Sunday, March 06, 2005

Physical Fits

Once again, we have begun to plunge healthward in the Kafkaesque household. Roughly every other day, we wake up at five thirty in the morning (or even earlier, depending on who we are trying to impress with the story) and go for a half-hour jog.

And we are not even being chased by bears or anything.

I've discovered something fantastic about jogging, and I think it's probably why most joggers jog: you can complain about it whenever you want. And any time is the right time to complain about jogging, I assure you. Any lull in the conversation is ideal to issue a low groan and say pathetically (yet impressively) "Ohhh. I woke up at five-thirty this morning to go jogging." [obviously, you may embellish with any time up to 3 am. Earlier than three may stretch plausibility.]

On the days we don't go jogging, I do exercises in the morning. These exercises consist entirely of pushups and crunches, ensuring a minimum of actual results. I call them "crunches" because it sounds really important and rough and tumble. "Situps" doesn't sound anywhere near impressive enough.

I do fifty of each in our guest room, choosing to perform the mighty crunches with my toes hooked under one of our Ikea Billy bookcases with really heavy glass doors. A couple of factors make this placement enjoyable:

1. Each time I struggle to a near-sitting position, I am eye-level with the philosophy and religion shelf, so my thought process is kind of like this: "Aaaaaaagh - oh, the Baghavad Gita As It Is - Aaaaaaagh - I should really finish Violence and the Sacred - Aaaaaaagh - I bet Joseph Campbell can't do fifty crunches - Aaaaaaagh - If he were alive I mean - Aaaaaaagh!" and so on.

2. Every crunch exerts a little more upward force on the heavy bookshelf, and makes me wonder if I correctly installed the little safety strap to the wall. By about crunch #43, I secretly wish for the sweet release of death, crushed under a weighty pile of New German Cinema texts and travel guides for places we haven't been yet.

All of this madcap exercising is occasioned by our desire to be slightly less flabby when we go to Maui next month. I feel confident I won't be much less flabby but at least, when I am gazing at the sunrise from Haleakala, I can groan and say "Ohhhh man. I was up at three am jogging," and put all the other tourists to shame.


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