For anyone who may be considering the wisdom of acquiring the “Don Abandons Alice” instrumental piece from the 28 Weeks Later soundtrack (the music which as you SURELY remember accompanies the scene in the beginning of the movie when Don, as the title suggests, abandons his wife in the farmhouse and makes his terrified escape from the Rage-virus-infected, which are not technically zombies but dude, close enough) for the purpose of adding to your running playlist, I have the following advice: DO NOT DO THIS.

I can tell you from personal experience that the music will sound like one thing echoing tinnily from your Macbook speakers and then it will sound like something entirely different when it’s piped directly into your brain-holes via earbuds, and if you choose to listen to it while you’re out jogging — say, during a brief segment when your path winds through a wooded trail — the growing volume of the song will infiltrate all of your various adrenal glands, which will react by rapidly dumping chemicals into your body, chemicals whose purpose it is to inform you that you must ESCAPE, for you are PREY, a defenseless bag of flesh-and-fluids just waiting to be chomped into by a no-longer-human ghoul, and for a short period of time your pace will increase until your feet are pedaling in a furious blur several feet above the ground while your body hurtles forward, and your left eye will bypass years of evolutionary changes in order to migrate, flounderlike, around to the side of your head, where it will bug from its socket and roll wildly as it scans the nearby shrubbery for the motherfucking fast-moving zombies that are nearly on your ass, and by the time the music builds to its nerve-searing crescendo you will simply collapse in a heap of sweat and barely-restrained sphincter control.

Just skip all that and download “Paper Planes” instead, okay? It’s catchy.

Speaking of total body breakdowns, I bought that Jillian Michaels workout DVD some of you recommended and holy GOD. I almost skipped ahead to the Level 2 or 3 workout, thinking that despite the wreckage caused by trying to outrun nonexistent zombies my fitness level demanded such a challenge, and I can only assume that if I had done so you’d be seeing an entirely different sort of update on this page. Like a somber announcement from JB that he had discovered my corpse in front of the TV, Jillian still reminding me not to phone it in, Cat hunched proprietarily over my nose.

Yeah, so I did the Level ONE workout, which by the way is only 20 minutes LONG, and I had to pause the DVD more than once in order to weep piteously into the carpet. It was so goddamned hard that I actually welcomed the cardio segments as a restful, spalike break from the glute-and-shoulder trauma involved in the strength routines. If you’re looking for something to mightily and thoroughly kick your ass in a short amount of time, I highly recommend checking this video out. Or you could always go running while listening to nerve-wracking horror movie music, but you might want to pack an extra pair of underwear.


35 Responses to “Fibrillation”

  1. mona on August 8th, 2008 3:11 pm

    I love the scary music. Don’t you think it’s the perfect Twilight saga soundtrack? I also love paper planes, but I prefer the gunshot-free version.

  2. Swistle on August 8th, 2008 3:12 pm

    1) I don’t know: that sounds like the PERFECT soundtrack for making me actually RUN instead of “taking a break.”

    2) You are not really SELLING me on this DVD, considering that your fitness level : my fitness level :: one of those guys on Big Bang Theory : bodybuilders.

  3. Swistle on August 8th, 2008 3:12 pm

    And, dang it, obviously I meant to do it “:: bodybuilders: one of those guys on Big Bang Theory.”

  4. gracie on August 8th, 2008 3:16 pm

    Thank you for posting about the JM DVD. I just got it myself and started at level one, thank God, and thought I’d die. Seriously, just kick the bucket in the space of a 20 minute DVD. I thought it was just me and I actually went to get a physical to make sure I didn’t have some kind of advanced heart disease at age 43. In a bizarre way, I feel reassured now!

  5. Caitlin on August 8th, 2008 3:17 pm

    I read that description while listening to the song and, wow. Happy I’m indoors and sedentary at the moment!

  6. Junni on August 8th, 2008 3:23 pm

    OK, Mona, I’m glad you said something about the gun-free version. I didn’t know there was a gun-free version, and I feel like a fuddy-duddy saying so, but the gunshots kind of ruined the song for me! I’ll look for the new version.

    And I enjoy anyone who can correctly to these workout videos. I have turbo jam and I feel like a drunk sea otter when I do them. At least no one can see but my cat… who I’m sure will promptly eat my nose when the videos finally kill me.

  7. Jen on August 8th, 2008 3:29 pm

    I fell off the JM 30 day shred bandwagon at the beginning of this summer. I never made it off Level 1 though…kicks me in the ass every time. I need to get back on.

  8. beach on August 8th, 2008 3:34 pm

    Level one , kicks ass…but doable…moved on to level 2 and was sobbing….and swearing at Jillian……but the 20 minutes is the key, because when you feel like you literally cant take it anymore….its almost over!

