Weighty Matters: Classic Kathy Smith

A Netflixs lag time has had me forging into my box of long neglected workout DVDs. Many (too many) moons ago, I picked wandered over to a display of workout tapes (either at Sears or JC Penny) while my mother browsed nylon underwear. I looked at the pictures on the boxes, read the descriptions and for whatever reason settled on Kathy Smith's Body Basics. I was in my late teens and fat. I spent the summer huffing away, until one day, I finished the tape rewound it and did it again. On the first day of school, I stepped off the bus and had the "What happened to you?" experience. For a long time I was a devoted fan of Kathy Smith. Her high impact aerobics tape gave me an awful case of shin splints that earned me no sympathy for my family who were sick of me monopolizing the VCR and TV during prime viewing hours which was basically always at our house, and hopping around the living room while I exhorted the benefits of exercise.

I saved up my money and bought my first step at 19 or 20, it was turquoise with pink risers (so 80s!) and even dragged it up with me when I moved to San Francisco for college. I got rid of it when we moved into our flat, but in a fit of exercise boredom last year, purchased another one in shades of industrial gray (so minimalist!) and yes, ordered my two favorite step workouts from Kathy Smith. This one is so 1988 I almost feel like a dork using it (much less owning it). The music is nothing to get excited about and the moves are so elemental, I was able to do the whole thing with relative ease after many years of absence. The kid watched me hop around for a while and then asked "What are you doing that for?" As I executed and almost perfect turn-step-hop I answered, "Because it's fun." And I did have fun. I broke a sweat and woke up the next day with sore calves. The sister is currently in possession of the more suited to small spaces Great Buns & Thighs Step Workout which I hope to get back soon so I can fill those lonely days between new fangled DVDs that promise so much but have, as of yet, failed to deliver a keeper like my Kathy Smiths.

Still waiting for Shape Bikini Body Camp: Transformation. I'm a long time fan and reader of Shape magazine and looking forward to it finally arriving either tomorrow or Wednesday.

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