Making Old Memories New Again

It is one of the many memories that I had as a child.

Each family has it’s own little world that it lives in together, imprinting each other every day, shaping and molding who we are and what we are to become in the future.

This memory was the kind of memory that I would never repeat to my high school peers for fear of shame and humiliation. But thank goodness I no longer live in fear of being judged. In fact, I’ve learned a memory like this can be seen as funny, and now I can share it with you with pride. At the very least, after what happened today, I can no longer make fun of my parents and sister for it.

It was 1983. Maybe it was 1984. There we were, our entire Devensky Family. Mother, Father, Older Sister and I, breathing heavily and contorting our bodies to Jane Fonda’s workout video. You know the one? Where she is wearing that signature 80s workout leotard that cuts up on either side to her rib cage. I think she also wore a belt. And leg warmers.

We were in old t-shirts and shorts, sitting on fraying beach towels. My mom was yelling back at the VHS tape, “It burning, Ai Ooman, it burning you see!”

My dad was laughing at himself because Jane was telling him to stretch his body over his legs and he couldn’t even sit up straight in that position, much less bend.

It was one of those great family memories that probably would have been completely forgotten if I didn’t find myself in a very similar situation recently.

I’ve been working my way through Shaun T’s T25 lately. Any day I can’t make it to the gym I drag myself into the spare room at nap time or after the kids are in bed and force myself to do it.

After hiding it from the kids, you can imagine my shock and surprise when, over Thanksgiving break naps for the twins, Jack and Ben showed quite an interest in doing them with me.


Oh yeah, I got a visual. I hope my sister and parents are laughing as hard as I am right now. There is me and Jack, the next generation on, making it burn.

I’d like to say it was a perfect memory. But unlike the stuff I remember from my own childhood, I’m not as patient or forgiving as my predecessors. At one point Jack was bumping into Ben repeatedly and after a few warnings I yelled at him. He was so hurt that he left after a few minutes of doing the video. So Ben and I completed it. Well, Ben laid on the floor for most of it, but he stayed with me.

The whole time I felt terrible. I went all Orange Rhino on him when there were so many better ways to handle it. I ruin a perfectly good memory and had no idea how to fix it.

Luckily, Jack did.

When it was over he came in with a piece of paper and pen asked me how to spell ‘circle’. I spelled it for him and he gave me this note. (I wrote my reply under it.)

t25 again note

We both giggled a bit nervously and I started the video AGAIN from the beginning. I figured 50 grueling minutes contorting with Shaun T was the least I could do to punish myself for yelling at Jack!

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