Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Cow In The House

Once upon a time there was a poor peasant couple who lived in a miserable one-room hovel with their six children, their children's children, their dog, their cat, their cockatoo and their in-laws. (Okay, the one room was pretty big, but still.) Their living conditions, as you can imagine, were squalid and disgusting in the extreme, and they quarreled constantly. They knew they had to do something to improve the situation, but they couldn't think what.

Finally in desperation they went to consult the village wise woman. "Oh, village wise woman," they asked, "our one-room hovel is crowded and disgusting, and we can't bear it any more. What should we do?"

The wise woman thought for a moment, then said, "My children, it's really very simple. You keep a cow, do you not?"

"Yes, of course," they replied, puzzled.

"And where do you keep it?"

"In the pasture, so it can eat grass and grow fat."

"Ah," said the wise woman. "You must bring the cow out of the pasture and take it into your house. Do not ask why. Simply do it, and come back to see me in a week."

The peasant family was understandably mystified, but did as the wise woman instructed. They brought the cow into the house, and soon things were worse than they had ever been. The cow was gentle and docile and not that big for a cow, but even so it took up a lot of space in the already overcrowded hovel. Worse, it was in the habit of pooping and peeing where it stood, which made the hovel even smellier and more disgusting than it already was. The piles of dung attracted flies, and the flies attracted spiders, and the cat chased the spiders at all hours of the day and night instead of catching mice as it was supposed to do, so that soon the house was overrun with mice, and the in-laws criticized, and basically there was nothing good about the situation at all.

After a week of this, the peasant family went back to the wise woman in despair. "Wise woman, wise woman, we followed your advice, but now things are worse than they have ever been. Our hovel is even more crowded than it was, and it reeks of cow dung and is filled with vermin. What are we to do?"

The wise woman thought for a moment, then said, "My children, it is really very simple. You must take the cow out of your house and put it back in the pasture."

Again, the peasant family followed the woman's instructions. Then, once the cow was out of the house, they set to work cleaning up the piles of dung it had left behind. Soon the house no longer reeked of cow excrement. It no longer attracted as many flies, so the spiders left too, and without the distraction of the spiders the cat got back to chasing mice, so that soon the house was as free of vermin as any medieval hovel could hope to be. Not only that, but without the cow taking up so much space there was a little more elbow room in the hovel, and the family began to get along much better. Even the in-laws were no longer quite as critical.

Within two weeks the peasant family had gone from being miserable to being quite content in their tiny hovel, and it was all thanks to the wise old woman and her advice to bring the cow into the house.

But what does the story of the cow in the house have to do with exercise? Simple.

Today I attempted the Wendy fitness girl workout. I wasn't sure what a few of the exercises in the final combo were so I did other things that seemed to fit in the context of the workout. (Are wideouts plyo pushups where you go from close grip to wide and back again? If so, good, because that's what I did. And, are groiners anything like spiderman pushups? If so, again good, because that's what I did.) And I did my planches with feet against the wall because I'm so far from having the necessary balance it isn't funny. And while I did get some air under me during the four point explosions, straddle holds and L-holds in combo #2, they sure weren't pretty.

Anyhoo, never again will I complain about P90x Plyo X, the Rachel Cosgrove Get Metabolic workout, or any other damn thing, because after today's horror show those workouts seem like something you'd do on a recovery day!