We’ve Upped Our Health, So Up Yours!


“To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.”
(From The Picture of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde)


One out of three ain’t bad. (But which one?)

For purt’near two weeks, another Housefly and I have been meeting at the dawn’s early light to complete activities that might be termed exercise, though certainly only in the loosest possible interpretation of the word.

The other Housefly – who shall remain unnamed, for now – is coping with the end of his gay (and I just might mean that literally… who knows what unspeakable carnalities he dabbled in during all those years of college?) twenties and the onset of the dirty thirties. I, having already coped with my thirtysomethingness as well as a receding hairline (it’s not so much receding as it is advancing down my back… film at eleven!), receding gums (which I plan to parlay into a frivolous lawsuit against toothbrush manufacturers… Coolhand has signed on as my lead attorney and is working on catchy rhetoric: “If his enamel is scarred, the bristles are too hard!” and “He’s got gingivitis; they cannot fight us!” and “Their product is a sham; do you give a dental dam?”), and six-times-an-hour visits to the toilet each night (“Urine on the eights!”)…

Sorry. Grammatically speaking, sometimes it’s best to just start over.

What I was trying to say was this: I have no such illusion of regaining my youthful vim and vigor. I gave up on that when I began to notice a steady loss in stream pressure a few years back (which makes Urine on the eights much more of an adventure for both me and barefooted family members). My decision to exercise was based on the fact that, upon starting work for a company with a dress code that required a little more than sweats and flip-flops, I discovered my Sonic-sized paunch had affected the fit of my dress pants. Also, I began to notice that my heart’s tachometer was pegging out after only 13 or 14 cups of coffee. The obvious solution is NOT drink less coffee but rather get the heart used to operating at such speeds! That may be the most specious reasoning since the marketing meeting that led to New Coke, but welcome to my world.

So, in the brief space I have remaining, let me – your exercise guru – do away with a few Myths of Exercise Programs:

1) You must sweat or at least move frequently to accomplish your goals. Dial H for Hogwash, my friends. The Other Housefly and I have found it possible to not only carry on surprisingly lucid conversation (for such an early hour, of course, and only when the left side of my face hasn’t gone numb, which happens often) during our aerobic interludes (!), we also carry our coffee mugs. (Which, of course, lends support to the whole increased heart rate shtick.)

4) You must wear undergarments to maximize the workout’s effectiveness. You’ll have to ask The Other Housefly about this one, and you might also quiz those good folks whose morning commutes were enlivened by the sight of a 30-year-old lily-white tookus cracking wise at them from the track at the local high school. (It may have been daylight, but the moon was still out, baby.)

G) There’s nothing funny about lifting weights. Sure, just as there really are weapons of mass destruction. We spend a couple of mornings each week lifting weights in my garage. We also use other means of torture, including (but not limited to) a jump rope, a stairmaster, and one of those girly exercise balls. To this point, the highlights of the workout sessions (besides the moon, of course) include The Other Housefly rolling helplessly off the exercise ball and crashing into my lawn mower, and This Housefly (that’s me, you idgit) cursing loudly because I couldn’t get more than three consecutive successful rope jumps.

Well kids, this is where I’d normally tie this up with some cutesy closing line. But it’s five o’clock on a Friday and I’m ready to tie on a six pack. So, as the key club would say: Peace out.


4 Responses to “We’ve Upped Our Health, So Up Yours!”

  1. Michael Lasley Says:

    I think coffee is the neglected sports-drink. I salute you in your decision to let that particular nectar replenish the vital nutrients that your body undoubtedly expends during your seemingly vigorous workouts. Mikey

  2. Anonymous Says:

    i’m having a hard time getting past that moon…

  3. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Just for the record, I am NOT the other housefly featured in this article…

  4. AJ Says:

    Okay, that O.W. quote was awesome!

    Oh, yeah, and the stuff you wrote was not too shabby.

    Especially the “exercise” you are getting at Dawn’s. Two weeks? Does she have a punch card or something?

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