Quite a few people have asked me what I thought about the current issue of the National Enquirer – the one with the cover story that says Richard Simmons has transitioned into a woman. “Do you think it’s true?” I’ve fumbled my way through some answers to that question, but really, the truest and simplest answer is this:
I don’t think so, and it’s not what I’ve been worried about. My questions and concerns over the past few years have mostly been about Richard’s health, and whether or not he’s taking care of himself. Other speculation is simply that: speculation. But it is worth noting that all the photos in the article are from 2013 – which the magazine clearly states. And Richard was wearing a lot of wigs and dressing in drag – publicly – that year. He taught classes in costumes, and even released a music video where he sports at least half a dozen drag looks. I’ve seen Richard dressed in womens’ clothing more times than I can count, and never once did I think that it was anything more than drag.
Lastly, two days before the article hit, Richard was photographed by the paparazzi leaving a hospital, and he had a full beard, and that seems like an odd choice for someone living as a woman. The brouhaha over whether or not Richard “is now a woman,” as the Enquirer headline proclaims, turned media attention away from the situation that actually has me worried: that Richard Simmons went to the hospital two weekends ago.
Richard released a statement, saying he was “dehydrated and needed some fluids,” and I hope that’s all it was. My mind has raced to all sorts of other things, but I stop myself from thinking the worst, and remind myself that all I can do is continue to support Richard, put positive energy out there, and continue to tell my story. I lost 160 pounds with Richard’s help, and no matter how salacious, vicious, or bizarre the tabloid press gets, I’m proud to be a vocal example of Richard’s life’s work: which is, and always has been, to help people.
MOVING ON. I went from having a crummy day to having a wonderful day over the course of a few hours this weekend, and I wanna share it, because it’s a good lesson in being flexible and listening to your body.
I’ve had the opportunity to climb stairs in a skyscraper downtown. I can’t share details or name names, but basically, a friend works in a tall building, and I’ve met that friend at the crack of dawn to climb stairs. I went twice last week, and was supposed to go a third time on Saturday morning. But I slept through my alarm, and when I awoke a half hour later, my entire lower body was achingly sore. The previous workouts – which were great – had caught up to me.
I was pissed at the soreness, and pissed at sleeping through my alarm, but I went back to sleep. When I awoke a second time, at 10am, I felt much better, although I was still grumpy. I tried rallying to lift some weights, using my at-home Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells, but after 10 bicep curls, I said screw it, and turned on the TV instead.
A few minutes later, I pulled out my calendar, and realized I had been due for a rest day. I had exercised the prior nine days in a row. I was overdue for a rest day.
So instead of fuming over sleeping through a workout and bailing on Plan B, I embraced that I should be resting, and accepted that the soreness and grumpiness were signs from my own body that I needed to listen to.
And once I accepted that, I felt great. And I’m glad I felt great, because I was headed to the happiest place on Earth: Disneyland! My friend Jen invited me. We didn’t get there until close to 6pm, but we managed to have a full experience that night. First we rode some rides at California Adventure: Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Toy Story Midway Mania, and California Screamin’. I posted this little collage on Instagram:
Then we headed over to Disneyland. In 14 years of living in California, this was only my third time at Disneyland (there are other theme parks I prefer more), but It’s A Small World, a ride I remember from visiting Disney World as a kid, was closed during both my prior visits. So we rode that – and that song is just as annoying as ever – as well as Matterhorn, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, and Indiana Jones. We also saw a small part of the Paint the Night Parade (while waiting in the Matterhorn line).
In between rides, we got dinner. Jen had done some research on healthy options, and we both wanted to try the Bengal Barbeque, which is right across from Indiana Jones in Adventureland. The Bengal Barbeque menu has all sorts of skewers on it. I had the Banyan Beef Skewer…
…a skewer of bacon-wrapped asparagus pieces…
…and two skewers of roasted vegetables (the plate has three; Jen ordered the other):
It was all pretty good – and filling – and definitely a good choice in a theme park, where churros, kettle corn, and fries are around every corner.
Here’s the icing: You end up walking a lot when you go to a theme park, and even though I didn’t measure how far I went, my rest day ended up including a nice amount of activity. And I wasn’t sore the next day.
…Keep it up, David!