Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sarah vs. Justin: The Sit-Up Showdown

Awhile back, my husband and I agreed to be each other's motivation for doing sit-ups and push-ups at night while we're being lazy. He's actively trying to maintain his hotness, and I'm just hoping for some core muscle strength to help support my tired back. But as is often the case, he's usually the one being faithful to our promise while I'm making excuses as to why I'm unable to perform my crunching duties.

I forgot to put the dinner things away...that'll take too long and I'm already tired.

I have to reply to this email...that'll take awhile and I'm already tired.

I have my contacts to take out...and when I do that I'll already be close to the bed....and I'm already tired...so I might as well stay back there.

And poor, fit Justin is left alone in the living room, building muscle tone while I snicker away in another room about my sneaky ways.

The other night though, he actually convinced me to hold up my end of the deal and do some sit-ups. Not without a healthy dose of stink-eye aimed in his direction, mind you.

I got to work, slowly but surely, and knocked out a set of 20 with relative ease. I looked over at him plugging away on his set and heard him counting under his breath, 63, 64, 65... He was triple timing me. He smiled over at me during a pause to switch sets, and encouraged me to try another 20. Look at you! That didn't hurt, right? Just 20 more. You can do it!

So I grumbled something about him being none too happy when my abs got all hard and unwelcoming, and tried to do some more crunches. By the time I'd completed 10 more, my abs were BURNING in revolt. Twenty was OK, but add any more than that and I was a bowl full of jelly. If jelly could complain and piteously moan, that is.

Justin was up to a hundred by then, and still going strong. He switched positions every 50 or so, maximizing the benefit to each carefully targeted muscle group. Meanwhile, back at the whine-fest, I was doing good to lift my neck off the floor. My neck which was surprisingly achy. I imagine it's a sign of inaccurate form when your neck is pained while attempting sit-ups. But beggars can't be choosers, right? I was lifting myself in a vaguely upright way. Therefore I had performed sit-ups. End of story.

Except, somebody forgot to mention that part to my slave driving husband. Good! Since it hurts a little, you know your muscles are being worked. Why don't you try to make it to 50? Mix it up a little with some (strangely named muscle-specific crunches), and see how you feel.

If he'd asked, I could have told him how I felt: Old. Weak. Sore. Flabby. Tired, above all, tired. But I was under the impression that by my squeaks and groans, he already knew. And if that was true, he must have been heartily enjoying the show I was putting on. The only thing worse would have been if I'd been gassy. Not that I EVER am. Just...that would have been awful, you know? Although, maybe it would have gotten me out of any more exercising because surely he can't focus his strength when he's dying from laughter. I'll have to remember that for next time.

Assuming there is a next time.

I made it to 50 sit-ups, but not before he'd reached about 300 of his own. At one point, I was eeking out 5 at a time, and flailing breathlessly after each set...of 5. Flailing hurries for no one, and it took me two segments of Conan O'Brien's show to finish my task. At the end, I curled up in a ball, nursing my tender abs with promises of rewards...I'd bake something delicious for them if only they'd stop spasming in pain. Next to me, Justin was finally breaking a sweat on his push-ups. Each glistening drop on his forehead looked like liquid payback: He was uncomfortable, too. AT LAST!

When we'd both finished our exercises, I peeled myself off the floor and made for the bedroom. Justin was behind me, shutting off lights and locking doors, and I oozed down the hallway, longing for the sight of my soft, inviting pillows and blankets. I was within arm's reach when I heard behind me, the voice of encouragement:

Did you brush your teeth?

It's a good thing he's gorgeous. And funny. And a good dad. And, OK, he loves me unconditionally. But if it weren't for those things, I tell you what...

He'd be on the couch for sure.


  1. Thanks for starting my morning with a giggle!

    And I too hate it when my husband reminds me to brush my teeth. Not that I would ever intentionally skip it to get into bed two minutes earlier...

  2. Good for you: sit-ups and not kicking him to the couch.

  3. You should sell TEAM SARAH shirts. I'd wear one. (With my skinny jeans and my hot boots!)

  4. I'm usually the one reminding my hubby to brush. But he is definetly the one who pushes me to walk more than 3 seconds on the treadmill.

  5. I'm so proud of you :)

    Dave and I are the same way -- he's he disciplined one who never misses a workout and I'm the one always making excuses...and I HATE running with him...he's such a slave driver.

  6. I'll take a TEAM SARAH shirt!

    I might have teared up, I was laughing so much while reading this.

  7. Randy likes to do this to me as well. One of the perks of being pregnant is that I get a 9 month break from it! Although I must admit he takes it pretty easy on me. He only asks that I do cruches, pushups, etc. on commercial breaks so I don't whine too much! I can do anything for 3 minutes at a time!

  8. TEAM SARAH! I like it. Can I order my shirt on Amazon? :)

  9. Go Team Sarah!! Way to show grace in the face of a handsome hubby rubbing in his awesomeness!!

  10. Chris finally made it home from Turkey and among the first things he said to me was "So, um...are you going to the gym tonight?" I immediately thought of you.

  11. Emily - Something tells me Justin and Chris would get along just fine...while their wives baked and sampled profusely over hot tea :)


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?