Sunday, February 21, 2016

Whatever happened to Leslie Lilian anyway?

I’ve been doing workouts at home for decades. I first started when I was pregnant with my younger son—I faithfully followed exercises from Jane Fonda’s Workout Book for Pregnancy, Birth & Recovery. We didn’t have a VHS machine then (they were really pricy back in the day) so the book was my only option. I’d been in the Army with my first pregnancy and per Army regulations, I did the normal PT until I was 20 weeks pregnant. At the point, I was allowed to drop to my knees for push-ups, and the distance I had to run was reduced to—if I recall correctly—a mile. So I’d stayed in shape for my first pregnancy and wanted to do the same for my second one.

Within a few years, as I mentioned here, I started getting my own workout videos (by that time, my folks had given us a VHS player). I did those workouts on a very regular basis, probably four to five times a week.

It’s funny, when you hear something over and over, you’ll end up knowing the lines by heart. I’ve done that with my workouts and Kent has too. Sometimes he’ll holler the next line in the workout all the way from another room. It’s comical, especially when we both do it at the same time.

But I didn’t think I’d remember the lines from those long ago workouts. Let’s face it, we’re talking about 30 years ago and memories do fade. But I did! In Jane Fonda’s New Workout, there’s an opening song that one of the people doing the exercises sings at the beginning and the end. Jane tells you to sing along since that’s a good way to make sure you don’t get too out of breath. Even though I didn’t remember all the steps in the aerobic section, I remembered all the lyrics to the song
Then I got curious about the singer/exerciser. Her name was Leslie Lilian (all these years I thought Jane said Leslie Williams—oops), and she was a tiny thing with beautiful hair and also a decent voice. I Googled her and found the skimpiest of entries in IMDb. I also found a couple of YouTube videos of that portion of the workout and an article by Rebecca Harrington from last year reviewing the workouts (and realizing she knew all the lyrics to that song from having heard it as a small child* while her mother worked out). But that’s it.

I guess I was hoping for some sort of fairy tale ending for Leslie, that maybe the song opened the door for her to have a vocal career, or that maybe she went on to open her own studio or become a personal trainer or something. But I couldn’t find anything—even Jane Fonda herself said they’d lost touch long ago. I hope things turned out well for her.

*I do wonder if either of my kids would remember those lyrics. They sure heard them often enough.

Here's the song for your viewing pleasure:

1 comment:

Kerry DeBauge said...

LOL! I remember doing this very workout in the late '90s as a young teacher with some of my colleagues after school. Those outfits!