2010.11.10 Exercising with David: It's pure torture

Written by David Green.


I am a total wimp when it comes to exercising my body on my own volition. It takes more gumption than I’ve got for me to get up and go...my get up and go just sits down and stays, or maybe it got up and left town. If it weren’t for David, I would be a lumpy couch potato, a big bowl of mashed potatoes.

David possesses the most amazing amount of self-discipline and sets such a good example. Even when he doesn’t particularly want to exercise or when he doesn’t really have a whole lot of time, he will exercise indoors.

I’m not a real fan of indoor running.

Besides the fact that I spent half my mothering years yelling at the kids to stop running in the house, and thus, it now seems hypocritical to jog around the joint, there are several other reasons it just isn’t a good idea.

Number one, it’s really hard to mash into the couch when the only other person in the house is jogging past you and bounding up and down the stairs. The peer pressure is way too intense, the calls of “C’mon Leddy, get your butt off the couch” are too hard to ignore; it means I have to join him.

Number two, once I join the fray I worry that our old house won’t stand the pounding of two people jogging down the hall into the kitchen, back down the hall into the entry for a round of fake rope jumping, clamoring up the stairs and fast-pacing it around the bedrooms, back down the stairs and through the living room.

Number three, the first minute is insufferably long. It just never ends. Every bone and muscle in my body screams, Stop! And the first five minutes? It’s like five hours. I just want to jump ship and be done with it.

But David happily carries on, so I follow behind, doing whatever he does: the silly walk through the hallway, the pumping of hand weights, the dance moves—I laugh, but I can’t wait for it all to be over. It’s pure torture.

However, I must admit that the last five minutes kind of sail right by. It’s not the kind of sailing that makes me want to stay all day on the water; it’s the kind of sailing that makes me think, Well, that wasn’t so bad, after all. I know it’s just another example of my common everyday inertia regarding other things like getting into the shower in the morning and going to bed at night.

Still, my reluctance to exercise without David’s “encouragement” was the first thing I thought of when I heard something on the radio about some prisoners having a hard time adjusting to life on the outside. Once released from prison, they have a hard time creating their own schedule, going about their business without being told what to do and when to do it. Life in prison is predictable and regulated, and oddly comforting for those reasons. It makes some prisoners commit crimes again just to get back to the “easy life.”

When someone is “making” you do something, it’s a heckuva lot easier to carry on than if you have to do it on your own. It’s the reason I would be a great prisoner or member of the armed forces.

And, it’s the reason I found a recent radio story about a torture study so scary. A really high percentage of ordinary everyday people continued to inflict pain on others when ordered to do so by a person in authority.

Unknown to those in the study, the people they were hurting and causing to scream and writhe were actors. But, they just kept on administering an electric shock (also fake, but unknown to them) to the subjects.

Even though I subscribe to the “question authority” school of thought and I would like to think I wouldn’t do something that would harm another, after listening to the show and considering my exercise attitude, I’m beginning to wonder about myself. Would I succumb under pressure to torture someone?

Let’s just hope my proclivities to torture are limited to yelling at my kids to stop running in the house—and that David’s soon....

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016