punch drunk

billy blanks beats me up

Shh!  Listen!  Do you hear that?  That sort of high-pitched scream?

That’s my thighs.

I did Tae-Bo Advanced Live yesterday.

My friend Martinique came over ready for us to start.  We put down our water bottles, divided up the living room and popped in the tape.  This one comes to you from Billy’s studio in Hollywood.  Billy gives you a quick, “Are you ready to begin this workout?”  And then you go.

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“we go”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“we go”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“we go”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“now with a tap”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“we go”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“again”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“we go”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“now turn your hip”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“we go”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“again”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“we go”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“now undercut”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“we go”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“again”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

“we go”

Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.
Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch. Punch.  Punch.  Punch.  Punch.

What’s missing?  Four little words that I loved so much to hear Billy say.  I had no idea how precious they were:

“AND WALK IT OUT”

Oh, man.  Just when I think Billy’s shown me the depths of hell, he pulls out some shit where you squat while kicking.

Five minutes in Eric came home from work to find two panting girls straining at the television with such looks of determination on their faces that he said, “How’s Billy treatin’ you guys?  You almost done?”

“We just started,” I gasped.

“Really?  Really? Oh.”  He walked to the kitchen and got a glass of water.  He came back to the living room and watched another few seconds of roundhouse kicks.  “Hey– and I don’t mean this badly or that I think that you guys aren’t strong and powerful and all, but… really, if you guys just started, and this is just Billy warming up?  I don’t think you guys are going to make it through the tape.”

Two heads whipped towards him so fast he got sweat flung in both of his eyes.

“I’m gonna go work on my car.”

A couple of times Martinique and I stopped to crane our heads forward to see what fresh hell Billy had planned for us.  I wouldn’t have thought my body could have done some of those things.  I started realizing what was missing:

[scripty]
PAMIE
Hey!  (gasp!) We didn’t do any of the (gasp!) neck or shoulder warm-ups.

MARTINIQUE
I  (gasp!) know!

PAMIE
Hey!  We… I… my heart (gasp!) hurts!

MARTINIQUE
My (gasp!) ass hurts.

PAMIE
My legs hurt. (gasp!)

MARTINIQUE
Ow.

PAMIE
I’m  (gasp!) not going to do that one.

MARTINIQUE
How do you do that one?

PAMIE
I don’t know, but I can (gasp!) see them getting thinner while they do it.

MARTINIQUE
My butt feels thinner already.

PAMIE
Really?

MARTINIQUE
Yes, (gasp!) it’s pulling itself up into my body.

PAMIE
Trying to hide from the pain?

MARTINIQUE
Whatever it takes.
[/scripty]

Scary crew-cut girl from before now has a nice head of curls, and makes me more comfortable.  Skinny blonde Doublemint twins are gone.  There’s tons of people to laugh at, including a couple of girls who are very chatty while they work out.  I can’t wait for everyone else on the forum to get this tape so we can pick it apart.

[scripty]
(thirty minutes into the tape)

PAMIE
Hey!!  HEY!  Billy!  Say the GODDAM WORDS!

MARTINIQUE
He hasn’t even lifted his leg once, why is he so sweaty?

BILLY BLANKS ™
Keep going, baby!  And walk it out!

PAMIE
He said it!  He said it!  Thank God Almighty, he said it!

MARTINIQUE
It must be time for the floorwork.

BILLY BLANKS ™
Now, anybody can work out for thirty minutes.  Anybody can do it when they are fresh.  But you need to use this next half hour to prove to yourself that you are taking control of your life.  You are making yourself better.  You’ve gotta push yourself.

PAMIE
What’s happening?

MARTINIQUE
Something terrible is about to happen.

PAMIE
I’m frightened.

BILLY BLANKS ™
Christmas is coming up.  Thanksgiving.  Tae-Bo is the way to keep yourself looking good and feeling good.  You drink some water, you take your time, listen to yourself.  Do as much as you can.  Just stick with it.

PAMIE
This really doesn’t look good.

MARTINIQUE
I might cry, is that okay?

PAMIE
Yeah.
[/scripty]

And then the most amazing thing happened.  As we entered the second section of the tape, people started dropping out of the class like flies.  They just walked off!  You could see them whimpering off!  I was making it further than some of them.  With every one Nique and I would flip off the television.  “Take that, Skinny!”  Talk about a motivator.

The best exercise video would be just a string of ditzes looking into the camera and saying, “I just can’t do anymore!  I don’t know how you stick with it!  You look so good!  I wish I could look sexy like that while I worked out.  You realize that if you can go longer than me in Tae-Bo, then that means you’re better than me at EVERYTHING!  I don’t have anything left.  You win.  Here. Here’s my car.  I don’t really understand how to drive anyway.  All those signs.  How fast do they expect me to read?”

We finished the tape.

We both sat there for a while, sort of sniffing, and sort of wheezing, not talking and not moving.

“I should go home,” Martinique said.

“Take your time.”

“Well, you guys have a blanket?”

“Yeah.”

“Good, because I’m probably just going to sleep right here tonight.”

After she left I stayed very still and tried to feel my blood go back from my face into the rest of my body.  Eric walked in from his car.  He saw me all sprawled on the living room rug.

“Baby?  What happened?”

I began to cry.

[scripty]
PAMIE
I was doing my double time round house kicks all good!  And then Billy started yelling at me that I wasn’t doing them high enough, and I yelled back that I was trying my best– I didn’t know he really could hear me!  He jumped through the television and then he pulled my leg up all high and made me do seventeen more kicks and then he beat me up and threw me to the floor and left me here to die.  I’m so glad you showed up!

ERIC
Did you get at least one good punch in?

PAMIE
Yeah.

ERIC
That’s my girl.
[/scripty]

Surprisingly, I’m not too sore today.  I thought I wasn’t going to be able to move.  But my stomach and outer thighs are sore, and my back is a little tight, but nothing like what I thought was going to happen.  So this tape-of-the-month thing might just be a good idea.  It’s cheaper than a gym.

Check out the books section, which I updated, and I created a new Tae-Bo section, so that you can read them all at once.  There’s also a place there where you can buy the basic video, if you’ve been thinking about doing it, but putting it off.

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