Subourbon Mom

SUV Exercises and other Desperate Moves to Get in Shape for Summer
June 17, 2015, 1:09 am
Filed under: Exercise, Middle Age, Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One of the benefits of working in an office is that I have been cultivating a nice store of fat around my stomach that keeps me warm now that the office air conditioning has kicked the temperature down to “Tundra.” Seriously, my index finger actually went numb the other day.

So, my schedule being what it is (work in the meat locker all day, take teenager to the barn, stay at barn while she rides, go home and fix Bagel Bites for dinner – it’s real food – and collapse in a super-sexy snoring heap on the couch), I have tried to get creative with my workouts.

Walking on country roads is interesting, if you don’t care much about fancy sports cars driven by a mid-life crisis speeding around corners and flicking you off because you’re in their space. If you go off-road for your walk, keep walking right to the drug store and get some cortisone for the poison ivy and chiggers.

So in the words of Clint Eastwood, I improvised. I adapted. I overcame.

I started working out in the back of the SUV while parked at the barn.

This workout is not for the faint of heart. Cross training? Please.

You’ve got nothing on someone who can do sit-ups and leg lifts



with only their upper body supported in the back of an SUV littered with hay, miscellaneous barn paraphernalia and water bottles…


…in the heat and dust, with 20 deer flies buzzing around the car like 13-year-olds around the mall, and with somebody’s smelly soccer cleats next to their head because nobody ever remembers to take them out of the car after practice.

Who needs a weight room bench? I’ve got a scraped-up bumper that serves nicely for my tricep workout.IMG_3661

Sideways planks and pushups work well off the bumper, too.


Of course, I’m not limited to the SUV exercises at the barn, although those can be done anywhere (except where your teenager thinks someone might see you).

Mats? Are you kidding? Try doing pushups in a barn with manure everywhere. You will not be touching the floor with anything except your hands and toes, I can promise you. And if you can’t do a real pushup horizontally, find the nearest fence or your car bumper and do them from a 45-degree angle.

Step class? Got that covered too. Find the nearest mounting block and there’s your step. Hop up and down on that a couple hundred times and you’ll never complain about the stairs at your house again.

Need to work the biceps and shoulders? Grab a bucket and put some water in it, then do your lifts. How about the rest of my arms, you ask? Easy – just brush a horse from head to toe. You’d be amazed how tired your arms get in 10 minutes. Wax on, wax off. Mr. Miyagi had something there.

And finally….cardio. No need to get on the treadmill or elliptical (a.k.a. the “I-limp-and-drool”) – go put a horse out in the field after being in all day, and then try to catch it again. Good luck – you’ll be chasing that beast for an hour. Scared of horses? Then walk the empty fields searching for the fly mask each horse managed to scrape off the day before.

Not a barn mom? Don’t despair – these exercises can be modified to fit any sports mom schedule, especially the SUV workout. Soccer mom? Try lifting their sports bags or water bottles instead of a bucket. Run or walk around the playing fields, but don’t do any arm exercises when you’re doing that – the paramedics might be called because your child has died of embarrassment.



Bumper Stickers Picker

Being the parent of teens who can’t drive yet, I spend approximately half of my day in my car, driving to and from sleepovers, sporting events and subsequent visits to the orthopedist. I have become an expert at iPhone games, deciphering vanity license plates (if it takes more than 5 seconds you need to pick another one), and reading bumper stickers. It’s the bumper stickers I want to talk about.

Bumper stickers came into popularity after WWII, in the form of flags attached with wire to car bumpers, according to that bastion of nebulous truth, Wikipedia (Since I’m in my car right now I don’t have a way to verify this). Magnets have been around even longer. So why has it taken us 70 years to figure out how to make flat magnet stickers that don’t ruin your paint job?

As if FaceBook, Instagram, and SnapChat aren’t enough, we have bumper stickers/magnets for everything, announcing to the motorized world our political affiliations, accomplishments, beliefs, and travel habits. There are stickers for Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers, and someone named Ron Paul who I still haven’t Googled; there are pro-life, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-term limits, pro-America, anti-war, anti-Israel, anti-Islamist, anti-Christian, anti-Wall Street, and anti-gun stickers, to mention a few.

Please explain to me how, if I can watch an entire debate and still not know who I’m voting for, why you think a bumper sticker is going to make up my mind? Same thing for the religious bumper stickers–if I’ve been going to church my whole life, have read books on various world religions, and I’m still searching, do you really think that criss-cross fish thing is going to make me Born-Again?

There are Soccer Moms, Baseball Dads, Football Fanatics, and entire families made of stick figures on every mini-van and SUV. My favorite of these was one that has a parent stick figure missing, and hand-written in marker were the words “Position Vacant.” Maybe they could add stick figure step-parents by having them on a staircase; or, half-brother and –sisters by cutting the stick figures in half. The modern family defies stick figure decals.

And let’s not forget the rampant joggers and runners who brag about their marathons, half-marathons and 10k races with stickers. If I put a running sticker on my car, it would say .1K—Car to Bar Relay.

Last year I finally bought a bumper sticker. It said, “Don’t use your turn signal –keep me in suspense”—a HUGE pet-peeve of mine. Turn signals are NOT optional. I was excited to put it on until I realized no one across an intersection would be able to see it if I put it on the front of my car. So, there it sits on my kitchen counter, taunting me with the knowledge I will have to keep my snarky comments inside my car instead of telling the world how I feel. Perhaps it’s just as well. Very few people would understand a sticker that says, “1 frozen chipmunk =3 car accidents—I dare you.”

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