What my mother, Ethan Zohn and Pinterest have in common

It turns out Pinterest is good for more than making me think I deserve to live in a starchitect-designed ‘cabin’ in the Norwegian countryside. One with a 2000 square foot kitchen big enough for the boys to ride their bikes in, and expansive windows allowing me to view pine forests or the sea whenever I have a ‘Calgon take me away’ moment.

For there’s been a slightly disappointing trend on the virtual inspiration board these last few months. In addition to the drool-inducing photographs of 3000 calorie cupcakes and $50,000 kitchens and overly inspirational sayings, people have started pinning…exercise routines and pictures of swimsuit-wearing women with chiselled abdominals.

So now, when I’m plotting my next baking extravaganza, I have workouts and fit women staring me in the face; causing me a modicum of guilt and anxiety. Visually chiding me for thinking about sugar and butter when they’ve already run a few miles and done three sets of burpees in their impossibly short shorts and bikini tops. And probably drank tastes-like-butt coconut water* afterwards.

And then my own mother got in on the action. ‘Did I tell you I started this Women on Weights class,’ she emails me. And goes on to tell me how much she’s enjoying it and how, ‘unfortunately’, it’s only five weeks long. What?! And with this innocent declaration she turns the knife that Pinterest first imbedded in my back.

Fast forward a few days and there, on people dot com is Ethan Zohn, a curly-haired man I vaguely recall from the one or two seasons of Survivor I watched back in 2001/2002 when we had a television. It turns out he is being treated for cancer….and just ran the New York City Marathon. In 4.5 hours.

Words cannot describe the feeling of lazy-slovenliness that engulfed me after finishing that article. The time had [hopefully, finally] come: to put away the butter and locate my pair of ‘athletic’ shoes in the recesses of the coat closet.

On Monday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. And a cough. ‘But EthanZohn has cancer and ran 26.2 miles,’ I chanted silently when I considered driving the Hen to his three-blocks-away preschool, instead of walking. So we walked in the chilly November morning air, and after I dropped our middle boy off, I kept walking; pounding the sidewalk for forty minutes.

And then it was Tuesday. With the professor gone all day, and two kids at home, a lengthy powerwalk was not in the cards. So I logged on to bloody Pinterest and adhered to one of the pinned workout routines.

Jumping Jacks. Push ups. Squats. Crunches. Jumping Jacks. Push ups. Squats. Crunches. Jumping Jacks….

Aside from the potential physical benefit, I sense my counting out loud is helping the two year old improve his counting. ‘Mom, Percy can count to eight!’ the Hen shouted. And I tried to mumble something enthusiastic. Incapable of doing anything else through my labored breathing-wheezing.

Wednesday morning I woke up, unable to lift my arms on account of the 55 [modified] push ups I did on Tuesday; incapable of bending my legs thanks to the 55 squats. So today’s exercise will likely consist of lying on the couch and eating doughnuts, but I fully intend to rotate my ankles and wrists while doing so.

*I have not actually consumed said coconut water, but I bought some for the professor during his pull-all-nighters-like-I’m-in-college-again phase last month. He said it was beyond disgusting.

3 thoughts on “What my mother, Ethan Zohn and Pinterest have in common

  1. Oh Nina, you sell yourself short. Seven out of nine would still be incredible odds. But I’m still revelling in the five minute powerwalk I managed to squeeze in yesterday. I have very low expectations. Renate, those were MODIFIED (read: girl) push-ups. (I can’t even do one regular push up). And you don’t do 55 in a row, you start with sets of 10, then 9, then 8 etc. Two days later and I can barely walk.


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