Fat Tuesday: Ignoring the Treadmill You Are On.

When you work out, are you completely focused? Mentally present for every repetition, every compression, every mile?

Or do you keep some kind of secondary input going – music or the news or your favorite show? Does the beat or the images on the screen somehow make the sets and the miles fly by?

Not me. I hate it. Every stinking sweaty lift, crunch, and step.

I grew up in a family of “exercise-ers”. Dad jogged through the 70’s, and pumped iron in the 80’s. My middle brother went all-in on the weights, becoming a competitive power lifter and wrestler. My younger brother, upon whom nature had bestowed the gift of both height and size, transformed that into a junior high and high school football and wrestling legacy.

And then there was me. Oldest, but runt of the litter. “The artsy” one. My motto was “no pain, NO PAIN!” and I avoided exercise like it was going to hurt me (which, to be honest, it often did. Those free weights hurt when you drop them on your foot).

So now, in my 50’s, I’m stuck between the rock of really REALLY needing some exercise so I don’t keel over, and hating it all the more for the fact that my body is not nearly as excited about movement as it once was.

So I ignore it.

More specifically, I put my geek cred where it counts, and I turn on the loudest, fastest, exploding-est sci-fi shows I can find, and get lost in the action. Unsurprisingly, Michael Bay movies are the best. Their lack of coherent plot is less of an issue around mile marker 3, and the constant explosions make me feel like I’m running for a reason.

So how is it working? Here in week 5, my numbers are:

  • 5′ 8″ tall
  • 51 yrs old (that’s still teenager, in hobbit years)
  • 171 lbs
  • 39″ belly
  • 37″ waist
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