In my outlandish attempts to stay out of a motorized scooter, I work out a lot. This sounds more impressive than it might initially seem. This basically means that six days a week I cry, sweat, and shout obscenities at a deity I don’t believe in for 26-32 minutes. It’s basically the same as going to the bathroom and eating, but the time is shorter and longer, respectively.

After a year of working out four times a week and gaining a steady pound a month, I decided something more needed to be done. I realized of course that battling for control of my waistline is food and beer and the fact that I love them more than oxygen or my mother. Was I going to give up food and beer? No. Never. At most I was able to move them to two days a week, Friday and Saturday, at which time I did as much damage as I could on the other five days. I did this guilt free, unless I thought about it, which is why I didn’t. And I successfully replaced thinking with carbohydrates. It was a foolproof plan.

By February my pants no longer fit and I was beginning to breathe heavily while doing math in my head. The two sacred days were untouchable, but what I could do was add more workouts.

I added two days, which made it six days a week. Two days of home cardio, two days of dumbbells, and two days of running. Running was a throwback for me as I used to be a runner because I realized the efficacy of home HIIT workouts. Also, I decided that running sucked the sweat off a dead giraffe’s nether regions. But I added it because HIIT workouts and dumbbell routines involve many parts and keeping track of time.

Running is easy. You go to a park, choose a route 3.3 miles long and a finish line, run until you get there, and then stop. Easy. All you have to do is not collapse and die on the route and you’re golden. No time keeping, no specific exercises to remember and execute while trying to not aggravate your downstairs neighbor. Just run. Simple.

This worked fine for a while. My pants were buttonable without losing consciousness from oxygen loss. I could do math in my head without alerting a nearby paramedic corps. I had figured out the secret. Eat reasonable five days a week, two days a week eat like Babe Ruth at his neighbor’s Bar Mitzvah, and exercise six days a week. Brilliant.

But then autumn came. Autumn is my favorite time of year – cool, crisp, cobalt blue skies, changing leaves, dark nights. Autumn signals me to watch spooky shows, read ghost stories, and to take long walks and think of adventures, past and future. Unfortunately autumn also signals me to eat and drink carbs in the form of comfort food and dark beer until I explode. Not too many adventures this year, but I did that part about the carb thing.

So what to do? I already work out six days a week and all workouts and no play makes something something bad. I could add time to my workouts. So, I added another set of my dumbbell routine and I added two sections to my HIIT days, a burpee session and a session of the dreaded mountain climber. And to my runs I added a mile.

For a week it’s been 4.3 miles. I make it. I am definitely crying, but I make it. My main problem has become what to do while I’m going the extra mile? I mean, it’s such a noted inconvenience that we have a whole idiom named after it. I have tried doing my taxes and planning my week. I even pick fights with people I don’t like and win the argument. But this just made me look on the brink of death and insane at the same time. In the end, I decided that an act of rebellion was the best way to spend the last mile of my run. And it’s with this in mind that I plan my weekend’s cheat meals while I run that last mile. There’s something illicit and naughty about thinking of hotdogs and beer and pancakes while I do something healthy. It keeps my waistline happy. This is the best way to make everyone happy – waistline, pants, and stomach.  

That is, until winter comes.        

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