(originally posted 6-15-12 on The Post Apoc)
A friend at work started sitting on a yoga/exercise ball instead of a chair, and immediately began preaching the benefits. She claimed that she lost weight, that her back pain had gone away, that her posture improved, and her cored tightened… all from sitting on a big rubber ball that could be had for under $20. I was game.
First off, the ball didn’t come in a variety of colors. I was hoping for something muted… a gray… maybe a nice earth tone. I wanted something that other coworkers might not notice – something manly, like desert camo, that might counteract the inherent femininity of the thing. Unfortunately, the only color in my size (yes, they come in sizes based on height) was bright, fire engine red. Now, not only will I be bouncing on a big rubber ball while I’m struggling to be taken seriously in a corporate office, but I’ll be bouncing a big, bright red rubber ball that might as well have flashing lights, sirens, and a marquee that reads “Check out this sissy d-bag!”
I decided to pump it up at work, not before, because I figured I could more easily sneak it into the building unnoticed while it was deflated. As I clutched it under my arm, I tried not to make eye contact with anyone – I felt like I was stealing… in reverse. I felt like a smuggler with a kilo of C up my backside.
I got to my office, wiped the beads of shame-sweat from my face, and started pumping up the ball. The damn thing is an amplifier. The cheap, Chinese made pump sounded like a dying goose every time I stomped it, and it put out such a small volume of air that it took me 15 minutes to pump it up to size! People began coming to my office to investigate the sound, but I had committed, so I couldn’t stop (that would be admitting defeat). They said things like “Bring your girlfriend to work today?” and “Oh… sorry… I just wondered what that sound was.”
Oh sorry!? If I wasn’t embarrassed before, I certainly am now that YOU feel uncomfortable about having walked in on me doing this… stomping my dying goose pump and inflating my big, pretty, bright red rubber ball that I plan to straddle between my legs.
Now here I am, sitting on the ball as I’m typing this… bouncing happily. I think my posture is improving!