>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 108 – November 21, 2004

“Even Funnier If Really Tired”

Now Playing: “Mass Romantic” by New Pornographers

One of the reasons I enjoy writing an Internet humor column is the way I get to take time off from being angry at the world to write about how angry I am at the world. But sometimes I like to take time off even from THAT to write about something useful, like fitness. Now some of you may question my authority on the subject given that the most physically strenuous activity I've performed in the last week was kicking my computer when I couldn't get my pirated version of Warcraft III to play online, and that really hurt my toes so I only did it the once. Well to those people I say: Shut up. I've written a column about sports and that practically makes me an expert on fitness. So
here's what happened:

-If you're trying to get rid of your freshman 15, or at least keep it from becoming the sophomore 45, you're going to need to start eating healthy. This may be a big lifestyle change for the average college student whose typical daily fruit intake consists of “FROOT BY THE FOOT,” a substance so vile it was originally developed during World War II by that little country nobody liked because it was filled with Nazis and genetically modified fruit. You know the one I'm talking about. The trick to losing weight is to make small changes to your diet, so that eventually you're only eating froot by the cubic inch.

“Here's the breakdown on which machines to use: cardiovascular machines are for girls and homosexuals.”

-Sort Of But Not Really Off-Topic Corner: How can honey mustard be low in fat when both honey AND mustard are not? It may be a scam but boy is it ever tasty.

-There's more to getting fit than depriving yourself of candy. You're also going to have to exercise, which means you will need to get a gym membership. To people who have never “pumped the iron” or “cut the cheese,” as they say in the fitness world, getting a gym membership can be an intimidating process. You will have to approach a man with biceps larger than the car you drove to get to the gym (mom's '87 Firefly) and ask—no, beg, to become a member. If you're not careful he might laugh and give you a swirlie.

-Joining a gym is a lot like starting a new relationship with someone with whom you have nothing in common. At first you're really excited and the sex is really good, so you visit every day. But after a week the novelty is gone and you start looking for ways to avoid seeing the other person. You come up with bullshit excuses like “I can't come over tonight, the Simpsons are on. I'll see you tomorrow.” After a month of feeling guilty you can finally move on, start seeing other people and forget the whole thing ever happened, except of course you have to pay $45 a month for the rest of your life. At least that's the way relationships in my family go.

-It's not enough to pay for a gym membership, mind you. Oh no. You've got to get all the gym accessories, too, so you can fit into the gym culture. And admit it, that's really the only reason you're getting fit in the first place. You're going to need a gym bag, gym shoes, gym shorts, a heart rate monitor, water bottle, whey powder…it doesn't stop. I wonder if drug addicts feel the same way when they just start out doing drugs. (“What do you mean I need to buy crack AND a crack pipe? And a lighter too? Screw this. Drugs are too much trouble.”)

-Of all the workout-related merchandise, the whey powder has to be my favorite. It's this weird white powder (just like crack) that's sold by the bucket and you're supposed to add water and drink it after every workout or else you may as well not have gone to the gym at all. That's a toughie. I guess I'll skip the gym and stay home, smoke some crack instead. At least it's not sold by the bucket.

-A lot of non-gym goers (or is it gym non-goers?) don't know that the gym is actually divided into two parts: the weight room and the cardiovascular machines. This leads to some confusion among first-time gym goers-to regarding which machine to use. Here's the breakdown: cardiovascular machines are for girls and homosexuals. If anyone sees you—a pudgy, doughy, male Internet user—on the Stairmaster, you might as well have a purple triangle tattooed to your forehead right above that tattoo that says, “I have intercourse with other men.” On the other hand, the weight room is for people who already have some level of muscle development, so you are likely to be equally embarrassed when you attempt a bench press and discover you can't even lift the weight of an empty bar. Again, don't forget the Simpsons are on.

-If you do attempt to use the weight room, be sure to use a spotter. A spotter is the person who stands over you in a way that would land you in serious trouble in the Middle East while you attempt to perform your exercises. Why would you want someone pressing his sweaty groin into your face while you work out? The spotter's job is to mock you and shout demoralizing comments about you to the other gym patrons, so as to make you want to kill yourself. Then, when you attempt to drop the weight on your chest just to end the misery, the spotter swoops in and catches it, thus inciting even more laughter and guffaws. It's a little something we in the gym world call “getting motivated.”

-By now you've lost those pounds, toned those muscles and feel great about yourself. The only problem is, nobody has complimented you on your rocking new body because your face is so damn ugly. What do you do? There are no exercises or diets that will help you re-grow the hair you lost smoking all that crack three jokes ago. Luckily, science has an answer in the form of Propecia, a prescription-only drug that cures baldness and, according to recent reports, causes blindness and kidney failure. It seems strange to me that this drug is sold by prescription. Isn't the whole point of prescriptions to keep people from misdiagnosing themselves? How the hell do you misdiagnose yourself with baldness? (“Oh, the hair's supposed to be on top of my HEAD! That's where I got confused.”)

-In conclusion, fitness is a lifestyle choice that few, if any, ever adhere to long enough to regret. You won't be able to eat any of the foods you like. You'll spend hours of your time and dollars of your bank account on the gym and its assorted paraphernalia. Your visits to this fine website will probably become less frequent. You'll find your ass starting to sweat uncontrollably, even while you're asleep. But you'll get girls, so I guess it's worth it.