Stretchy Bands of Terror


That horrible sting resulting from a “friend’s” attempt to fling a rubber band at your forehead is about 5,000 times worse when the rubber band in question is actually a strength-training contraption that’s wrapped around a chin-up bar.

Since we installed a chin-up bar a few years ago in the closet of a spare bedroom, which is now an exclusive Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks gym, Nate and Alex have been happily doing pull-ups. I can’t do any pull-ups.

“Can you hang from the bar?” Nate asked one day. “I’ll lift you up and you just hang there—already pulled up at the chest.”


Here’s what happened when I did that: I felt my sides ripping from my body. I had no idea that there were muscles running down the sides of my arms—from my armpits all the way to my hip bones, but I found those muscles and they said, “Stop it! Stop now! We are very fragile. You are playing with fire if you don’t stop now!”

That’s when Alex said, “We should order some strength-training bands to help Mom get a sense of how a pull-up is done. They will assist her on the way up and on the way down.”

Apparently, a successful pull-up is not about how hard you pull yourself up, or whether or not you nearly knock your head on the doorframe at the top of the closet. It’s about using some very specific back and core muscles to assist with the motion—something very mysterious and that Nate and Alex have discovered—and they want me to experience that joy of discovery as well.

That joy of discovery came in a box just yesterday. The strength-training bands had arrived, and they were not what I expected. I expected thin therapy bands, but these things were industrial-strength—perhaps recycled from all-wheel drive tires.

Nate and Alex ripped open the box and tied the “easiest” one to the chin-up bar. They told me to put my knee in the loop and do a pull-up. The knee-hole loop that they made with the band was clearly intended for a six-foot-tall accountant who enjoys reaching up onto the top shelf of the pantry to remove barrel-sized containers of protein powder after a long day of budgeting and pull-ups.

In order to get my knee into the knee hole, I had to do a slight jump, aim my knee for the hole, grab the bar, and try not to hit the back wall of the closet because I was now swinging like a Cirque de Soleil performer who no longer cared about artistry.

Once I steadied myself, I did manage to get in a slight pull-up—it was still hard, though, but my sides were not screaming.

After one or two wimpy pull-ups, I decided it was time to “dismount,” but when I took my knee out of the knee hole, the rubber training band wanted to snap—hard—right at my face. I had to duck out of the way, quickly or I was going to be walking around with a noodle-shaped red mark that took up my entire forehead. If a stranger were to ask about that red mark, saying, “Oh, that’s from doing pull-ups” just wouldn’t be a very convincing explanation.

“This thing is terrifying!” I said, when I barely missed a lethal smack in the face with the Goodyear bands from hell.But I still went back this morning. I’m getting a feel for how to do pull-ups—and swing precariously with my knee aimed for the back wall of the closet. And if I don’t pull back in time, the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks exclusive gym, just might undergo an expansion.

In Other News: I completed my first review! Thank you so much to Betsy Kerekes of the Parenting is Funny blog. She provided me with her book, which I read and reviewed on my other website: Paper/Rock Writing Consultation. You can check that review out here: Review: Be a Happier Parent or Laugh Trying.

–I also reviewed White Claw Hard Seltzer Ruby Grapefruit for The Daily Drunk. You can check that out here.

Your Turn: What’s the best (or worst) thing you’ve ordered from the Internet?

26 thoughts on “Stretchy Bands of Terror

  1. Glad you escaped death by oversized rubber band! I had the idea of buying those hand exercise things on my brother’s recommendation years ago. I learned very quickly that my hands refuse to exercise, and resigned myself to the fact that I’ll be unable to open jars by the time I hit 40! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the reviews! And the worst thing I ordered off the internet is this bread-slicing contraption where the bread just slides around inside it while you’re trying to slice it. It looks like there should be another piece involved but there isn’t, so Ken’s going to make one so I don’t cut my fingers off!

    Liked by 1 person

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