When I was a kid, my mom use to workout in our basement to her Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies tape. Do you remember Richard Simmons? Short guy, curly hair, always grinning like he’d just been handed basket full of puppies. Richard used to be fat, then he got skinny, then he got rich helping other fat people get skinny.
I loved Richard Simmons. I’d hear Rockin’ Robin coming from the basement, and I couldn’t help but join in. My mom and I would shake our booties, following every step that ‘fro in short-shorts took. He made it easy to follow along so you didn’t feel like some ass fumbling around your basement trying to follow a workout video. And he always worked out with fat people, so you didn’t feel like the elephant in the room. Literally.
These days, I work out with Billy Blanks. Yeah, that guy. The Tae Bo guy.
It’s a good workout, if you can keep up. Unfortunately, I’m not quick, coordinated, or strong, so my workout ends up being some free-style bastardization of what Billy’s actually doing. This free-styling includes–but is not limited to–tripping, falling over, punching myself in the boob, and slapping myself in the face with my upper arm fat.
Before starting a Tae Bo tape, I’m careful to properly hydrate, warm up, stretch, and draw every shade in the apartment. I’ll walk around naked with the windows wide open, but I’d rather die than risk some pedestrian catching a glimpse of me losing a fight to a gang of invisible ninjas in my living room.
Billy Blanks is relentless. He pushes you to the point of feeling like your arm or leg might actually snap off with the next punch, then he throws it into double time. He doesn’t know what its like to be fat, and he certainly doesn’t let any fat people workout on his tapes with him. I miss the Richard Simmons days, and I miss working out with other fat people. Richard may have been an eccentric, and frankly kind of weird, but he wasn’t anything if not genuine. I may be working out with Billy these days, but I’ve got Richard in my heart.