“Can we talk for a second?” my mother asked as I was watching the football game. “I need a favor from you.”
My eyes were still glued to the tv. “Sure, but can this wait until later? This game is almost over.”
She picked up the remote control and shut the tv off.
“Hey! I was watching that!”
“You can read the results online or catch the replay on the news, I really don’t see what the difference is anyway,” she replied sternly.
“Fine, what can I do for you mom?”
She lifted the bottom of her tshirt to reveal a soft, curvy stomach. She had given birth a year earlier which had left her with a decidedly feminine shape. At the time, I was 18 and her eldest son. She, at 42, was still as gorgeous as ever, despite what she thought about her newfound midsection.
Being in shape always meant a lot to her. She still had a fit body, which was built by long distance running and lots of yoga in her bedroom. Her arms and legs still looked tone for a woman her age, or any age really. The extra weight she put on really bothered her as she poked at it.
“That’s what you can do for me,” she replied, poking at her belly a few more times. “I’ve gotten my energy back since delivery, and I desperately want to get back in shape. It’s not easy at my age. Do you think you can help push your mother with a good workout routine and some motivation? We’ve still got a lot of old gym equipment in the garage that we could use.”
“Mom, you’re being way too hard on yourself. You look great the way you are. I’m serious.”
“Thanks, but I still love being fit while I can still do it. It’s a healthy obsession, I’d say.”
I gave her a skeptical look. “It would be kind of awkward, don’t you think? You know, with me having to watch you do reps with weights and all that. Why don’t you go to the gym instead? They’ve got all the best equipment, not to mention that they have personal trainers who are used to dealing with women your age… no offense mom.”
“Gyms today are so crowded,” she scoffed. “Plus, you know how much of a clean freak I am. All of the machines and lockers have got to be covered with germs and bacteria; I read about it on the news.”
“Seriously? I walked past the gym at the mall and it was less than half full. It looked spotless as well. There are a lot of regulations nowadays about cleanliness too. There’s antibacterial gel all over the place.”
She sighed. “If you want the real reason why I don’t want to go the gym anymore, it’s because it’s filled with students of mine, and the last thing I need is for them to see me working out. And I especially don’t want any of my future or former female students seeing me naked while I’m in the locker room.”
“I guess that makes sense.”
“So what’s it going to be, mister?”
“Well, it looks like I’m not in a position to argue with you,” I replied.
“No, you’re certainly not,” she said with her arms crossed and a stern look.
“Okay, we’ll start whenever you’re ready. I’ll try to think of a routine which would be perfect for you. Not too easy. Not too hard. Just right.”