For those of you lucky enough to watch me hit my lowest lows in New York, you know all about this. Several factors collided to make the months of January, February, and March an absolute hell in the most frigid of ways. I had lost my mind at work (someday this will be self-explanatory). The weather–including the gusting winds off the Hudson and through the buildings–was bleak, and any given days’ worth of over-casted sunlight was over at 4:30 pm. The holidays were over, which many of you know are literally the most joyous days of my life; they even took down the Tree by Rockefeller center. Finally, I secured some kind of ridiculous ‘hip/butt’ injury that incapacitated me from running–the one thing I could use to release all of this malaise.

There was an ever-present shooting pain down the back of my buttocks that was later diagnosed as either sciatica, piraformis syndrome, or a shredded hamstring. After a serious of stretching and some bogus ‘water-jet-bed’ sessions at the orthopedic doctor/physical therapist, I had decided I was wasting my money. The MRI’s turned out nothing but a hysterical patient after realizing the claustrophobia involved. The elliptical at the gym was too much pressure, and sitting too long on my derriere hurt so badly I bought these blue ‘medical balls’ on which to balance myself while seated at work. This was a great spectacle for everyone but me–especially after I showed up looking like a train-wreck in (my famous) Sea World fleece and workout leggings to work.
After months of hearing that I had ‘let myself go’ and ‘all I wanted to do was sleep,’ Bryan mailed me a (surprise) miracle package. For just under $200, one was guaranteed the best results, ripped abs, a slammin’ body, and a ‘hard core workout.’ A man named Tony was behind the madness that had conquered skeptics and critics alike nationwide. With a phony grin, some cheesy language, and a set of demo-athletes who were once acrobats, what more motivation could anyone want? So I set out on this 12-set DVD sequence to obtain the ‘body I’ve always wanted’ in my tiny New York apartment, with about four floors below me wandering what in the world was doing.
I grew arms–not the kind women want, but the kind men do. As it turned out, this series was indeed for the ‘hard core.’ Those who were women and liked to be emasculated, those who were already in-shape and wanted to become body-builders. I flipped through the instructional booklet to see if I was doing something wrong….no, I did select the ‘lean’ program,’ though I was much ‘thicker’ than before. And then I stumbled upon the before and after shots. On most of these women, I actually thought they looked better before! What had I done? I was turning into The Beast and had not known! I felt tricked. I was trying to figure out what was up with this guy Tony, anyways. I mean, who says these things while leading an exercise:
“I got chopped…in the buttocks…they said it was a million-dollar wound, but I ain’t seen a dime. ‘ (During a gluteal stretch).
“There she blows!” (During a yoga stretch)
“Theres Pam the Blam!! I call her Blam because in class whenever she would do something…I would say…Blaaaa’am!” (During introductions)
“Pppp 90 Xxxxx” (During times of ?inspiration?)
More common, however, are his creepy crawls towards the camera, the mega-botoxed-looking face, frequently announcing his age, telling the audience to use their cat or a small child as a weight, and insisting that if that guy with the prosthetic leg can do it, you should be able to as well. Nothing like good old-fashioned inspiration. I eventually discarded the set and went back to my routine ways until last week when I was flipping through Us Weekly. Apparently, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher swear by the program. Even though I could probably do the routines by heart, I’m considering taking a second look.
I feel like the only thing I’ve left to do is buy Whey protein by the jug and mix it into a shake…oh wait…that’s part of the program. Lean!…right….

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