The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh

Back to the Gym

True story.  It may not be incredibly exciting, but it's true!

So!  I work at home, on my laptop—  Writing, editing, corresponding—  In between I pay bills, schedule appointments, shop online for household necessities—  In fact, in spring my to do list got so long I just took to bed.  Oprah-style!  I'm pretty sure she does that— I remember seeing something like it in O Magazine.  Oprah's office is less a conventional box with desks than a soft boudoir of inspiration.  With cozy couches, pashmina throws, vases of fresh cut flowers.

So in the name of what we women of a certain age call "self care"—   I would plump pillows behind me, place my laptop on a blanket in front of me, sip herbal Teavana and I would type mindfully away for hours and hours.  And one afternoon?  I see it's time to pick up my kids from school—  So I swing my legs over the edge of the bed, put my weight on them, and— 

I can't walk!  I literally can't move!  My left hip is completely stiff!  Maybe Oprah has people turn her during the day!  As for me, I could star in that commercial: "I've fallen down and I can't get up!"

I drag myself down the stairs, hanging on to the bannister like an 85 year old.  Correction!  When my now-96 year-old dad was 85, he was doing handstands on the beach and swimming in the ocean!

And I realize, I've come to the age of that dreadful saying: "Use it or lose it."

I used to engage in regular exercise, it's true.  My VISA bill—  So heavy to lift!  Suggests I even pay monthly dues to a gym.  But I don't have the vanity I once had.  Since turning fifty, I've acquired this new "menopot" on my belly.  First I was panicked.  But then I discovered "mom jeans" and even better, at Costco?   Next to a $500 above-ground family pool?  A heap of "Ladies Power Stretch Capris."  How do I look in them?  Fortunately I don't see very well in my Costco glasses. 

And anyway, I have two teen daughters at home, for three more years.  I'd started thinking: if I don't go to the gym, that's 90 minutes more in the day.  90 more minutes to not argue with them and just go buy the strawberry pineapple shampoo they're always requesting—  And Prismacolor gray chisel tip markers—  And mochi, has to be the green tea mochi—  Flabby upper arms are a small price to pay for peace in the house!

But now I can barely even get to the car and, oh no!  Can I even push the gas pedal?

Next week: Fear and Loathing at Zumba