The Angry Exerciser

Cirque du Today24 Comments

I’ve always had a Love/Loathe relationship with exercise – mostly Loathe. But there have been times in my life that I have actually loved it, even though that love was an Angry Love. Let me explain. The first time I recall ever consistently exercising, I was 20 years old and in desperate need of an exercise regimen outside of lifting beer mugs and slices of pizza to my greasy lips.

I was living and working in a college town, having been ousted from the college itself with a .8 grade point average.  My dad had promptly pulled the plug on financial support, but I stayed in town because I was dating a townie who worked at JC Penney. VERY promising. I got a job working as a drug store cashier to continue paying my rent, and my roommate happened to work at Pizza Hut, so her free pizza perks kept our grocery budget down. It didn’t, however, have the same effect on my weight. I gained thirty pounds in the span of a year and a half, and even though my ass was the size of Texas, I couldn’t get it up and motivated to do any exercise at all. Until I got dumped by Mr. JC Penney.

Mr. JCP was one of the Dipshidiots I mentioned in my Mama’s Boy post. You might recall that one of them was a seminarian? Well, Mr. JCP wasn’t a seminarian during the time we dated, but he went on to be one, I’m told. Back when we were dating, he kept breaking up with me so that he could stay celibate in preparation for his dream of becoming an Anglican Priest. That’s the kind, by the way, that can get married, so, uhhh, let’s not kid ourselves. My guess is 90 percent of the straight guys who enter the seminary in their twenties have bagged at least one babe or two, and God’s not gonna hold that against them. I mean, being a guy, God’s probably even going to high-five them for it, with one of his gigantic hands.  Anywho. Mr. JCP would break up with me every other month or so because he said that’s what God wanted him to do, and I didn’t get too upset because who can get pissed off at God, for chrissakes? The last time he broke up with me, however, I found out that the Big Man Upstairs had nothing to do with it. In fact, it was the Little Man Downstairs that was calling all the shots, since Mr. JCP had been banging half the desperate bimbos at Penneys, including the married ones!

Devastated, crushed, and completely Looney Tunes, I didn’t show up for work, I wouldn’t leave my room, I stopped showering, I drank a lot of Natural Light, and I gorged myself on everything that Pizza Hut’s expansive menu had to offer. After about a week of this abuse, I looked in my full-length mirror and said, “Aw, HELL naw!” I shimmied my fat ass into some sweatpants, blew the dust off my sneakers, headed outside, and ran faster than Forrest Gump the day he took a bullet to the butt saving other people’s asses in Vietnam. Of course, I only made it about a block before I passed out and had to receive mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from a random pedestrian. (Not really, but you get my point. I was out of shape).

That day, though not exactly epic in terms of miles run or calories burned, was a hugely pivotal day because on it, The Angry Exerciser was born. The Angry Exerciser was a fat-burning persona of vengeance who APPEARED to the casual onlooker to be running, stair-climbing, or ellipticalling herself to death, but internally, she was kicking ass in a mixed martial arts cage match with cheaters, liars, various JC Penney employees, and the occasional clergyman.

In six month’s time, I was able to shed the extra thirty pounds, buy a new wardrobe, move out of the college town, and start taking community college classes so that I could eventually go back to a four-year-college. I dialed my exercise regimen back to a maintenance level of twice or three times a week, and eventually I noticed that The Angry Exerciser had packed her bags and gone on vacation.

That wasn’t the last I would see of her, though, not by a long shot. She would be back many, many, many more times in my life, when some Ass Hat would dump me, cheat on me, tell me I was gaining weight, flirt with one of my friends, stop calling me, stand me up for a date, do the White Man’s Overbite with some other girl on the dance floor, or all of the above. Eventually, The Angry Exerciser just decided to unpack her travel suitcase and move in with me, because being the co-dependent type, I woke up one day and found I couldn’t do a lick of exercise without her.

Even now, nineteen years (oh, for Eff’s sake, really? NINETEEN YEARS?), one husband, and three kids later, though I don’t have any cheaters or liars to currently fuel The Angry Exerciser’s rage, I still desperately need her in order to work out. So I trick her, coax her out with her old memories, put ear buds in her ears, and make her listen to Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, Miranda Lambert, Cee-Lo Green (you know the one), Florence + the Machine, and yes, shudder, Miley Cyrus. (I can’t stand the little twerker, but who can resist “Wrecking Ball?” Who)?!

I do whatever it takes to get The Angry Exerciser back, because even though the Mind and Heart can heal themselves from Dipshidiot Rejection, the Ass never forgets.

