“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

Magpie Musing is running a contest for a Wii fit to go with the thoughts on her New Year Resolutions, and she asked that we share a fitness related story.

Oh – I could share a host of them.  I am quite good at poking fun at myself, and believe me, there is a reason my mother did not name me “Grace”.   I want a Wii Fit bundle – first because I have, no less than seven times, MISSED by seconds purchasing my husband a Wii for Xmas on Amazon and Walmart.com in addition to logging countless hours in local stores before finally giving up and buying him something else (no, honey, I am not revealing it here either).  Second, it will give me one more reason to stop blaiming my current overweight status on post-pregnancy pounds (now that my child coming up on four years old, I imagine that excuse is stale).  Apparently chasing that child around isn’t doing it for me.   Maybe watching his mother and laughing hysterically while she makes a fool of herself trying to downhill ski on a Wii Fit will keep him in shape, too.

In exchange I will offer a good friend’s tale of exercise folly up as a sacrificial lamb.    Better for my self esteem.  Which the Wii Fit is supposed to help with.  I don’t want to defeat my purpose here.


The victim in this case is a long-ago dear friend, one who I have not seen in many years, a former lover.  He knows about this blog and occasionally reads it, but I will preserve his anonymity under the pseudonym, Jack, and hope he preserves his sense of humor.  The irony of the events I am about to describe did not escape him at the time, and I imagine they won’t now.

After our relationship had long-subsided from romantic into the comfortable close friends territory, he met his current wife.  Jack is not particularly a vain main about anything but his IQ, but the flush of new love does strange things to the psyche.  While I am not oblivious to looks, and I thought him a handsome man (still do), I am aware that the objects of my attraction tend to have quirks of appearance.  Singular looks catch my attention and fondness more so than conventional attractiveness.  

After a couple good-hearted comments from his new love about his relative under-abundance of posterior (I kind of liked the way his pants hung on his hips…), he decided to take the matter in hand, or, well, at least in something more southward.  So Jack approached the problem with intellectual fervor, like he does everything else in his life – he bought a book.  “Buns of Steel” comes to mind.  This title sitting on his bookshelf next to the Chess Life (which, I maintained, that if you susbscribe to, you do not have one), the political manifestos and the actuarial tables could not help but catch my attention and my incredulity.  I ribbed him mercilessly, the way only an old lover can do.

He started with deep squats and declared them far easier than he thought possible.  In fact, so easy, he started with THIRTY before his legs started to feel a bit tired.  And working to failure is the point of building, isn’t it?  He was going to have that fundament of metal in no time.

Never underestimate the false confidence of arrogant enthusiasm.

Jack got his first glimpse at how deceptively effective those squats were when he got up to answer the call of nature in the middle of the night, and as he swung his feet over the edge of the bed, they made contact with the floor … and the rest of him kept right on going.   At 2am,  he was face down on the floor with a full bladder and completely nonfunctional legs.  He managed to pull himself up on the plumbing with his arms to relieve the immediate problem and then crawl, arm over arm, back into bed.  

Later that day I got this phone call:



“I’m still in bed.”

“You sick?”

“Well, remember that Buns of Steel book?  I did thirty squats last night.  They didn’t feel so bad.”


“And now my legs don’t work.”

<pause here to wipe tears of hysterical laughter born of maniacal shadenfreude>

“So, you aren’t going to work?”

“Nope.  I called in.”

“You called in… what?  Stupid?  Sick doesn’t really fit the situation.”

“Nope.  Just told them I couldn’t get out of bed.   Didn’t elaborate.”

“At least you didn’t lie.  Except in bed.”  <insert more uncontrolled fits of giggling here>

“Glad you’re enjoying this.”

“Oh.  Manifestly.”


God, I miss that man.  Without the regular laughter, my abs have never been the same.

So I need that Wii Fit.  

December 8th, 2008 at 5:58 pm
3 Responses to “Vanity, thy name is…”
  1. 1
    Moose Says:

    “I am aware that the objects of my attraction tend to have quirks of appearance.”

    Hey…wait a minute.

  2. 2
    William McNaughton Says:


    At least he didn’t manage to break his own leg.


  3. 3
    magpie Says:

    LOL – Chess Life, indeed.