So the questions have been pouring in about my Tae Bo. First of all, I learned that it is Tae-Bo, not Tae Bo. Keep that in mind. Second, I just want you all to know that I moved on to the next level this morning.
The next level.
It’s not often in the middle of a workout that you stop, lower your leg, look at your television screen and actually say out loud, “What the fuck?” If you are wondering how you go through this series, I’m here to help you out. Before you buy these tapes or borrow these tapes, it is important to know what you are honestly going to go through.
Day One: You are completely interested in what these tapes are all about. You’ve heard the hype. You bought into the fad. You are ready to change your life. You get too excited and just put on the advanced tape for a second. They are moving around so damn fast. You turn off that tape and put in the intro tape like a “good girl.”
You watch the intro tape and even get up and do the moves with them. No big deal. Punch here, kick there, maybe a little shaky on your balance, but for the most part, you’re not worried.
Day Two: You are obviously in better shape than that pansy instructional video, so you pop in Tae-Bo Basics. Suddenly your chest is on fire. Your legs are melting. The soles of your feet hurt from holding up all of your weight during the kicks. You finish the tape, though, and are surprised at how short the entire thing was. You figure you lived through most of it, and once you can do the whole tape without resting during those double-time round house kicks, you’re gonna be just fine.
Week One: It is pretty clear that two minutes of Tai Chi is not a good enough cool down for your asthmatic ass. You wheeze into a drop down, and keep stretching those calves in the hopes of lengthening them so much you grow three inches.
Week Two: You are doing just fine on the tapes, and have started to notice your arms are stronger. Your thighs are looking really nice right above your knee. Your partner keeps touching your butt. You learn that if you turn out your feet a bit more, they don’t hurt so much during the kicks.
Week Two and a Half: You figure out that the Basic Tae-Bo just isn’t enough anymore, and follow that workout with the Intense Eight Minute tape just to get a full thirty minute workout.
Week Three: You figure out that if you don’t do Tae-Bo every day you get quicker results. You plunk down thirty dollars for some power yoga tapes.
Week Three and a Half: There is no way in hell you are going to be able to do that crane pose in Yoga where you balance your knees on the backs of your arms and do a handstand. What the heck is that? I’m a human being for Christ’s sake.
Week Four: Yoga for Flexibility has made you burst into tears attempting to do a bridge pose where you are only touching the floor with your toes and your palms. You wonder what freak accident caused you to not be able to rotate your arms in the same manner the green bean in a danskin on the screen does.
Week Four and a Half: You feel confident. You notice weight loss. You see that you are using tighter notches on your belt. You drink so much water it’s insane. You are in love and feeling good about yourself. You step into a Victoria’s Secret dressing room to try on something new.
You leave in tears, wondering what cloud you’ve had your big fat head stuck in all this time.
Week Five: No fooling around now, it’s time to get your butt into the advanced workout. You pop in the tape and get ready to go. About thirty minutes in you hit that wall. Your body is used to stopping here. Billy Blanks don’t stop, y’all. He keeps going for another full thirty minutes. You get on the floor, do a little floorwork, and then just get right back up and start kicking and punching again. Every three minutes your brain screams, “I want a cool down!” But you don’t get one. In fact, Billy’s going so extreme on your ass he doesn’t even bother with his pussy Tai Chi when you are done. Just flop your tired ass down. Billy’s done wit choo. You should be thankful he didn’t make you get back up another time so he could kick your ass again. You will kick until you think you accidentally kicked off a toe. You punch until your spine taps you on the shoulder and says, “Do you think you could go a bit easier on me? I do hold all of your nerve endings, you know.” You do butt blasts until you begin to scream out loud. I was yelling in my living room like one of those super-charged freaks that works out behind him. I couldn’t believe it.
And then, through my pain-soaked hell, I heard Billy talking to me: “You can do it. Find the strength there deep within yourself. Anyone can work out fresh. You’re doing it when you’re tired. That takes a special kind of strength.”
And there, deep in my anguished hallucinations, I saw Burgess Meredith next to me, beating on my carpet, smoking a cigar and petting Taylor, yelling at me, “You can do it, kid! You’re a goddam fighter! That’s what you are!” And I kept going. I finished the workout.
There’s no doubt in my mind that in two weeks when I’m in butt agony on my carpet and Billy starts spouting off about finding strength within myself I’m probably going to tell him to piss off, but somehow, in my weakened state this morning, it kind of worked.
I have gone down two pants sizes. My arms are thinner, stronger. My breasts are firmer (I’m not bragging, I just want the ladies to know that it does work). My sides are getting smaller. My hips are getting thinner.
It really does work. I am surprised, because it’s not a workout I’m getting tired of. Adding the yoga really has helped, because Tae-Bo is so aerobic intensive, there’s not much stretching or deep muscle work. With the yoga I’m also adding balance and flexibility. It also keeps my routine from getting stale. I have five very challenging, very different workouts that I do every week. And then that quick eight-minute one for those days I run out of time.
I can’t believe I’ve stuck with it this long. I can’t believe it’s actually working. Now my mom is doing Tae-Bo. That’s when you know this tape has reached the masses. My mom is punching and kicking. She still thinks that you shouldn’t stand in front of the microwave while it’s cooking or you’ll get cancer. But she knows who Billy Blanks is.
And when Billy’s little sweaty crossed eyes look deep into mine and he raises that taped fist into the air and says, “You can do it,” I swear he’s talking right to me. I can do it. I know I can.