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Oh, the Wonders of Boot Camp
“And look, folks! It’s a standing ovation! The crowd goes wild as 13-year-old MaCall finishes her amazing dance routine. By God, look at all the flowers they’re throwing! This is a sight to be seen…that much is for sure!”
I sighed, watching a video from my old glory days from last year in my living room, all alone. Yeah, you could call it pathetic…it was. I never knew back then that the memory of my tanned body, rippling muscles, and silky blonde hair would cause me so much pain. I used to be a specimen! I thought, squeezing my stomach fat.
“Get a life,” my stomach fat rumbled back, cellulite ripples squeezing like lips over my belly button.
I sucked the fat in, but two minutes later, I couldn’t hold my breath any longer, and it bulged back out like rotten cottage cheese in a pale white trash-bag. Ew.
I complained to my parents, but they didn’t seem to think it mattered.
“You’re still at the body weight of most teenagers your age. Why worry if you’ve got a little pot belly?” they reasoned.
That just ticked me off even more. I had just read that like, 67% of teenagers were obese.
“So you’re admitting I’m fat!” I cried. When your parents can say it, then you’ve really got a problem.
“No, darling. We’re just saying that you’ve gained a little weight, that’s all. Nothing to be ashamed of. You’re just growing…wider.”
“We still love you though,” added my dad helpfully.
I threw my head into a pillow.
“Oh, Lord! I’m going down the path of least resistance, I’m heading into obstruction! …whatever that means…and I’m going to end up like those guys who get so fat they turn into a couch!”
“Oh, stop being such a wuss! Hey! Why don’t you just come to my Boot Camp tomorrow at 5 A.M.?” suggested my dad.
I looked at my dad for a minute, my eyes still, but my mind pondering the possibilities.
“Yeah!” I chirped, beginning to feel the first rays of hope. “And I could go on a health food diet and eat only healthy food and exercise all the time! I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before…I’m a genius.”
“Um…okay…yeah that’s why I suggested you go to Boot Camp…” said my dad with a smile.
“I know! I’m so smart!” I cried, gleefully racing up to my room to prepare for Boot Camp.
At 5 A.M. when my lips were still attached to the drool pool on my sheets and my eyes were locked with chains of crust-eye, the whole idea of Boot Camp seemed a little different than it had the night before. Somewhere in my subconscious, I sensed my dad impatiently snapping his fingers in my face.
“Get up, Droolie! Boot Camp, remember?” he barked.
“YES, dad…I remember…” I groaned.
“Well then, get up!” he cried.
“Dad, stop cutting me off. Now I have to start all over. YES, dad I remember, but I decided it’s okay to be fat. I don’t want to be skinny anymore, and I’m enjoying my nice fat self.”
“MaCall…you told me last night not to let you do this. Get up and let’s go!”
My hand felt arthritic as I pulled it out from under the covers and reluctantly peeled my warm blanket off. I rolled out of bed and stumbled into some running shorts and a T-shirt. My dad was downstairs, tapping his foot and sipping his coffee impatiently. I whipped my feet into some sneakers and ran downstairs.
“Are you sure I wouldn’t be a burden?” I squeaked. “I know how in-shape you are, and I wouldn’t want to slow you down…”
“Get in the car,” my dad ordered, totally unfazed.
I rolled my eyes as I trudged out to the car. Holy cow, it was freezing. My eyelids kept closing for some reason…
His bleachy-white teeth and fearsome tiger-like eyes were three centimeters from my face.
“ONE! TWO! DON’T BEND DOWN TO TIE YOUR SHOE! THREE! FOUR! YOU LOST A POUND NOW LOSE SOME MORE!”
Tears streamed down my cheeks and my arms flailed as I tried to keep up with everyone’s pace. We were doing jumping jacks and I was already dying. All the in-shape Type A moms in their pink designer Juicy sweats and too-fake-to-be-real helmets of blonde hair were really showing me up.
“NOW PUSHUPS!” the work-out guy screeched in my face.
I let myself collapse to the ground. My frail arms couldn’t push my whale of a body even an inch off the ground. I shot my butt into the air to make it look like I was actually doing something. Boot Camp Nazi didn’t buy it.
“ARE YOU DOING PUSH-UPS OR BUTT-UPS?!” he screeched.
“Probably butt-ups,” I managed to choke out.
When I thought I woke up the next morning, I was a dead bug in a cocoon. A giant black-widow spider sat on my belly, licking his fangs. But, instead of a spider’s head, it was Boot Camp Nazi’s. Nazi cackled with laughter, his fangs clicking together like freshly-sharpened knives.
“Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!” I sat bolt-upright in bed, my nightmare still crackling in my mind.
Sweat poured out of my forehead as I glanced wildly around the room. Phew! I wasn’t a bug in a cocoon anymore. Unfortunately, my happiness was short-lived as I rolled out of bed and walked into the bathroom. As I crouched to “sit down,” one of the muscles in my leg spasmed and…I fell in the toilet.
“Wow,” I grinned to myself, suppressing a chuckle. “I must not be that big after all.”