  9. Mrs. Who on August 8th, 2008 3:53 pm

    Surely you have noticed that your sons look like identical twins in that first picture of Riley with the cat???

  10. Mary on August 8th, 2008 4:12 pm

    This is one of the funniest entries you’ve ever written, and I’ve been reading you for a LONG time. Thanks for a giggle!

  11. zdoodlebub on August 8th, 2008 4:23 pm

    This cracked my shit up. Then I read it out loud to my husband and laughed out loud all over again.

  12. Mom, Ink. on August 8th, 2008 4:24 pm

    Jillian is the best ass kicker in all the land. I’ve spent the last 8 months losing 46lbs and I owe it all to Jillian DVD’s. (I should get PAID for such an endorsement!!!) If you get Comcast, her first two Shred workouts are on Exercise TV On Demand. For a little variety, try her boxed set called “Biggest Winner.” Ignore the cheesy title and prepare to be beaten down. And as an added bonus, Nick from that SYTYCD wanna be, “Step it Up & Dance” is one of her minions.

  13. Delia on August 8th, 2008 4:38 pm

    I have the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. Just wait until you get to Level 2. I’m not sure, but I think that’s the one where she says “I want you to feel like you’re going to die by the time this cardio is over” and something about gargling your heart. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not gargle my heart. Strangely, I feel great afterward. You know, after I dislodge my heart from my throat.

  14. MRW on August 8th, 2008 4:53 pm

    That settles it – I’m getting the Jillian Michaels DVD right now.

    Also, I tried a different Turbo Jam – something about super cardio whatever – it uses those exercise balls – good god do my abs hurt like a motherfucker today. I’m sure this must mean they will so resemble something other than pasty dough if I keep doing it. But damn. Pain. Full.

  15. ELC on August 8th, 2008 6:31 pm

    Awesome fucking description of a “terror run”, it is one of the best natural highs EVER. It’s amazing your mind has the ability to make your body feel like that. I love to purposefully walk/run in scary (but not truely dangerous) places at night, and the woods is by far one of the spookiest. I haven’t done it since I was pregnant – had completely forgotten about it – but you can bet your ass I’m going to plan one soon and bring that soundtrack. Thank you so much for reminding me. Also – getting a slight headache “practicing” my flouder-eye. You Rock.

  16. Lesley on August 8th, 2008 7:24 pm

    re Jillian and the Shred: TOTALLY TOLD YA :)

    Awesome ain’t she? Makes me wonder what other levels of impossible are out there in the fitness world.

    (I pity those Biggest Loser contestants who did her workouts 8 hours every day for 6 weeks. No wonder they lost 10-16 pounds a week.)

    I’m onto level 2 now with 8 lb weights which I can sort of partly get through (jumping jack pushups…hello? Are you wearing leather chaps and swinging a riding crop Jillian?). I think I created muscle that man isn’t even supposed to have…this little bulge in my left forearm is an anomaly.

    Re: YOUR FIRST PARAGRAPH. Damn woman, why aren’t you writing movie scripts or books?! You remind me of a friend who can handle horror flicks (I can’t) and when he recounts them to me later, I find myself locked in horror movie meltdown complete with nightmares because his lyrically graphic language wreaks havoc with my imagination. I’d probably be safer entering the darkened theatre and seeing it with my own eyes.

    Anyway, yes you should be writing books or scripts.

  17. Jen - Mom of 4 on August 8th, 2008 7:38 pm

    I actually spit out water reading your description of running from those fast ass zombies!

    I have all the Biggest Loser dvd’s and love them and just started on Turbo Jam – mainly from your incredible results. I have just order Jillian’s dvd and I was already a tad scared – now I’m frighten!

  18. elizasmom on August 8th, 2008 7:42 pm

    I am back here to comment after a speedy trip to iTunes to purchase the zombie song in question.

    Why? I am running a 10K at 9 a.m., and zombies MOTIVATE.

  19. Sonia on August 8th, 2008 9:22 pm

    Aaaaaand I just died laughing. *thud*

  20. christine on August 8th, 2008 10:06 pm

    On the 30-Day Shred. TOTALLY AGREE… Got the DVD yesterday and completed Level 1. I could have SWORN it had been longer than 20 minutes. I was so proud to make it through the workout until I looked at the goddamn clock…

  21. christen on August 9th, 2008 10:26 am

    Linda, after your great, motivationally scary runs, go ahead and watch this to calm yourself down:

  22. nancy on August 9th, 2008 11:00 am

    How much room do you need for Jillian’s workout? Is the cardio portion kind of run-in-place stuff or do I need a big area?

