Saturday, March 25, 2006

Just pumping. No spiders.

For the past, oh, six weeks or so, I’ve been taking an exercise class called “Just Pump” on Monday and Wednesday nights. It’s an hour-long, aerobics-type strength-training class. We use light hand weights, body bars, exercise balls, bands, etc. I figure it will help strengthen my Godcella-laden bones and perhaps help me someday realize my dream of fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans without looking like Chris Farley in the Saturday Night Live “Chippendales” skit.

I’m able to keep up reasonably well – meaning that I haven’t collapsed yet – because I took a class almost exactly like this one for a couple of years when we lived in Minnesota. The exercise moves are nearly identical, but the Minnesota class was a little more laid back. The instructor was a very tiny, very loud woman who also worked part-time as a flight attendant.

Yeah, she was an aerobics-instructor-slash-flight-attendant. I always thought that sounded like somebody Dan Fielding would date on Night Court.

Oh, wait, she was also a part-time bartender, too.

Anyway, she’d spend most of the workouts telling highly entertaining stories that sounded borderline true. Like the time she was flying back from Las Vegas with a bunch of rowdy drunks, and the pilot dropped the cabin pressure to make them all fall asleep. Or the time she flew home from somewhere tropical – I forget where – and some exotic spider crawled out of the cargo area and bit her, and her entire arm swelled up and turned purple. Or how she was hoping to have breast-enlargement surgery, and the doctor told her to look through a Playboy magazine and pick out the exact ones she wanted.

I had to move away to Kansas City before I found out how that last endeavor turned out.

My current “Just Pump” instructors are nice enough, but they are very professional and businesslike and rarely say anything more interesting than, “… and squeeze! And breathe!” I suppose that’s why it’s called “Just Pump” and not “Pump and Listen to Stories about Exotic Spiders”. I might pay extra for the spider stories, though.


Lisa said...

I've been reading your blog for the last couple of weeks. I have found it interesting and encouraging. I am 36 year old stay at home mother of three diagnosed also with Smoldering Myeloma with 10-15% plasma cells. I am heading to MD Anderson in Houston on May 1st. My spirits are high and I feel good about the future. I was glad to see your blog out there and find your humor. I too try to make humor but it upsets my family. You either laugh or cry, right? I was just diagnosed on March 2, so I'm still learning about this disease and I agree with you when you just want someone to "tell me your numbers". So, thanks for telling me your numbers, it has helped a lot. Look forward to more entries. Signing off from Orlando.

Karen said...

Hi, Lisa! I'm so glad you left your comment. It is so rare to find someone with myeloma in their 30s, especially another young mom. Best of luck at MD Anderson. Stop by again and let me know how it went!

Karen's mom said...

This is for Lisa,

Please tell your family it's best to make humor. It's holding us together. We're very optimistic that new treatments will continue to develop as they have in the last few years. Three years ago, a 60 year old friend of ours with full blown MM (tumors and lesions) was told his outlook was very grim. Now he's in remission and keeps up a very busy work schedule.

We're glad you're enjoying Karen's humor. I've always said her wit is hereditary because each of her parents is a half-wit!

Best wishes to you and let us know how you're doing.

Marty - Karen's mom