I am ready to argue the case. Here we are going into the twelfth month of lockdown. Which we have been taking brutally seriously. No restaurant food, not even delivered; grocery and booze deliveries left to decontaminate on the porch, masks to take out the trash, no excursions into enclosed spaces that aren’t utterly necessary (like being in the hospital, that was fun).
Alpine pole walks, yeah. There’s a couple of kettlebells in the living room and you know what they say about bodyweight exercise? I’ve been doing my damnedest, really. There are local householders who’ve become used to seeing me do push-ups and dips off their retaining walls and wave from their windows (“Harold, the crazy lady is out there again”). It winds me up tighter than a two-dollar watch and feels as if I’m levering off my joint surfaces. Give me a weight I can position and push against.
Feature your host clutching two ten-pound dumbbells in clawed fingers and doing crossbench pullovers she can almost feel, over the back of the couch.
So I walk out on the porch the day before Valentine’s Day and find this enormous box. Folding weight bench, it says. I have never trusted such things; home gym equipment is notoriously rickety and I just wasn’t going to go there — even if every day I couldn’t get my hands on a serious weight I felt like I was dying a little. Okay, I had started having crying jags about it. But I forgot I have an engineer in-house who can review the load bearing specs for equipment on the Best Of Men’s Health website, knowing damn well that the little vinyl earrings sold for “women’s weight training” are about as much use to me as paperweights.
This thing is a BEAST. It’s solid as a brick wall and amazingly folds up into a foot-square footprint, if you need to. There are benches at my gym that rock and wobble more.
A day later these arrived.
Just in case there was any doubt in your mind about what you ordered. They’re each 55 pounds with a wizzo, rugged adjustment dial that allows you to take them down to why-bother weights (already got those). One’s a little balky, but I figure the movement will loosen up.
So right now ice and dreck are falling from the sky and the white is pretty but it looks like a serious rink out there, and Mama Sled is not interested in hydroplaning and it is the perfect moment for new toys. I legit choked up. Actual bench presses on an actual bench. Real pullovers. FLYES. Intrinsic muscles that haven’t engaged in months kicking in. (I’m going to feel that, even if I backed off to about two-thirds what I’d usually push; I’ve read all those stories about junkies who get clean and then relapse and use their old dose and die of it.) The calf muscle that’s been half screwed from a nasty Achilles strain kicked in, and I wasn’t even doing calf work. Your whole body engages. It’s like a hologram.
And oh, yeah, that abdomen that got opened up like a duffel bag let me hear about it, but it did its job — rolling back onto the bench with both hands loaded, stretching out cooperatively when I got into place for the pullovers crosswise. I did need the Engineer to help me lever back up out of that, but like I said, World’s Best Boyfriend.
I think I’m going to make it now.