Yesterday’s workout included push-ups. Lots and lots of push-ups. As in NINE DOZEN push-ups (or was it 12 dozen?), before Trainer finally took pity on me and let me move on to cable-machine exercises.

DECLINE PUSH-UPS: Toes on a bench, hands on the ground. (Target: upper pectorals.)

MEDICINE BALL PUSH-UPS: With my hands on a medicine ball that was so tiny, I kept imagining it could be reworked into a science-themed fascinator,* albeit a heavy one. (Target: the inner part of the pectorals?)

* I did not share this with Trainer.

We started with TRAVELING INCLINE PUSH-UPS: Left hand on the ground, right hand on a step; move so both hands are on the step; move again so now the left hand is on the step and the right is on the ground; one more with both hands on the step. (Target: lower pectorals, but mostly just to make me red-faced and sweaty, I think.)

Those steps have grooves in them for traction, so exercisers don’t lose their footing and go slipping off during step aerobics class.

I, meanwhile, have delicate-lady hands. I call them that in jest — say, when I’m pointing out to Trainer the calluses that have developed after months of lifting weights — but it’s true.

lotionsI spend eight-plus hours a day typing, and even then my whole hand doesn’t even touch the keyboard. And my shelf at work has not one but two types of hand lotion — one that smells like Christmas trees, and one that just really works insanely well. (There used to be another bottle, too, but I realized how crazy that looked and carted it home.)

So my hands were not happy with those incline push-ups. (To spare ’em, we topped the step with a squishy yoga mat and I finished the last set just fine.) Hours later, though, the inside edges of the bottom of my palms were still sore from those grooves. I was going to text Trainer a quick, funny “look what you’ve done!” note.

A long time ago I wrote an article about palmistry, so I knew that each area of the hand has been given a name  … and in palmistry, each corresponds with a part of life. So, for example, the raised part under your index finger helps someone who reads palms know about your confidence and ambition.

From what I could recall, the sore parts of my hands were called the “mounds of Venus.” So I was formulating my text, which was going to say something like, “Thanks to you, my mounds of Venus are really sore” and then the follow-up text was going to be a link to a palmistry site so he could see WTH I was talking about.

I’m really glad I Googled that first. Because the actual term for that part of the hand is “mount of Venus.” Mount with a T, not mound with a D. A mound of Venus refers to another part of the body, found only on women. Let’s put it this way: On Wikipedia, you’ll be greeted by a photo of someone who’s been waxed.

So I’m really glad I didn’t tell him he made my mound of Venus sore. That would have been (a) confusing, and (b) physically impossible.  But my hands, meanwhile, are still a little tender.


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