Dear Ms. Anderson,
May I call you Tracy?
Oh. Um… ok.
When I shelled out $100+ to order your Metamorphosis program, I was filled with vim and vigor. Your client list made my head spin. You train Gwyneth? And J.Lo? And Shakira? And Gisele?! OMG – you can show me how to work out like them?! That’s awesome! I’m so there! Let’s get started!!
The first 30 minutes of every workout is spent doing the same ‘dance’ routine? Which is mostly just constant bouncing? That’s… new. But, you’re the expert! Screamingly sore calves be damned! If Gwyneth can do it, I can do it!
The second half – the part that changes every ten days… that’s pretty… unique. I mean, clearly you’re applying a dance background, which is fine, but I feel a little silly flapping my arms like a demented bird of prey. No matter. I also felt silly doing power jumps, and by the end of Insanity I wanted to kiss Shaun T full on the mouth. So, flapping it is.
I have to admit, the ‘strategic muscle fatigue’ is a beast. Working the same muscle over and over and OVER again? Whoa. That’s intense. Sorry about the cursing. I’m sure Gwyneth doesn’t curse.
I marched dutifully to the pink and white calendar and checked off each successfully completed workout, one by one.
But I have to admit – it didn’t take long for me to begin to dread my daily workout. Midway through the second 10-day block I had to really psych myself up to push play.
This might sound odd, but I need to have good chemistry with my remote trainers.
Despite Insanity being drop-dead difficult, I kicked my own ass all the way through every single prescribed workout because I was so inspired and encouraged by Shaun T. His enthusiasm, energy and encouragement as he yelled at me to DIG DEEPER! kept me going. At the beginning of each workout, Shaun T’s voice yells “Come on, y’all! Let’s GO!!” I developed a fully Pavlovian response. I’d hear my encouragement to get started, and I would get an surge of ‘here we go!’ energy. He may not know it, but Shaun T and I have amazing chemistry.
Then there’s my girl, Jillian Anderson. She’s one tough chick, but she inspires me. She explains why she’s making you do painful things, which somehow makes the painful things a bit easier to take. She acknowledges that her workouts are hard, that ‘tough’ is who she is. But, she tells you that you can do it, and explains how it really will make you stronger. I might not think we’d ever be besties, but Jillian and I have good chemistry, too.
Your workouts are tough, but they’re a lot less physically intimidating than Insanity and no more intimidating than my favorite Jillian Michaels video (Shout-out to No More Trouble Zones! It rocks my socks). Yet I pulled back from your Method harder than I ever pulled back from Shaun T or Jillian.
I was hoping to be inspired by you, Ms. Anderson. Instead, the lack of inspiration is dragging me down in a big way.
I have to confess – I began referring to you among friends as ‘The FemBot’.
I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be hurtful. I’m sure you’re a wonderful friend, wife and mother. It’s just that in your professional capacity you remind me of all the intimidating mean girls from high school and college, the ones who just couldn’t understand why anyone would ever struggle with the things that came easily to them. Wanting to look like you and your clients isn’t enough motivation to get me through 90 days of feeling like my remote trainer is disappointed in me. I mean, let’s face it. Warmth and encouragement aren’t exactly your strong suits.
Your ‘do it because I say so’ approach turned me all the way off. Also, no verbal cues to go from one exercise to the next? Pass. When I’m working hard, I will probably look away from the tv to focus. I could use a reminder when it’s time to switch.
Do you know how psychotic it feels when you don’t want to do your workout because it feels like your trainer is being mean? And that trainer has never even seen your face? It’s one step from a padded room.
The nail in the coffin of Happy Exhaustion’s adventure with the Tracy Anderson Method came from the man who never steers me wrong. As I bounced and cursed, the resident fitness trainer just shook his head. “Whenever you want to give this ish up, I’ll support that” he said.
“But it must be working!” I protested. “It hurts like HELL!”
“Yes,” he said “but I can fatigue your finger until it hurts like hell, too. Just bend and flex it a few hundred times and it’ll be screaming. That doesn’t mean it’s a good workout.”
I’m sorry, Ms. Anderson. In the name of my (entirely vital) enthusiasm for my personal fitness, I have to break up with you. I’m sorry. It’s not your fault.
There’s just no chemistry.
PS: Now accepting recommendations for the next fitness adventure!