Is Marla Sasquatch?

Marla attempting squats
Okay, so granted, Trainer Lurch put the idea in my head of sitting on a toilet when teaching me how to squat, but did I have to take the constipation look so seriously?

My new trainer sucks. Okay, maybe not completely, or not much, or at all, really. But it feels good to say it, like somehow I’m getting to take back a little dignity after my clumsy attempts at weight training at my new gym here in Coshocton.

I had already prepared him that I would be blogging about my work-outs from time to time and that includes photos and a myriad of random, often strange thoughts. I figured he would give them a once-over and see that I wasn’t showing my trainer in a bad light, and understand that the only person I really take to task in my blogs is me.

I didn’t think he would read them, I mean actually read them. (I mean, c’mon, he’s a trainer, right? Isn’t he supposed to be an illiterate muscle-head?)

Yeah, I know, didn’t I already learn from Gary that trainers are not illiterate and well, muscles are kind of the point for male fitness dudes, right?

So anyway, new trainer dude is a 6’4 crewcut fella who is getting his master’s in Physical Therapy. I’ll call him Lurch for now, because I’m still in that honeymoon phase, where I hate his guts!!

exercise personal trainer
I think I herniated something. I wonder how many high-maintenance chicks have hemorrhoids and hernias. Gawd. Working out is, like, hard. Upside? Comfortable shoes.

 Anyhoo, Lurch apparently took the blogs as a homework assignment, even scanning a few recent ones, and by the time I began training with him, he was not only well versed in issues with my knee, but also brought along an entire briefcase of snark.

Recently, my brother and I have discussed an interesting trend on my blog: women tend to respond to my self-deprecation with an outpouring of love and encouragement, while men usually have a tongue-in-cheek reaction. I respond better to the latter, which I think comes from my personality actually being much more male than female. Sure, I lay out the vulnerability, which I think makes a traditional female respond naturally with nurturing, caring and encouragement. But as soon as I’m open, I generally undercut it with something inflammatory or mildly debasing—a zinger to clothesline the tone. A traditional male usually picks up on this and relates to my mentality of “share and retreat.” It’s a male tactic, and they seem to get that the reaction I prefer is humor (I think it’s because that’s the reaction they would want to receive.) And yes, allow room that not *all* females and males fall into these categories, of course.

Personal training Traveling Marla
Hey, this one’s not half bad. Maybe my arms aren’t so bad, huh? That shot and discus in high school stuck around? Maybe? sorta, kinda, not?

So with my new trainer it started with the legs. He read my blog about giving up a month of waxing (face, leg, etc) in order to give more to my favorite charities for Pittsburgh’s Day of Giving. I call it going Ewok for a cause.

trainer fitness exercise Traveling Marla
Okay, so I was kind of happy to see a little squiggly line on my arm in the vicinty of where Trainer Lurch has one. That’s gotta mean something, right? Yeah baby, definition! :-/

You might guess where this is going…Lurch had read the blog and was quick to make a comment about my noticeable hairy legs when I was doing leg presses. Granted, in my sweats and bright pink breast-cancer-awareness socks, the only thing showing are calves, but trust me, readers, that’s enough.

The only thing that grows hair faster than me is a chia-pet or, well, a guy (and that might explain a lot!)

You know, when I was growing up, my mom used to tease me about my hobbit feet (they’re flat and good grief, SO hairy!) but it wasn’t until that “certain age” that I started to turn into an inhabitant of the Forest Moon of Endor.  So I chose to evoke the image of an Ewok, because well, Ewoks are cute. They are adorable little creatures with a lot of gumption. You can’t talk about an Ewok to most people without an “Aww.” This is how I figured I could get away with telling the world about my hirsute October—soften it with one of the cutest creatures known to movie history.

So what does trainer Lurch start calling me?


Yes, hairy man-beast of the north woods. And it doesn’t end there. As we work out the details of what I want from training, my makeover blog is published. Taking his cue from that, he makes a joke about turning me into a more high-maintenance wife for my husband.

Bwah-ha-ha. Yeah right. Me. High Maintenance. That’s like trying to squeeze a female Ewok into an hourglass, strapping her to Jabba the Hut and making every future generation drool over Princess Marla Ewok and her metal bikini. Ooh-la-la. Look at that fur!?!??

Ewok Princess Leia bikini
Does Marla need de-Ewok’d?

But as I relate Lurch’s suggestion to Kurt, I notice something terrible happen. His eyes light up and then glaze over. I can see his gears turning and I know he’s really contemplating a life with de-Ewok’ed Marla. Maybe he’s remembering how I shoveled a Big Mac & Fries on our first date, or how I accidentally farted, a slip which I remember quite well as a squeak but he remembers as a roaring competition for the feature movie we were seeing. And the fact that this was our first date, how could he think there was ever a possibility of me as a different kind of wife? I mean, come on. He married a Honda. Good mileage, durable, affordable and safe. It’s kind of hard to pass that off as a Ferrari, even if you strap a horse to her front bumper and paint her bright red.

But is it such a bad idea to be high-maintenance?

Why do I hate that term, anyway?

I think it’s because when I hear “high-maintenance” I immediately imagine that physical high maintenance comes only from a place of insecurity.

But that’s not everyone’s truth.

I have known physically high-maintenance women who were annoyingly insecure. If they weren’t reminded of how pretty they were on a regular basis, they would go ask a mirror.

