Of all the relatively unpleasant moments you may experience during a physical, nothing beats stepping on the scale and seeing that little metal slide explode into the stratosphere. “Surely that can’t all be me,” you think, certain that you’ve accidentally left a bowling ball or a small terrier somewhere on your person.
Of all the relatively unpleasant “turn-your-head-and-cough” moments you may experience during a physical, nothing beats stepping on the scale and seeing that little metal slide explode into the stratosphere. “Surely that can’t all be me,” you think, certain that you’ve accidentally left a bowling ball or a small terrier somewhere on your person.
That happened to me last week, and it led me to an inescapable conclusion: Ordering your pizza “light on the cheese” is not enough to keep your weight in check. Apparently, some type of physical exercise is also necessary. I believe there are medical studies that will back me up on this.
Unfortunately, in my case such exercise has never come easily. I’ve tried jogging a couple of times, but inevitably after a few blocks my calves would feel like little exercise elves were whacking them repeatedly with little exercise elf paddles, and I’d feel a sudden, irrepressible urge to return to my couch.
I recall it was after one of those jogging attempts that I hobbled home, kicked off my sneakers and plopped down in front of the TV, only to come across an infomercial for a piece of fitness equipment called the “Health Rider.” I’m still not sure exactly how this happened — I think I was delirious from calf pain — but $500 later there was a Health Rider positioned strategically in the living room of my one-bedroom apartment.
As I recall, at the time I really intended to use it. However, as a single man in his 20s, I often found my exercise time limited by my ongoing efforts to alphabetize my CD collection.
Still, I think I was on to something; I just happened to choose the wrong piece of equipment. Unfortunately, that choice resulted in a brief period of inactivity, lasting from October of 1995 until sometime this morning.
It was then that, in search of a machine to suit my particular needs, I logged onto the fitness equipment site “bigfitness.com,” where one product jumped out at me immediately. I’m referring, of course, to “The Butt Blaster.” My first thought upon seeing “The Butt Blaster” was, this machine could use a catchy tagline: “Blasting butts since 1978” came to mind.
Then I wondered, does my butt, in fact, need blasting? I retreated to the men’s room but couldn’t get a decent angle on it in the mirror, and I didn’t want to poll my co-workers, as that could constitute harassment of some sort; also, there’s a very good chance that the sports editors would start referring to me as “Buttsy.”
So just for the sake of argument, let’s just say that yes, my butt is in need of a good blast. The Butt Blaster would certainly seem to fit the bill, except for one thing — it requires you place your leg at a “constructive angle of 60 degrees” for “complete isolation of the glute.” In layman’s terms, that means I would have to use The Butt Blaster for about six months before I even attained the level of fitness required to strap myself into it. Besides, the last thing I want is a lonely glute.
Equipment aside, though, it can still seem nearly impossible to squeeze exercise in among life’s other important activities, like work, quality time with your family, and casino gambling. Primarily that last one.
Fortunately, the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. has taken care of that. Just last week, the casino introduced “Pedal ’n Play” machines: stationary bikes that allow you to work out and play the slots at the same time. It’s a great idea, taking advantage of the truism that if you can get rich, no one will care how big your butt is.
Unfortunately, I don’t live in New Jersey. (Which is something I don’t say every day.) So instead, starting tomorrow, I’ll be pulling my Health Rider out of the basement and making an early-morning ride on it part of my daily routine.Just as soon as I finish alphabetizing those CDs.
CNC Managing Editor Peter Chianca is on hiatus until September; this column first appeared in 2000. To receive At Large by e-mail, write to email@example.com, with the subject line “SUBSCRIBE.”