Thursday, March 18, 2010

Smokin' Step Aerobics

Fitness guru, Holly Laughner explains how a stay-at-home mother of three can manage a smokin' step aerobics workout session at the same time she prepares breakfast. Her amazing personal narrative is located below:

I discovered this great new exercise program after we moved into our new home. Our large rancher with basement walkout provides the maximum area to get the most of my morning routine.

First, I turned on the stove and placed peppered, nitrate-free bacon in the pan. Then I poured drinks and began to crack eggs. I noticed the bacon was beginning to smoke a little, so I removed it from the heat and scrambled the eggs.

About then, I realized it was time to get loud and get moving. Just about any step aerobics class is going to have those two elements: loudness and lots of movement. I propose my exercise program, however, includes those two components with a flair that has been previously unseen.

The rhythm of my workout was not dictated by some heavily-syncopated modern music. It was dictated by a smoke alarm. Immediately, I slid a kitchen chair under the source of the noise and waved the white flag of surrender in its face. The sound subsided. I got down out of the chair as I noticed the smoke alarm in the garage beginning to sound and the one near the children's bedrooms. I ran to open every door on the main level and back to the source of it all in the kitchen because it was howling again.

Up a chair. Wave! And off the chair and sprint. And open the garage door. And up another chair. Smell the burn! Whooohooooo. Feeling good now, kids?! We're like the healthiest members of this neighborhood before nine a.m. And one more time. Up the chair. Rest in the higher altitude. You've earned it, you multitasking dynamo!

So as I panted from atop the improvised ladder, I marveled in the amazing stillness and cloud of peppered bacon aromas wafting around me. And then I heard it. There was a sound. A shrill repetitive beeping sound from the belly of the beast. How the heck is that possible? Smoke rises, right?

I froze, hoping it was a post-traumatic aural hallucination. But, my friends, it was not. The ceaseless racket continued to emanate from my basement, only barely muted by a single door to the echoing deep. My ten-year-old son was wide-eyed with excitement and the hopes that our homeschool might be cancelled for the day. My two-month-old baby was sitting, apparently underwhelmed by it all in her reclined highchair. My three-year-old daughter was standing horrified, mouth agape and hands over her ears. This was the quietest my three children have ever been at the same time and there was absolutely no way for me to enjoy the moment.

I dismounted and ran downstairs, only to find a First Alert alarm control panel informing me that the fire alarm was going off in my house. My dear little white box, you were not, in fact, the first alert by a long shot. But, I'd like to welcome you to the party anyway.

I happened to know that the security system is not connected to any outside service. Or at least I hoped that I was sure. If it was, I was very disappointed in the reaction time of the local volunteer fire department. I had half a mind to write them a letter.

I searched for an off button or a cancel button. I pressed several different buttons and called my husband, who laughed and asked, "What did you do? Burn some bacon?" After his extreme helpfulness, I proceeded to randomly press buttons and eventually the offending alarm ceased. I still have no idea which combination of commands ended the siren. I'm glad it did. Do you think the previous residents left me an owner's manual somewhere, in the event I ever have another impromptu exercise session?

Now ya'll sit down and stop acting ridiculous. It's time for breakfast. Yes, John, and then school. That, my little multi-age class of life learners, was our lesson on physical fitness and fire safety. Eat your bacon.


Mary said...

Very nice. I would like to see some Stopping, dropping and rolling added to the aerobics next time. Do you have your emergency exit plan in place? Do the kids know it? I should really get on that...

Chloe said...

I have had the same problem with smoke detectors in our rental house! There's one in just about every stupid room! The ones closes to the kitchen go off for NO good reason, and we intermittently hear beeping throughout the house due to low batteries. But it's virtually impossible to discern which battery is low due to all the tile floors that make the sound bounce all around!

So instead of aerobics, I unceremoniously rip them off the ceilings and remove the batteries. Bad Mommy am I!

Carissa said...

That's great!! So the key to a fitter (is that even a word?) me is to burn some bacon. Alright!!

Love your storytelling, Holly. :)

MamaHolly said...

I meant to respond a while ago, Mary. Obviously we had no real emergency exit plan if I didn't even know how to deactivate the smoke detector or where they all are. Yes, I think we will work on an emergency plan. We will have to blog it. I will do research this week. Hannah's room has a high window, gotta figure out what to do about that.

I thought stop, drop and roll is a little advanced for three months post partum. LOL