gasp... gasp... huff...

There is a strange sadomasochistic phenomenon to which all modern persons are enticed at some point during their miserable lives and which most people persist with against all reason (usually for a grand total of 30 minutes). This horrible infatuation is known as "working out."

Most people workout because they want to have rippling Zeus-like musclature. Preferably in one or two days. In reality, it is not even possible to workout a single day--that is suicidal. You have to start out slow: I recommend you begin by just thinking about exerting yourself. Be sure to take lots of intermittent breaks.

In my case, however, my friend (who does this kind of stuff every day) goaded me into doing more pushups, pull ups, chin ups, squats, sit ups, and dips than I was physically capable of doing six times in succession. It became more painful each time, and the pain has yet to go away. It is struggle just to elevate my arms enough to type this, and it has become hilarious to watch me run because my arms flop useless at my side the whole time.

What was the grand result of my self-serving sacrifice? When I began on Monday, I could do twenty pushups. Today, I was able to do almost three.

Working out is supplemented by two equally stupid ideas: running around campus in the morning when it's cold enough to make Hillary Clinton and Ann Coulter huddle together for warmth, and scaling rock faces.

Besides the freezing cold, the first idea involves running in the dark without a flashlight--did I mention that around here construction crews randomly dig new holes all the time? And neglect to mark them? Fortunately, I do not have to worry about muggers, cutthroats, assassins, or members of the state legislature, because like all creatures with basic notions of self-preservation, they are inside where it is possible to pee without it freezing.

The second idea is much more reasonable. In this scenario, we find ourselves confronted with a perilous vertical rock face which, for some reason or other, we decide that we wish to dangle from.

So slowly but surely, you make your way up, searching for handholds, clutching desperately to the mountain, hoping you don't slip or lose strength or sneeze or get distracted or misjudge or earn the belligerent attentions of a sudden gust of wind. If any of things should happen, you may or may not tumble all the way to the base of the mountain. This depends entirely on whether your belay partner--with nothing better to do than stand bored at the bottom holding your life in his hands--is paying diligent attention and grasping both sides of his rope, ready to act at a moments notice; or if he is instead picking his nose. Did I mention he was bored?

Yes, so to conclude, through acts of severe pain and self-endangerment, you too can go from doing twenty pushups to being able to do almost three!


M said...

Thank you for the entertainment.

I was infected while teaching small children the joys of rocks, dinos, and natural disasters, so I'm doped on cold medications and can't sleep. As any sane person under the influence of Niquil would do, I went cruising the slashdot comments, and found myself on your site. This is as far as I made it in the archives (reading from present to past) and I've been highly entertained. Your writing style is fantastic, and I'm sure I'll keep trolling the archives while I'm recovering from this child-induced plague.