Abs

I used to have them. Long ago.

That is before my abs created a merger without telling me. When my six pack (I like to think I had a six pack once), merged into one pack. I didn’t mind the merger too much because, thanks to innovation, someone created the corset and other forms of shape-wear for women like me, to enable us tuck in our run away midriff – or our wobbly bits, as they are called in Bridget Jones Diaries.

And of course we have all seen those ads that promise you tight abs and a bikini body in five days flat through doing certain ab exercises for five minutes a day. Who does that? Not even the best magician can help you pull that one off! And usually the models in those ads already have flat tummies, so of course they can get fab looking abs in less than five minutes flat!

Anyhow, the toughest part of all the routines we have done in preparation for the Rwenzori climb, are the ab workouts. The ones we do especially after spin class, are the deadliest. Usually, after one hour of spinning on a stationary bike, the instructor will announce, rather loudly, that we are going downstairs to do 500 abs. And the look on our faces as we cringe is enough to tell you that the ab work out is not the most exciting part of the exercise.

Yesterday, I walked up to the instructor and tried to convince him that someone my age surely doesn’t need all that ab work really, because even if I ever get my flat tummy back, I’m not about to squeeze myself into a bikini, nor am I about to become some sort of super hero who needs to dress up in a tight fitting body suit, so if I can’t show off my abs, what do I need them for? He would have none of that. He told me the ab workout is good for my health. Ya right. I still have a hard time believing his logic, but I went anyway.

I find ab work really hard because my tummy hurts a lot during the exercise. If my tummy could detach itself from my body, I am sure it would hold a protest march against all the ab work I take it through. But it is not detachable, so it has to stick with me. And I have to stick with the ab exercise, as I talk myself through the benefits of having a strong core – of which the muscles in tummy is an integral part.

And even if I never wear a bikini, I want my body to be strong and healthy, both inside and out.

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