Let’s Get Physical EXPERT Merit Badge

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,518 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—7,451 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s Make It Easy/Let’s Get Physical Merit Badge, I stepped up my game. Literally. The neighborhood kids had gone back to school and left me in the dust, so to speak. We had had some majorly epic games of Kick the Can, Basketball, and Cul-de-Sac Roller Derby, and now they had abandoned my fitness goals for algebra homework.

The nerve.

Well, I sadly waved goodbye to my summertime friends, and sorrowfully Kicked the Can all the way back to my house. Alone. I was going to have to come up a new plan for my Expert Level Badge, and quickly. You know, before the ol’ muffin top and love handles found me again …

Mmmmm, muffins.

No, no, Janie, my girl, sez I, have some will power! I can, I have, and I will again. Although, did you know that if you lick the frosting off a cupcake, it magically becomes a muffin? And we all know muffins are healthy.

Note to self: write diet book.

I scoured my local community for new fitness options. A softball team, a 5k, a Bike-A-Thon—I was up for anything. Well, not anything anything. As a general rule, I try not to run unless I’m being chased by a bear, and even then, it’s iffy. I would probably just throw it a cupcake and hope for the best.

And then I saw it. Ballet! How had I not thought of this particular field before? It was genius. Not only would I tone my calves, but I could break out the ol’ tutu and really rock the bun look. I signed myself up for a Beginning Adult class and laced up my dance shoes. Well, not precisely; I was sad to learn pointe shoes only go to the more advanced ballerinas. No matter. How hard could twirling and pointing my piggies be?


An hour and a half later, I staggered out into the sunlight, my tutu dragging, my pink tights soaked with sweat, my toes sore, my bun lopsided, and the words of a Russian lady, who I believe may or may not have been speaking French, echoing in my addle pated brain. What a harebrained scheme I had committed myself to. What had I done? This class was battement-ing my derriere and it was only Week One!

A tiny, glittery dancer pirouetted by as I leaned against the wall, trying to get up the energy to find my car. She leapt across the street and cheerily waved at me. I glowered. This was obviously not her Week One. I panted for a bit, and finally attempted to move off the wall. Unfortunately, I could not recall how to make my feet move. I longed for a cupcake.

Or a bear.

I decided I would live here. On the side of this building. It was a nice building. And it was holding me up, so we were feeling pretty close. Sadly for me and my plan, my ballet teacher found me as she was locking up.

“You go now!” she told me, with her hands on her perfectly turned-out hips. “You go home and stretch.”

Obediently, I began to move my stiff muscles towards my car, amid suggestions (and demands) that I suck in my stomach, lift my head, relax my fingers, and then repeat—this time faster.

If I live long enough, I think I’m going to sign up for something less murderous. Like rugby.


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hahahaha!! I used to take adult ballet classes through the community college during my late 20s. It is a great way to stay in shape BUT, it does takes it’s toll on your feet. I changed out my leotard for gym shorts and tennis shoes and bought a membership at the gym. The good news with that membership?? There is a hot tub to soak out those aching legs and muscles after those ridiculous zumba or aerobic classes!!

  2. Karlyne says:

    Rugby! Brilliant!

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