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post #72
bio: jen

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I Got Nothing

All week on my to-do list was the item, ‘write happyrobot piece', and all week, as I crossed out other items, ‘write happyrobot piece' remained. This to-do item was different from other happyrobot to-do items because it was nonspecific. Last week, my to-do list had ‘finish Grunt piece' which became ‘double check Grunt band member names' and then ‘just post the sucker'.

Maybe I'm still high on the Grunt piece---after posting it, I felt a great lightness like a hawk soaring in an air pocket above a green canyon. Maybe, after wandering through the Sunshine Jen Library of Ideas and Nutty Stuff, I couldn't find one single piece to check out. Maybe it's because Myles has been miles away in China for the last month, and he's hopefully coming back this weekend (please Global Technology Supply Chain, bring him home). Maybe it's because I finally finished the latest draft of my play called Fly Fly Butterfly.

Maybe it's because I'm finding my fun on happyrobot by reading John Ball's fantastic poems while wondering if Biff got out of New Mexico alive. He did. Phew!

So, day became night became day became night and well you get the picture. Still no happyrobot piece. On Wednesday evening, I thought about the happyrobot piece and reached the simple conclusion: I've got nothing.

Wait! Didn't Whitney Houston sing that in the Kevin Costner Bodyguard movie? I've got nothing! Nothing! Noth-thinnnnnng! Oh no, I was having a Whitney Houston musical breakdown. Save me, Kevin Costner, save me! Carry me away! Carry me through the crowd of unfinished ideas to the safety of my limo of a complete thought.

Since I did not have Kevin Costner readily available, I did what any great writer would do. I started drinking. Gin. If I was still a smoker, I'd be puffing away on a Marlboro Red, but I'm no longer a smoker. Sometimes, I wish I still smoked. It made me feel so good back in the day. I would just sit there thinking deep thoughts while the smoke curled off the end of the cigarette, then I'd bring it up to my mouth and inhaled. Ohhh yes. Then, I'd switch the cigarette to my left hand and pick up the pen with my right hand and write something diabolically mind shattering. Why did I quit smoking anyway?? Oh yeah, I took up boxing.

But I must get back to the present. What to write for happyrobot? What to write. What to write. What to write. All sorts wacky little things have been happening, but none of these birdies wanted to build a nest for me.

Let's see. Start with my birthday. April 7th was my birthday. I turned &%^*&^%*&. Yeah, I'm soooo old. Mentally, I feel great, but physically, I'm not 29 anymore. However, I'm working on that. I like my birthday. April 7th. It's a good day. It's my day. I like being an Aries too.

Last Saturday, I did an eleven mile hike up in Topanga State Park, and then on Sunday, I did a lonnng ten mile hike up in Zuma Canyon. The Zuma hike was supposed to be six miles, but I miscalculated slightly. Oops. I had to jog the last mile all downhill because my legs had turned to taffy. Fortunately, I made it back to the car before dark. I saw little furry bunnies up in Zuma. No, I didn't eat one.

This week, I got a free week-long pass to a gym in Beverly Hills. How do the super rich work out? They don't sweat and wear really nice gym clothes. I have also never seen so many personal trainers in all my gym-going life. They were all over the gym with their clipboards and stood together like a wolf pack at the personal trainer counter. They all wore black T-shirts with ‘Private Trainer' across the back.

Wait, I need the Tina Turner moment:

I'm your private trainer
Trainer for money
Do what you want me to do.

Also, towels. There were a lot of white towels. In some gyms, you feel fortunate when you're given a towel with no holes in it. In the Beverly Hills gym, there is an abundance of towels, a stock pile of towels, a first-world super power of towels. They are all neatly folded on marble shelves. Someone must have spent a long time putting all those towels there.

On my first day at the Beverly Hills gym, I worked out forty minutes on the cardio Elliptical machine (my favorite) while watching Celebrity Poker Showdown on my own mini-television screen in front of me. I usually don't do cardio for so long, but I just had to know if Ben Affleck was going to win or not. He's kind of cute when he plays cards. He lost by the way.