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The Angry Exerciser

24 Comments on “The Angry Exerciser”

  1. Bridgitte

    Dude, I didn’t know that douchenozzle cheated on you! How did I miss this?! I’m your sister for sobbing out loud!!!! Anyway, I really wish angry exercise worked for me. It just doesn’t…angry rating is really more in my wheelhouse! How did I not get that gene? Love your post!! And you!

    1. Ashley

      Eating, rating, potato, po-tah-to. 😉 Anger governs most of my choices in life…you know that, Bridge! Thanks for reading, sis. Love you!

  2. Mindy

    This is ggggrreeeat!!!!! I wish we had the ability to do this with our lives everyday so we didnt have to wait 19 years to laugh at it! U rock Ash!

    1. Ashley

      Thanks, Mindy! Yes it’s so great to be able to laugh at it all now – back then, it was just the absolute worst thing to have ever happened. 😉 You are my only friend from back in those days to actually witness it all. I DEFINITELY have no surviving pictures, thank God! Thanks so much for reading!

  3. Uncle Wiggly

    As always, a laff a line – Little Man Downstairs! ha haaa! Please keep delivering your unique brand of priceless endorphins! Cheers baby!

    1. Ashley

      Hi, Debbie – thanks for the commiseration. It always helps to know I’m not the only one who made horrible man choices! Mr JC was really only the precursor to the biggest dipshidiot in my rolodex but he was pretty douchey just the same. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  4. Jessica Azar

    Dude I know and love the Angry Exerciser! She has helped me through many bad situations and I love hearing that she’s helped you too! Makes me think of Bridget Jones Diary when Bridget got mad and let the Angry Exerciser take over!

    1. Ashley

      Haa, Jessica, when I first posted this, my pic was of Bridget Jones huffing it out on the treadmill but I took it down cuz I probably wasn’t allowed to use it. Glad you feel my anger and my exercising pain. On a side note, I am in training for a 10-miler and ran 7.5 miles today. I have never been more pissed in my whole life. 😉 thanks so much for reading!

  5. Drew Clarke

    My assessment is solely based on your pictures on Facebook and my memories of you in high school but you do not have a big butt. I don’t know if you have seen that SNL skit called “Mom Jeans” but I wouldn’t worry about your self-image until you start wearing jeans like that or if you can start seeing your ass in your peripheral vision while looking straight forward. .

    What school were you attending when you were academically suspended for having a .8? As a collegian, my GPA followed a predictable pattern. I loved college, that is to say I loved the freedom and all the extra-curricular activities available. I was a drunk. For some reason, I received plenty of attention from the young woman on campus. I played A-League Intramural basketball and flag football. I was a successful gambler, which allowed me to lead my hedonistic lifestyle. Academics were never my primary concern. They took a backseat to drinking, bedding women, playing sports and gambling. All my extra-curricular activities left very little time for class much less studying. After I received a 1.4 GPA my first semester freshman year and was placed on academic suspension, it became clear to me that in order to continue my lifestyle, I actually had to stay in college. My highest GPA of any first semester was 2.1. My highest GPA of any second semester was 3.8. I averaged about a 1.8 first semester and 3.5 second semester. First semester, I partied hard. Second semester, I still partied hard but did just enough school work to avoid being kicked out of college. I probably only attended about 25% of my classes in college. That only came back to bite me once. I took a 300 level philosophy class my junior year. Based on my grades, I earned an A in the class but the dickface professor failed me because of my attendance. I made him endure the university’s academic appeals process but in the end, the fucking committee ruled in his favor. Since email was in its incipient stages back then, I wrote the professor a letter that lambasted him for being spiteful and petty because he was pissed that I aced his class without attending his coma-inducing lectures. In retrospect, however, I still wish I had concentrated more on academics in high school and college because my post college life may have been a bit easier had I done so.

    1. Ashley

      Drew, I was at Radford till I was booted out. I didn’t like it much anyway. Where did you go? Glad you pulled it together to get the grades – I was on the Dean’s List when I graduated. Just took me SEVEN years! Whoops.

      1. Drew Clarke

        I went to ODU for two years and finished at VCU. I wanted to go to W & M because my dad’s side of the family had a legacy there. I did score 1230 on my SAT’s but I only had a 2.7 GPA and no extra-curricular activities outside of sports so I was not accepted. I was accepted to ODU, VCU, Va. Tech, Univ. of South Carolina and Univ. of Miami. I wanted to go to Miami but my parent’s rule was they would pay for in-state tuition only so if I went out of state, I had to come up with the difference. ODU was a great choice in terms of having fun but a terrible choice in terms of getting an education. Too many distractions. I was planning on being a teacher but my final GPA was 2.74 and to get into any teaching certification program, you had to have a 2.8 or better.

  6. Tabitha

    I really need to try to channel this. It might just be the thing that I need, and believe me, I have a lot of rage. A LOT of rage, for a lot of reasons.

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