A reader named Stephanie just added a hilarious story as a comment on today’s post, “Improving Among the Gym Gang.” So here it is as a separate post:

Subject: A week at the Gym

If you read this without laughing out loud, there is something wrong with you. This is dedicated to every man who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine.

Dear Diary…For my fiftieth birthday this year, my wife (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me.

Although I am still in great shape since playing on my high school softball team, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer I’ll call Grace, who identified herself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and a model for athletic clothing and swimwear.

My wife seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started. The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

Monday:
Started my day at 6:00 am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Grace waiting for me. She is something of a Greek Goddess – with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Grace gave me a tour and showed me the machines. She took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attribute it to standing next to her in her Lycra aerobic outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring. Grace was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!

Tuesday:
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Grace made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air — then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Grace’s rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It’s a whole new life for me.

Wednesday:
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying on the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Grace was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Grace put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Grace told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other shit too.

Thursday:
Grace was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn’t help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. Grace took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the men’s room. She sent Lahrs to find me, then as punishment, put me on the rowing machine –which I sank.

Friday:
I hate that bitch Grace more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleader. If there were a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it. Grace wanted me to work on my triceps. I don’t have any triceps! And if you don’t want dents in the floor, don’t hand me the &*@*#$ barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich (which I am sure you learned in the sadist school you attended and graduated magna cum laude from). The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn’t it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

Saturday:
Grace left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the $@#&& Weather Channel.

I’m having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank God that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my wife (the BITCH) will choose a gift for me that is fun — like a root canal or colonoscopy.