[Originally published June 10, 2009.]
Hear me! Hear all that I command of you! I am Poseidon. For centuries, sailors have relied on me for safe passage across my vast oceans. And now, I invite you to rely on me during your journey—your journey to shed those unwanted pounds, that is. Who better to help you navigate through the uncharted waters of nautical fitness than the God of the Sea himself?
Without further delay, I command each of you to grab a flotation noodle from my chariot and hop into the pool. Let us do this! Pardon me while I raise this large conch shell to my ear to listen for the whereabouts of all the single ladies out there. Hark, I hear quite a few. All the single ladies … all the single ladies … now put your hands up!! Let Beyoncé and Poseidon lay waste to those stubborn love handles.
Can everyone hear my boom box? Just say the word if you can’t.
Let’s jog in place for bit and get those muscles warmed up. Now, step backward with me. Wave your hands from side to side. Funny, I must say this reminds me of the time I rescued the Trojan Prince Aeneas from the menacing hands of Achilles. He backed up not unlike we’re doing right now, but in the most cowardly fashion. “Please don’t smite me with your mighty trident, Poseidon,” he cried. And I was like, “Nice feather-tufted helmet, Achilles, did that come with a boa, too?” Come now, let us wave our arms like poor, little Achilles—back and forth—Ha-ha-ha, that’s it!
Pick up the pace a little, especially you in the back. I’ve got barnacles in my beard with more get-up-and-go. Five more. Four. Three. Two. One. And shake it out now. I must say I expected a smidge more out of the Boca Raton JCC. I know you people are in your golden years but we’re not exactly crunking here. Keep it moving or I will be forced to swirl this placid shallow end into a furious lather. Don’t test Poseidon.
You may be surprised to know I’m considered a bit of a hothead in mythological circles. A few earthquakes, tidal waves and shipwrecks, and suddenly you’re labeled. It turns out I was simply craving the low-impact cardiovascular release of an activity such as this, not to mention the emotional release of trading my woolen frock for this Speedo. Talk about liberating.
Let’s perform a series of scissor jumps now. One leg in front, one leg behind—keep them nice and straight to feel the burn. Some quick background on me. My brother is Zeus. In Baldwin-brother terms, he’s Alec. It was no picnic living in the shadow of a boy wonder. While he was up on Mount Olympus hurling thunderbolts and playing tetherball (god, how he loved that damned tetherball!), I was underwater tending to the other 80% of the planet. “I’ve got it, little brother, don’t worry about me.” Smug little shit.
Keep kicking everyone! A fitter you is well within your grasp. Not unlike a time when becoming the patron deity of Greece’s great capitol was within my grasp—were in not for Athena, that meddling wench. That city, of course, is now called Athens so you can deduce how that worked out for me. I had to destroy a wagonload of “Poseidontown” signs after her emasculating victory.
Enough of the Poseidon pity party. Scissors, people! That’s it Vivian, show them all how it’s done. You’ve got the grace of Hera and the legs to match, you old owl. I like it. I like it very much. And boy would I love to “put a ring on it,” as Ms. Knowles suggests. I don’t even know what that means, but if it’s a euphemism for carnal relations, then count Poseidon in!