I work out. I don’t enjoy it. The fluorescent lights in the gym hurt my eyes, naked old dudes with pendulous nads are always hanging out for unecessarily long periods of time in the locker room, the Indian guy on the elliptical with the curry-sweats never wears deodorant, and there’s usually some Arnold Schwarzenegger looking mother-licker staring at himself in front of the wall mirror. (It’s me.)
While I don’t enjoy the act of working out, I do enjoy the result. A few minutes of sweaty discomfort a couple of times a week is a worthwhile trade off for the strength, speed, and agility to do…anything. Forced to wrestle a Kodiak bear? Alright. Have to push a school bus out of Quechee Gorge? Okay. Need to run from a horde of ravenous zombies? Bring it on. I did six squats and a pull-up last wednesday. I’m fucking invincible. Looking good for the biddies isn’t a bad thing either.
I’ll admit, for somebody who doesn’t necessarily enjoy working out, I’ve always been pretty consistent with it. In my glorious youth it helped that I played sports constantly, so even on my down time I’d be training hard to prepare for the following season. Between the ages of 8 and 18 I devoted myself to football and track. In college I boxed, and after college I got paid to rock climb for a period of time. In order to succeed at the above mentioned activities, a certain level of studliness needs to be maintained. Now however I just get paid to sit in a cubicle and cry as my spine liquifies and my dreams quietly pass away. The peak of my daily physical exertions would probably be my 2pm dump, but I still go to the gym on my lunch breaks. There’s no real reason anymore, it’s just habit.
I blame my mother. The woman is a monster. A healthy, healthy monster. Seriously. The woman works at a health food store part time, because she LIKES it. She goes to like six different gyms. Growing up, she cooked us only the blandest, most nutritious of foods. Salt was a taboo 4-letter curse word worse than fuck. On halloween, when my twin sister and I went trick-or-treating, our devil mother would call ahead to make sure our neighbors would only give us healthy “treats”. Halloween loses some of its luster when all you bring home is a pillowcase full of apples, raisins, and peanutbutter crackers. I’m 27 and i’ve yet to eat a birthday cake. My twin and I got to blow out candles on bran muffins instead. One year the muffin had raisins in it and I was so overwhelmed I cried. Mistress wonders why I take no real pleasure in eating, and treat my meals like a necessary inconvenience, similar to filling up a car with gas. It’s because my tastebuds are so underdeveloped that flavor terrifies and sickens me. If I could prepare drums of flavorless nutrition gruel, and consume all my meals in shake form, i’d be a happy man.
I guess my strictly healthy upbringing isn’t all bad. By the time our youngest sister was born, we had already partially broken my mother’s spirit, so she was allowed all sorts of sinful culinary extravagances like cookies and pop-tarts. Everybody knows pop-tarts are a gateway food. Now she does bad stuff like drink soda, smoke pot, and join sororities. Poor girl didn’t have a chance.
I don’t blame my mother for ruining my childhood. If eating right and working out periodically can make my life longer, gives me the ability to crush skulls in a fight, and makes me look super sexy, then yeah, i’ll continue to lift things up and put them down. Once I have children of my own, you know i’ll be torturing them the same way.