year unknown, $2.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: The future is now!

Second Impression: Repair that broken-down cyborg with Body Rebuild!

I think we can all use a little reset button after last year. What better way to begin a new decade than with a DVD that promises to “rebuild you from the inside out?”

We start with some testimonials from people in tank tops with too-pale makeup blended down just to the base of their neck.  Their lives were absolutely worthless until they found this program, and then a rainbow appeared in the sky. I’m paraphrasing.

The creator of Body Rebuild permits us to look upon her face. She has sad eyes. The door behind her represents the idea of escape. 

She claims that “Body Rebuild reverses the negative effects of a modern lifestyle.” Finally, a cure for my relentless ennui.

The first part of the workout involves the grueling task of relaxing onto the floor.  Then we start by lifting and lowering one index finger. 

Try not to break a sweat. You’ve got a party to go to later.

We progress to pelvic floor contractions and glute squeezes which are so subtle that they are undetectable on camera. There’s lots of footage of the participants lying on the floor, and I suspect, napping.

The lower ab contractions are equally motionless. I wonder how I would know if I’m doing it right since there’s nothing to compare it to. I do lots of barely-moving when I’m watching TV, would that count as a workout?

As if sensing my rebellion, the instructor guides us to do slow movements of our arms and legs while keeping our ribcage stable. My little cat offers encouragement by making biscuits on my torso. 

Now for foot circles – the best way for you to confront how messed-up your ankles really are.  Then a spinal twist with a straight leg, which I can’t do. 

We finally get off our backs to alternate Downward Dog with Cat pose, and there is now a weird twinge in my left leg. Did I somehow get injured from this glacially-paced workout? 

We then do an L Sit or legs up the wall, based on whether we identify as male or female. Robert looks like he’s waiting outside the principal’s office:

The session draws mercifully to a close, signified, like most things, by awkward high fives. This is the way.

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