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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
30 Rock


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Friday, June 25, 2004

Why You Scare Me: Denise Austin Edition

Denise Austin scares me. The words to follow will attempt to explain why.

First let me start by letting you know that I say that A LOT.

"_____scares me". People. Things. Situations. Etc.

So maybe I throw around the term to the point of overuse or even as some would say, misuse. I admit this is true...


If you didn't know already, Denise Austin is an exercise guru. I picked up a DVD of hers, on a suggestion from a friend who said Austin is a great resource if you want to learn how to tone. As someone who has gotten into exercising in the past few years, but still can't stomach the idea of actually exercising IN FRONT of others, I figured it was worth a shot.

The video in question is Denise Austin's Pilates for Every Body. Even if you have no interest in exercising whatsoever, I suggest picking it up, if only for a few laughs which, if you laugh hard enough, might actually work some stomach muscles. I'm just saying. You know, the whole killing 2 birds thing and all.

Anyway, if you already are familiar with this video, or you can manage to get your hands on one, I'd like to point out the obvious...

It's HARD.

Don't get me wrong, I consider myself to be in good shape although I've probably got the actual strength of say an adolescent David Spade. But the video uses these things called resistance bands in lieu of actual weights.

Things you WILL grow to loathe, resistance bands typically come in three different colors, the colors corresponding to differing levels of difficulty. (For computer geek speak sake, this would be like the differing levels on a video game.) I started with the highest level since, you know, I had been exercising a while and all. I quickly downgraded to the middle level. Finally I settled in with the lightest band, the Air Supply of resistance bands if you will.

As I progress through the tape, kicking and cursing the day Denise Austin was born, I wonder if it's me. I see her swinging and stretching the HARDEST band mind you every which way. Every time I do the video I tell myself it is bound to get a little easier, but the portion I hated the most the last time I only hate all the more this time.

But back to why Austin scares me. Well, obviously, it's her freakish circus strength. The other revolves around my "favorite" moment in the video where she's holding a pose AND the camera's angle in perfect synchronicity as she utters the words:

"You ARE strong!!"

This is where the term seeing is believing comes in. Seriously, she comes across as part Stepford/part Firestarter. You can actually SEE her eyes give off sparks. It's quite amazing really. I try not to look directly at the TV during this segment.

Oh yeah and for those of you who are curious about whether or not the DVD actually does help you tone, the jury is still out on that one. I suppose I have gotten a LITTLE bit stronger. But I also now have Vietnam like Denise Austin flashbacks so it's a trade off.

Oh well. Guess I'll go exorcise...I mean exercise.



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