“My Incomplete manifesto on why Prometheus is motivating”

I will never ever ever ever again go to a Sci-Fi Movie.  I have been burned (almost literally if you count how close you seem to the explosions when viewing the 3D versions of these films anyway), too many times.  Tonight was just another example of why I try really hard not to go to these.  I always seem to get sucked in though.

 I am just not a Sci-Fi person. Not only do I already know that there is going to be some manly man who scoffs at people, and offers well timed quips that amble across his mouth surrounded by an impeccably groomed five-o-clock-shadow.  Which is, in and of itself, an oxymoron.  Aside from the thirty something protagonist, there is always a chick in a skin tight suit who predictably sucks his face.  I can deal with the soft character development and the predictable story, but the ruthless explosions and impossible CGI are relentless.  So much so, that I am actually lulled to sleep.  The meter of the booms, flash, and swoosh begins to meld into the low hum not unlike a washing machine and I begin to yawn.  How can you be yawning at a time like this!! “They’re trying to save the earth!”  my husband yells over the din.  My eyes are heavy, my head leans on his shoulder and I begin to dream.  You see, I SLEEP AT ALL SCI-FI MOVIES.  IT IS A PHENOMENON THAT I CANNOT CONTROL.  Aliens vs. Cowboys, SLEPT.

Any Nicholas Cage movie nowadays SLEEP.  Men in Black 3….you guessed it.  I SLEPT!  Don’t even ask about Harry Potter.  You must be joking if you think I didn’t SLEEP!

You see I am  in fact, the polar opposite of the Sci-Fi enthusiast.  I don’t want to be the good guy, I don’t want to find, crush or remove the bad guy.  I don’t want to save the world or bite my nails hoping that someone else does.  Why? because I know  it’s not real and it, in fact, doesn’t even look plausible to me.  Will Smith flying around as a homeless superhero in Hancock, was maybe legendary, but I couldn’t get over the fact that Will Smith WAS FLYING THROUGH THE AIR! and I’M SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE THAT? I’m sorry.  I have my limits.

I don’t like continuous crashing and swooshing and zipping and whirring.  It is not normal and pretty soon all that stuff just melds into white noise and I sleep.  I enjoy real suck face life.  I enjoy the weird moments, the indecision, the bad endings, hanging on the edge of a word.  I buy real emotion.  And of course the real hard won positive stuff that comes with documentary, docu-drama or full on dramatic interpretation.  Lincoln as a vampire? really? that’s another post because not only is this TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE, it’s almost sacrilegious.  I smell a protest on that one.  Comon’ America.  Don’t swallow that.  His memory is one of our national treasures and now he’s gonna join the ranks of Team Jacob and Team Edward? Really? Somehow Team Abe just does not ring well.

Tonight I scratched all my nail polish off to the screeching and drippy sounds of Prometheus.

I watched a woman pull an octopus out of her stomach.  I gazed at enough tubelike worms that I know know what H.R. Geiger’s wet dreams look like.  Unfortunately, the movie relied on a patchwork process of taking winning scenes from other sic-fi movies and jumbling them around so that they were almost unrecognizable from the movies from whence they came.  Okay, it was pretty much a patchwork copy with some obvious low brow CGI.  There is so much panting and sweat, that I wondered if I wasn’t in my evil woman’s boot camp class.

Unfortunately I found myself wishing I was. Sometimes It looks as though some of the women are in enough pain that they actually FEEL LIKE  a twenty pound gooey H.R. Geiger razor toothed  octo-alien is going to erupt from their bellies, but it’s just the burpies and the crunches.

I have now found my motivation to continue my women’s boot camp. I want to be fit enough to survive an alien invasion, to outrun zombies.  If a real life invasion is any where as confusing, underwhelming and unimaginative as Prometheus, I should only need a few classes.

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Kettle Belle Chronicles: “Why I’m hostile to exercise”, or… “follow the way of the Wrecking Belle in the Real Madrid T-shirt and yoga pants.”

I sometimes toy with the idea of attaining exercise god status. The black yoga pants wearer,  that adored symbol of strength and power.  The all knowing being whom saunters into Pinkberry without a care or a ripple on her behind.  I endeavored to be the cut / toned / tony-excessively smooth pantaloon wearer.

I embarked on this journey with some reservations but higher than proper expectations.   I only wanted to do this if it fit nicely within my carefully crafted idea of invigorating exercise, and I painted a pretty good picture of the journey in my mind.  A precise one in fact.   I would accept it if it was moderately tiring but yet refreshingly rejuvenating.  If I could meet other ladies and affiliate with them and we could form a team of supportive women working toward the goal of being ridiculously hot!   Where shared experience and hardship made the journey that much easier and rewarding.  I couldn’t picture myself caring much about some sweat.  It might only serve to make me look like Jennifer Beals sans chair but still like Jennifer Beals.  I had the curly hair that hung around my face uncannily like her…when I didn’t blow dry that is.  And  I accepted that I may feel a modicum of pain, but that soon my muscles would be toned and sculpted.  But how much pain would be bearable?  And, as I would learn, I wouldn’t get to determine that.

