2006, $3.99, at Goodwill on Brand, Glendale
First Impression: This DVD features America’s best-known walking instructor, Leslie Sansone. I’d assumed that title belonged to Miss Jay from America’s Next Top Model.
Second Impression: The back cover shows a view of a beautiful meadow seen though the glass panes of a French door. Note that the door is closed, because this is an indoor walking system and outside is where you shall never go.
The DVD opens with a group of walkers marching in place, and Leslie Sansone making an entrance down through the center of them like she’s high-fiving a football team. The first two routines on this DVD are lit, staged, shot, and hosted like an infomercial. It feels like an infomercial for itself. It’s so meta.
The group represents a range of ages and body types, except for one woman with six pack abs that they’ve stuck in the back row. She showed up for the wrong exercise video and now has to try to blend in.
The participants are free to chime in throughout the workout with peppy observations like, “I’m really feeling it now, Leslie!” Everyone wears inoffensive shades of periwinkle. They are the people from your temp job that call out, “Working hard, or hardly working!” and then laugh way too hard.
Part of the workout involves walking with a weighted blue ball in each hand to really burn those calories! Long time readers will be happy to know that I’ve invested in a set of pink, two-pound hand weights from Marshall’s. (The Beverly Hills Marshall’s, fancy!) No more working out with two cans of beans!
You might be asking yourself, who would possibly be the target audience for this video? Because that’s what all my friends have asked me. My best guess is Paula Deen, back when she was agoraphobic before she got famous. Remember when Paula Deen went on Oprah and confessed she had been afraid to leave her house for twenty years?
So, shut-ins. People on house arrest. Maybe someone whose doctor told them to go walking, but they live in a bad neighborhood and they don’t get home from work until after dark. Probably new moms who want to exercise when the baby is napping. Uhhh… people recovering from an injury? People who are nervous because they are expecting a phone interview? I’m all out of ideas.