“I need to get in shape. If I were murdered right now, my chalk outline would be a circle.”
By Randall Jobe
Three times a week at 6 a.m., I drag my lazy butt out of my comfy bed to head to dialysis. On each of those mornings there are 20 or so gluttons for punishment groaning and grunting and groaning in the restaurant parking lot near my home. No. They are not doing that! Dirty minds. They are engaged in an equally too-early-in-the-morning physical act. Exercise.
As I drive by I have more than once been tempted to up drive up directly next to the sweaty group and yell, “Who had the double sausage and egg biscuits with hash browns?” Curiously I wonder if at least one tortured soul would suddenly break from the herd and say, “That’s it! I quit!” and head to Denny’s for the Grand Slam, calorie rich, cholesterol-filled and oh-so-satisfying breakfast?
In case you have not fathomed, I am not a fan of exercise. In fact, next to watching The Real Housewives of Anytown, U.S.A., I consider it the ultimate horrendous act of rack-stretch terror. I would rather be tied to an anthill and covered with Sue Bee honey.
My earliest recollection of my aversion to any form of exercise is a sixth-grade physical education (P.E.). For an hour every school day the boys would don under-stuffed jockstraps (save Bobby Miller who must have been hung like a baby elephant!) and gym shorts to be forced through inhuman paces: jumping jacks, squats and the rope climb. The one time I conquered one-tenth of the coiled snake; the entire class broke into spontaneous applause.
Added were evil games designed exclusively to deflate your already fragile self-worth; basketball, soccer and — joy of joys — dodge ball. What sort of child hater creates a “game” that requires throwing hard, giant balls with every ounce of strength towards a quaking mass of frightened Jell-O in an obvious attempt to cripple one’s opponent with a villainous shot to the aforementioned jockstrap region? Now, if you are 70 pounds and as lithe as a panther, “dodge” ball might be an option. But. If you are a weight-challenged boy who can never avoid a direct hit and screams, according to brutal classmates, “like a girl” every time the ball is thrown, all you can do is guard the face. Please, not the face!
To add insult to injury as a finale to the sadistic tortures, we would be paraded outdoors into the unforgiving Texas fireball of a sun and made to run “laps” around a dirt track. Of course, I always hit the finish 10 minutes behind the last gazelle. That gave my adorable classmates plenty of time to prepare their idiotic verbal assaults. “So Jobe, did you stop for an ice cream?” “Did you get tangled in your panties?”
I never had an immediate snappy reply. I would be hours later, sometimes at the dinner table, when I would suddenly mumble under my breath. “Yeah, I got tangled…in you sister’s panties!” In hindsight it might have drawn gales of laughter for all the wrong reasons.
Though I personally rarely participate in any formal exercise, I do see the need for some form of movement for health reasons. But when it is fanatically incorporated into hours and hours daily, engulfing any free time for social time, free time and sleep, I say enough! Instead, spend some of the body-punishing time to exercise your mind. Read, have discussions, play word games.
Alleviate eating anxieties by giving up a diet of nuts and grass and allow yourself the pleasures of life: greasy burgers, barbeque, all things fried and desserts! Cookies and ice cream and cake! Oh, my!
Create your own exercise. Lift loaded fork to mouth (using those biceps). Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.