I want to look good naked

13 Mar

Sure, exercise could extend my life, fight off depression and all kinds of other positive things, but I exercise for the same reason you do: to look good naked. And that’s not easy to do at 41.

American Beauty is one of my favorite movies. What? I’m insane? I wouldn’t know a good movie if it crawled up my what?  Just watch the clip or at least read the dialogue.

Lester Burnhan: I figured you guys might be able to give me some pointers. I need to shape up. Fast.

Jim Olmeyer: Are you just looking to lose weight, or do you want increased strength and flexibility as well?

Lester Burnham: I want to look good naked.

I’ve been attending an hour-long YMCA class appropriately called “Boot Camp.” It’s clear I’m not in the best shape of my life, but it feels like I’ve found the proper motivation to hold me to a proper, enduring exercise routine, something I struggle with during the cold months.

The best thing about Boot Camp is that I can’t lie down and take a nap after ten minutes, which is what I’d do at home if I planned my own sixty minute exercise routine. In the group class we have a fit instructor guiding us, urging us to “push it.” We feed off of each other’s energy and determination. We smell (and slip) on each other’s sweat and tears. We motivate each other.

I have none of that at home. It’s hard to find motivation at home when you have couches and cookies and computers and books and pillows everywhere. If I’m sweating at home, give me some heavy blankets and drugs because I have the goddam flu. And if there’s someone in my house shouting instructions, that just means my wife’s home from work.

“Scrub that floor! Come on now, don’t stop! I know you can do it. Push it! Push it!”

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