We will once more be travelling outside of our usual media confines today. Just go with it.
A few months ago, my wife forced me to start exercising, specifically running. There is some ridiculous logic she has about my being healthy tending to mean that I will live longer and that we will therefore spend more time together. I don’t know; she’s a doctor so I listen to her.
She promoted this notion of running by getting me to agree to sign up with her to do a 5K at DisneyWorld (you may already know that I have a soft spot for the place and once harbored a none-too-secret impossible dream of being an Imagineer). Naturally, she had been pressuring me to exercise before that date, but it was signing up for the race which finally got me moving (literally).
Now, a few months later, I’m on the treadmill five days a week, running three days and doing long walks two days, and I’ve come to a conclusion: it’s awful. Really awful. I have no intention of stopping, but I hate it.
Runners will tell you of a “runner’s high” or some such nonsense. They will argue that the more you run, the better you feel running. That is an utter load of hogwash.
This isn’t sour grapes talking either, I have steadily improved my pace and can now do three miles in a very respectable time (faster than the wife, who has a tendency to run half-marathons). It is just the truth.
Perhaps the issue is that at this exact moment I seem to have developed some shin splints from doing a 10 mile walk yesterday and then a run today, but I don’t think so. I don’t recall ever feeling great when running.
The moment when I feel great is after I’m done running… because I’m done running. There is definitely a sense of accomplishment at having obtained a new personal record (this is called a “PR” in runners’ parlance), but I don’t think that’s where most of my joy comes from. Honestly, I think it comes from the added hunger I feel after running and knowing that I will be able to eat more that day.
You see, I have always argued that if I didn’t have a traditional fulltime job I would exercise more, and that if I did exercise more, it would be with one purpose in mind – the ability to eat with impunity. It may sound ridiculous, but that has always been a goal of mine, the world is full of delicious things.
I may have said above that we were going outside the world of media today, but that’s not entirely true, and here’s where I tie it all in. It’s actually doing those long walks on the treadmill that I prefer, not the short runs.
Because I get to consume more, although not necessarily food-wise. Yesterday during my 10 mile walk I watched seven episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” My marathoning of “Bosch?” Another event made possible by foolishly long periods of time spent on the treadmill.
As it turns out—and this really is the great part—exercising doesn’t have to be done to get healthy, you can rot your brain at the same time (a term I use metaphorically). The amount of TV you can watch if you setup your iPad to block the display of the treadmill and have a big old cup of coffee with you is truly incredible. And, you’re being “healthy” the whole time.
So, right now there’s “Parks and Rec.” When that is done, it’ll be “Girls,” and after that maybe I’ll finally watch that last season of “Big Love.” At some point, all that exercise will lead to an embarrassingly large steak dinner and a sub-20 minute 5K. Plus, as I’ll be living longer, there will be even more time in my life for food, television, and the possibility of becoming an Imagineer.
It is all fantastic. If only I didn’t hate it so much.