The return of the Gruesome Twosome

When last we left that gruesomest of two, they were struggling against their greatest of all foes: themselves. No rivals have yet to match up as evenly to the wiles of the Two, but perhaps none have tried. Or perhaps it’s the Two’s sensei, Jennifer Bryant, coordinator of fitness testing and conditioning at Bison Recreation Services, who has warded away these most feared rivals, protecting the two as her own cubs, preparing them for a world of temptation: chips and Boston cream. These are, after all, some of the most devastating weapons that the Two has in its arsenal. The Gruesome Twosome uses these favoured weapons against itself at nighttime when the urges to satisfy the baser instincts are strongest. It is truly a gruesome sight.

Last year the Twosome met with Bryant regularly in hopes of learning how to exercise, which specific exercises work well with out-of-shape beginners and, most importantly, how to get motivated. They made goals together to visit the gym at least three times per week and to progressively enhance their workouts. The first few sessions involved just cardiovascular exercise: running, biking, etc..

Everything was going smoothly. Marginal improvements to speed and distance were made after every week and the Twosome was feeling great, so they took the next step. Resistance training was introduced to the routine. Dips, lunges, curls, presses, planks, pushups and a host of other activities had the Two feeling the burn. Still, continual improvements were made. But there was always a creeping laziness that threatened the consistency of the sessions. Towards the end of the second term, more and more workouts were cancelled because “I have stuff to do,” “I feel tired” and “there’s a TV show on tonight.”

Still, it was a successful school year. But as spring came and holidays began, the Twosome lost sight of its goals. They did not renew their gym passes, instead electing to “go for runs outside” and “use a gym ball inside.” But one week off “to celebrate such a healthy year” turned into one-and-a-half weeks off. “We’ll get back on the horse this Thursday,” they could be heard saying. Thursday came and went, then Friday passed them by and finally on Saturday: “Weren’t we going to exercise on Thursday? OK, we’ll start again Tuesday. For real this time.” Days stretched into weeks, weeks into months, and now here we are. A full year has passed with no real effort made at healthy living.

The Twosome has all but defeated itself — until now! Bryant, fearless sensei and mentor, will once again be training the Twosome in the ways of the healthy life, this time focusing on how to make a lasting and healthy lifestyle change.

For those who can relate to this tale of disappointment, the consultations and training sessions that will be covered throughout this series are all available to the general public, with students and staff of U of M eligible for a nice discount. Bryant and her crack sensei team have the knowledge and skill to help initiate a lifestyle change, or at least to just teach how to exercise properly, to just about anyone. If the Gruesome Twosome can do it, you can do it!

Now is the dawning of the age of the Wholesome Twosome.