  23. Lesley on August 9th, 2008 12:07 pm

    nancy, it’s run-in-place.

    ok, maybe not so much run, but die. :)

    the 2-minute cardio portion consists of jumping jacks, skip virtual rope, kicking heels to ass, and squat low-punches. (well that’s in levels 1 and 2…I haven’t tried level 3 yet).

    you need hand weights (whatever poundage works for you), a floor mat, and…courage.

  24. JMH on August 9th, 2008 3:05 pm

    LOVE the Shred video. I’ve lost 2 inches off each thigh since I started it! Bonus: since adding her videos to my workout, I can run farther and faster. Best $12 I ever spent on exercise :)

  25. ML on August 9th, 2008 4:06 pm

    I’m glad you like the shred. :)

  26. Lesley on August 9th, 2008 6:31 pm

    I’ve discovered another workout from hell called 10 Minute Solution Kickbox Bootcamp which is a series of five ten minute sessions from Hades by a woman built like the Terminator. Seriously I’ve never seen so much “sinew” in my life.

  27. Danielle-lee on August 9th, 2008 10:10 pm

    Totally want the JM DVD now. Not that I’ve kept up with my 1990’s Billy Blanks DVDs, but that’s not the point. :)
    OMG. Havent seen the movie, but listening to that music got my heart going. It’s gorgeous, although maybe not so much when you are running alone in the dark.

  28. Mia on August 10th, 2008 9:32 am

    I decided to buy the JM Shred dvd and start working out. I am far from in shape, but I like to think that I’m safe to try level 1. Holy shit! Die, just die is all I can say. I feel so much better hearing other people say that she’s trying to kill them also, I thought it was just me. Jumpingjacks. It sounds easy enough. Fuck jumpingjacks, I hate them, I hope they die a painful slow death like they’re doing to me. My thighs hurt so much that when I go to sit on the toilet I don’t so much sit as fall cuz my thighs have been SHREDDED. Anyway, good times. I can handle the pain, sort of, but the 1 hour of nausea after the workout really sucks.

  29. Mel on August 10th, 2008 2:14 pm

    LOL, I love the bit about the evolutionary eye!

  30. diane on August 11th, 2008 6:47 am

    Yes, I foolishly skipped ahead to Level 2 when I first started Jillian Michael’s…thinking how hard could 20 min be? I found out just how much she will kick your ass. But my body has definite improvements and more definition. She also has videos called Frontside/Backside. Those will also hurt you…and then make you come back for more!

  31. Angela on August 11th, 2008 6:56 am

    I bought the JM DVD after reading all of the previous comments about it, and now I am seriously thinking of moving before it arrives at my house. Terrified! It was so nice reading your site, and I will miss it after I die when I try that workout. Peace out.

  32. Lina on August 11th, 2008 8:46 am

    I’m so glad you talked about this… I bought the shred dvd last week based on comments here. I did the workout last Thursday. (Figuring, hey, I’m in pretty good shape? Level 2 sounds good. BAH.) Today is Monday – I am STILL SORE. The weekend was especially rough. I may have shed a tear with the realization that yes, I actually have to SIT DOWN to pee. I considered just ending it by throwing myself down the stairs rather than having to painfully edge my way down, clinging for dear life to the handrail.

    When she says to start with Level 1? That’s not meant ironically.

  33. Dawn on August 12th, 2008 8:58 am

    Haaa! I can’t remember if I was one of the ones who posted about the 30-Day Shred, but lord YES it kicked my ass. I also got all “pffft, I’m not in great shape, but I’m in better shape than LEVEL ONE,” and almost died as a result of it. I actually watched the workouts before I did them, then set up this ridiculous schedule where I was going to do TWO of them every other night (you know, since one would be NOT ENOUGH WORKOUT) and about barfed when I tried it.

    Humility: 1 Self-perceived Fitness Level: 0

    I am afraid of Level 3.

    Hey, know who else will kick your ass? Jari Love. Look for her Get Ripped 1000 for a combo of great weightlifting moves and cardio. All you really need is a set of free weights, 3-12 lbs. Love her. Just a suggestion, if you want to branch out from JM.

  34. superblondgirl on November 10th, 2008 11:18 am

    […] So I had expected to feel somehow refreshed after writing all this – like I’d conquered something in myself, the block to the writing or the weight loss block, or the part of me that hates the way I look sometimes.  But, honestly, I feel just as confused as I did when I started.   Just as unsure and tangled up and wishing someone would hand me Jillian Michaels on a platter and just force me to change my body, instead of leaving it up to me. […]

  35. September Kues on October 18th, 2010 3:39 am

    I really like your information. Very helpful, I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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