The Adventures of Fat Ass and Chimpy, Part 3: The Mirror and The Sled


You know how when you’re first dating someone, you diligently hold back your not-so-pretty parts? You make sure to shave your legs every day, and you don’t pick your nose or fart or poop or burp in front of him? You make sure not to get too emotional or cry, even at the commercials that feature puppies and babies? You’re super-confident and nothing can get you down, because you don’t want to appear at all needy?

The “I’m Cool” facade faded quickly with Dr. Fat Ass; that’s the thing about coming to someone when you’re in pain – you tend to not give a rat’s patootie about hiding your true feelings. I came to Dr. Fat Ass at my darkest, weakest, most vulnerable time – when I could barely stand, let alone put up a front – and he was perfectly kind to me, albeit in a matter-of-fact and straightforward way. Dr. Fat Ass’s actions supported much more than my posture in those early weeks.

I was hoping the fantasy would last a little longer with Chimpy; my back’s been in pretty good shape, the rest of my life is 99% great – I figured it would be at least a month before any of my insecurities seeped out onto the Astro-turf that lines the space where we train together.


I had just finished a series of kettlebell carries, chain-dragging crawls, and other exercises I’ve done with Chimpy before, and I felt great. I am so on top of this. I am so kicking ass. And then I made the crucial mistake: I looked in the mirror.


You see, all my life I’ve had this issue with how I feel inside not matching how (I think) I (should) look on the outside; I’ll be out with friends, having an amazing time, and feel like a Hollywood starlet, a pin-up queen, a veritable goddess, and then I’ll catch my reflection and everything screeches to a halt: Nope, sorry. You don’t get to have this much fun. You’re just playing dress-up, aren’t you? Fat ass.

As Chimpy led me to my next exercise, I glanced over at the mirror, and those voices started all over again: You’re a red-faced, lazy, fat girl. Who do you think you are, thinking you’re so great? Look at you. You’re a slob. Everyone can see it.

(I hate those voices. I want to bitch-slap them. I will bitch-slap them.)

Despite my resolve as I write this, in the moment, after that millisecond of a glance at the gym, I was shaken. Who did I think I was? How did I let myself get so out of shape? Who the hell was I to think that I could be as fit as Chimpy – or anyone else in the room, for that matter? How long would it take for Chimpy to grow weary of this fat girl who was slowing him down, boring him to tears?

At that moment, Chimpy got down on all fours and demonstrated an exercise that, the instant he did it, I knew I could not replicate. I knew I couldn’t because it was a PiYo move I’d never been able to do, even at the height of my PiYo-amazingness.

I couldn’t even look at him as I said it: “I can’t do that.” My breath started to catch in my chest, and I knew Chimpy would notice it (he’s big on proper breathing), which made it catch even more. I was crumbling, and yet he was still there, inches from me, showing me a modified version of it.

I went through the motions, choppy-breathed and all, and as I was moving, it all came pouring out. I must have sounded like a mad woman, telling Chimpy how my reflection didn’t match how I felt on the inside. When I was finished, he just sat there with me for a moment, looking into my eyes, silently addressing what I had just divulged to him. Then he simply said, “You’re doing awesome.”

I nearly lost it right there, right in front of Chimpy, who was trying really hard to be nice without saying he was trying to be nice.

We kept going, which was really the only thing we could do at that point if I wanted to maintain any shred of my disintegrating dignity. Chimpy told me that for the last ten minutes of our session, I was going to push a sled. Awesome, I thought. I love snow.

Well eff this effing sled that has effing nothing to do with snow.

{obviously not me, but prime example of torture device. image via}

Chimpy brought out the torture device masquerading as fitness equipment and loaded it with two 45-pound weights. He set an actual timer. He showed me the proper form to use while pushing it. Then he said, “Go”.

Back and forth. Back and forth. Breathing getting heavier, skin getting sweatier, calves and quads and ass getting burnier. At the end of each run I had to move the grab bars to the other side of the sled so I could push it in the other direction. By the fifteenth run, when I was about ready to die from a stealthy cocktail of humiliation and overexertion, Chimpy came over and started to help me move the bars.

“No.” It came out of my mouth before I could think. I was too tired to think, I guess.

My manners kicked in: “I appreciate it, but I want to do this myself,” I managed. Chimpy nodded in either understanding, admiration, or hopefully both.

I was angry. Angry that I am overweight. Angry that my face gets so red when I work out. Angry that I have so long to go in this. Angry that it was so damn hot in there. Angry that Chimpy was watching. Angry that it was so hard.

But I did it. And I survived. And Chimpy sprinkled in a few more “You’re kicking ass” comments before our time was up.

Take that, you effing devil-sled.

One Comment

  1. Tina
    May 26, 2015

    Good for you, E!! Never give up.

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