Earlier, as it was a nice day and, being Jon, I had nothing better to do, I decided to go for a walk.
In the course of my walking I eventually found myself – again, being Jon, having nothing better to do – idly wandering around an all-but deserted Office Depot.
I saw something that I briefly considered buying, but, given that I didn’t need it and could easily find it much cheaper online if I ever did need it, decided against it, and decided that it was time to make the trek home.
However, I decided that, because I didn’t feel like going anywhere else and I was there, I would grab something to drink on the walk home from the cooler near the register. With limited options, I went with a diet iced tea.
I got up to the register, and the unhappy older man working there scanned it, grunted, then looked over to the desk where people picked up print orders and whatnot, where two other employees were standing around chatting.
”Pat,” the man said, holding up the bottle, “this one never scans.”
The other man – “Pat,” apparently – said, with a certain amount of disdain, “Just scan something else. They all cost the same.”
The man grunted, walked out from behind the counter and over to the cooler, and spent far more time than was necessary trying to pick something to scan, and I stood there thinking, “Of course this is what happens.”
Eventually, the man came back, pushed the bottle towards me, and said, “Take it.”
”Er, what?" I said.
”I don’t want to do that,” he said. Then he mumbled something that ended with, “customer service,” and said, “Just take it.”
Last night I was sitting around watching some show about supermassive black holes on Science Channel, because of course that’s what I was doing on a Friday night, and just idly flipping around through applications and settings on my cell phone.
Out of curiosity, I hit the “search” button and entered, “Why do I suck?” This brought up results that included an online quiz titled, “Why do you suck so bad?”
Lacking anything better to do (See “Jon, Being”), I decided to take the quiz. The results stated that I suck because I’m boring.
I said, “I could have told you that.”
As boring as I may be, as I went out for my walk and noticed all of the neighborhood kids idly sitting around on the big rocks lining the cul-de-sac, or riding their bikes in circles, I thought, “At least I have a little more excitement in my life than that.”
Last week, inspired by multiple viewings of The Avengers, I started on a four-week exercise program based on the program that actor Chris Evans followed to get in shape for his role as Captain America.
After the first day, I found myself wishing that I could just get a shot of the Super Soldier Serum and be done with it. I’d even be willing to do without the “Vita Rays” that were an essential part of that fictitious program, the lack of which ultimately causes recipients of the serum to go insane.
It’s a pretty intense and difficult workout. I take some comfort from the fact that the majority of the (extreme) pain resulting from it is muscle pain rather than joint and ligament pain, which indicates that at least I’m probably not doing more harm than good.
I’m setting my expectations pretty low. Certainly I don’t expect to end up looking as good as Evans, given that I’m a much smaller person than he is and that he was already in much, much better shape than I am before he went through the program.
Even so, I’ve already noticed some amount of benefit from it. Not so much in terms of size, but in terms of firmness. At least, once I press through the doughy layer of permaflab and get to the actual muscles located far below the surface…
Each day of the program – four days on, three days off – involves a series of one hour and fifteen minute-long workouts, with an hour of that devoted to resistance training and the final fifteen devoted to cardio.
By the time I climb onto the elliptical for the cardio portion, I’m drenched in sweat and pretty well exhausted, and I think, “You know, I could probably afford to go a little easy on the cardio. Maybe just do ten minutes, or reduce my speed and the resistance level.” Then I think, “No. My stupid body needs to learn who’s in charge here, and it has to know that it can’t expect mercy.”
To drive the point home, I sometimes go for more than fifteen minutes.
Of course, the end result is that getting back upstairs, removing my sweat-soaked workout gear, and engaging in simple tasks like washing my hair become a challenge, as I have very little strength left, and throughout the day, I move with the speed and grace of Tim Conway’s old man character.
Oddly enough, one of the more difficult aspects of the workout program is that I have to eat a lot more than I usually do. Given how much I’ve restricted my diet over the past two years, it’s been a bit of an adjustment, and I’ve been making up for my lack of appetite by seriously increasing my intake of protein supplements.
I had briefly considered following the workout that Robert Downey, Jr. followed to get in shape for his role as Iron Man, but that involved taking in over 5,000 calories a day. No way in hell.
The other strange thing has been that I’ve been getting a lot more sleep than usual. All week long I got at least eight hours each night. It’s bizarre.
And, given how ridiculously early I get up in the morning, it means that I’ve been going to bed shortly after I get home from work, which only serves to make me even more boring.