Try not to look like you are a red balloon ready to pop. You must hold that midline position while you walk, talk, and breathe. There will come a day that you thank me.”

I questioned, “There might come a day when I want to breathe. When will I be thanking you?”

“If you ever work in a high-rise building and it catches fire, it is the strength of your core that will help you safely escape.”

“I work in a rancher. My desk is thirty feet from the closest exit. I’ll get out the door with my belly shaking like scared Jell-O.”

Even a crack of humor escaped his constitution. “Here is a different scenario, same principle.” he plotted. “You have to be able to lift yourself up. You must be able to hoist your body weight. It is the only way you can play effectively with your kids.”

I thought about the activity level of each of my four kids. Humm, as long as there is enough space on the sofa, Playstation never asked for anything other than fit thumbs.

He harked apocalyptic scenarios. “If there is another war on our homeland, the donut eating soft underbelly of society will wish they developed their core abs.”

I played out the scenario in my head. If the United States Army drafts this flat-footed forty-five year old with a weak midsection, we are going to lose before I down my next donut.
As we moved from machine to machine, my instructor would not relent. “When you are reclined in a dental chair and the hygienist instructs you to rinse, do you want to continue to wait for the hydraulic chair to inch forward, or do you want to sit-up dignified under your own recognizance?”

As my body pressed on with the rigors of exercise, I laid out the pros and cons in my head. A washboard stomach getting me faster to a rinse cup twice a year is no reason to do grueling daily abdominal exercises like I am cross training for an Olympic decathlon.

“No woman wants a Pillsbury dough boy.” He drilled. “Now grab this pull-up bar. Women want six pack abs. The ladies want a rack of rock solid ribs.”

I thought to myself. Bread, beer, and ribs. He is making my stomach hungry.

“Your midsection is vital to how women view you as a sex object.”

I disagreed, “No it’s not.” I could feel the pinch of my wedding band on the pull bar. “My wedding ring is how women view me. I am married.”

Over the next hour, he hung me upside down like a bat. He reclined me on what could have passed for a gynecological table. He made me catch and throw a ball that was too heavy for league bowling. He made me swear that I would refrain from all-you-can eat buffets.

Following my personal training workout, I felt exhausted just walking to my car. I was afraid of becoming a paraplegic in an automobile accident. I held onto a lingering irrational fear that Japan might bomb Pearl Harbor again. I was afraid that Osama Bin Laden lurked behind the bushes. I wondered if terrorists had hijacked the planes in the sky. Of course, I blamed the unpleasant images on my abdominal area rotting to the core. My hand swept my aching stomach muscles that now consumed my undivided attention. With a thunderous exclamation point, I tripped on my untied shoelaces across the sidewalk. May this lesson reach the millions making New Year's Eve resolutions. When you put your best foot forward in exercise, make sure your shoes are tied.

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9 Comments:

Blogger mommanator said...

o they gonna be calling you MR Softy at work! how would ya like that! LOL it must get easier! I have never tried such stuff- God did make me this way and he don't make junk! However I am 60 and don't have to exercise my thumbs on the video games!

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Boot Camp Tornatore has been one-upped by Boot Camp Julio

11:09 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

mommanator,
thanks for the thumbs up! lol

anonymous,
Yeah. That was me and Julio down by the schoolyard. lol

6:14 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

With nothing witty to say ... I just wanted to stop in quickly this time to wish you and yours a happy, healthy and love-filled Christmas and new year!

7:56 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

weary,
yes, happy to you and yours this holiday.

12:04 PM  
Blogger e said...

Well, if the smells coming from your kitchen are any indication (that tilapia last week smelled AMAZING), you might be fighting a losing battle.

Try some tennis.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

e,
as I am reading this, I have another batch of tilapia in the oven. how ironic.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Marcus said...

I read all of Julio's lines with an Arnold Swartzinager voice. What a crack-up.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

marcus,
If he could only see me throw a snowball at the supermarket. lol

10:11 PM  

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