Captain America

Before this latest trip to the ‘Stan, I watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier in theatres with my family. I come from a family of nerds although my Nerd-dom is firmly rooted in Sci-fi and High Fantasy (a-la Firefly and Game of Thrones, for instance) with a smattering of Benedict Cumberbatch because what fem-nerd doesnt love her some Benedict Cumberbatch?

I enjoy big screen comics when does well and Captain America was done VERY well. “Steve” was was the anti Tony Stark: all humility and old-fashioned naivete encased in the body of a demi-god. Even Thor doesnt compare. And then enters Black Widow. First, Scarlett Johansson is my lady-crush. She even bumped Monica Bellucci who had been my ultimate sex goddess for two decades. I wasnt overly keen of her flat-ironed washed out red hair in this movie but I desperately wanted to see her teach good ol’ Steve a lesson in chemistry. And she could have if she wanted to. He was ready although a faint protest of “Wait, shouldnt we get married first?” might escape his lips as she straddled his thighs.

As a whole, that movie affected me. I wandered out of it with the nagging though that ‘back in the day’, I could have done the splits in a painted-on black pleather body suit. A decade ago, I could have landed Captain America if I wanted him. What would it take to get back there, physically? Is it even possible?

And last night, as I was squirming self-consciously with Hottie McHottie next to me during a meeting, it hit me: He was my Captain America. Physical perfection, charm and wit. I can’t recall when or if I’ve ever wanted someone so badly. But I’m no Black Widow. Not anymore. And that thought made me very sad.

I passed a note to one of my coworkers “Crossfit 0630?” He nodded and mouthed “You coming?”. I nodded back. I was ready. Diet, exercise, whatever it takes to get my game back. I havent done any physical activity in months. Being in a neckbrace, I was forbidden to do anything for three months post-op. Then once I got to the ‘Stan, I figured I would need a couple weeks to adjust to the time change. Seven weeks later, I’m still exhausted from long hours at work but no more excuses. Crossfit would only short me 90 minutes of sleep. I need this more than I need sleep, I told myself.

I must have been anxious because I was wide awake by the time my alarm went off this morning. On the way to the gym, the guys high-fived me and congratulated me on joining the club.

My buzz was short-lived.

The warm-up was push-ups (which I had to do on my knees), pull-ups (which I couldnt do at all), squats (okay, got those), and a 400 meter dash. The dash did it. My throat closed up, my chest tightened and I realized too late that I had forgotten my inhaler. As the group moved on to overhead chest presses, I couldnt lift the bar. Just the bar, no weights added. And that was what they would be doing for the entire duration of the class. Something I could not physically do. I looked around for hand weights. In what world does the instructor NOT offer some exercise alternative for those who can’t keep up? Not in Crossfit world, apparently. I was embarrassed, feelng like a fool standing there wheezing. Defeated, I gathered up my belongings and wandered out of the gym.

Once back in my room, I sucked on my inhaler and wondered what do I do now? I need to lose weight. I need to get back in shape. I also need someone to stand nexty to me in the chow hall line and tell me to put down the potatoes. Or maybe just to utter the magic word–Captain America– when my motivation falters.

So not crossfit. But something else. It’s time.”