“Did you ever…?”
Did you ever think about the amount of time, money and effort some people put into physical fitness? I am totally in favour of staying fit and in shape, just as long as I don’t have to put any time, effort, or money into it.
A few weeks ago, I saw my neighbour, Bing, jogging. We are about the same age, but he is in great physical shape and was able to wear the same clothes he wore back in high school, until the Department of Health and Sanitation made him throw them out yesterday. I took a long look at myself in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. My chest had fallen down around my stomach, my double chin had made my neck disappear, and I could have sworn that my skin used to fit better. Junk food and gravity had taken its toll. It was time to do something about it. I went outside, stopped Bing, as he was passing my house, and asked him if we could jog together. He reminded me that I got out of breath when I chewed gum; so maybe jogging wasn’t a good idea. After a lot of insisting (and begging), he reluctantly agreed. He said that he would slow his pace so that I could keep up with him. We were only jogging for about thirty seconds when I bumped into him, stepped on the back of his shoe, and he hit the ground. I still don’t know why he was so angry. He only needed two stitches, and only one tooth got chipped.
My sister suggested that I cut out the junk food and buy some kind of exercise machine. After I threw out every bit of junk food in the house, I noticed that my refrigerator, pantry and cupboards were empty. I went to the local health food shop and bought all kinds of food that was supposed to make me healthy and trim. When I wanted a snack, a rice cake sounded good. I was more than half finished with it before I realized that I had been eating one of my cork coasters. The rice cakes and the cork coasters looked and tasted so much alike, it was an easy mistake to make. The rest of the health foods gave me a blinding headache, stomach cramps, sore kidneys, and the desire to run away from home.
The sporting goods shop had an exerciser for beginners. It was two long tension straps that you attached to your door handle, whilst you held the other two ends to do bodybuilding exercises. The instructions said to lie on the floor, attach one end of each strap to the door handle, and the other ends to your feet. I must have done something wrong because when I attached the ends of the straps to my feet, both legs flew up at an incredible speed, and I was slammed up against the door, standing on my head. I decided to try the easier exercise, where you hold one end of each strap in your hands, pull, hold, and release. I must have pulled too hard because the door handle flew off of the door and hit me squarely in the forehead. When I regained consciousness, I decided to return the tension straps to the shop and tell them that they were too dangerous.
On my way home, I stopped at the supermarket and bought some real food, and then treated myself to an ice cream sundae. Bing was sitting on his front porch when he saw me, and he went into his house without a word. I guess he isn’t speaking to me again.
I called my sister on the phone and told her what a total disaster this whole physical fitness thing had been. When she suggested that I join a health club, I pretended I didn’t hear her and I changed the subject.
“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©Copyright 2000 by Melech. All rights reserved
Next column will be posted on September 11, 2009