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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)

TITLE: Early Morning Promises
By Kellie Henningsen


It was two in the morning. Shelly flopped on the couch; a bag of Lay’s potato chips propped against her thigh. With remote in hand, she mindlessly flicked the channels.

That’s when her journey began.

An infomercial for Turbo Jam caught her attention. Chalean Johnson kicked her infectious self across the screen while giving a non-stop pep talk and looking oh so adorable at the same time. The camera spanned across the class highlighting abs that could only have been sent straight from heaven.

Shelly reached her hand into the chip bag and continued watching.

The commercial promised that those abs could be hers in only three months if she would just buy the proven effective Turbo Jam program. Results like those were hard to argue with Shelly reason so she brushed the chip crumbs off her fuzzy bathrobe and reached for the phone. It was time for a change in her life.

Six months later, Shelly was down a couple sizes. Not only did she embrace the new workout routine into her life, she memorized Chalean’s little sayings and used them on her kids frequently. “Bust a Move Baby” became her mantra. But hey, at least she was doing what was necessary to get “that rock hard body.”

But alas, junior was up sick one night and between trips to empty the vomit bucket, she flipped on the TV again. And what did she see? Tony Horton, his face contorted in corny expressions, declaring that P90X was the new answer. Apparently the reason she had yet to attain the flat stomach was a lack of strength training and he was offering her the solution if she would only buy the DVDs and keep pushing play. Shelly couldn’t believe her luck in finding this new workout.

Her order arrived in a few days and she was off and lifting. It became obvious that her two pound weights were sorely undermining her efforts so to Sports Authority she went and later returned with a complete set of dumbbells. Yes, they were expensive, but Tony promised results.

Her kids now heard her latest blips, “That’s why they call it…P90X!” Each time said while making an “X” with her arms in front of her chest. Course Shelly could barely function at this point. While her muscles objected to the slightest movement, her stomach growled continuously. The only way to sustain life was to up her Mt. Dew intake and grab at anything she could stuff in her mouth.

A couple months later, Shelly, being a vigilant wife, stayed up late waiting for her husband to get home from a late night meeting. Scanning the TV options, she was shocked to see Chalean’s face light up the screen at an earlier hour than usual and she was immediately sucked in. The flat stomach had yet to make an appearance but Chalean had a plan. Turbo Fire! Apparently HIIT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training) was the missing component this whole time. Feeling relieved that Chalean had figured out her problem, Shelly quickly accessed the internet and placed her order.

The package arrived, the sweat poured, and Shelly nearly died from lack of oxygen. Jumping, kicking, and moving at speeds greater than she had ever done before, she pushed herself to the extreme. One hour of working out moved into two each day as she fit in cardio, strength, flexibility training, and core exercises. Her hunger level skyrocketed.

Still, no flat stomach.

Another late night. Another infomercial and Chalean Extreme entered the house. Her kids now heard, “Time to Get Extreme Baby!” every time they were told to do something.

In time, it happened that Shelly found herself once again awake at two in the morning after dealing with an especially cranky baby. Beyond exhausted, unable to move a muscle without intense pain, and so hungry she felt faint, she flopped down on the couch and flicked on the TV.

Another infomercial screamed it’s praises at her. Insanity! It’s all insanity Shelly thought as she glanced down at her all too obvious stomach.

It would seem the flat abs she had been promised, the flat abs she totally expected, the flat abs all those people in the commercials seemed to have achieved in just three months were not meant for her.

She grabbed the Lay’s and flipped the station.

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This article has been read 433 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 09/03/11
hahahahaha...Cute story, "grabbed the lays" - sounds familiar! God Bless~
Pamela Weeden09/06/11
This brought back memories - post baby number two and searching for the flat stomach I had never had in the first place!

I liked this; it made me laugh
Sarah Elisabeth 09/06/11
haha, loved the little mantras she had for her kids. Excellent writing.
Linda Goergen09/06/11
Such a fun, light hearted story - poking fun at the commercials and how gullible we all can be at times! I bet the poor kids were glad to see Shelly’s disillusionment with the infomercials! Enjoyed the read!
marcella franseen09/06/11
All to relatable! Pass me the bag of Lays! :)
Lollie Hofer09/06/11
Been there, done that. Oh boy, did I ever see myself in this story. I laughed on numerous occasions. Loved the mantras!
Rachael Severa09/08/11
This is nice to read. So many people can relate to this, including myself. I liked the line "Grabbed my lays." This is great. I hope to read more of your writing. You remind me of me. Well done.
Carol Penhorwood 09/13/11
Absolutely delightful!