Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Getting back

So I read this article that listed 10 ways to exercise when you think you have no time. Some of the ideas I’ve been doing for years, like taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Some of the ideas are a little out there, like doing calf raises while you brush your teeth. (I actually walk around the house while I brush my teeth; I’d read on some other list* that it makes you brush longer so you do a better job of cleaning.)

* There was no word on the physical benefits of endless list-reading.

And one idea struck me as kind of fun: doing butt clenches while you’re standing on the train or bus. I am a natural buttless wonder, and anything that could firm and tone my sagging assets (HA!) while I was being otherwise unproductive sounded like it might be a good idea.

So I’ve been trying it for the last week. Please don’t laugh.

The list included no instructions, so I’ve had to make it up as I go along. And I’ve discovered there are two ways to flex your butt muscles: the way that kinda forces your knees to go out to your sides and the way that kinda forces your butt to expand to the back. Assuming you have any butt to expand to the back.

So I’ve been standing nonchalantly on the bus every night, trying to look like I’m engrossed in my New Yorker or in the fascinating world outside the window, and alternately squeezing and pursing my sad little mancheeks: knees out, butt back, knees out, butt back!

And sometimes I just hold one of the squeezes for as long as I can stand it, doing the fabled isometric exercises I learned so much about from the Charles Atlas ads in the backs of the comic books I bought as a kid just so I could stare at the Charles Atlas ads.

And all the while I’ve been doing this, my ears have been on high alert for the sounds of giggling or pointing or—worst of all—the accusations of nosy children: Mommy! That man’s butt is moving! Does he have angry chipmunks in his pants?

And I’ll be damned, but it seems to be working. I have yet to develop one of those cantilevered melonbutts you see on the bodybuilders these days, but I do feel an ongoing burning sensation. And it’s the kind of burning sensation you actually want to have in your underpants region.

I took no “before” pictures to chart my progress. Mostly because 1) it’s almost impossible to take a decent picture of your own butt and 2) I really don’t see a compelling reason to record an image of the poor little thing for posterity. (HA! Posterity!)

But believe me: If my butt gets firm and round and toned and able to crush a chipmunk skull in one squeeze, I will so be showing you pictures of it.

Just as soon as I get caught up on my New Yorkers.

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