Sunday, June 8, 2014

Is this your bull?

When I first came out to the University of Idaho, I arrived several months early in order to check out the school. No one was around and I pretty much had the place to myself. The school buildings were open and the administration was there but all of the students were home having a summer.

I drove around the town checking out the cool movie theater and the local bars. You know. The important stuff. At one point I was at an intersection, on campus. I stopped dutifully at the stop sign, looked left and then right. To the right it seemed some traffic was coming. Said traffic consisted of a pair of cowboys on horses, being towed by a rather large bull. I assume it was large because it was the biggest one I had ever seen. So I guess, using that logic, it was both the largest and the smallest bull I had ever seen.

It did not even stop at the stop sign so being the city boy that I was, I rolled down the window, honked and shouted "NICE STOP ASSHOLE!" One cowboy waved.

Perhaps the bull was on his way to get a coffee. We all get a little grumpy without it and I can empathize with his probable headache. 

But before he trotted off to get his cowpuccino, the bull had escaped from the Kibbie dome where they were getting ready for a rodeo. It had loafed through the law school parking lot hitting nothing. It avoided the BMWs and Jaguars, carefully skirted each Mercedes and Lexus. The cowboys however, were not quite so gentle. There was some regrettable, collateral damage as the bull dragged their steel-shod horses across the paved surface.

Since I was from the east coast, I was still on EST time so I woke up at 4AM every day. I've been out here almost thirty years and I still get up at 4:30AM. Longest case of jet lag ever.

When the bull stormed the intersection I thought "I would never have seen anything like that back home". And that was how I knew I had found the right place to live.

Sore muscles.

I keep hoping that sore muscles are the sensation of fat cells dying. Dying painfully.

I don't think of sweating as anything other than the tears of my fat cells as they are wept from sad adipose eyes. I want to know that my fat is in agony as it perishes while I run.

I hate running. But the thing is, I hate being out of shape a lot more than I hate running. I have never been one of those bastards who, after a few miles, suddenly feel like they could go forever. Or that the pain just goes away.

Holy hell. After a few miles my pain has only gotten worse. And it keeps getting worse until I stop. Which I want to do more with every step, following the moment I start.

My sister in law can just go forever. Therefore I hate her. And also my brother who just seems to loaf along with his mile-eating gait as though running were not the single most awful thing ever invented. their two kids will probably grow up thinking running is a normal and natural thing.

It is possible that my decision to lift weights was a bad one. When I graduated high school I was 6' 2" and weighed 155 pounds. That was the low end of normal.

In normal speak, I was emaciated.

After a year of college and discovering the wonders of the weight room and a class in weight lifting, I gained thirty pounds. At that point, it was very difficult to gain even one extra pound. I was still emaciated, only my bones were now covered in a layer of muscle.

Then I hurt my back and couldn't lift for over two years. I got married and running still hurt a lot. Every step hurt.

Once the pain finally became manageable I was able to get on the road a bit more often but by now I weighed 210 pounds :-(

Again, I switched to weights and added another 35 pounds to my frame. It is easy to imagine how, at 245 pounds, running five miles takes a lot more effort when you are carrying ninety pounds more than you were in high school.

P90x is "easier" than running but also much harder! I would very much like to strangle Tony Horton and his chipper enthusiasm.

I am still ready to quit during the "warm up" phase of the work out, but as my fitness increases, my attitude improves and my feelings get better. I would still gleefully choke Tony to death but now am confident that I can do it much more easily! Although he must be pretty tough since I can't be the only one who hates him like this. People probably either go right for his jugular or fall to their knees and thank him.

One of the coolest things about many forms of exercise is that it is inexpensive. Sure you can get expensive gym memberships or equipment, but running and lifting weights only have a small initial investment. You do have to replace your running shoes occasionally but a weight set can sit there on the floor mocking you forever, without costing you a cent. Same goes for exercise bikes. They hold your sweaters and towels really well, while they dry.

But once you are finished pretending you don't have time to exercise (because your shows aren't going to watch themselves!) all of that equipment will still be there, ready for use in a blink.

I don't judge. I have had dust and dead moths blow out of my exercise bike, when I first started pedaling after a workout "hiatus". Hiatus is a good word. If you look it up it means something like "you quit doing something that you intended to go back to... eventually." So really, your hiatus can be as long as you want but you need an indicator for when it has gotten long enough. Like when you sit down; does your belly rest on your thighs? Maybe it's been a little too long. Do you have "Mirror Disease"? Where you can't see your junk without a mirror?

But we all know the cure for Mirror Disease... exercise.

If you want to feel extra bad, watch Saturday morning television and pick an exercise/weight-loss infomercial and look at the women who lost sixty or eighty pounds. They did that without the benefits of the hormones us guys have. They did it without the huge, fat-burning engines we have, called 'muscles'.

You can feel as bad as you want but you won't start to feel better until you start exercising.

Go make your fat cry. :-)