I do undercover exercise. Sometimes it is so undercover that even I don’t know about it. No, really, when I wake up in the chilly morning, I ask myself, “Why should I get up?” The answer is almost always, “To pee!” So I do that and then leap back under the covers. That is the best time for undercover exercises.
First, I lay nice and flat under those warm covers. That gets me in the mood to stretch through one ankle and then the other. My ankles are flexed, so I push long through my heel which invites my whole side slowly to get involved. My cat thinks this is very interesting, which gets me more interested.
Then I bend my knees and stretch away from my head through my knees. I do this with my knees-out-in-frog pose, railroad-track pose, and cross-my-body-and-hope-not-to-die pose. Without moving my feet, I push through with one knee, then the other, or, if I’m feeling lucky, both at the same time.
Then I pull out the big guns. Okay, they are just my toes. And they aren’t that big, but they can cause a lot of pain! I turn my long legs out, flex my ankle opening my toes up, and then point and curl my toes. I continue this as my legs slowly turns inward. Then I pretend to pick up marbles with my toes. My physical therapist says this will strengthen my arches.
On my belly, I stretch my leg away from my head until my leg has to come up, then I alternate. My sheets are tucked in, so the sheets resist my legs coming up. I have tried this with sheets loose and bunched and became a picture of bondage. I know what you may be thinking. “Kinky!” Please don’t. Falling to the floor with sheets tied around your feet, hair akimbo, teeth unbrushed, and Pooh pajamas twisted isn’t pretty to even the weirdest kinkster.
Now I am ready for the big finale. It is circus time! On my back with feet planted on the bed and knees bent, pointed at the ceiling, I stretch my knees away from my head, which makes my pelvis come up in the air. “She flies through the air with the greatest of ease.” Well, it is just my pelvis going up and down, but it feels pretty goofy to the cat who has decided to climb on my belly! This makes for a great knee exercise. Without the cat it is still good, though sometimes this means she is peering under the covers and trying to go through the bridges I’m making. Then I get to the big hoopla: I lift my pelvis and place it flat, the headlights of my hip bones straight across horizontal, but closer to my right side, then to the left. Then I change to placing it down with my hip trying to touch my shoulder! I feel like a vamp, all be it, a very awkward vamp. Can-can music rolling now, “Da-da, da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da-da! Da-da, da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da!”
Before I know it, I’m up! But keep this to yourself. Nobody else knows except for my cat and she’s not talking!
Janet Rayor is a professional singer and former stilt-dancer who leads Rouge, a Parisian ensemble with accordion, violin, and piano. She teaches “Juicy Joints Aerobics” at Bitterlake Community Center in north Seattle when she is not singing or exercising undercover! Follow her fitness blog and videos at