Both before and during the pandemic, I have thoroughly enjoyed using a certain exercise app/bike that shall-not-be-named, with great workouts and trainers with affirming, inspirational styles. In that same vein, the following is a proposed script inspired by my sister for an outdoor run in a fictional exercise program called “Pelomom,” geared specifically toward moms who have been stuck home with their children during the pandemic.
Hang out with Liz and some of her favorite music during this 20 minute rage run! We’ll start with a 3-minute warm-up, followed by fourteen minutes of running with five 30-second intervals of primal screaming, and a 3-minute cool down.
* if you don’t have a spear, any sharp kitchen instrument or vaguely threatening home decor item should suffice
Featuring Music By:
Rage Against the Machine
Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion
All right Pelomom fam, let’s do this outdoor run! We’re going to start in a light jog as we get going. Now, the first thing we want to think about is safety, make sure that spear is pointed high and away from your face and body! We want to feel menacing and strong, but nobody has time to go to urgent care today! Alright, sounds like we’ve got some “Truth Hurts” on the playlist right now, and you know what truth really hurts? The truth that MOMS can’t get a break during this pandemic! We are doing all the things, aren’t we ladies? We are doing our jobs, we are homeschooling, we are cooking, we are grocery shopping, we are stretched in all the ways, and that truth, it hurts! Alright yes, let’s get nice and warmed up in our jog. Now in our outdoor run today I’m gonna recommend we do an out-and-back, where we run for ten minutes in one direction and then run back on the same route for the final ten minutes. It’ll all make sense when we get there. Keep going, that’s right.
Alright now we’re easing into our first interval, just in time for some Queen Bey! Alright ladies, right as soon as she sings “Middle fingers up, put them hands high,” I want your hands in the air and to start your first scream. You ready, ladies? 3, 2, 1…. AGHGHGHGHGHGHHGHHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHHGHHH!!!!!!!!!! Yes, let that scream LOOSE! Keep it up, keep screaming!!! You tell the world your pain, you let it out now!! Keep it going, ten more seconds of screaming!!! Alright, finishing that scream up in 3, 2, 1…
Ok now settle back into a comfortable pace. You don’t need to push too hard, we are not working today, we are taking time for ourselves. We aren’t getting anybody a snack or teaching common core math, this is our time and we are going to take our time! You know Beyoncé takes her time, she doesn’t run harder than she has strength! But she is strong, and so are you. I want to celebrate you for taking some time for yourself today, for knowing that you cannot draw water from an empty well. You are doing great work here, and I applaud you for that.
Alright we’re coming up to our second interval just as Rage gets going! Yeah you know, society, they say they rally ’round the family, but do they, Pelomom fam? We know they say they do, but are we truly supported? Do we get the time off that we need? The childcare that we need? Why are you the only one that ever makes dinner or does the dishes? Sounds like a pocket full of shells to me! Alright, we’re gonna do this interval here in ten seconds, and if you want to really lean in to the workout, I’m gonna suggest that as you scream, you rip your shirt off and leave it on the street. Ready? 3, 2, 1………. AAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHGHGHGHGHHGGHH! Yes!! Rip that shirt off!! You show the world your floppy body and you make them see it!! You show the world who you are, all of your scars and all that you do! Don’t worry if that man in the car driving by starts to stare! You stare right back at him and you excoriate him with your eyes! You know, people, they want women to be soft, and meek, and submissive. But we’re not, are we? We are powerful sorcerers and we are sick of all of this! We are not going quietly! You keep screaming! You tell the world that you are tired of staying quiet! You are tired of sitting back!! Alright, let’s end our scream in 3, 2, 1…
That felt nice, didn’t it? It feels good to be fully in our bodies. Now I know some of you might be thinking, “should I go back and get my shirt?” Or, “am I going to be arrested for this?” No! As long as you kept your pants on, it should be fine! And if you didn’t, well, I support you in your truth, and you tell the police that you are simply showing up in a human body and that shouldn’t be against the law! And also that, legally, Pelomom never told you to remove your pants. Just your shirt. And we’ll get it on the way back, no stress.
