The Truth about Getting Large 1/5/99

Wow . . . did I just type '99 as the year? Oofah!

For the first time in a while, I'm not starting an entry with a letter. That's right . . . something funny happened to me all by itself. This, you'll enjoy.

Most of you are probably aware that I am/was/will be a smoker. That's right, Boys and Girls, Mr. Steele has stopped smoking for the second time in his life. Not everything mind you -- just cigarettes for now -- but eventually I'll probably stop the pipe and the cigars, too. I'm taking this in steps.

However, I can tell that I've quit smoking because my pants have all gotten fairly tight. Okay, very tight. Seven days after the first attempt, 220 shot up to 236 -- and whammo, just like that I was a Fat Bastard. I'm sure the Semi-Annual Holiday Gorge didn't help.

It's not pretty. 236 might not sound like a lot at 6'5, but I'm all arms and legs. You'll just have to trust me. I've seen better looking auto crashes.

So, in the spirit of soon-to-be-broken resolutions, today I decided that enough was enough. I drew a line in the sand, and I waddled into the basement where the weights live. The time had come to pump some Steele.

The lifting part went rather uneventfully -- and believe me, lifting without a spotter like I do, there have been a few Occurances . . . things like having 180 lbs resting peacefully on my throat while I quickly add up how many hundreds of minutes I'm going to be pinned there before someone comes home, and wondering if perhaps lowering the weights and taking my own life isn't a sound alternative to the impending humiliation.

But none of that today. No, Sir-ee. Things didn't get interesting until I mounted the old exercise bicycle.

Now, let me first just say that I hate the Bicycle. It's just too boring to tolerate. You sit and you pedal and you go no where and you repeat the  'I'm a Fat Bastard' mantra and the tension loosens up so you have to reach down and tighten it up a little bit and Whoa! the pedalling just stopped because that's too much tension and if you'd be so kind to fetch me a spoon I'll gladly pull out my own eyes just to fight the boredom.

Fifteen minutes into this happiness, the Bicycle said enough was enough, and drew a line of its own in the sand.

My first indication of this was my slow approach to the floor behind me. That's right, Gentle Reader -- I folded that sucker like a greeting card. Merry Christmas! Nothing demonstrates more clearly that you have put off the work-out far too long than the destruction of the equipment.

For long moments I stood over the mortally wounded machine -- the aluminum tube which once supported the seat now twisted into an agonized death-grimace. It had served only one purpose in life -- to give me a work-out. Now, there's only one work-out left in it; the one it's going to give me when I haul it to the curb. It had been a worthy nemesis -- no quarter asked, none given. But in the end, it had succumbed to turkey, stuffing, and six different varieties of Christmas cookie.

The Truth for the Day: sometimes the activities you think are going to improve your self-esteem ... don't.