Make Way For The New Elliptical

I was six months pregnant and on bed rest the day I heard Johnny Olson from “The Price Is Right” announce, “Lisa Hanson, come on down! You’re our next contestant on The Price Is Right!”

I laid there wondering if she was the same Lisa Hanson I knew from high school home room. We’d graduated a year and a half earlier and I remembered she was going to design school in California. I thought, ‘There have to be thousands of Lisa Hansons in the country. Surely this isn’t the one I know.’

But it was. And she won her way up on stage where she played that fill-in-the-check game and won a piano. Twenty five years later, I wonder what she did with that piano. She was 19, going to school, and I doubt she lived in a place that could accommodate something so big. One of these years I’ll go to a school reunion and maybe I’ll get a chance to ask her about it.

At the end of the Oprah show Wednesday, you’ll hear her announce that her guests would receive a Life Fitness elliptical, treadmill or home gym. I can’t wait to see the expression on my face. I was floored. It only took me two seconds to choose the elliptical, and then one second later I thought, ‘Where will I put it?’

My husband and I and our three large dogs live in a small Cape Ann with a dining room, living room, and bedroom on the first floor, and dormered bedrooms on the second floor that barely accommodate a full-size bed or anyone taller than 5’5”. We call the small downstairs bedroom the Zen Room. It’s the place we watch TV, listen to music, and chill in our chairs, like Archie and Edith Bunker. Mine is a papasan chair from Pier One Imports. Larry’s is an Ektorp from IKEA. They suit our personalities and we don’t share easily.

The Zen Room seats two people comfortably and maybe a dog, thus the reason we’re not the hosts of choice for the neighborhood Super Bowl party. It’s a calming room that looks out over the back yard. It’s our favorite room of the house. But as soon as I heard I was getting an elliptical, I knew that room was history. I rationalized that I could make the living room Zen-like. I mean, now often does Oprah give you an elliptical?

So yesterday, the transformation began. Furniture and knick-knacks were moved to the garage and basement. The entertainment unit, TV and stereo were moved to the living room and hooked up, although I can’t get a DVD to play on the television. I obviously missed a cord somewhere. My poor stepsons moved the love seat at least 15 times before I found a spot that worked. Our chairs are in what, right now, feel like the right place, and I placed the water fountain and the little red Buddha in similar places to their original sites in the Zen Room. It’s bigger space, but it feels right.

The elliptical will be here in a few weeks. My Zen Room will be a gym. To quote Martha Stewart, it’s a good thing. The gym at the university closes or has limited hours during semester breaks so now I don’t have to worry about or make excuses for not working out. And, I don’t have to haul my butt to the gym on snowy days. I’ll just hop on the elliptical and watch the show fall in the back yard.

I wonder if Lisa Hanson rearranged her student apartment to accommodate her new piano. That bugs me. I need to know. I mean, there are hundreds of people who win living room furniture, refrigerators, chest freezers, dining room suites, and grandfather clocks every year, but what if they don’t need them or have room for them? What do they do?

I guess I’ll go ponder this in my revised Zen/Living Room. But if any of you know the answer, please let me know. And if you know Lisa Hanson from Armstrong High School in Plymouth, Minnesota, class of 1981, please let her know I have a question to ask her.

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