But, and this is a big butt (ba-dump-bump), isn’t it funny how we seek out and reinforce our notions of truth when we don’t want to see anything else?

exercise arms trainer
I may look really weak here, but when I saw Trainer Lurch’s shirt, I almost clocked him anyway.

I don’t really want to think about women being both physically high maintenance and emotionally secure. The two ideas conflict in my vestigial puritanical mind.

But if I think about it, I do know many women who are high-maintenance and incredibly confident. They’re smart, sexy, fit and manage their money well. I hate them, but I’m also good friends with a few of them. I like to think of myself as their yub-yub sidekick (that’s the sound Ewoks make, in case you didn’t get that…yub-yub-yub.  yub-yub.)

Traveling Marla personal training back
Gee, what a surprise that trainer has perfect form while Sasquatch is about ready to pop a hemorrhoid just pulling back up to straight.

So why don’t I think of those women when I think of high-maintenance?

I don’t know that it’s something I can answer right now, but seeing my husband try to hide how excited he was at the thought of me as trophy-Ewok made me start thinking about it.

I told trainer Lurch he can focus on the two things I’m most concerned about: my high blood pressure (stubbornly staying high around 148 over 99-100); and my cholesterol (triglycerides were 425 and I am just not going to tell you where my HDL/LDL are at).

Health. Come on, Trainer Lurch and Master Kurt. Health!!

Traveling Marla back exercises
Lurch apparently thought he could be funny and mess with Sasquatch again. Thanks for the photo. Just remember, payback’s a female Ewok.

But they both seem to be working on me right now. As Lurch inquired into the age of my tennis shoes (maybe 3 or so years…so what?) Kurt admitted to a twitch he’s developed when seeing my big, clunky, comfies go on day after day, trying when possible, to pair them with dressy clothes as well. It was reinforced recently when my mother-in-law gave me a Good Housekeeping magazine showing 30-something identical twins dressed in different outfits. It was a comparison of outfits that made you look younger or older. Every single outfit in geezer-twin’s wardrobe could have been taken from my closet.

Oh dear. Even my mother-in-law has noticed my utter inability to dress attractively.

In the meantime, a few sessions later, my trainer seems to have not yet found a cork for the Sasquatch references. And naturally I share them with Kurt, who so far is finding trainer Lurch as funny as Lurch seems to find himself. There have been many references to Sasquatch the Waxless Wonder, missing links and “Holy Hairy Ass, Batman!” jokes.

Going Sasquatch for charity
Halfway through Ewok October

I try to turn it around sometimes, to joke back, like calling him Lurch (while cursing at him under my breath during weight training) but unfortunately that just gravitated to Cousin It references.

Yeah, maybe I’m not quite as much of a boy as I think I am mentally. I certainly can’t hang as well with the ribbing and my comebacks usually end up at, “Oh yeah? Well…so?”

I’d like to make a comment to these boys about messing with Sasquatch, but somehow I know that would still end up in their favor.

Two more weeks left in October. Maybe by Halloween I really could go as Sasquatch, or better yet, my version of sexy Ewok in a metal bikini.

In the meantime I’ll be dreaming of November, de-Ewoking and maybe considering slightly uncomfortable shoes…or at least a newer pair of tennies. Seriously, what makes these boys think a gal who can easily post a picture of her hairy legs and herself in awkward, dorky, and constipated poses ever take herself seriously enough to be high maintenance.

Yes, slightly uncomfortable shoes. That’s high maintenance, right? Right…?

Love, Marla

28 thoughts on “Is Marla Sasquatch?

  1. Love reading your blogs girl!! You and me seem a lot alike. Love my comfy clothes and shoes. Don’t like things that fit tight. My big T-shirts tell people there’s some rolls under there but I’d rather they imagine them that me giving them details of what they look like. But I’ve been told more than once that I am absolutely top-notch beautiful on the inside and you, my friend, are definitely the same. Top-notch beautiful!!! 🙂 Oh and on our more devilish side….yep….keep working out and flatten him!!! lol

    1. Thanks Kim! Yes, I think we do have a lot in common and my arms are getting stronger each session. If he wears that shirt one more time I just might, hahaha.

  2. “EWOK-TOBER”…I like that! You should do that every year, kinda catchy.

  3. A few of thoughts:

    1) On your gender-divided snark response observation: I, at least, also respond to men with pure snark. I usually also respond to women with snark (we know this already). When I hear one of my close friends say something clearly vulnerable and masked with snark, I get sincere. But, you know, I can always stop that. Who cares about emotional health anyway?

    2) There are a lot of cute, comfortable shoes in the world. Like these: Trust me, I have a pair of Born flats and I will wear them to death.

    3) I’ll help you make your Ewok bikini.

    1. Oh my God, I think I just peed myself on your reply (darnit – more work on the pelvic floor is needed apparently). Did you know I consider you one of my high-maintenance confident friends?
      Trainer Lurch was actually still on my good side until today when he said something like “Those who can’t write…blog.”
      He better not train these arms to get much stronger or I might flatten him.

      Ooh I love those shoes!! I should have known to go to you for that.

      I am TRYING on this put-together thing. Baby steps…baby steps…in comfortable, CUTE shoes.

      And yes, you did call me out on the snark masking. Hmmm – I need to get better at genuine snark or get dumber friends. Drat.

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