I then admired the dumbbells glistening in the sunlight. They looked so new, so clean as if no one had ever picked them up. Some of the weights were lighter than I thought they would be. And all the machines were so quiet.

I looked around at the people. They were all different shapes and sizes. Most had Private Trainers next to them, but no one was sweating. Maybe they were sweating on the inside.

On my second day at the Beverly Hills gym, I decided to take a Boxing class. The gym offers a lot of different classes, and the schedule is readily accessible on a touch-screen video monitor. I decided to not take the Astro Rev class where they read horoscopes before a spinning class because I've never been a big fan of spinning. Boxing is something I can sorta do, so I decided to take a class called Box! And apparently, no horoscopes will be read.

A little history about me. I learned to box at the Waterfront Boxing Club down behind the New York Stock Exchange. It's a great gym. You can train like a boxer, do everything a boxer does, but you don't have to become a competitive boxer. I went there for years and even did some light sparring. It's a very woman friendly gym, and I think women should try boxing at least once. You use your hips and you get to hit things.

I haven't boxed much since moving to LA although I use to go to a gym in Hollywood where I could hit bags. I love hitting bags. I love the snap when a punch goes well. And then the bangbangbang of combinations. And you get the rhythm going. Go all out for three minutes and rest for thirty seconds. Round after round. Non stop. Kick ass. Keep it going. Don't worry. Don't think. Hit bag.

Use the legs. Use the arms. Hands up. Elbows in. Watch the bag. Don't hyperextend. OWWWW! Oh shit, what did I say not to do? Focus. Jab. Jab. Jab cross. Jabcrosshook. Jab to the body, right to the head, left hook. Jab, upper cut, hook. All different combinations. Mix it up. Keep going. Ohhh, it's good stuff.

So, I decided to take a class called Box! in a gym in Beverly Hills.


Before class started, I wrapped my hands and was told that the class will make you sweat. Good. Sweat is good. We warmed up with a little rope jumping and a little running. I put on my 16 oz gloves. If you get into boxing, buy your own gloves because communal boxing gloves can get kind of gross.

The bags for the class ran along a metal track on the ceiling, so they could easily be stored in a closet between classes. I admired the technology of it. However, the bags themselves were tight and hard---like a medicine bag. They spin, they move, and they hurt when you hit them wrong.

I looked around and wondered if there would be any instruction in punching the bag, but the young instructor pumped up the hip hop and started yelling combinations. I liked the hip hop, but it was way too loud. I couldn't hear the punches snap.

I started hitting the bag and immediately felt older than the Golden Girls. I had no legs, then some legs but no arms, then my elbows started flapping like a pigeon. After a very long minute, I stopped thinking. My body took over and seemed say, ‘oh yeah Jen, we know what to do'. And I got into a rhythm and worked around the bag. I am a very klutzy person, but I was starting to feel graceful. Dare I say it? I was flying like a butterfly.

Then the instructor called for kicks in the combination.

Uhmmm. The last time I kick boxed, I totally damaged my shins. I don't kick.

But I was going to be a sport. I tried a few kicks into the bag, then I remembered why I don't kick. Then I remembered. I'm an adult. Even in a fitness class, I choose what I can and can not do. So I continued to hit the bags with hands only.

The instructor came by and told me to kick every other punch. I told him I don't kick. I guess that was the kicker because he didn't say anything else to me on the subject. I hope I didn't scare him. After all, his voice hadn't dropped to a lower octave yet.

So I kept hitting the bag and sweating. A guy next to me rubbed his wrist at one point. Another guy sent his bag flying in all directions. This was a dangerous class.

The instructor called thirty seconds, and I went full on and started to count down. However, when the instructor called ten seconds, I was fifteen seconds. Bizarre. Still, I threw it all into the bag---every last punch I had, so at the end, I had nothing left.

And I felt so good after that. Oh yeah. I even thanked the young instructor for an excellent class when it was all over.

And I think I can cross the ‘happyrbot piece' off my list. Hooray!

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