I was loitering in front of my trainer picture in Colorado, wondering why it was I looked nothing like John Cena, when I heard a commotion at the front desk. I looked to see a group of maybe ten people whose outlandish appearance caused the word “entourage” to flit through my mind, though the only entourages I knew of to plague the Foothills were Gold Rush Pioneer re-enactment posses. Then I heard a woman, using a horrible imitation British accent, say: “I need a trainer who is not impressed with me, if such a person even exists.” Yep, it was Madonna, all right, accompanied by her minions.
I ambled to meet the challenge.
“Hi, Madonna,” I said, holding out my hands like a Jersey boy. “My name is James Johnson. Not only have I never been impressed by you, but I have often been DE-pressed by you. In fact, your Blond Ambition Tour caused me to stare straight into the abyss until I was rescued by Billy Idol, who just happened to be walking by and asked if I wanted to hang out with him at a Star Trek convention.”
Madonna raised her chin and surveyed me from head to toe.
“You don’t look like much,” she said, as if she were the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court pronouncing a verdict on the legality of a tariff on Sony TVs. “And where, pray tell, is your shiny black pony-tail?”
I noticed that all the guys in her entourage sported the aforementioned shimmering hair ropes, a few of which looked so embossed as to preclude ever returning to a natural flowing state.
“I don’t need a pony-tail, nor an earring, nor a wrap-around bicep tattoo to train you, Madonna. All I need to train you is a mind that knows that when a pop star decides to go Country and Western in her Drowned Out Tour, she should revert to the original script. Plus I was training people when you were a straight-A rebel at Rochester Adams High School in the frozen wasteland the poets call Michigan.”
Madonna stood before me and rubbed her abdomen.
“Punch me in the stomach,” she said. “I have abs of steel.”
“Yeah, I can see that. No need to test your theory.”
“What I want, James, is to work these abs and to still keep these arms of mine toned. Notice my arms are better toned than that Angela Bassett girl.”
“Okay, how about we do an all-plank workout.”
Madonna smiled the smile of a superior being condescending to be interested in the thoughts and words of an unemployed Employment Expert. “Now how can the whole body be worked in the plank position?”
I bowed and took Madonna’s proffered hand, and said to her: “Give me an hour of your time and I shall put you through an all-plank regimen.”
We went to a space with a mat and there she did three supersets of:
– Plank while raising alternate legs – heels to ceiling
– Mountain climbers
– Push-ups, lifting alternate knees to stomach during each rep
– Plank with dumbbell sweep floor to ceiling
– Elbow crawls – feet on slides
I had to hand it to the lady. She performed every rep with unfaltering diligence – and not a trace of humor. Next we – or she – did three supersets of:
– Side plank pulley row
– Side plank pulley chest press
– Side plank dumbbell shoulder press
She sprung to her feet after the last set, and asked if I should reconsider my growing a shiny black pony-tail. No, I laughed, but I can continue the workout:
– Toe-raises while planked on the Smith machine
– Smith machine body row
– Bosu triceps kickback (dumbbells)
– Bosu shoulder raise (dumbbells)
– Bosu squat thrusts
I thought the squat thrusts would weaken her resolve in trying to force me to admit that she was indeed impressive… and that maybe she actually did do a decent yeoman’s job in the role of Evita. But the lady, well, was starting to impress me.
We finished with some TRX exercises:
– Jack knife
– Feet side to side
– Push up
– Side hip raise
Madonna was drenched in sweat while standing defiant, saying: “Now punch me in the stomach.”
“Madonna, I think you already punched yourself in the stomach with that workout… and, yes, you were good in Evita.”
(Check out my website: http://www.authorjamesfjohnson.com)