Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We got a Live One Here...

... literally. And fortunately for him.

I was humming along on the treadmill this morning -- not literally humming, mind you, but approximating that humming in the sizzle and burn in my thighs as the belt rolled along about 4.3 mph -- trying to block out the conversations of the women elbowing along in place next to me, talking about how their husbands are the ones who usually "initiate things" and how when they lose the next 14 lbs. maybe they'd be the ones to "get things going," if you know what I mean, when the whole tiring sharade was pleasantly interrputed.

A sweaty slab of a guy, we'll call him Hank, happily wheezing, and sweating there in place beneath the glow of Oprah and Regis broadcast on the health club televisions, blahd something de-blah de-blah blah blah, and the women stopped chirping, and grinned at him familiarly, and I paused in turning the page of the book (in this case, The Name of the World, by Denis Johnson) I cart around protectively in these situations, and I listened for a moment.

He said:

"Guy I know says he keeps fit doing one sit-up a day. (The women were positively rapturous in their attention at this point.) Half in the morning, when he gets out of bed; the other half at night, when he goes to sleep."

The women broke up laughing; I smirked my sort-of puzzled smirk; and Hank ambled down the line, wheezing and sweating.

Well, if that's what it takes to remind you the old heart muscle is still clenching, the blood's still coursing and the body still bends, well, OK.

I'd much rather get myself all worked up in a fierce froth and pile crunches atop running atop a healthy bedtime tussle atop the large bowl of tortilla soup iced by the extra cupcake besides and then hit the pillow in a pleasant snore only vaguely undercut by remorse and then wake to the alarm bell to do it all again.

But I do know from now on I'll give myself credit for at least one sit-up. Nice to know that if you just make it through the day breathing you can count yourself in the plus column on that.

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