On Blaming Mike Tyson and Pants


I should have stuck to sweats

My arms are little limp noodles at this moment. My elbows hurt, I mean the actual bone. One is never more keenly aware of their shoulders then when the simple act of opening a door sends searing pains along them. I have spent the last hour trying to pick my nose.

A couple of things led to my current state.

Saturday. I was sitting quite happily on my couch in a pair of sweats and a T shirt that I could use to safely parachute off my roof. Modern Family was on the Netflix. Saturday is Cheat Day, so for four hours my hand was engaged with sandwiches of differing meats, cheeses, and fillers. Namely, I was in heaven.

And then I had what could only have been a severe stroke, because I decided it was a great idea to get up from this paradise of carbs and comfy clothes and try on pants. Six pairs. I stacked the pants on the bed and I stood in front of the full-length mirror I was somehow convinced into including in our bedroom. If you want a word of advice, don’t have a full-length mirror in the room where you crawl out of bed in the morning with no pants on. It does nothing to offer one hope enough to get into the shower. A room, by the way, with another mirror and where we stand naked. (beginning to think there’s a conspiracy afoot).

I took off my sweats, sucked in my gut in lots of ways until it was acceptable, and took in a deep breath.

OK, here’s the thing. Like many of you, I gained a bit of weight that we can all blame on the pending end of days. I wasn’t allowed to walk anywhere, so my daily step count went from the high thousands to about 16. We didn’t eat too well during the worst period of self-isolation. Since things have let up in June, I have made sure that my day includes a long walk. We have improved our diet and we are back to one Cheat Day a week as opposed to six. Despite a lingering foot injury sidelined me from walking a few weeks ago, I kept up working out, and I have noticed miniature gains in terms of shrinkage. I still have a butt that one could land a toy helicopter on, but it’s OK, because I felt good. Yes, I was going to try on pants!

I’m sure buying a trip on the Hindenburg seemed like a great idea at the time, too, but that was also a bad idea. And both bad ideas featured blimp shapes.

I slid each pantleg up and negotiated my booty into them while making the sounds I do when running up to the edge of a cold body of water. “ooooooohhhh oooooooohhhhh yooowwwwww yooowwww hoooooooo….fukkkkkkkkkkk.”

The tried-on pants were then sorted into three piles. Maybe, No, and Hells No.

My disdain of pants is well documented on this blog. So, I’ll spare you. However, if you have had the displeasure of trying on pants that ended up feeling too tight, then I think you can infer the decline in my overall mood. Needless to say, I was angry and I was also back in sweats quickly as I prepped sandwich number 6.

Sunday. My vigorous walk through the park listening to a podcast with Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson has recently decided to fight again in November. This means the 54-year-old ex-heavyweight champion of the world has decided to start training the way he did when he was a 21-year-old heavyweight. He outlined his training routine and his workouts. He talked about trying on clothes and labelling it “dizzzashterusshhh.”

“Oh, sing it, Iron Mike,” I said.  

I work out religiously, about 4-5 days a week. It’s not frou-frou either, lots of squats and weights and exercises that make me wish I was dead – the true barometer of a workout’s worth. Still, there’s a school of thought that you should change up your workouts. Since my foot injury, I have had to ease up on certain dynamic exercises and while it is totally reasonable to have done that, I feel lazy and slow.  

And so, standing in the woods of my walking park pressing the arch of my foot against a rock in mild ecstasy, I said: “If a 54-year-old can do it, I can. Dammit. I’m going to do a boxing workout today.”

Some squirrels nearby seemed particularly impressed. One of them pooped. It’s what we all wished we were doing.

I won’t go into the workout itself, because you don’t care, but it involved a whole lot more pushups than I usually do and a lot of boxing movements I never do. In 40 minutes, I was exhausted, my eyes stung with sweat, and my shoulders and elbows were calling me nasty names. By the time I stretched I was fairly certain that I was not going to be able to comb my hair after my shower. By the time I finished stretching I was certain that I was not going to be able to shower. I managed one, but basically by lying in the tub and directing the cat.

I am writing this with my eyelids. The moral of this story: don’t make decisions based on tight pants and Mike Tyson.         

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