In a half-assed attempt at exercise, I decided to climb the six flights of stairs to the tutoring center, where I work mornings. With my nose in the air, I strutted confidently past the first floor's corridor of elevators, a book in one hand, a swinging bag of sandwiches and fruit in the other, and entered the dungeon-like stairwell to begin my aerobics. It started off swell. I went with a springing step and even resisted the urge to gallop up, two at a time. But by the third floor, I was holding the cold hand railing with white knuckles and panting as though I'd just run 26 miles to Athens. I arrived at the tutoring center with white splotches in my vision and my nostrils flaring for oxygen because in the presence of students and coworkers, I'd closed my mouth and pretended not to be experiencing a mild heart attack. By high noon, I had lost the unflattering green hue I'd achieved during my early morning workout, and the beautiful roses of in my cheeks were back in gorgeous bloom.
The whole ordeal reminded me of a time when a friend invited me to play flag football with a regular group of his friends. I accepted and was prostrate and vomiting on the field within 15 minutes of kick off. It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't felt as though I'd embarrassed my friend or if one of his friends hadn't been the brother of an ex-girlfriend (hi Linda).
Lesson learned: 1) it's time to stop shoveling Blue Bell Homemade Ice Cream's delicious "Rocky Road" into my gluttonous mouthhole at 9:30 in the PM and visit my local gym 2) stop blaming my self-diagnosed "heart condition" for my inability to be a real man and visit my local gym.