Well it hit me like a kettle bell on the side of the temple when I found out that there was no magical group of women welcoming you into their leg pumping lair. The women arrived, threw down their keys, knock-off sunglasses, squeezed their water bottles into cubbies and threw their white towels round their necks.  They visually organized eachother, preened, hands on hips slowly checking out newcomers.  There were no smiles, just long gazes, that if you caught one, a sort of straight grimace was returned.  I seemed to have entered a paddock of overweight racehorses readying for competition.

I wasn’t exactly sure why all the life lessons I had had drilled into my psyche about ‘listening to pain’ were lost on the Exercise gods.  I reasoned, I was the person who was feeling the pain, the person whose brain was responsible for the urgent messages to cease and desist whatever the particular activity was at the moment, so why was ‘ignoring the pain’ the instruction that I was given? .” I had discovered the essence of the problem that I had with ‘exercise’  Do they believe that our minds are separate from our body? Does the body not work in conjunction with the brain?  does the brain not field signals from the body and then decide what actions to take?  Is it then wise that we keep working the body in the repetitive manner when the body is clearly saying, “NO YOU CANNOT KEEP THROWING THAT KETTLE BELL OVER YOUR WANING LEFT SHOULDER AND EXPECT NOT TO LAUNCH IT INTO THE CHEST OF THAT ELABORATELY SWEATING CROATIAN WOMAN!

We began with two laps around the building and were told not to stop.  One of the evil geniuses was stationed at the opposite side of the building to ‘keep an eye on us and make sure we did not stop.  Our herd returned bounding for the water fountain.  Seconds later we swang kettle bells to and fro.  We then did burpies until dizziness set in. We lifted heavy bars while doing jumping jacks. We swung ropes as though ceaselessly straightening them out.  We did squats that threatened to re-open our episiotomies.  Even if they were given to us years ago.  “Wider, Wider!”  How My mind begged my mouth to shout, “yah? let’s see you open that wide!”  We did push ups, chin ups, and fast weights to keep the cardio effect going.   We army crawls and the dreaded burpie.  Every time my body began to revolt, writhe with the equivalent of a physiological scream, heart pulsing out of my chest easily seen by passers-by, like some comic book grinch in love, and I would point at my chest signifying my lack of breath, The exercise god (female or male),  Impervious to my impending heart attack, would glance at me momentarily finally offer a deliberation,  “you can go further, you can do it Christine!”  As I looked up with long eyes, intentionally trying to clear my double vision, my soaked shirt seemed to bangle in the wind like some latvian wet towel air conditioner.  My jello thighs danced. My exercise god lavished a wide smile unto me saying, “THERE YOU GO!!!” Usually finishing off with the dispassionate and quite routine 90’s meme “YOU GO GIRL!!!”

The exercise gods believe in “pushing oneself” It’s a rite of the baptismal font of back sprains.  The ungainly church of belly crunches and impossibly performed burpies.  “If you push yourself, you will surprise yourself.’  ….”If you push yourself….you won’t be sorry…”  “If you push yourself you will be so proud!”  I find an extreme dichotomy in the fact that the women or men that are ‘coaching’ you, many of whom you do not know from Adam or Eve, are ripped beyond belief and do not remember their own days of cookies and carmel macchiatos. Well not really anyway.   Those discretions are seen through skinny-latte coloured glasses. If you ask them, the cookies are remembered as necessary ‘Tiger Milk Bars” maybe only two a day, and the caramel macchiatos are declared but suddenly remembered as intermittent at best.   The bad ‘ol days of minimal muscle and ripped adipose are forgotten and that is the disconnect.

Half way into the reality of the work out, the dry throat, the slight dizziness.  The women wince in pain and look up as they rise from doing push ups.  They begin to knowingly glance at each other.  The tired faux warrior princesses realize that they need each-other.      They begin to look for the affiliation that they narcissistically did not seek in the beginning of the workout.

Class after class this social machination repeats itself.  Ignore each other, then feel pain and affiliate. Rinse and repeat. Do they like it?  Do they like communal pain? Additionally, Do they enjoy paying the Exercise Gods to “make” them push themselves?  I offer that they do.

Part of the motivation comes from pure peer adulation for ‘just doing it’ being ‘brave.’ I was recently told I was a ‘real trooper’ I kept going in part because I didn’t relish the idea of letting everybody know that I thought it was ‘too hard‘ for me.  I had just been given the rather militaristic moniker of “Trooper” and I was feeling a tad nationalistic at the time.  I pictured myself a sort of stylized  Jane Q. Public  upholder of the exercise ethos. Well, within my circle of soft-bellied family and friends.

Ultimately, I found that the exercise gods wanted me to believe that my body was my enemy and that I must conquer it with my Jedi mind.

It was not proper to let my body tell me that one or another exercise could not be done.  Somehow I was to overcome all of the brutal messages that my body was sending me about my pain and satiety.  I really WANT TO DO THIS, but my analytical nature may be getting in the way, oh! that and my muscle capacity!  How can I know whether I can actually do this? …Guess I’ll just have to trust the ‘wrecking belle’ in a Real madrid T-shirt and Yoga pants.


Stay tuned for hopefully twice weekly updates on “The kettle Belle Chronicles” (Written by unwilling exercise maven, Christina Long) about the ugly and hopefully someday ‘beautiful’ side of cardio / strength training classes in Los Angeles on “The Trouble With Milk.”  http://thetroublewithmilk.com