Boracay Beach, Philippines Blog Six.
In the change room, I remove all my clothing and under-gear and put on the men’s size large, black shorts and t-shirt, which is not all that loose on me and clings to my pert nips.
Back in the zapper room, he spritzes me all over with water and then he helps me into the black vest with wires hanging from it. He places stretchy wide bands on my biceps and upper thighs, and then a wider band around my butt that clasps in the front.
Brace yourself, he tells me as he takes a lunge stance and then jerks the cinch straps around my chest and my mid- and lower-waist areas. I jolt forward nearly collapsing on him. Anticipating my reaction, he cocks an ill-contained half-grin then snaps the hanging wires to the receptors on the straps around my limbs and butt.
I feel like I’m in a high-tech girdle. My hair is in a high pony tail to keep it out of the way.
When I turn around to look in the mirror, I can’t help but giggle.
Holy shit, I’m Lara Croft!
I jump into my best Croft fighter stance and make a fierce, exaggerated, kick-butt expression. He laughs.
A few moments later, he plugs in the vest’s main wire feed to the power source, which is connected to the main terminal—an electronic box/computer with a digital display, various knobs and a cline light display. Now I feel like Cyborg Lady or maybe the Bionic Woman (only with external wires).
And you’re sure I’m not going to get electrocuted, right? My hair is brittle enough as is, the water here is terrible. Or maybe it’s the organic shampoo slash body wash I’m using—shampoo slash body wash? What the hell is that? I don’t know, but it’s doing a number on my hair …
He grabs my shoulders and looks (up) into my darting eyes, I am not going to electrocute you.
I take a deep breath and nod. Okay. Okay, let’s do this!
I follow his lead. Eight seconds of flexing followed by eight seconds of rest. Twenty minutes total.
First position, ready, squat, flex, hold! Good, Anna!
When the bar [digital light indicator] gets to here, flex! Ready? …Flex!
Okay, and, now follow me, arms up like this, ready and … flex flex flex! Good!
Rest. You’re doing great, Anna!
Anna is dripping in sweat and is worried she’s inadvertently peeing in the borrowed shorts (his)—and it’s only been one minute, people!
BodyTec. This machine is fucking amazing!
After about fifteen minutes, I’m fatigued even though I had a complex carb lunch exactly three hours ago as instructed. My face is flushed and rivers of perspiration are dripping off my nose and chinny chin chin, and my vision is blurred from the sunscreen stinging my eyes. I listen for his instruction.
Filipino Fitness Dude is all cheer and encouragement. We’re almost done, Anna!—I’m thinking “We? What’s with this ‘we’? I’m doing all the work here.”—You’re doing great! A natural! Arms up. You sure you haven’t done th—
I’m not ready for the electrical pulse. When it comes, I’m not flexed and ready, and my arm flings out and nearly knocks him in the jaw.
What the—-ahhhh—make it stop! I’m laughing (even though this is painful) as my arm is hyper-flexed and twitching like a birch branch in a gusty wind.
He rushes to the machine and winds down the main knob until my arm releases and ceases spasming.
Oh, sorry, we both say.
Then he says, You okay? Okay. Ready? First position, flex!
I jump into position and tense my whole body with all my might squeaking with exertion.
At the end of the session, I want to lay down in a shallow, if contaminated, ditch and D. I. E. But I just stand there limp and dripping while he unhooks me and offers more general enthusiasm.
You did great, Anna! Best first session! You are really fit … Your legs are bigger than mine…
After I’m free of the evil contraption, I move my arms and legs and perk up. Hey, I’m not even sore!
Wait until tomorrow, he says ominously and looks away cocking another half-grin.
I think, Oh shit.
BodyTec. I shit you not, my friends, this is the real deal. The next day I can hardly walk. But on the day after that—it’s even worse. As in, every muscle in my body is tender and I have to use my feeble, recovering arm strength to park my butt on the toilet.
Ayayayayayayyyy, I say aloud to myself. Glutes of glory, remember Anna, glutes of—ouwwwww …
It takes almost a week for my muscles to recover. And then—I do it again! This time I recover in five days. I get a package of five sessions. Who knew I’d come to Boracay to train for my Himalayan hike and find this magical butt-building solution to boot(y)?!
The Lord knew. He works in mysterious ways.
What have I (re)learned?
1. The BodyTec fitness vest and accessories is an uber-fast-track effective fitness and muscle builder—yay!
2. A long stretch session followed by a myofacial tissue release massage aids in speedy recovery—-ha! (Smug expression.)
Homework: Next time, I’ll have a BodyTec session that focuses on flexing my left cheek. Why? you ask. Well, I’ll tell you … Because my right cheek is apparently my dominant side and, therefore, is more reactive, which means that after only three sessions my derriere is lopsided with a noticeably more bulbous right booty. And that’s just wrong! Hashtag OCD hashtag Faaack. (Note to self: Vanity. God has a way of eliminating smug expressions.)
Post Script: I did my fourth session yesterday. Here’s how it went down:
I enter the zapping room and Filipino Fitness Dude says, Hello, Anna!
I get right to the point. The right side of my butt is bigger than my left. I need to work only my left side today.
He gives me a blank expression. I frown.
See? I turn sideways to show him. Look at my butt. The right side is bigger.
He blinks a few times and glances at my butt then looks away. (I guess the locals only leer from a distance.)
I continue, And my biceps, I’m only working my left side until they’re even. See? I do an Arnie pose. See?!
It makes the same frequency on both sides, he says still confused, meaning the machine didn’t make me uneven.
I know, I know. My right side is dominant, it’s not the machine, it’s me. I just need it to balance me out. I’m OCD—do you know what that is? The expression on his face tells me he doesn’t. Obsessive compulsive disorder. It means that knowing I’m uneven makes me twitch more than that machine does.
I can tell he still doesn’t get it, but he says, Okay.
And no more obliques— they widen the waist. I don’t want boy abs.
Okay. I know he doesn’t understand this either. (Later verified when he tries to get me to do oblique exercises.)
The rest of the session is normal except I watch the machine to make sure he sets it at a lower stun rate when I do the exercises on my right side.
Less. Less less less. I tell him on the right side lunges.
He has a difficult time accepting this—maybe he has OCD, too?—and loses focus entirely when I refuse to work my right bicep at all.
He stands with mouth agape, dumbfounded.
When we’re done, I ask him, You haven’t had anyone do that, have you?
No, you are the first.
It’s okay, I tooootally know what I’m doing …
Lord, please don’t make my backside-balancing backfire. In Jesus’s name, amen.