Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monkey Bars

Guess I needed a wake-up call to make me realize I'm getting OLD.  We just got a new (well, used- I love Craigslist) swing set for the kids.  This thing is awesome.  Here's a pic of the kids attacking it at the old owner's house:

Isn't it great?  Well, let me tell you, the devil himself resides just above those swings.  There's about ten horizontal bars some people call the MONKEY BARS.  I call it the "Armpit Rip."  Katherine asked me the other day what they were for and I was so excited because in my much younger days I loved the monkey bars.  At good ole' St. Peter's school we'd swing across them, ensnare a leg on one bar and pull ourselves up to sit on top of them.  And I didn't gloat about it like I should have.  Because I thought EVERYONE can do the monkey bars.  Not so fast, monkey girl.
    So, to explain to Katherine how the monkey bars work I decided she needed a demonstration.  And, because I lost all humility as I have aged, I wanted to gloat about the acrobatic tricks I could do on this magnificent apparatus.  Cory, my Monkey Bars coach, said it's all about momentum.  So I, being the obedient sort of wife, too his advice and got a running start.  Here's what that gymnastics routine looked like:

Whhhhhaaaaaattttttt.  Of course, you can see that the swings below provided a much needed additional obstacle to moving across a bar or two.  What happened to my upper body strength over the last twenty-five years?????  Have I declined that rapidly?  Is it a lack of upper body strength or, ahem, a burgeoning of the lower half?  My sweet Jesus, don't tell me.  Either answer would make me want to punch somebody in the face.  Although it probably wouldn't hurt considering I apparently don't have much upper body strength anymore.  It was almost more than I could bear.  And then Katherine decides to make me feel better by yelling: "That doesn't look hard!"  Of course not.  Anybody can hang from a bar for three seconds, grunt like a dying hippo and drop.
     So I decided to turn to Dr. Google for help.  I entered "Monkey bars adults" into the search engine and waited eagerly for an explanation as to why I can't swing across one ring, much less ten.  Dr. Google, for the first time in his existence, was silent.  Was I really the first person to ask that?  Why are people not flocking to some ridiculous website to seek answers about the draining of our fountains of youth?  What are you people doing all day?  Obviously not swinging on monkey bars.  How could there NOT be a study that has documented the fact that as people age the monkey bars become impossible?  Where is all of our tax money going?  Thanks, Barack.  Now I'll have to do my own study on it.  From now on, any adult that visits Howat Manor will be required to cross the Monkey Bars as I film it and post it to this blog to show that, indeed, I am not the only struggling monkey out there.  A glass of wine after your performance will be optional, of course.
       Dr. Google did provide some crazy CrossFit junk videos showing people who actually can cross the monkey bars.  They were such show-offs, lemme tell ya.  And yes, I did want to punch them with one of my two gimp arms.  See, I'm not talking about personal trainers being able to do it or bodybuilders or Marines.  Of course the people who work out all day can do it.   Can this lady cross the monkey bars?
I'm gonna say 'yeah.'  Mostly because I do not want her to hunt me down and beat me up and tie me into a pretzel on top of the monkey bars.  But it looks like it's her job to be able to do it.  By the way, do NOT google "body builder woman" and press "Images."  That is just so scary, y'all.
     Sadly, the monkey bars used to be less discriminatory.  You used to not have to have bulging biceps to enjoy them.  They have most definitely developed an air about them.  Just being honest here.  The sad truth is that I can still slide, I can still swing, but I would fail adult P.E. because of that wretched contraption.  My armpits literally felt like they were ripped in half.  How do you strengthen your armpits?  I'm not googling it because I'm still trying to get over the last couple of google images I saw.  Somebody look it up and message me.
     Am I the only one who has lost her monkey bar mojo?  See, I hate to be the whistleblower but I think we need to stare our aging selves in the mirror and decide to make a change.  Because I think we went from this:
to this:
in the blink of a wrinkled eye.  And dude on the ball, I am SO not making fun of you.  I would look like I'm having a heart heart attack, too, hopping on that ball.  And just to let you know, the crowd behind you looks to be enjoying your stress quite a bit.  And you don't look like you're enjoying yourself at all.  Why is bouncing on that ball not as fun as you remember it being when you were ten?  I just don't know.  I have NO answers for you, my friend.  Just stay the course.  Don't let the mockers get to you.  And challenge the lady in the blue shirt to take a spin on the ball.  That is the only way to get out of this scenario with your dignity intact.  She WILL look worse, I promise.  Scrap it if she starts to look blue in the face, though.  You don't want to get sued.
     It's been a rough go, I'll tell you that.  I tried to recapture some of my youthful essence by doing a cartwheel.  The world went black and I got a terrible headache for the rest of the day.  I'm not going to say it's only downhill from here, but if we don't start paddling in the other direction, well, the waterfall is right ahead.  My goal is, by the end of this summer, to be able to cross the monkey bars entirely, while three kids are swinging below.  I told you I dream big.  Either I will accomplish my goal or a small child will be decapitated.  The stakes are high, my friends.  Keep paddling.

You know who would LOVE to cross the monkey bars?  Rose, that's who.  Take a peek at this cutie:
Four years old and from Latin America.  AND she looks like she could give some serious monkey bar lessons.  
Cory was adamant that I put this video up.  

Whatever.  He's obviously been doing CrossFit on the sly.


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