AN OBSESSION IS BORN

While having dinner with friends around Christmastime, my friend Lisa pulled a bunch of stuff out of a canvas tote bag.

“Who wants exercise videos?” she sang. “I don’t have room to do these. I’m too tall and my ceilings are too low.”

I saw the first one. The cover had a picture of a perfect butt in tiny green booty shorts.

“Gimme,” I said. I wanted my butt to look like that. Also, I’m not very tall and my ceilings are high.

Then the wheels started turning in my head. If I got a few more videos like these at the thrift store, I could work out at home and quit my membership at a gym whose initials get sung at weddings. I’ve stayed at that gym for about 15 years, but it was time to say goodbye.

Like most things in life, working out at the gym was ruined for me by all the other people that were also there. To wit:

People who fought for parking spaces like they were about to deliver a baby.

People who quizzed me about what time the next class starts, what room it’s in, where is that room, and what time is it now. I’m trying to read, and the schedule’s on the wall. So are the room numbers. Also, a clock.

People who stepped on my yoga mat with their scaly, bird-claw feet and got mortally offended when I said, “please don’t step on my yoga mat.”

People who barged into a class during meditation, screamed “Sorry!” and then slammed the door shut, and then, inexplicably, did it a second time.

After I worked out to that DVD once, I decided to quit the gym. I knew I could find plenty of other used exercise videos. I’m already obsessed with the thrift store, so the hunt was on. I have found a treasure trove of discarded home fitness routines and I review them here for your edification and enjoyment.

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