Ok, now this song, this is a throwback! Remember rocking out to this back when life was a little simpler? Before you realized the full extent of the patriarchy and the fact that men kill women with alarming frequency when they feel rejected? Yeah, I hate the world today too, Meredith Brooks! And we are complex creatures! We can be all these things! B-words, lovers, children, mothers, sinners, saints… and we do not feel ashamed, do we, Pelomom fam? No we don’t! We know what Sister Brené says! We are worthy of love and belonging! Shame is not helpful or productive! Yeah you know I’ve read “The Gifts of Imperfection!” Made my whole book club read it, that’s right. Alright, we’ve hit about ten minutes, so I want you to stop running, stand still, close your eyes, and put your hand over your heart. Yes, right there on your semi-naked chest. Feel that heart beating, and take a minute to really feel the moment. Really let it sink in. Even in this broken, terrible world where nobody appreciates you enough, you are here, and you are enough. Now, with your eyes closed, I want you to widen your stance, feet a little more than hip-width apart, open your arms and stretch them high, with your spear pointed in the air, and we’re going to do our third scream. Ready? 3, 2, 1….. AAAAAAAGAGAGGHHHGHJHJJGHGHGHGHGGH!!!!!!
Yes!! That felt amazing!! Much more guttural this time for me. And now we are back to running! We’re heading back toward where we came from! And what’s that I hear? There’s some whores in this house? Yeah, we have Cardi and Megan out here with us! And you know I have feelings about the Madonna/whore dichotomy! Somebody needs to get a bucket and a mop to clean up all that patriarchal nonsense! But not us, we are taking time for ourselves! Let somebody else do the mopping today, ladies! Now, I would get more into the lyrics of this song but Pelomom’s liability clause does not permit that, but I know that we’ll crank this one up in the car if we ever get to go anywhere by ourselves again! Alright, here we go, one more scream, really dig deep this time! 3, 2, 1…….. AAAGGHGGHHGHHGHGHGHHGGHGHHGH!!! Yes, ladies, let that scream out!! Scream until you’re feeling a little bit hoarse! Scream like somebody told you we’re going back into lockdown and school won’t be back in session until 2022!! Yes, that’s right!
Oh hey, there’s my shirt! Alright, I’m gonna pick that up, and I’ll let you ladies decide whether you want to put it back on or drape it over the tip of your spear like some sort of spoil of war. And we have Ms. Alanis Morrisette coming at us now, and you oughta know how proud I am of all of you for keeping with this run! You oughta know that I see you, I see your hard work and your dedication and your love for your kids even if you want to lock them in their rooms at night so they can’t come out for “just one more drink.” You oughta know that your feelings are valid, and that your truth matters! You, you, you oughta know!! Ok, here we go, we’re gearing up for our final scream of our run today. We’re going to really go for it this time. I want you to channel all the rage that you’ve felt, all the frustration, all the guilt… and I want you to get ready to let it out here in 3, 2, 1…. AAAAAAHAHGHGHGHGHGHHGHGHHGHGHGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Yes! You let it out! You tell the world that you are here and you are not gonna take it anymore!! You refuse to sit quietly or laugh awkwardly in an effort to diffuse a tense situation in which a man may feel slightly challenged!! You refuse to let one more person call you “sweetie” when they disagree with you! You refuse to be ok with systemic injustice and you refuse to sit quietly when your aunt says something racist at the family reunion (again)! You will not be silent anymore!! Yell it out, Pelomom fam! Yell! It! Out!
Whew, that was something, wasn’t it? Alright, let’s slow down into a walk. We have Ani DiFranco singing us home. She is giving us wise words that will bring us sustenance. We will tend our anger, and we will tend our grief. We will achieve safety, we will find relief! We will find those things for us, and for those around us, because we matter! We can bring this revolutionary love together. Thank you for running with me today. I wish you peace, calm, time to yourself, and for you to find your voice. Peace and love, y’all. Peace and love from me, and from Pelomom.